Cape Coral Fishing: The Complete Guide

Jan 10, 2023 | 8 minute read Comments
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Reading Time: 8 minutes

Cape Coral sits on a beautiful peninsula with the Caloosahatchee River on one side and the Matlacha Pass on the other. With over 400 miles of navigable waters, fishing in Cape Coral is truly unmissable. Today, the city is the perfect combination of a relaxing vacation resort and an exciting angling haven – but did you know that it was never meant to exist?

Founded in the ’50s as one of Florida’s most ambitious projects, Cape Coral grew to be a retirement paradise. It’s one of the fastest-growing communities in the US. There are thousands of homes on the prolific canals throughout the city, earning it the nickname “Waterfront Wonderland.”

These are some of the reasons why your visit to this place is long overdue, so let’s get into it. This article will cover everything there is to know about Cape Coral’s fishing scene, so you can plan your next adventure and get to packing!

Top Fish Species in Cape Coral

What’s special about fishing in Cape Coral? Well, its wildlife and biodiversity are something else, with fresh, brackish, and saltwater fishing grounds for you to discover. What used to be wild natural territory is now a bustling city with beautiful views. It’s tamer now, but still wild at heart, so let’s dive into the fish diversity you can expect to see.

Tarpon

The “Silver King” is a majestic game fish that anglers worldwide have on their bucket list, and for good reason. They are big, feisty, and beautiful, with most specimens weighing 50 pounds, and some reaching up to 200 pounds! They show up in March and hang around Cape Coral up until October, with April through July overflowing with Tarpon.

A fisherman in a cap, sunglasses, and a buff, squatting on a fishing boat, holding a Tarpon in Cape Coral, Florida, with vegetation and water behind him

The ultimate challenge of Tarpon fishing in Cape Coral is, of course, doing it on the fly. Anglers from around the world visit these waters for the chance to try it out. And with Boca Grande, “The Tarpon Capital of the World,” just a short boat ride away, there’s no better place to be!

Redfish

This amazing inshore species holds a dear place in the heart of Cape Coral’s anglers. When the founders of the city flew over the area across the Caloosahatchee River, they decided to turn the peninsula then known as Redfish Point into the fishing paradise we know today. Redfish are still the crown jewel of Cape Coral, and you can find them all around the area.

A father and son standing on a fishing boat, holding a Redfish they caught in Florida

Sink a line by one of the small uninhabited islands in Pine Island Sound or Matlacha Pass. The shallow waters of the area are teeming with the species, so you won’t have to look far. Big Reds are quite the challenge and reeling them in is no small feat. You’ll be rewarded for your hard work with a delicious meal, as they’re a mouth-watering delicacy.

Snook

No Florida angling list is complete without Snook! These creatures are the embodiment of appetizing table fare, and reelin’ ‘em in is a real challenge. With 15 lb catches common in Cape Coral, and some specimens reaching up to 50 pounds, this is the game fish on everyone’s lips.

A fisherman in a cap, leaning out of the boat to hold a Snook he caught close to the water

The species thrives in mangroves and marshy saltwater. You’re in luck – these are the foundations of the city of Cape Coral. Travel down the winding canals in search of this beloved fish, or head down to some of the docks and piers on the Caloosahatchee River. Here you’ll get to cast a line alongside Cape Coral’s local anglers and residents for an authentic experience.

Spotted Seatrout

What makes Trout a true Cape Coral staple? Well, it lives in a variety of habitats, from shallow flats and backwaters to estuaries and salt marshes. By now you know the city is full of these. It’s a great light tackle game fish, perfect for novice and seasoned fishermen alike. For this reason, Trout is the best fish to target on a relaxing day out with family and friends.

A man in a cap and sunglasses standing on a fishing boat, holding a Spotted Seatrout, with water and blue skies behind him

While they’re most commonly found in the marshes around Matlacha Pass, Specks are known to frequent the saltwater canals, so if you’re fishing on foot don’t give up. Common specimens weigh in at 6 pounds, while trophy ones go up to 18 pounds, known as “Gator” Trout. Reel one in, and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with a nice dinner, so keep at it!

Largemouth Bass

A visit to Cape Coral’s freshwater canals and man-made lakes can yield great results too. The most popular freshwater game fish, Largemouth Bass are known to frequent these waters, and it’s a game of patience with this one. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and just enjoy the tranquility of nature, freshwater Bass fishing in Cape Coral is your best bet. If you can avoid the area’s other species, that is.

A fisherman in sunglasses and a cap, holding a Largemouth Bass in Florida, with vegetation and water behind him

There’s one thing you can’t escape while fishing in Cape Coral – Catfish. Although it’s not very popular with locals, targeting this fish is a great way to test your skills and help balance out the local ecosystem.

And More!

The list just goes on when it comes to the angling scene in Cape Coral. Apart from Largemouth Bass and the wicked Catfish, some other freshwater catches can be Crappie and Bluegill, as well as the occasional Grass Carp and Alligator Gar.

With the Gulf of Mexico just around the corner, if you opt for a longer trip, you’ll get the chance to fight Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Cobia, King Mackerel, Amberjack, and many more.

How to Fish in Cape Coral

Charter Fishing

From catching Tarpon to fishing the offshore artificial reefs and wrecks for Snapper and Grouper, there is a world of opportunities in Cape Coral for people with access to a boat and an experienced guide. Chartering a boat will allow you to reach the best fishing spots fast, and you’ll have all the equipment you need to reel in those prized catches.

A center console boat running through the surf

Leave the barrier islands of Captiva and Sanibel behind, and the Gulf of Mexico will be your playground. Seeing that the only way to truly experience these magnificent waters is on a boat, this is an adventure you don’t want to miss. You could be battling some monster game fish, so get ready for a real fight.

Looking to experience all that Cape Coral has on offer? Chartering a boat is the way to go as you can cover a lot of ground and try a variety of techniques. No matter what type of adventure you’d like to experience, you’ll find a captain who can make it happen.

Shore Fishing

As the place with the highest number of canals in the world (sorry, Venice!), Cape Coral provides you with the unique opportunity to explore these winding waterways. There’s some freshwater fine angling to be done in canals and lakes like Alhambra Lake, Lake Kennedy, and Saratoga Lake. On the other hand, if you fish the canals on the outer rim of the Cape Coral peninsula, you’ll get to enjoy some excellent saltwater acti

A wooden walkway and fishing pier with benches in Cape Coral, Florida

Staying in a house on the river is the best way to relax and sink your bait for Spotted Seatrout, Snook, Sheepshead, Redfish, and the occasional Jack Crevalle. There’s a number of vacation homes dotted along the waterways available for rent, so why not experience the true Cape Coral lifestyle for a while?

You can also visit some of the local docks and try your luck. Casting your line from the seawalls will have you fishing with the locals, enjoying a cold drink and a nice view. The piers are very productive, and the Yacht Club Community Park fishing pier is right at the top. Located on the tip of the peninsula, it’s a 24-hour fishing frenzy with magnificent views of Redfish Cove. 

Kayak Fishing

Kayaking is a popular activity with locals and visitors alike. And with so much water in and around Cape Coral, how can they not love it? If you’re looking for a fishing adventure with that special kick, this is a great option. There’s a variety of kayaking opportunities for those of you who’d like to get in on the action, but don’t have the experience.

A view of the water from a fishing kayak, with a close-up of the front of the kayak and blurred scenery

Exploring these waters by kayak is a peaceful and exciting way of getting away from the crowds and enjoying some time surrounded by nature. Kayaks are great for exploring the shallow waters that even flats boats struggle to reach. It’s a unique way of fishing that requires some dedication and skill, but it’s very rewarding.

You can launch out of several parks in the city, depending on whether you want to access fresh or saltwater fishing grounds. 

Cape Coral Top Fishing Spots

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Cape Coral fishing spots. Some of them are well-known and frequented by visitors, while others are very popular with locals. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the best fishing places to visit.

A map infographic of Cape Coral showing the top fishing spots, including Lake Kennedy Community Park, Four Mile Cove Eco Preserve, Four Freedoms Park, Rotary Park, Rosen Park Boat Ramp, and Sirenia Vista Park
  • Rosen Park Boat Ramp: A big saltwater boat ramp with quick access to the Caloosahatchee River. Located on Terrace Road, it’s a park with a boardwalk, perfect for lazy afternoons. You can reel in Seatrout, Snapper, Snook, and Redfish
  • Sirenia Vista Park: An environmental park ideal for viewing manatees in colder weather. Fishing in the area is great all year round, but note that it’s daylight fishing only. Tarpon, Grouper, Tripletail, and Shark are all possible catches.
  • Lake Kennedy Community Park: This is a green area comprised of a gazebo, walking path, and fitness area. Situated on Santa Barbara Boulevard, it will give you access to great fishing before heading to one of the nearby restaurants for lunch. You can catch Bass, Catfish, Crappie, and Carp.
  • Four Freedoms Park: Located off of Cape Coral Pkwy, this is the perfect place for a family day with picnic areas and playgrounds, as well as a beach with scenic views of the Bimini Basin. Sink your line here for Snook, Redfish, Seatrout, and Snapper.
  • Four Mile Cove Eco Preserve: At 365 acres, this is the second-largest preserved green space in Cape Coral. It’s a brackish water wetland area with a walking trail, visitor center, and seasonal kayak rentals. Wildlife sightings like eagles, ibis, herons, and snakes are common. Expect to catch Seatrout, Snapper, Snook, Tarpon, and Redfish.
  • Rotary Park: Here you’ll find an environmental center, butterfly house, dog park, playground, and picnic shelters. It’s a 97-acre natural preserve, where you can enjoy some peace and catch Snook, Redfish, and Spotted Seatrout.

Cape Coral Fishing Seasons and Regulations

No matter whether on land or by boat, fishing in Cape Coral is productive all year round. However, some fish species visit these waters during certain times of the year depending on the water temperature, spawning times, and the weather. You’ll find seasonality information on our fishing calendar, as well as the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website.

Species Open Season Limit
Tarpon Best: Apr–Aug Catch and Release
Snook Mar–May/Sep–Dec
*C&R until Aug 31
1 per person
Spotted Seatrout Year-Round 3 per person
Redfish Best: May–Nov
*C&R until Aug 31
1 per person
Largemouth Bass Year-Round 5 per person


If you’re fishing aboard a charter, your saltwater license will be covered. Fishing solo? Anglers aged 16–64 will need to buy a license. The best thing to do is to get a combination of freshwater and saltwater licenses. You can find more information here.

While the city of Cape Coral doesn’t have specific regulations regarding individual species, it follows the bag limits set by the FWC, and you can find all the relevant information for top targets in the infographic above.

Why Cape Coral? It’s One of a Kind

An image of a Cape Coral canal

Haven’t we said enough? With Southwest Florida being the go-to destination for anglers from all over the world, fishing in a place as unique as Cape Coral is a dream come true. Everything it has to offer makes it an unforgettable experience that will surely leave you breathless and coming back for more.

Have you tried fishing in Cape Coral? Are the canals everything they say they are? Tell us all about it, or ask anything you’d like to know down in the comments. We’re always happy to hear from you!

Comments (197)
  • Beth

    Jan 16, 2023

    First time visitors to Cape Coral and we would love to fish. Staying in the NW side near Diplomat where there seem to be lots of canals. What are the restrictions for accessing the waterways in residential areas? Is there public fishing permitted in the canals for those with licenses?

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      Vuk

      Jan 17, 2023

      Hi Beth,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The canals near Diplomat are all freshwater, so you’ll need a freshwater fishing license if you want to fish there. As long as you have one of those and are following the relevant bag limits, you can fish to your heart’s content. Hope this helps.

      Tight lines!

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  • Annette

    Jan 16, 2023

    We are renting on SW 5th Ter. What is the name of the canal on our rental? Is it fresh water or salt water and what kinds of fish can we expect to catch?

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      Vuk

      Jan 17, 2023

      Hi Annette,

      Thanks for getting in touch. While we don’t know the name of the canal, we can tell you that it’s a freshwater one. Bluegill and Largemouth Bass are the most common species found in Cape Coral’s freshwater canals. Hope this helps.

      Tight lines!

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  • Stephen

    Sep 11, 2022

    We’re staying on lake Kennedy In a rental on SW 3rd st. I was curious what we can expect to catch and what bait we should use. Thanks

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      Rhys

      Sep 11, 2022

      Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for reading and for your good question. Lake Kennedy and the surrounding waters are considered freshwater, although you can find plenty of brackish water-loving creatures there, too. You’ll mainly be going after Largemouth Bass, Snook, and Bluegill. Therefore, you’ll need a few different baits and lures in your tool kit. Try a mixture of artificial lures, such as jigs, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits for the Bass, while live bait or small bait fish will do the job for Snook. I hope this helps.

      Tight lines,

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  • Christina

    Aug 30, 2022

    Hello! What a fantastic page of info you have given us all!! We are coming down last few weeks of September and staying at a canal house on SE 13th St. is this fresh or saltwater?
    Also what are your top 5 shoreline fishing spots for this area when we tire of the house dock?

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      Lisa

      Aug 31, 2022

      Hi Christina,

      Thank you for reaching out. The Honolulu canal should be right by your house. You can enjoy some nice freshwater fishing off the dock!

      As for the top 5 spots in the area, I’d definitely recommend Matlacha Pass, Estero Bay, Caloosahatchee River, and the Pine Island Sound.

      I hope this helps!

      Lisa

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  • Andrew Pomp

    Aug 11, 2022

    Hello! Loving the information you are giving here. So helpful. We are staying right on the River on the Fort Myers side. Just north of the Midpoint bridge. We plan to fish off the shore/dock at the residence. We are flying down from Minnesota for 5 days and are trying to know what gear to bring. Any tips on bait, presentation etc would be so helpful! Loving your site.

    Thank you!

    Andy

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      Rhys

      Aug 12, 2022

      Hi Andy,

      Thanks for your kind comment and for your question. Regarding gear and presentation, a 7–8′ rod, with a 20lb mono line and some medium sinkers should do the trick. As for bait, shrimp and crabs are the favorites of pretty much every species you can target from the shore or dock, while spoons and jigs can work well as artificial. I hope this helps.

      Tight lines,

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      Andy

      Aug 12, 2022

      That’s great info! Appreciate it!

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  • Martin

    Jul 19, 2022

    Hi, we are renting a house in the middle of august on Coral Drive, directly on the Caloosahatchee river. What species of fish might we expect there at this time of year and what bait and gear should we be looking at? Thanks!

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      Marko

      Jul 19, 2022

      Hi Martin,

      Thanks for getting in touch. You can expect to see Snook, Redfish, and Mangrove Snapper. Live bait, such as mullet, sardines, shrimp, or crabs works best, along with light tackle gear. If you’re keen on using artificials, bring some jigs, swimbaits, jerkbaits, or weedless spoons.

      Hope the information helps, enjoy your stay in CC.

      Tight lines!

      Marko

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      Martin

      Aug 6, 2022

      Thanks Marko – that’s great – can’t wait!

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  • Ros

    Jul 15, 2022

    Hi we are visiting Cape Coral and looking for shoreline or bank fishing. The Canal behind our Vacation spot has way too many water lillies and doesn’t seem fishable. Any suggestions on where to go.

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      Lisa

      Jul 18, 2022

      Hi Ros,

      Thank you for reaching out. Where are you guys staying? There are various spots you can check out, some of them are mentioned in this comment section. Let me know which area you’re looking to fish.

      Lisa

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  • Shawn

    Jun 30, 2022

    Hey loved the article. We’re staying on Brittania Lake right now, having alot of luck with shrimp catching Spade Fish. We’ll probably charter a boat to try to catch some bigger fish but I’m curious what type of lure you’d recommend to go after some other fish from the dock on the house. The Spade fish devour the shrimp and are fun to catch near the piers but I’d love to catch something else.

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      Rhys

      Jul 1, 2022

      Hi Shawn,

      Thank you for reading and for sharing your experiences with us. This time of year, you’re quite likely to come across Mangrove Snapper and Jack Crevalle, along with Snook, in the canals near Brittania Lake. While these creatures are also partial to shrimp, I’d recommend trying out a mixture of pinfish, mullet, and pilchards, or lures that imitate these, such as feather jigs with wormtails. I hope this helps.

      Tight lines,

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      Jason

      Jul 11, 2022

      Very much enjoyed the information in this article!

      My wife and I are currently here in The Cape renting a house on the spreader canal off of Surfside.
      What kind of fishing could we expect from the dock here and could you please give some recommendations?
      Would love to catch a few Mangrove Snappers for lunch as I hear they make a great sandwich!
      Thank you very much!!!
      Jason

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      Lisa

      Jul 11, 2022

      Hi Jason,

      Lisa here. We’re glad you enjoyed the article!

      The South Spreader Canal is a good place to fish for Mangrove Snapper. You can definitely fish for your lunch right from the dock! I’d recommend looking for any type of structure, such as bridges and docks. Stick to your regular inshore-rated saltwater gear, like a light spinning reel paired with a medium-light action rod, along with a line in the 10-20 pound test class. Bait-wise, I suggest going for live bait – scaled sardines, shrimp, small crabs, or pinfish.

      I hope this helps. Let’s see what other anglers recommend.

      Lisa

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      Jason

      Jul 12, 2022

      Thank you Lisa!
      I tried live shrimp today caught a few exotic fish unfortunately and some catfish.
      Hopefully tomorrow is a better day for the Snappers!

      Take Care!

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      Chris Recabo

      Jul 17, 2022

      We just rented off of the Malaga Canal (SE 46th Ln) towards the river side of the Del Prado overpass. What can my wife and I expect fishing wise, what baits to use etc? Your info we’ve read has been very informative to others asking for advice.

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      Marko

      Jul 18, 2022

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Malaga Canal is saltwater so you can expect to see some Trout, Redfish, and Snook. Live bait typically works best, such as mullet, pinfish, crabs, and shrimp. If you’re more interested in using artificial lures, try soft plastics, jerkbaits, or swimbaits.

      Hope the information helps, enjoy your stay in CC!

      Tight lines,

      Marko

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  • mark

    Jun 27, 2022

    I saw this site, and I’m amazed by the effort of replying to all questions! We will be in Cape Coral end of July, coming over from Europe. We stay close to the Chiqueta Lock. 2 years ago we are also in Cape Coral, but didn’t have much luck before we discovered live shrimp:). If we go by our rental boat out under the bridge with Sanibel, what’s a better bait? Shrimp or live bait fish? The same if we go to the North at Pine Island? And my last question, how far (in time, with a 250hp boat) is “off shore” to catch some real Gulf Coasts fish? Thank you very much for answering me, regards Mark

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      Rhys

      Jun 28, 2022

      Hi Mark,

      Rhys here. Thanks for reading and for your kind words! If you’re looking to fish further out into the Gulf, cut bait and other species such as squid tend to be more effective than shrimp, as they are mainly the prey of inshore creatures. But, of course, if you’re heading north towards the Tampa Bay from Pine Island, shrimp can be just as useful as in Cape Coral.

      As for how far offshore you need to go, it all depends what exactly you want to target. You won’t have to go far at all to catch a range of Snappers, Gag Grouper, and Sharks. Just hit the reefs a few miles from shore, and you’ll be hooking up in no time! If you want a serious deep sea fishing adventure, however, to catch the bigger ones, you’ll need a couple of hours to reach the productive spots. But with the bays full of Redfish, Snook, Trout, Pompano, Permit, and even Tarpon, there’s always something just a stone’s throw from the dock. I hope this helps.

      Tight lines,

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      Mark

      Jun 28, 2022

      Hi Rhys, thanks for your very fast and detailed answer. I really appreciate it!! Good too hear that we don’t have to go that far out. I checked on google for reefs just outside Cape Coral/Sanibel, but I’m not sure which ones you mean. I would be great for the kids if we can find them, and catch some Grouper and Snapper to cook. And the big dream of my youngest son is to catch a shark….. and then I have my question which concerns me a bit. If we watch the YouTubers, I see them encounter many sharks. We are not used to the heat, so 2 years ago I got in the water many times to cook off. Is that a smart thing to do over there? Thanks again! All the best mark

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      Rhys

      Jun 29, 2022

      Hi Mark,

      No problem at all! Groupers and Snappers can be found in solid numbers just out from the Boca Grande Pass, Redfish Pass, and out from Turner Beach on Captiva Island. I’m not sure of the specific reefs, unfortunately, but there are plenty of underwater systems around these areas that should get you what you want.

      As for swimming, it’s usually completely safe to swim in areas where Sharks live, however, it’s always a good idea to anchor up and refrain from fishing action for a bit before jumping in, if you know they’re in the area. While the chance of anything happening is incredibly slim, anything any Shark could perceive as a threat can lead to them becoming more aggressive. I suggest heading away from a fishing spot to somewhere more quiet (it would be really useful to have a fishfinder) to swim. Good luck, especially to your son in his Shark pursuit!

      Tight lines,

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      Mark

      Jun 29, 2022

      Hi Rhys, thank you soo much again for taking to time to answer me! You guys are doing a fantastic job on this site!!!! Regards mark

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  • Theresa

    Jun 25, 2022

    We are going to be there the first week of July and are renting a house on 4th place in Cape Coral. Do you know if the canal behind the house is fresh or saltwater? I have a 15 yo son that wants to fish. Any bait recommendations?

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      Rhys

      Jun 27, 2022

      Hi Theresa,

      Rhys here. If you’re talking about SE 4th Place near Saratoga Lake, then you’ll be looking at freshwater canals in that area. You’ll also most likely be targeting Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, and Snook while fishing here, and smaller bait will most likely do the trick for all three species. Try pinfish, mullet, and crawfish, or smaller jigs if using artificials. I hope this helps.

      Tight lines,

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  • JohnB

    Jun 14, 2022

    Hi,
    I will be staying where Veterans Pkwy crosses Chiquita Blvd S (Close to Home Depot).
    Is that canal freshwater or saltwater? I heard a lot about using live shrimp. Does that work on freshwater too? What type of baits do you recommend? I will be doing kayak and dock fishing.

    Thank you.

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      Tanya

      Jun 15, 2022

      Hey John,

      Thanks for reading our blog and reaching out to us.

      The canals in close proximity to Home Depot are the freshwater ones. Btw, great location! You’re practically in the heart of Cape Coral’s freshwater canal fishing, so you shouldn’t have any problems landing Bass, Crappie, Sunfish, and Catfish. Catfish lurk at the bottom waiting for the opportunity to grab your bait, so if you’d like to avoid them intercepting your bait meant for some other species, make sure you use bobbers. Live shrimp is a good choice, no worries. In case you’d like to spice things up, you can always give it a try with jig heads and small crabs.

      Hope this helps.
      Let us know how it went 🙂

      Tight lines!
      Tanya

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      Billy

      Jun 24, 2022

      Hi , love the information me any wife are looking to rent a house off eldorado parkway E on mikado ct the week of July 4 curious about what type of fish I can expect to catch and is this canal area good to fish are do I need to look for other places to fish .

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      Lisa

      Jun 24, 2022

      Hi Billy,

      Lisa here. Thank you for reaching out. We’re glad you found the information helpful!

      I suggest looking for Snook, Redfish, Seatrout, and Bass. If you have the time, consider booking a charter with one of the local guides. Take a look at the offer here.

      I hope this helps! Lisa

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  • Utah

    May 17, 2022

    Renting a House on the river in and Just up the river from us is Midway Island and Beautiful Island was hoping for Snapper and seatrout . Howis the fishibg around those 2 islands and what should one except to catch.
    Also any Blue crabs around their.

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      Vuk

      May 17, 2022

      Hi Utah,

      Thanks for getting in touch. While we don’t get much in way of reports from anglers from those two islands, there’s no reason why you’d have a bad time fishing there. Other than Snapper and Seatrout, you could also find some Redfish, Snook, Sheepshead, and Black Drum. Likewise with Blue Crabs, we know you can generally find them in the river, but not sure how many there usually are around Midway or Beautiful Island. We do hope you have a great time fishing the Caloosahatchee River, let us know how it goes!

      Tight lines,
      Vuk

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  • Thomas

    May 16, 2022

    hello
    great article. My wife and I are coming down the 2nd week of September. I am bringing my boat a 25 ft sportsman. we are more offshore kind of people. what kind of live bottoms are off cape coral and what baits work well there. Also does anyone troll for fish that time of year?
    TIA

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      Vuk

      May 17, 2022

      Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Since you’re looking to go offshore, you’ll be best served with so-called “Swiss Cheese” bottoms. Shrimp will work well in terms of bait for the likes of Grouper and Snapper you’ll find there. As for trolling, it’ll mostly be slow trolling for Kingfish in September-October.

      Hope this helps a bit and you have a great time in Cape Coral. Tight lines,
      Vuk

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  • Jeremy

    May 10, 2022

    Great article, and I think it’s awesome you’re answering all the questions. Here’s another location: Renting a house on a canal at SW 52nd Lane off of Chiquita Boulevard in June. Fresh or saltwater canal? I’ve read all the other comments for bait and lure recommendations.

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      Tanya

      May 11, 2022

      Hey Jeremy,

      Thanks for reading our blog (plus all the comments :)) and reaching out.
      SW 52nd Lane off of Chiquita Boulevard is a saltwater canal.
      Have fun and let us know how it went.

      Tight lines!
      Tanya

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  • Bill

    Apr 21, 2022

    Hello Fellow Anglers,

    We’re renting a place in June near Beach PKWY and Sands Blvd by the Matlacha Preserve. We’re on a canal – assuming it saltwater or brackish, what kind of fish could we expect fishing from the dock? Also, we are renting a boat and plan to get around the bay and islands – any good fishing spots for Redfish, Snapper (not Red), Sheephead, Grouper, etc? I grew up fishing the Keys, Florida Bay, Biscayne, Everglades, Atlantic, but very little on the West Coast. We’ll be using light tackle (12-15lbs; rented) and most likely live shrimp. Not trying to go ham just something to take my son (9) out – first time fishing in the gulf. 🙂

    Any recommendations would be much appreciated.

    Bill

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  • Helen B

    Apr 19, 2022

    Hi there! I recently moved here and bought on a canal right off of the caloosahatchee near the yacht club. I’ve been wanting to fish and trap crab but have been told it’s not safe to eat anything I catch because of red tide, feces in canals and polluted water. Can you help me understand if it’s safe to eat the fish/crab caught in the canals? I’ve purchased my fishing license and purchased an official blue crab trap. I really was hoping to get some fishing and crabbing in right from my dock. Want to enjoy paradise.

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      Rhys

      Apr 19, 2022

      Hi Helen,

      While red tide can be a serious problem in the Caloosahatchee, levels haven’t been worrying since 2018. You should check out any updates from your county or the FWC regularly to see whether anything changes but, at the moment, there shouldn’t be any issue eating anything caught in Cape Coral’s canals. As always, you’ll want to clean any Crabs you catch thoroughly, but that’s part and parcel of the fun of fishing! I hope this helps.

      Tight lines,

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  • Pat

    Apr 4, 2022

    Great info you provide. My family and I are renting a house in late November this year on the Caloosahatchee River in Cape Coral and off Nautilus Drive. I pretty sure this is salt water and we’re not targeting a specific fish, so realistically what fish can we expect to be biting in late November and what is the preferred method or bait you suggest? Any information would greatly be appreciated.

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      Marko

      Apr 4, 2022

      Hi Pat,

      You’re right, the part of the river where you’ll be staying is saltwater! In November, you’ll probably see Redfish and some leftover Snook and Trout swimming about.

      As for bait, you can use shrimp or small crabs. If you’re fishing artificial, try soft plastic lures or swimbaits, or jerkbaits.

      Hope the info helps, enjoy your stay in CC!

      Tight lines,

      Marko

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  • Eric

    Mar 7, 2022

    Hi,

    Great information here, thanks! I’m hoping to visit family in the next couple of months. They are not fishers. They are in a canal on SW 12th.

    While I’m very much interested in a charter, I’m very happy to be sitting on side of the canal too.

    For fishing the canal what kind of tackle do I need? What could I expect to catch?

    Many thanks!

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      Andriana

      Mar 8, 2022

      Hi Eric,

      Thanks for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

      The canal on SW 12th is freshwater, so Bass, Crappie, Carp, and Sunfish are your primary targets. There’s also a lot of Catfish in the area and they love snatching your bait if it ends up at the bottom, so be prepared for that option as well. If you do hook into a Catfish, please be careful when handling it, because they’ve got very sharp spines that can hurt you, so the use of protective gloves is recommended. You can avoid Catfish by using bobbers to keep your bait suspended in the water, away from the bottom.

      When it comes to tackle, the safest choice is a 7–8 foot fast action rod with a spinning reel and a 15 lb line. For bait, we’d recommend using live shrimp (especially for Bass) and small crabs. You can also use jigheads and Gulp shrimp.

      Since you mentioned you’re very interested in booking a trip with a charter, here are some great local guides for you to check out.

      I hope this was helpful Eric, have a wonderful time in Cape Coral with your family.

      All the best!

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      Karen Knippel

      Apr 2, 2022

      We will be traveling to the Cape and staying at Sunset Towers on Cape Coral Pkwy. Is the Bimini basin fresh or saltwater? Not sure which license I need to purchase. TYIA

      KK

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      Marko

      Apr 4, 2022

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for getting in touch! Bimini Basin is saltwater so you’ll need the saltwater license. 🙂

      Hope you enjoy your stay in Cape Coral.

      Tight lines,

      Marko

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  • Kein

    Mar 3, 2022

    Hi, we will be renting a house on SW 25th Pl in April. Is this canal fresh or salt water? What type of fish can we expect to catch? What is the best bait to use? The owner said we don’t need fishing license, but I do not believe she is correct.

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      Rhys

      Mar 4, 2022

      Hi Kein,

      Thanks for reading and for your interesting questions. All the waterways nearby SW 25th Place are saltwater and you will need a fishing license if you’re heading out on your own. You can find out how to get one with our handy guide.

      As for the fish, Jack Crevalle, Snook, Cobia, and Spotted Seatrout are on the menu, while there may even be some early Tarpon in the canals. With such a range of fish on offer, you can try a range of baits, too. Minnows and Shrimp will do the trick for Trout, while Cobia prefer crabs and eels – although they’re not too fussy. Jack Crevalle, meanwhile, are attracted to everything including artificials. Take your pick!

      I hope this helped.

      Tight lines,

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  • Chris

    Feb 27, 2022

    We’ll be staying on Bayshore Drive in mid-March – planning to fish from the shore. What’s most common at this time of year and what’s your recommendation for bait and line setup? Active casting or just putting bait hooked under a float and seeing what comes along? I’m mostly a novice fisher and used to freshwater. Thank you!

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      Rhys

      Feb 28, 2022

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for reading and for your very good question. Bayshore Drive is a great spot to explore the rich waters of Cape Coral and you’ll be hooking into species such as Jack Crevalle, Snook, and even Cobia come mid-March. This means you can employ a range of techniques. JCs, for example, love fast-moving bait, so repetitive casting works well. As for Snook, they wait for the bait to drift with the current towards them, so leaving the bait in the water will do the trick. All in all, there’s so much on offer that whatever you try, something will bite. Let us know how you get on!

      Tight lines,

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  • Susan

    Feb 23, 2022

    We will be renting a home in early March right on the Caloosahatchee River in Cape Coral, in the middle of Redfish Point and Harney Point Will we need a non-resident saltwater or freshwater license? Are we able to keep anything or is it all C & R? Any suggestions would be helpful in making it a productive week for the kids. We are from Minnesota and do a lot of fishing here.

    Thank you!

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      Marko

      Feb 24, 2022

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Where you’re staying, you’d generally go for a non-resident saltwater license. If you accidentally hook into some Bass on a saltwater permit, just make sure to release the fish right away.

      As far as regulations go, Redfish and Snook are strictly catch and release for the time being. Trout are limited to 3 fish per harvester (between 15″ and 19″). I’d suggest visiting the MyFWC website for a full breakdown of size and bag limits.

      Hope you enjoy your stay in Cape Coral!

      Tight lines,

      Marko

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  • Joe

    Feb 5, 2022

    Hi, I am staying on the river at the end of March. I want my young sons to catch some snook and redfish. What type of lure is best for this? I lived in Ft. Myers when I was younger and we would use spoons, is this still a good option? What’s the best tackle for the river? Thanks and great article!

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      Lisa

      Feb 7, 2022

      Hi Joe,

      Thank you for reaching out. I’d say good old weedless spoons are a great option. You could also go for shrimp (live or plastic,) crab, soft swimbait, and jerkbait. As for tackle, I believe you can’t go wrong with light tackle here.

      Hope this helps!

      Lisa

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  • Chris Deel

    Feb 2, 2022

    Can anyone tell me what canal would 520 Mohawk Parkway be on and how the fishing is? We are going in August

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      Katie

      Feb 3, 2022

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your comment. So 520 Mohawk Parkway is located in a great spot – directly to the north you have access to freshwater canals, and directly to the south you have saltwater canals. This really opens up the number of fish you can target. If you’re freshwater fishing, your main targets will likely be Spotted Seatrout and Largemouth Bass. When it comes to the saltwater canals, Tarpon, Jack Crevalle, and Redfish are biting hard in August.

      Enjoy your visit to Cape Coral, and come back and let us know how it goes!

      Tight lines,

      Katie

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  • Mark G

    Jan 15, 2022

    Hi-
    We’re renting a house on Southwest 4th Place in Cape Coral the week of Jan 23. I believe this is on the Niagara Canal. Is this freshwater? We’ll fish from kayaks as well as off the dock. What do you recommend for tackle and types of bait? What do people catch this time of year? thanks so much!

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      Rhys

      Jan 17, 2022

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for reading and for reaching out. You’re right that SW 4th Street is on freshwater, and you’ll have no trouble with fishing from kayaks along the calm canals. Fishing this time of year is reliable and steady, meaning you can certainly target a few Redfish, Trout, and even Snook. For these, light tackle and live or cut bait such as shrimp, mullet, or pinfish should do the trick. Poppers can also work for Trout, while a light sinker to drop your bait just that little bit extra may help with Redfish. I hope this helps.

      Tight lines,

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  • Angela

    Jan 9, 2022

    Hi. My family is going to be staying at a canal home in SE 27th street. I have no idea how to know if this canal has decent fishing, or if I’d be better driving elsewhere. Can you let me know? If so, which species? Second, any peacock bass in Cape Coral? Also, my son loves kayak fishing. Do you know anywhere that would deliver a kayak for us?

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      Marko

      Jan 10, 2022

      Hi Angela,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The canal where you’ll be staying is saltwater, so you’ll likely be able to hook into some Redfish and Trout there. Peacock Bass are very rare in Cape Coral, you’re better off fishing for them in Naples if you’re okay with driving for about an hour.

      As far as kayak rentals go, there are probably many businesses in the area that offer delivery but we don’t know any by name. If you’d like to check out our charter offer instead, you can do so by clicking here.

      Hope you and your family enjoy your time in Cape Coral!

      Tight lines,

      Marko

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  • Frank G Passalaqua

    Dec 27, 2021

    Hello,
    Fantastic resource thank you so much !

    Any info on Britannia Lake (Eight Lakes Cape Coral?) I read reviews about Dolphin & Manatee showing up in this lake- We will be there a week in June of 22.I do not have exact coordinates or address yet .
    thank you

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      Lisa

      Dec 28, 2021

      Hi Frank,

      Thank you for reading and reaching out! We’re glad you found it useful. Dolphins and manatees are indeed frequent visitors, although I’m not sure you can time your trip to when they show up.

      Lisa

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  • Robert Coons

    Nov 13, 2021

    We will be renting a house on SE 10th Terrace during mid January. Also we will be renting a 22ft fishing boat. On the map it looks like we have fairly easy access to the river. Can you please advise where and how we can catch some fish? Would like to get into some redfish and snook if possible.

    Thanks, Bob.

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      Katie Higgins

      Nov 15, 2021

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for your comment. You’ll be fishing on one of Cape Coral’s saltwater canals, which means you’ll be able to target Redfish, Speckled Trout, Snook, and a few Catfish. For the best setup, we’d recommend using a 7–8 foot fast action rod and a spinning reel that can hold a 10–15 test line. Live bait tends to be the most tempting for these fish, so bring along some pinfish, mullet, crabs, and shrimp.

      We hope this helps. Come back and let us know how it goes!

      Tight lines,

      Katie

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  • John

    Oct 15, 2021

    Hi. Great info here. I am renting a house with my family right now for a week on saxony ct. I believe this is all saltwater. What would you suggest to use as bait and what to fish for with my kids out of the back dock?

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      Lisa

      Oct 18, 2021

      Hi John,

      Thank you for reading and reaching out. Cannels are a good place to try to catch Snook and Speckled Trout, which are great for kids. Redfish are not uncommon either. All three species should be still available, alothough you might want to check the limits.

      As for the bait, I’d recommend shrimp and pinfish for Snook and Specks, and cut mullet for Reds.

      Hope this helps!

      Lisa

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  • Bob C

    Sep 20, 2021

    We are renting a house in Cape Coral and a boat for 2nd week in October 2021. I am super excited to fish for snook, red drum, maybe even a tarpon and all the other inshore species that the area has to offer. Besides live bait what lures would you suggest for targeting these species? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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      Karin

      Sep 22, 2021

      Hello Bob,

      Thank you for your question! That sounds like an exciting trip!

      Lure choice depends on so many things that it can be difficult to make general recommendations. For red drum, we wrote a separate guide just on the best baits and lures. Plastic lures that mimic shrimp or mullet are a great place to start, as are topwater jigs and rattling plugs. We also have a Florida Redfish post that has some information on lures as well as anything else you might want to know.

      Snook are not too picky with what they attack, so most lures from bottom jigs or swimmer bait to artificial crabs, and shrimp should work. You can have a look at our Florida Snook guide for more detailed information.

      For Tarpon, artificial lures are best used on the flats. Gator spoons or plastic worms are good choices. If you’d like to read more in detail about Tarpon lures, the Florida Tarpon guide has an entire section on that topic!

      Hope this helps!

      Karin

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  • Nick

    Aug 14, 2021

    Awesome information. We are renting a Airbnb through August 19th and are on SW 39th street in cape coral. The house we are renting has fishing gear and we were wondering what all we would need to maybe catch some fish from the back yard. I’ve seen a school of fish that I’m not able to identify as being from northern Ohio. But they were (to me) pretty big as most fish I’m accustomed to fishing for in Ohio are less than 2 lbs. I think bobber fishing would be our go-to so maybe we can let the kids try as well. What kind of bait would work in these waters? Also, I see many people try to purposely avoid catching catfish. I catch catfish all the time on purpose in ohio, is there something specific to these catfish that makes them not a targeted fish?

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      Rhys

      Aug 16, 2021

      Hi Nick,

      Thanks for reading and for your kind comment! When it comes to fishing in the canals around SW 39th Street, you’ll most likely be hooking into Snook, Bluegill, Spotted Seatrout, or Black or Red Drum. Take a look at our handy guide to fish species to see if you can identify what you’ve been spotting.

      Light tackle is the name of the game in these waters, and bobbers can be great at the right time of day to attract the attention of some of the above-mentioned creatures who like to feed near the tops. I’d suggest shrimp, cut mullet, or even squid or crabs for bait. They’re sure to catch the attention of plenty of fish.

      When it comes to Catfish, I’ve not heard of people deliberately avoiding them. However, as there are so many other creatures out there, perhaps anglers are looking for something more prestigious? In any case, using shrimp or squid could see you land a Cat in these waters, but you may be better off without a bobber, instead focusing on the seabed.

      I hope this all helps.

      Tight lines,

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  • Adam

    Aug 8, 2021

    Good Evening,

    My family and I are heading down to Cape Coral the week of the 23rd and staying by SE 39th Terrace. Is there decent fishing in these canals and if so what may we see?

    Thank You In Advance,

    Adam

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      Karin

      Aug 9, 2021

      Hello Adam,

      Thank you for your question. There is indeed decent fishing in the canals of Cape Coral. Conditions may vary of course, depending on the weather and other factors, but you may find some Spotted Seatrout, Snook, Largemouth Bass, Mangrove Snapper, Redfish, and maybe even Jack Crevalle.
      Let us know which of those you caught when you come back!

      Tight lines!

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  • Chris

    Aug 2, 2021

    Hello,

    We have rented a VRBO next week along with a boat around SW 21st place on a canal. Wondering where to boat and what to fish for next week. Thanks

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      Lisa

      Aug 4, 2021

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for reading and reaching out. I’d suggest heading to the Caloosahatchee River or Rotary Park. As well as that, you can fish in the Gulf! As for the potential catch, you can go for Largemouth Bass, Redfish, and even try hooking a Tarpon.

      I hope this helps! Lisa

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  • Dave

    Jul 20, 2021

    Hi
    We are renting a house at the end of august on NW 18th Terrace near Chiquita blvd N. What kind of fish should I expect and what bait do you recommend?
    Thank you

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      Katie

      Jul 20, 2021

      Hi Dave,

      Thank for your comment. Great location! You’re located right in the heart of Cape Coral’s freshwater canals, and will find them immediately to the north and south of your location. This means you’ll be able to target Bass, Crappie, Catfish, and several species of Sunfish. For bait, jig heads and live shrimp are popular choices. Make sure to stay off the bottom of the canals by using a bobber if you don’t want to hook Catfish, which are notorious in this area.

      We hope this information helps. Enjoy your visit to Cape Coral – come back and let us know how it goes!

      Tight lines,
      Katie

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  • Steve

    Jul 15, 2021

    Hello, just discovered this site ! Thanks for all the great info! I just moved to the SE Cape and am less than a mile from Rosen Park. I’d like to take my special needs son fishing there. He’s been learning to cast a bobber in the back yard. I stopped by a bait and tackle shop who sold me some frozen shrimp. What are the chances we’ll catch anything there this way?

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      Andriana

      Jul 15, 2021

      Hello Steve,

      Welcome to our blog, I’m glad you liked it and found it useful. Congrats on moving to Cape Coral, it’s a beautiful place to live in and fish.

      Frozen shrimp can work well in attracting all the big names of the area, including Snook, Snapper, Redfish, and Spotted Seatrout. You’ll also get the attention of Catfish, which are quite common in the canals. So, you’ve got options.

      I hope you have a wonderful time fishing with your son, Steve.

      Tight lines!

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  • Angel

    Jul 14, 2021

    Thanks so much for providing all of this great information! My husband and I have stayed on Avalon drive over the past couple of years and are staying on Manor Ct this week, in the past we have used live shrimp and live pinfish but haven’t caught much other than snapper and catfish. Any tips to help us land some other big catches? In some of the comments you suggested mullet, is that referring to live mullet, if so what size?

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      Andriana

      Jul 14, 2021

      Hello Angel,

      Thanks for reading, I’m glad you found the info useful.

      When it comes to saltwater canals, live bait can help you attract bigger predators, so anything from pinfish and crabs to shrimp, and yes, mullet, could do the trick. If you’re using live mullet, try to use the ones that are about 5” long, that’s usually a good place to start. You can also ask locals for some advice, they’re often happy to share some info.

      Have a lovely time in Cape Coral, Angel.

      Tight lines!

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  • Meredith

    Jul 11, 2021

    Well be heading down in a week. Rented a house on the canal on sw 29th and Surfside. How’s the fishing from the dock down there? Is it saltwater? Daytime or night best? Any help is greatly appreciated.

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      Andriana

      Jul 12, 2021

      Hello Meredith,

      Great choice of a vacation spot, you’re in for a beautiful view and good fishing. You’ll be casting your line in the saltwater, and there’s a variety of species you could reel in, including Redfish, Snook, Spotted Seatrout, maybe even some Jack Crevalle.

      As for the best fishing times, it really depends on the day, but during the summer, late evenings and the middle of the night (2–5 AM) can be very productive, as well as late afternoon (3–6 PM).

      I hope you have a blast on your vacation, Meredith, let us know how it goes.

      Tight lines!

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  • Adam

    Jul 2, 2021

    We are staying on SE 21st street….have a few kayaks also…want to catch saltwater fish…am I on a saltwater canal? Also…sheepshead is the main target…free lining live shrimp or free lining fiddlers?

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      Rhys

      Jul 5, 2021

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for reading and for your good question. SE 21st Street is a great spot, and you’ll be pleased to know that it’s on a saltwater canal, so you’ll have no trouble getting your kayaks – and yourselves – onto some prime saltwater fish.

      When it comes to targeting Sheepshead, fiddlers are the most popular bait bait but shrimp work just as well, so you should be good to go!

      Tight lines,

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  • Robert Isbit

    Jun 16, 2021

    We are renting a house on SW 5th place the first week in July and looking to take a local charter trip with my son & a few 20-something boys. Any suggestions?

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      Katie

      Jun 17, 2021

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for your comment. Sounds like a great vacation! There are plenty of charters on offer in Cape Coral, from freshwater fishing trips to offshore big game adventures. As you’re fishing with a group, we’d recommend opting for a private charter. You can check out our offer here 🙂

      Tight lines,

      Katie

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  • Kamee

    May 26, 2021

    We are renting a house on a canal on SE Terrace. What kind of fish can we catch here and what is the best bait and way to set up our rigs?

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      Andriana

      May 27, 2021

      Hi Kamee,

      Cape Coral is a great place to be this time of year. The canal you’re staying on is saltwater, which means you could find Spotted Seatrout, Snook, and Redfish on your line. Bear in mind that there’s a lot of Gafftopsail Catfish swimming around, but they’re usually at the bottom, so you can avoid some of them by keeping your bait from the bottom.

      As for your setup options, a 7–8′ fast action rod is a good idea, especially when paired with a spinning reel with a 10–15 lb braided line. In these parts, live bait is the way to go to get a bite – mullet, shrimp, pinfish, and crabs will all do the trick.

      I hope you have a great time fishing the canals of Cape Coral, Kamee.

      Tight lines!

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  • Mike

    May 24, 2021

    We have tried fishing in the canals with no luck . We have been using live shrimp with a bobber . Any suggestions??? We even fished the bottom with no luck . Also, can you set lines in the canal ? Thanks !

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      Andriana

      May 25, 2021

      Hey Mike,

      Yes, fishing the canals can be unpredictable because the fish move around a lot and it’s hard to know where they’re gonna be next.

      When it comes to your tackle, it also depends on whether you’re fishing on a freshwater or saltwater canal. In general, live shrimp is a good choice, but since that’s not working, you can also pair the Carolina rig aka slip-sinkers with mullet, pinfish, and crabs.

      It’s legal to use set lines in the canals, just be sure to familiarize yourself with the regulations. However, we’d always recommend traditional fishing instead of set lines, it’s better for everyone.

      I hope this helps Mike, let us know if you have better luck.

      Tight lines!

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  • Daniel

    May 20, 2021

    We are renting a house on SW 2nd Lane near the burnt store boat ramp in June. What should we expect to catch from the dock in that area? If it is a saltwater canal do I only need a saltwater fishing license? Any other tips you can give for some nearby fishing spots would be appreciated. Thanks!

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      Rhys

      May 20, 2021

      Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for reading and for your good question. The waters around SW 2nd Lane in Cape Coral are saltwater fisheries, so a Florida saltwater license will be just fine. In the canals, you’ll most likely find some Snook and Jack Crevalle, and even Largemouth Bass, as the waters here are technically brackish. As you’re so close to the Matlacha Pass, I’d suggest heading out to the mangroves and oyster beds just a couple of miles away, where you’ll find Red Drum, Spotted Seatrout, Snapper, and much more. I hope this helps.

      Tight lines,

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  • Costa

    May 18, 2021

    Hello I’ll be visiting Cape Coral next week and I’m interested in renting a kayak and catching some fish. I’ll be bringing a variety of gear and fishing poles with me from light to heavy. I do a lot of bass fishing out of my kayak in California but I would like to hook into some saltwater fish. Our rental is located near Cape Coral parkway and skyline Blvd I’m open to traveling, or launching from the backyard, jig fishing the mangroves sounds like a good time. Any tips would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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      Rhys

      May 18, 2021

      Hi Costa,

      Thanks for reading and for raising a good question. If you’re near Parkway and Skyline, you’ll be able to launch from the backyard and hit the canals right away. You’ll be down in Glover Bight in no time, where Snook and Jacks are commonplace. However, the best fishing from a kayak is due west, around the Matlacha and its surrounding preserves. The Matlacha Community Park has a free launching point for your kayak, with prime access to the mangroves and oyster beds, where you’ll find Redfish, Trout, Snook, and much more.

      I hope this helps and please let us know how you get on.

      Tight lines,

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      Costa

      May 22, 2021

      Thanks for the input Rhys I appreciate it. I’m excited to get out there I’ll keep you posted.

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  • Brian Higgs

    Apr 26, 2021

    Looking to purchase a home in the Burnt Store area on a canal. Are all these canals fresh water? Can we get to the gulf from there? Coming from Canada, looking for a winter escape to keep the fishing going year round!!!
    Thanks for the tips!!

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      Rhys

      Apr 27, 2021

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for reading and for your good question. Burnt Store seems like a great place to spend the cold months, as you’ll soon forget that winter ever existed! Most of the canals in this area are saltwater and are full of fish themselves! They also provide great access to the mangroves, before the Gulf opens up in front of you. So, I think it ticks most of the boxes for you. I hope this helps.

      Tight lines,

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      ANNE SWEPSTON RN

      May 31, 2021

      I’ve tried fishing the canal with everything from lures with/without bobbers … sinkers no sinkers … live shrimp, oysters, clams …. nothing …. got a couple of bites on a piece of PUBLIX rotisserie chicken and oscar mayer turkey … used everything except a peanut putter and jelly sandwich… I’ve never not caught a fish for an entire week … it’s literally depressing … i see gigantic fish just swim right on by …. drop the chicken or turkey in after being frustrated and the fish gobble it up … WHAT GIVES ? ? ?

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      Iva

      Jun 1, 2021

      Hi Anne,

      Iva here, stepping in for Rhys. Honestly, it sounds like you’re doing everything right!

      It looks like the fish in the spot where you’re at just don’t want to bite. It could have something to do with uncontrollable factors like weather, water clarity, and current. Have you also tried live bait like shrimp and mullet?

      The best advice I can give you is to move to another one of the canals and see if you have better luck there. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

      Tight lines

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  • Steve

    Apr 26, 2021

    Ive rented a house near 4 mile cove, Veterans Parkway just off off the Catloosech River. Can you please point me in the right direction where i can get the 3 boys some good action. We are from Iowa, so maybe preferably not fresh water largemouth, etc.

    You say live bait is the way to go? Would it be best to use bobbers, as i saw you might get into the catfish on the bottom. Do people have much luck casting and using artificial lures.

    We will have access to a pontoon and kayak if that help. Thank you.

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      Rhys

      Apr 26, 2021

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for reading and for your questions. You’re sure to have a blast in Cape Coral, and the Caloosahatchee is sure to offer up plenty of prized fish. For spots near Veterans Parkway on a pontoon or kayak, Four Mile Cove is a great spot for Snook and Snapper, as well as Bass. Head a little further up and across towards Fort Myers and streams like Manuel Branch and Hancock Creek are teeming with big Cats.

      As for bait, Cats tend to respond better to live or dead bait, rather than artificial lures. The good news is that pretty much anything works! Crabs, Mullet, and pinfish are the most common to use, and slip-sinkers are the most effective tackle, although you can use bobbers if the time is right and the fish are hungry. I hope this helps.

      Tight lines,

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  • Michelle

    Apr 15, 2021

    We have rented a home on NW 18th Terrace. Owners say the canal is freshwater. Any suggestions on what we would be fishing for. And can you give some suggestions on charter fishing. I have 4 men and teenagers that are looking forward to fishing so any help would really be appreciated. Thank you

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      Vule

      Apr 15, 2021

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for reaching out! Yes, the owner is right, this is a freshwater canal. When it comes to fishing freshwater canals in Cape Coral, you can expect to reel in Largemouth Bass, Crappie, and Carp.

      When it comes to charter fishing, there are numerous charters in the area ready to take you out. You can take at our Cape Coral offer here. Hope you have fun!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Cam

    Apr 11, 2021

    I am vacationing in the Cape Coral area and was looking for some bank fishing spots for bass. Any ponds or public access sites would work. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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      Vule

      Apr 12, 2021

      Hi Cam,

      Thanks for reaching out. There are a couple of places you can visit for some bank fishing for Bass. You can try Seahawk Park, Yellow Fever Creek Preserve, and Lake Kennedy Community Park. Have fun, and let us know how it goes!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Dillon

    Apr 9, 2021

    My girlfriend and I will be staying at an airbnb on the canal on SE 12th Terrace on May 11th through the 16th. I was wondering what my best setup would be for fishing there? We are from Tennessee so all of my setups are between 10lb test to 15lb test. I’ve never been able to get the hang of using braided line, so I tend to mostly fish with fluorocarbon line. I’ve been looking into getting a few new poles and reels since mine are all 1 piece rods and I can’t bring them with me, I will have to purchase some 2 piece rods. Should I go with something bigger that’ll hold 30lb test? 20lb test? Or would the 15lb test be just fine?

    Thank you for taking the time to help us out!!

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      Vule

      Apr 10, 2021

      Hi Dillon,

      Thanks for reading and reaching out! You’ll be vacationing on a saltwater canal, so we’re talking Redfish, Snook, and Speckled Trout, as well as some inevitable Catfish.

      I think the setups you’re used to will work just fine. For the best fight with these fish, use a 7–8 foot fast action rod and a spinning reel that can hold a 10–15 test line. Live bait tends to yield the best results – pinfish, mullet, crabs, and shrimp. Hope you have fun!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Blake

    Apr 6, 2021

    Hello, I will be vacationing to CC this month to see a friend who lives on the camarín canal, previously I have seen tarpon and catfish off the dock but unfortunately have yet to have any luck catching anything. Do you have suggestions on what bait is best and what else we could possibly catch? Thank you!

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      Vule

      Apr 7, 2021

      Hi Blake,

      Thanks for reaching out! The Camarin canal is saltwater, so your experience sounds about right. You might be able to reel in Redfish, Snook, and Speckled Trout as well. Try using bigger live bait, like pinfish, crabs, shrimp, and mullet for the best chances. And remember to lift it off the bottom to avoid catching just Catfish.

      You have great access to the Spreader canal from there, so if you’re not having luck you can easily move into more productive waters. Hope you have fun!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • April Howard

    Apr 5, 2021

    We rented a little house on SE 18th Place. Besides crab….which love our shrimp. What might we catch In this canal and what is the best bait/tackle?

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      Vule

      Apr 6, 2021

      Hi April,

      Thanks for reaching out. The canal you’re on is saltwater, so you may be able to reel in some Snook, Redfish, and Spotted Seatrout. For the best fight, use a 7–8 foot fast action rod and a spinning reel with a 10–15 lb braided line if possible.

      As for bait, you can use live crabs, pinfish, or mullet. There might be a lot of Gafftopsail Catfish as well, so make sure to lift your bait from the bottom where they feed to avoid them.

      If you see you’re not having a lot of luck in the canal, you can take a walk to the Caloosahatchee River for more opportunities. Hope you have fun!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Henry

    Apr 3, 2021

    Hello vule, first off I love all the help you give, second, I just bought a condo in the SE Cape Coral area, on the Malaga canal, what type of fish can I catch here and what type of bait should I be using? Thanks for any help..

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      Vule

      Apr 5, 2021

      Hi Henry,

      Thanks for reaching out. You’re welcome, and congrats on your new condo! When it comes to the Malaga canal, it’s saltwater, with great access to the Caloosahatchee River. This means you’re most likely to reel in fish like Snook, Spotted Seatrout, Redfish, and some Snapper.

      Live bait tends to yield the best results here, so try using pinfish, mullet, crabs, and shrimp. Bernice Braden Park by the Cape Coral Bridge is pretty close, so make sure to check it out for an even better chance of reeling in some fish. Hope you have fun!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Rob

    Apr 2, 2021

    Just purchased a home near Midpoint bridge in CC. Can you give me an idea of how long it takes to get from Horton’s ramp to the Sanibel causeway. Any fishing tips along the way would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

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      Vule

      Apr 5, 2021

      Hi Rob,

      Congrats on your new home! As for your question, the journey from Horton Boat Ramp to the Sanibel Causeway would take 20–30 minutes by car. Horton Park is a great place to sink a line into the waters of the Caloosahatchee River.

      If you’re crossing over the Cape Coral Bridge, Bernice Braden Park is another great spot to test the waters. And towards Sanibel Causeway, you’ll find that Punta Rassa Boat Ramp has everything you need for a great fishing trip! Have fun!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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      Rob

      May 17, 2021

      Can you give me an idea of how long it takes to get from Horton’s ramp to the Sanibel causeway by boat. I can run up to 40mph. I’m assuming there are some no wake zone along the way.

      thanks for the help

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      Rhys

      May 18, 2021

      Hi Rob,

      Rhys from FishingBooker here, stepping in for Vule. Horton’s Ramp is around 11 miles from Sanibel Causeway, however, you’re in luck! As the ramp offers quick access to the open waters of the Caloosahatchee, you won’t hit many “no wake zones.” You could get up to 25 mph in the river, meaning your journey could take as little as 30 minutes. I hope this helps.

      Tight lines,

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  • Miguel Angel

    Apr 2, 2021

    Hello Vule,

    We are fishing newbies, and rented a vacation home on Savana Pkwy for early May. Do you have an idea of what kind of water/fishes we will find along this canal?

    Thanks in advance!

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      Vule

      Apr 2, 2021

      Hi Miguel,

      Thanks for reaching out. You’ve chosen a great time to visit Cape Coral, and your location might be one of the best for some light fishing.

      The canals around Savona Pkwy are saltwater, and being so close to the Caloosahatchee River definitely has its perks. You can expect to reel in species like Snook, Redfish, Spotted Seatrout, and even some Snapper. Hope you have fun!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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      Miguel Angel

      Apr 3, 2021

      Thanks again. Great blog!

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  • art tolen

    Mar 26, 2021

    Hello,
    I heard you cannot eat the fish you catch in the cape coral canals, Calooshaatchee river, Matlacha pass all the way to marco island because of the fertilizer run off from the water from lake okeechobee. is this true? I have been actively looking for a canal front 2 BR condo in Cape C and Ft. Myers until I heard this because I like eating my catch. thanks

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      Vule

      Mar 29, 2021

      Hi Art,

      Thanks for reading and reaching out. While there have been reports that the fertilizer runoff from the waters of Lake Okeechobee is affecting toxic algae blooms, the official recommendations are mostly based on mercury levels.

      I would advise you to look over the official Florida Health website for all the consumption guidelines when it comes to eating Florida fish. They have very in-depth information on locations and species, and how much you’re allowed to consume.

      Unfortunately, I’m not qualified to give out this kind of advice, so I would encourage you to look over the eating guidelines, and make a decision for yourself. You can find more information here.

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Mike

    Mar 19, 2021

    Hi Vule,

    We just purchased a home in the SW 1 Terrace area. There’s a canal called Sunben and close to Sidon Lake. Would you happen to know what the fishing is like there?

    Thanks,

    Mike

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      Vule

      Mar 22, 2021

      Hi Mike,

      Congrats on your new home! As for your location, we’re talking about freshwater in this part of Cape Coral. This means that Bass, Crappie, and several species of Sunfish are all possible catches. Hope you have a great time!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Piotr Sakowicz

    Mar 17, 2021

    Hi Vule,
    My family rented a home in cape coral for early July to mid July, Theres a lake called lake Finisterre and two canals called Sitzmark and Rogue cannal in the back, is there any fish that I could possibly catch from the bank in those bodies of water, If so what type?

    Thank you,
    Piotr

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      Vule

      Mar 17, 2021

      Hi Piotr,

      Thanks for reading! You’ve made a great choice. Lake Finisterre has 30 acres to explore, so you’ll definitely be able to catch something there. We’re talking saltwater here, so you might be able to reel in Spotted Seatrout and Redfish.

      There might be a lot of Gafftopsail Catfish as well, so make sure to lift your bait from the bottom where they feed if this isn’t what you’re after.

      The cool thing about the location is that you can hop on a boat and take the Marauder Canal all the way to the Gulf waters and have even more fun chasing some bigger fish! Hope you have fun.

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Stephen M Desautels

    Mar 13, 2021

    We have a vacation rental the first week of April on Lake Britannia in Cape Coral. We are also renting a boat for 3 days and would like to receive any fishing suggestions. Places to fish and bait. I’ve never fished the area. Mostly have been freshwater fishing. I will appreciate any suggestions.

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      Vule

      Mar 15, 2021

      Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for reaching out! Lake Britannia is one of the most beautiful places in Cape Coral, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy your vacation to the fullest. It has healthy fish populations when the conditions are right. You can probably hook into Snook, Redfish, and Trout in these waters, and there’s a lot of Zebrafish and Mullet and well.

      For the best fight, use light tackle. You can use a 7–8 foot fast action rod, and a spinning reel that can hold a 10–15 test line. You’ll want to use a 10–15 lb braided line if possible. Live bait tends to yield the best results – pinfish, mullet, crabs, and shrimp.

      The best thing about your location is the easy access it has to the Gulf waters, so if you’re not seeing any luck in the lake, it’s easy to hop on a boat and go look for other opportunities. You’ll find bigger specimens in the Caloosahatchee River, the Matlacha Pass is teeming with wildlife, and the Gulf waters are close as well. Hope you have a great time!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Jonathan Arasin

    Mar 9, 2021

    Renting a home next month, April 2021, on one of the “eight lakes in Cape Coral.” Was curious what to expect fishing wise from the dock there, if anything. Do you have any tips for someone who has only ever fished fresh water? What would you recommend doing in that area fishing wise for that time of year? I want a hard fight. What sort of gear would you recommend? (Bait, pole, reel, line strength, etc) thank you in advance!

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      Vule

      Mar 10, 2021

      Hi Jonathan,

      Thanks for reading! You’ve picked the perfect spot for your vacation. The Eight Lakes neighborhood is arguably the most beautiful part of Cape Coral, and you’ll definitely enjoy fishing here.

      Both Thunderbird and Britannia Lake hold healthy fish populations when the conditions are right. You can probably hook into Snook, Redfish, and Trout in these waters, and there’s a lot of Zebrafish and Mullet.

      It’s very likely you’ll hook into Gafftopsail Catfish, as they’re abundant in the area, so if you want to avoid them make sure to lift your bait off the bottom where they tend to feed.

      For the best fight, I’d recommend using light tackle with a light sliding sinker. You can use a 7–8 foot fast action rod, and a spinning reel that can hold a 10–15 test line. You’ll want to use a 10–15 lb braided line if possible. Live bait tends to yield the best results – pinfish, mullet, crabs, and shrimps.

      The best thing about your location is the easy access it has to the Gulf waters, so if you’re not seeing any luck in the lakes, it’s easy to hop on a boat and go look for other opportunities. Hope you have a great time!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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      Ejp

      Mar 14, 2021

      I’m buying a place on orchid canal between beach pkwy and orchid . What species can I catch from the dock? Is there any advantage to wetting a line at night? Any other advice would be great .
      Thank you!

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      Vule

      Mar 15, 2021

      Hi Ejp,

      Congrats on your new place! You’ve chosen a great location, as you’ll have amazing access to the waters of the Caloosahatchee River.

      Being so close to the river has its perks, and you’ll find you can probably catch Spotted Seatrout, Snapper, Snook, and Redfish from the dock. When it comes to night fishing, you might have a good chance at reeling in a bigger Snapper here.

      Bernice Braden Park is within walking distance, by the Cape Coral Bridge, so you can head over there for some great views and excellent fishing. Use a 7–8 foot fast action rod, and a spinning reel with a 10–15 braided line. Live bait tends to yield the best results – pinfish, mullet, crabs, and shrimp.

      Have fun, and come back to tell us about it!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Sean benner

    Mar 8, 2021

    Hey there, just rented house in cape coral inn SW 37 terrace neighborhood. House is located on a canal. I was really hoping for a chance to catch reddish and snook. Would that be possible from the canals? Also bringing down medium power spinning gear, lined with 15 lb power pro. What do you recommend for leader size and what baits artificial or live would work the best. Also would a hobie kayak be ideal to explore the canals? Thanks a bunch for any info.

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      Vule

      Mar 9, 2021

      Hi Sean,

      Thanks for reading! Your location is perfect for saltwater fishing, and it has access to some great fishing. You can definitely catch Redfish and Snook if the conditions are right when you visit.

      The canals there can have quite a bit of structure, and the Spreader canal (to the west) is lined with mangrove trees. So I would recommend using 40 lb to 60 lb mono leader and live shrimp, pinfish, and crabs for bait.

      And a Hobie kayak would be perfect! You can head up the Spreader canal to Matlacha Pass, which is a great area to explore by kayak. Have a great time!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Charles Toland

    Feb 27, 2021

    We are coming to Cape Coral in July 2021. We are staying on the west side and the house backs up to “the Spreader” canal. I guess it is brackish water. Do you know anything about the fishing there?

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      Vule

      Mar 1, 2021

      Hey Charles,

      You’ve made a great choice for the summer, as the properties on the Spreader Canal are known for some of the best views. We’re sure you’ll enjoy your time there!

      The canal itself is mostly saltwater. There’s an abundance of mangroves, and it’s connected to the open waters through Matlacha Pass. You can probably sink a line in the canal there and reel in Redfish, Snook, Trout, and maybe even Tarpon roaming around the mangroves.

      If it doesn’t turn out to be productive, you can always hop on a boat and sail on down to the open waters, where you’re bound to get lucky. Hope you have a great time!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Zulma

    Feb 22, 2021

    Hello!
    My family and I, just buy a house with a canal in the back on NW Diplomatic. Can I fish from the dock without take no boat out? Do I need a fishing license or not? Please can you give me all the info on that. Thank you.

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      Vule

      Feb 24, 2021

      Hi Zulma,

      Congrats on your new house! The canals around Diplomat Pkwy are freshwater, so you’ll likely see fish like Catfish, Bass, and Alligator Gar.

      When it comes to fishing from the docks, you can definitely try it out. However, you will need to buy a Florida freshwater fishing license in your case.

      If you plan on exploring other fishing opportunities in Cape Coral, you can get a combination license for both salt and freshwater. For more information on how to get one, take a look at our simple guide to Florida fishing licenses.

      Enjoy your new home, and have a great time exploring Cape Coral!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Dana

    Feb 7, 2021

    Can you tell me how fishing is on Meade Lake and Emperor Canal? We’re considering purchasing a home on the canal but want to make sure we can catch fish here.

    Thanks,

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      Vule

      Feb 8, 2021

      Hi Dana,

      Thanks for reading! In your situation, your home would have access to freshwater fishing. You could catch Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Catfish, and Bluegill.

      However, the fishing scene in the Cape Coral canals is subject to change. I would definitely recommend heading out and trying it out if possible before buying a home.

      Good luck and congratulations! Let us know how everything works out.

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Juan

    Feb 4, 2021

    Hey, coming to cape coral staying right off the caloosahatchee river in the canals. Was wondering how is the fishing? Also any tips for fishing from the docks in the backyard?

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      Vule

      Feb 5, 2021

      Hi Juan,

      Thanks for reading! The Caloosahatchee River is great at this time of year. And if you’re fishing in the saltwater canals, you can expect Redfish, Snook, Sheepshead, and Spotted Seatrout.

      When it comes to fishing from the docks, try using live shrimp, pinfish, and crabs for bait. Make sure to lift your bait from the bottom if you want to avoid catching Catfish.

      Hope you have a great time! Come back and let us know how it went.

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Matt

    Feb 1, 2021

    Hello,
    We’re renting a house on a canal around end of March 2021. Our location is on the western edge of Cape Coral, near Sands Blvd and Beach Pkwy W.
    What can you tell me about this area for dock fishing and possible kayak fishing?
    Thank you, Matt

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      Vule

      Feb 3, 2021

      Hey Matt,

      Thanks for reading! Your upcoming trip sounds exciting, and March is a great time to be in Cape Coral.

      When it comes to your location, you’ll have access to saltwater canals, so expect to reel in the likes of Snook, Spotted Seatrout, and Redfish. You can sink a line from the docks there using live shrimp, pinfish, and crabs as bait.

      Regarding kayak fishing, it’s great in the area! The best thing to do is head up to Matlacha, where you’ll find a variety of kayak rentals and multiple launch points. Matlacha Pass is stunning, and it’s great to explore by kayak.

      I hope you found this helpful, and I hope you have a great time. Come back and let us know how it went!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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      Rob

      Mar 7, 2021

      Vule, we’re staying in the same area as Matt but we’ll be there in early May. We definitely want to fish from the dock….I have kind of a dumb question, where do you get shrimp, pins, and crabs? Can you buy them at a bait store??

      Lastly – We would like to book a red fish charter, cruise around on the flats casting for the little buggers. Any suggestions on who to go with?

      Kind Regards,
      Rob

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      Vule

      Mar 8, 2021

      Hi Rob,

      You can definitely buy all of these at a bait store! You’ll have no issues finding a bait shop that sells live and frozen bait in Cape Coral.

      As for your other question, take a look at our offer of fishing charters that target Redfish here. You’re sure to find someone you really like! Hope you have a great time!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • tony lewis

    Feb 1, 2021

    Can anyone tell me where the best place to go for the oyster beds on the Caloosahacchee river in Cape Coral? Are there any boat ramps near to launch a canoe? Thanks

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      Vule

      Feb 1, 2021

      Hey Tony!

      Thanks for reading. When it comes to finding oyster beds, the best thing to do is wait for low tide. Then you can paddle out and look for them along the Caloosahatchee River.

      The best place to find them in the area is probably on the other side, towards Pine Island Sound. You’ll find multiple launching spots around Matlacha Pass and on Pine Island itself.

      If you want to test the river itself, you can launch from Horton Park and Boat Ramp.

      Hope you have a great time!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Keith

    Jan 24, 2021

    Ok, trying to get the lay of the land for a family vacation in April 2021. Fished the pacific all my life. This FL trip is all new..

    We will be in Cudjoe Key for a number of days. On the mouth of a canal, on the water. Kayaks available. What should i have to catch some fish right from our rental and in the general 200yd radius of open water right on front of Venture Out Resort.

    We will be Cape Coral for a few days. Right on the the water, in a canal. At the bitter end of El Dorado Pkwy E, to the West. Saltwater or Freshwater or both right there in those canals? Off our dock…Same question, soft swimming bait lures? Live bait? I would love to do some fishing off our rentals dock. But I will be biking over to the Yacht Club pier to do some early morning fishing before the family wakes up….Suggestions?

    Your information has been incredibly helpful!

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      Vule

      Jan 25, 2021

      Hey Keith!

      Thanks for reading. Glad you’re trying out the Florida fishery, I’m sure you’ll have a great time!

      When it comes to Cudjoe Key, the channels are pretty exciting and offer great fishing opportunities. Kayak fishing is definitely the most interesting way to explore these waters.

      You can visit the flats for sight fishing, or do some drift fishing near the shoreline. Snapper Grouper, Bonefish, Permit, Tarpon, and Jacks are all possible targets.

      As for bait, try using mullet, crab, and shrimp. These will yield the best results in the waters around Cudjoe Key.

      As for your Cape Coral adventure, it’s a great spot with some nice natural views. These canals are saltwater, so you can expect some Redfish and Snook. For bait, try using pinfish, crabs, Gulp shrimp, or even live shrimp.

      The Yacht Club Pier is a great spot as well, and you can go after Redfish, Snook, some Snapper maybe, and Sheepshead. Try using the same baits mentioned above. You’re sure to find like-minded anglers there, so you can always wait and see where your fishing adventure takes you!

      Hope you have a great time! Do come back and tell us about it.

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Tom

    Jan 20, 2021

    Hi I’m fishing a canal that is named Donna on the map having no luck no bites

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      Vule

      Jan 20, 2021

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for reading the blog! Unfortunately, I’m not able to find information on the canal you’re fishing in.

      However, if nothing’s biting, I’d recommend just moving around and trying your luck in nearby canals, you’re bound to get lucky in one! Good luck!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Gerry

    Jan 3, 2021

    Tenting a house on Mojave Lake in March. Any tips on fishing this body of water? It’s my first time in this area and is like to try fishing.

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      Vule

      Jan 4, 2021

      Hi Gerry,

      Thanks for reading! Mojave Lake is beautiful. It’s connected to the freshwater canal system, so you’ll most likely be able to go after Bass, Crappie, Sunfish, and the inevitable Catfish.

      If you’d like to reel in a Bass, remember to lift your bait off the bottom where Catfish tend to feed. Other than that, try using jig heads, Gulp shrimp, or even live shrimp as bait to better your chances.

      Good luck, and let us know how it went!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Melissa

    Dec 31, 2020

    We are staying in a Vesteva Rental on SW 37th Terrace January 15 – 24. The rental looks near Pelican Boat Rentals if that helps.
    Vule,
    Several of us like to fish and I wanted to find out if we need a license to fish in the canal at the back of the house. Can you help me with whether the canal is freshwater or salt water and what kind of bait we might use?

    I have travel rods/reels with 20 lb braided line on them and am more familiar with freshwater fishing. Just not sure what kind of fishing to expect in January. If we do catch fish is it possible to keep and eat them. It appears that may not be an option reading through your blog — which is MOST informative! Sorry to have so many questions. We also have not ruled out chartering a boat.

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      Vule

      Jan 4, 2021

      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for reading. It sounds like you’re up for a real fishing adventure!

      When it comes to licenses, you’ll all need to get either freshwater or saltwater licenses depending on where you want to fish. Your rental is on a saltwater canal, so if you’re fishing there, get Florida saltwater licenses. You can find more info about getting one in our Florida license guide.

      For bait, the best thing to do in Cape Coral canals is to use jig heads, Gulp shrimp, or even live shrimp. January’s pretty good in Cape Coral, so you can expect some nicely sized Snook and Redfish in the area.

      When it comes to eating your catch, there’s a lot of conflicting information. While having one or two fish is definitely fine, mercury levels have risen in Cape Coral fish, so I’d recommend getting more information from the locals when you get there, as they’re most likely to have up to date information!

      If you do decide on renting a fishing charter, your captain will be able to give you a lot more information, and they’ll be able to take you to the waters outside of the canal system where you’ll have a lot more options! You can take a look at our Cape Coral offer.

      Have a lot of fun in Cape Coral, and do come back to let us know how it went! We’re here for any other questions you might have.

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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      Geoffrey

      Jan 22, 2021

      Hi Melissa
      I am staying just a few canals over in April i would love to hear how the fishing is off the dock and what you had best luck with
      We plan on renting a boat for couple days but would really like to keep my 14yr old busy at the dock

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  • Jessica

    Dec 28, 2020

    Hello, my boyfriend and I got an Airbnb for august 2021 down at Cape Coral. He really wants to fish for big snook, red fish, and tarpon. Is there any place that you recommend? We’re staying by Del Prado Blvd. He also says that it’s been his dream since he was a little boy to catch a double digit largemouth so any recommendations for that? And finally, what can we expect to catch in the canal right behind the house?

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      Iva

      Dec 29, 2020

      Hi Jessica,

      Fishing in Cape Coral is great in August, I’m sure you guys will have a great time!

      It looks like Del Prado Blvd. sits along a string of saltwater canals, meaning you could hook into the likes of Redfish, Snook, Sheepshead, Black Drum, Snappers, and Spotted Seatrout from behind the house.

      You also might want to try casting a line in the Caloosahatchee River from Redfish Point for, you guessed it, Redfish.

      For Tarpon, both Sienna Vista Park and Four Mile Cove Eco Preserve are worth checking out. Boca Grande, considered “The Tarpon Capital of the World,” is also just a short boat ride away and definitely worth visiting if your boyfriend is set on hooking one.

      To hook into Largemouth Bass, you’re going to have to head to the city’s freshwater canal system. It encompasses several lakes and there are a few different launch points for your convenience. Just bear in mind that Bass fishing is better in the colder months, from September onwards.

      Hope that helps, let us know if you need anything else.

      Tight lines!

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  • Brian

    Dec 10, 2020

    We are traveling to Florida for Christmas and will be staying at a place with a dock on the canal near Archer Pkwy and SE 27th Terr. I believe that is still a saltwater part of the canal. Just wondering what my daughters and I can expect when it comes to fishing in the canals from the place we’re staying. What type of bait would you recommend? Thanks in advance.

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      Vule

      Dec 14, 2020

      Hi Brian!

      Your plan sounds great, spending the holidays in Cape Coral is a dream! When it comes to fishing in that area, you’re right – you’ll be fishing in the saltwater part of the canal.

      As for your expectations, I would say you’re most likely to pull out some Snook and Redfish at this time of year. And for bait, try using live shrimp, pinfish, and crabs.

      Have fun fishing and a very merry Christmas!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Mitch

    Dec 4, 2020

    We just move to the cape and are on a saltwater canal. I’m interested in how to catch shrimp. Is this possible in a canal and what time of year and limit?

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      Vule

      Dec 8, 2020

      Hi Mitch!

      I have to say that I’m not very familiar with shrimping in the area, as it’s not that popular with anglers in Cape Coral and it’s not what the town is known for. If anyone else has experience with it, I’m sure they’ll reply to your comment with more information.

      If you happen to try it, do come back and let us know how it went!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Joseph

    Dec 4, 2020

    We live in the southern part of Cape Coral. Where can I find the best fishing for Redfish and Grouper and is there a time of year that is better than another?

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      Vule

      Dec 7, 2020

      Hi Joseph!

      You’re lucky to be living in such a fishing paradise! When it comes to fishing for Redfish and Grouper, it’s possible to catch them year-round, but the best time to go after both of them is from April to October.

      As for the fishing spots for these prized catches, you might want to try casting a line in the Caloosahatchee River from Redfish Point, where you’ll find both species thriving.

      Another great spot to target both Redfish and Grouper is Matlacha Pass, so you can head over to Sirenia Vista Park and try your luck there.

      Hope you have a great time and reel in some large ones!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Kim

    Dec 4, 2020

    Hello,

    We purchased a home near the Cape Coral Yacht club. Where is the best place to find Grouper?

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      Vule

      Dec 7, 2020

      Hi Kim!

      You’ve decided on a very nice spot for your new home, congratulations!

      Since you’ll be close to the Cape Coral Yacht Club, casting a line into the Caloosahatchee River there can yield some great results when it comes to Grouper. If that doesn’t work out, another great Grouper fishing spot on the other side in the Matlacha Pass. You can visit Sirenia Vista Park for a day trip and try your luck there.

      Of course, heading out to the Gulf waters on a boat is one of the best ways to reel in some monster Grouper. Hope this helps and you have a great time fishing!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Brian

    Dec 3, 2020

    What a great blog! Thank you. We will be renting a house on SE 5th Ave for the second half of December. My 12 year old is an avid bass fisherman up here in Wisconsin — and he’s the only one who knows much about fishing in the family! Thank you YouTube….Anyway, how can he best set himself up for success on the freshwater canals? Also is it possible to rent a boat for a day out on the river? Any must have gear to bring?

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      Vule

      Dec 3, 2020

      Hi Brian!

      Thanks for reading and reaching out, we appreciate it. Your son sounds like he’s on the path to becoming a great angler!

      When it comes to fishing on the freshwater canals, there are a few things to keep in mind. For the best results, try fishing with whole, small crabs, or use artificial baits. Another important thing is to get the bait off the bottom where Catfish tend to feed.

      If you end up pulling out Catfish, be careful when handling them, as their spines can hurt you. This is why I recommend bringing protective gloves alongside your regular fishing equipment.

      You can also definitely rent out a boat and have a nice adventure on the river. If you think you’d benefit from a local captain on a fishing charter, you can take a look at our offer here.

      Hope you and your family have a great time, and wishing your son the best of luck!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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      Brian King

      Dec 6, 2020

      Thanks Vule! We will be there fore 16 days so it’s likely we will want a charter at some point. I will definitely call you!

      Quick question: is it safe to eat fish out of the canals? The big fishing piers?

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      Vule

      Dec 7, 2020

      You’re welcome, Brian!

      Sounds like you’ll have a real adventure! When it comes to food safety, Florida fish are generally considered safe to eat. That being said, there are some concerns about the water quality of Cape Coral’s canals, especially freshwater canals.

      I can’t really give you a definite answer, but I would say any fish caught in the Caloosahatchee River, as well as saltwater canals directly exchanging water with the river and the Gulf are a safe bet. You can take a look at the Florida Fish Eating Guide, as well as the Fish Consumption Advisories for more information.

      The general consensus is that eating fish from the canals is all right as long as it’s in moderation. If you end up hiring a charter, you’ll be able to get more information about this from your local captain. Hope this helps!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Jim McFaul

    Dec 2, 2020

    Thanks for the info. I will be sure to share with our group coming down in February when we will be renting a house for 8 in Cape Coral on the canal. We will have our own boat. We plan to fish on the river. Which license must we purchase; fresh or salt water? Any other suggestions for sightseeing on the river with our boat?

    I thank you in advance for your advice.

    Jim

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      Vule

      Dec 3, 2020

      Hey Jim!

      Your angling plan sounds great, hope you have a lot of fun!

      When it comes to fishing on the river, my advice for you guys would be to get both freshwater and saltwater licenses. Since the Caloosahatchee River can yield both fresh and saltwater species, this would be the best option to be on the safe side and enjoy your day in peace. You can find more information in our Florida license guide here.

      As for sightseeing, the Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve is definitely worth visiting, as the views are truly something else. If that seems too far, just head on down toward Sanibel Island and you won’t be disappointed.

      Have a great time, and don’t forget to come back and tell us how it went!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Jared Smith

    Dec 2, 2020

    Vule,

    We rented a house on SW 17th Ave off of Chiquita Blvd. We’ve tried to catch something off dock with no luck the last 2-3 days. We are completely novice, but ambitious to catch a few fish and entertain my 6 and 8 year old boys. We are using a simple/plain jig with either an artificial worm or frozen headless shrimp. We don’t necessarily care what we catch, just want to catch something. Any advice would be great.

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      Vule

      Dec 2, 2020

      Hi Jared!

      Glad to hear you’re having fun fishing with your boys. Unfortunately, your case can come down to a number of things, but there are some things you can try out.

      Since you’re fishing in a saltwater canal, you’re most likely to find Redfish or Snook at this time of the year, so try using live shrimp, pinfish, and crabs for bait.

      Also, since you’re fishing near the end of the canal, there just might not be a lot of fish roaming these waters right now. Consider heading over to the other side of Chiquita Blvd and trying your luck in a freshwater canal.

      Another option is to go to one of the public fishing spots and test your luck in different waters. It all comes down to trying out different things and seeing what works!

      I hope you have a great time with your boys. Don’t forget to come back and tell us when you reel in some fish!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Dean Crombie

    Nov 28, 2020

    Just bought a home in Cape Coral on a canal not far from the “lock” (sw 26 place)
    Are there any fish in the waters on the way to the Lock which is about 20 minutes from my house
    Thanks so much Dean

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      Vule

      Nov 30, 2020

      Hi Dean!

      Congratulations on your new home, you’ve chosen a really beautiful spot. When it comes to the waters you’re referring to, we’re talking saltwater, so you can expect the usual suspects – Redfish, Speckled Trout, Tripletail, and even Snook.

      What you can catch depends largely on when you’re heading out, as well as where you cast a line, but you’ll definitely be able to reel in some fish in the waters on the way to the lock. Enjoy your new home and have a great time fishing!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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      Dean Crombie

      Dec 2, 2020

      Thank you very much !!!

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  • Mayo

    Nov 11, 2020

    Hello, my son and I are are driving in the first week of December and staying near 51st Terrace. We are looking for some good public spots for bank and pier fishing. We are from the Midwest and typically fish for big catfish in the 30 – 80 lb range. Is there any fish in that size range we can target if so where and what baits?

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      Vule

      Nov 12, 2020

      Hello!

      Glad to hear you’re exploring Cape Coral with your son. When it comes to the area you’ll be staying in, some of the best public spots are Rotary Park, Bimini Basin, and Redfish Point. You won’t have to go far, and they offer top-notch fishing.

      When it comes to the fish, in December your best bet is going after decent Snook and Redfish. But if you’re looking for some bigger ones, consider heading out on a charter. A captain could take you to the deeper waters where you might find some in the range you’re typically used to. As for baits, try using live shrimp, pinfish, and crabs.

      Hope you have a great time. Come back and let us know how it went!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Tony

    Nov 4, 2020

    I just moved to Cape Coral and need some advice on how and when to fish the canal (horseshoe canal) behind my house. It’s a freshwater canal (I think) because it’s about 300 yds downriver from a salt water lock under Burnt store road. I’ve tried throwing some bass lures (Mepps, rattle traps and live worms) with little success. What am i doing wrong and what can i expect to catch?

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      Vule

      Nov 4, 2020

      Hi Tony!

      Congrats on your move, you’ve picked a beautiful area. When it comes to fishing the canals, it’s not as easy as it seems. I would recommend using jig heads, Gulp shrimp, or even live shrimp as bait, as this will better your chances of catching Bass. And make sure to stay off the bottom if you don’t want to reel in Catfish!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Linda Lynn

    Oct 20, 2020

    Bought a house on Mohave Lake Cape Fl. Are there fish in that lake. Sadly found out it doesn’t connect to the chain of lakes but can I put my boat in and fish in them.

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      Vule

      Oct 21, 2020

      Hi Linda,

      Congratulations on your new house! Mohave is a beautiful lake, and there are definitely fish in it. You’ll find that it’s connected to the freshwater canal system, that you can check out using this map (it’s on the corner of Gleason Pkwy and Pelican Blvd). Most likely you’ll be able to go after Bass, Crappie, Sunfish, and the inevitable Catfish. Let us know how it turns out!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Bohdan

    Sep 29, 2020

    Are there any local party fishing boats in the Cape Coral Area that go out daily and we can reserve a spot or two that are open for business?

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      Vule

      Oct 1, 2020

      Hey Bohdan!

      Unfortunately, we don’t work directly with any party boats in Cape Coral, so we can’t recommend a specific one, but here’s a list of shared charters we do work with in the area. If you’re looking for fishing charters in Cape Coral, here’s a list of all the charters we work with. Hope you have a great time!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • keith medley

    Sep 13, 2020

    This Blog was very interesting and helpful. my family and I will be coming down in early November and I am really wanting to catch a peacock bass. where is the closest place to catch one. The house we are renting has kayaks and I will be bringing my fishing poles. thanks for your help.

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      Vule

      Sep 14, 2020

      Hey Keith!

      We’re glad that you found the blog helpful, and hope you enjoy your stay in Cape Coral. When it comes to Peacock Bass, unfortunately, you won’t find them in the Cape Coral/Fort Myers area. These species prefer warmer waters, and on Florida’s west coast, you’ll find them if you head down south. You can consider driving to Naples or even further down to the Everglades where they tend to be found in larger numbers. The east coast, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale, is much more prolific if you’re looking for Peacock.

      However, if you’re looking for exciting targets without leaving Cape Coral, you can hop in the kayak and target Largemouth, or even Snook. These are hard-fighting fish that will surely provide you with a nice battle.

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • Bruce Witt

    Sep 4, 2020

    We have a House rented Next February 2021 on Lake Finisterre, a small saltwater canal fed lake. What species are legal the 3rd week of Feb? The house does have kayaks and an electric boat to explore with. Any info on this lake or suggestions on bait and how to present it would be great. I have read that the Blue Crab are good then. What is the best way to catch them?

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      Vule

      Sep 8, 2020

      Hi Bruce,

      It’s great to hear that you rented a house in Cape Coral, this is a nice way to fish here. When it comes to regulations, it’s good to keep in mind that the FWC extended catch-and-release measures for Red Drum, Snook, and Spotted Seatrout in the area until May 31, 2021 due to red tide. So if you happen to pull out one of these, you should return it to the water. On the other hand, you could run into Sheepshead, Bluefish, Black Drum, and Snapper (all except for Red Snapper) that are all legal in February.

      It’s great that you’ll have a kayak, as Lake Finisterre is peaceful and beautiful to explore this way. As it’s saltwater, the best bait to use is shrimp and crab, preferably live. Stay off the bottom if you don’t want to catch a Catfish, and try using a bobber. Experiment with depths a little bit until you find the sweet spot. Note that you’ll have great access to the Gulf, so you can always explore some of the Gulf spots if the Lake doesn’t prove to be productive.

      When it comes to Blue Crab, they’re great at that time of year. The best way to catch them is by using traps, but you’d have to complete an online registration to do this. You can find more information about it here. If not, you can use a simple fishing line as well with some bait attached to the end of it pulling slowly once they tug on the line. Raw chicken necks and drumsticks are the most popular Blue Crab bait, but you can also use squid pieces and fish parts.

      Tight lines,

      Vule

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  • Wes Propst

    Aug 16, 2020

    Good info, Vule. My family and I are headed down in October and I’ll be taking my boys fishing. We’ll be staying on a saltwater canal but the rental also came with a boat. So, I’ll definitely want to venture out.
    Any recommendations for fishing on our own along the Caloosachee?

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      Vule

      Aug 17, 2020

      Hey Wes!

      When it comes to the Caloosahatchee River, you’ll find Snook, Redfish, Trout, Sheepshead, Jacks… The river forms an estuary, so it’s a really nice spot to sink a line. I would recommend heading out to Redfish Point and the Cape Coral Bridge, as well as the Midpoint Bridge if you have the time. Some nice catches tend to congregate in these spots. Just don’t forget to get your license if you’re heading out on your own – and fish on!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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  • PEDRO

    Jul 27, 2020

    We are renting a house with the canal (intercoastal)water in the back ,what type of fish can I expect to catch if I’m lucky, and which bait do you recommend

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      Vule

      Jul 28, 2020

      Hey Pedro,

      Thanks for reaching out and reading our blog! Renting a house on a canal In Cape Coral is a great option. What type of fish you can expect depends on whether the canal is freshwater or saltwater. You can use this map to check and plan accordingly.

      Some of the saltwater species you can find in the canals are Snook, Sheepshead, Black Drum, Snappers, and Spotted Seatrout. When it comes to freshwater species, you can expect Bass, Crappie, and several species of Sunfish.

      Catfish numbers are high so it’s what you’re most likely to reel in, but there are ways around it. They feed on the bottom, so get your bait a little higher and experiment with depths. It’s best to try using artificial baits, as shrimp and live bait tend to attract Catfish. If you’re using live bait, make sure it’s bigger than a quarter so it’s too big for a Catfish to eat, or try fishing with whole, small crabs.

      This will help your chances of catching some of the other fresh or saltwater species in the area. Hope you found this information helpful!

      Tight Lines,

      Vule

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