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Top Fishing Charters in Apalachicola
Fishing in Apalachicola
Treat yourself to an Apalachicola fishing experience and you’ll never overlook Florida’s “Forgotten Coast” again. Here, saltwater and freshwater fishermen alike can indulge in a year-round fishery, from the backwaters and the bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Add to that some renowned small town charm and local hospitality, and you’re sure to come away with a catch that is anything but forgettable.
If visitors know one thing about Apalachicola, it’s the town’s reputation for great seafood. Oysters abound in the bay nearby, accompanied by a variety of fish throughout the seasons. With such superb fishing to be had, it’s no wonder why this destination is known for its longstanding maritime culture and some of the best seafood in the country.
More than merely tasty, the fish in these waters make for great sport, too. Here you’ll find some of the most popular game fish in the state, from Tarpon and Redfish to Largemouth Bass. Bays, barrier islands, creeks, pristine beaches, and a relatively low number of tourists all make this destination an ideal place to cast a few lines.
Apalachicola Fishing Spots
Apalachicola fishing charters could take you along the flats, into the bay, or far offshore into the Gulf of Mexico. Many trips depart from the City Dock and surrounding waterfront directly off the US Highway 98 Bridge, where the bay meets the Apalachicola River.
Shielded from the Gulf of Mexico by St. George and St. Vincent islands, the waters of Apalachicola Bay make for a productive fishery. Here you can find Redfish, Speckled Trout, Bluefish, Sheepshead, and other inshore species on a regular basis. Redfish are abundant near the oyster bars, peaking in spring and autumn. Speckled Trout tend to favor the grass beds scattered throughout the bay.
Fishing Apalachicola Bay involves more than casting lines with a rod and reel. A popular way to spend some time inshore is Flounder gigging on the flats, typically done at night. This species can be found in the local waters year-round, with peak seasons in spring and fall.
Other Local Bays and Passes
Depending on where the bite is best, your captain might take you through St. Vincent Sound and west to Indian Pass, Cape San Blas, or even St. Joseph Bay. Heading in the opposite direction, you might fish the East Pass to St. George Sound. All of these protected waters offer year-round opportunities for Redfish, Speckled Trout, Sheepshead, and other inshore species.
The Gulf of Mexico
For bigger fish, set your sights on the Gulf of Mexico. A quick trip to the nearshore waters will have you fishing for King Mackerel, Cobia, Snapper, and more. As you venture past state waters (more than 9 miles out), the fish keep getting bigger. But don’t let that give you the wrong impression: you’ll enjoy superb fishing even just 5 miles from the coast.
Full day trips to the Gulf might take you up to 20 miles offshore, where you can bottom fish for Snapper,Grouper, and Amberjack, or troll for King Mackerel, Barracuda, Mahi Mahi, and Sharks. To make the most of Apalachicola’s deep sea fishing, book a trip between spring and fall when most of these species are in season.
The freshwater angler will find an overlooked but thriving fishery in the waters of Apalachicola River. Starting at Lake Seminole, this river flows 106 miles south before emptying into Apalachicola Bay. On the lower portion of these waters you’ll find some of the best fishing on the river.
Cuts, creeks, and marshy flats along the lower Apalachicola River are home to a wide variety of Bass species, including Largemouth Bass, Stripers, and Hybrids. In October and November, Largemouth fill the creeks as they feed on migrating Shrimp. Winter is a great time to cast some lines in the lower river as Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Sheepshead make their way inland.
The best fishing spots change throughout the year, but locals say to keep your eye on the daily tides at the river mouth, since these provide good fishing opportunities.
Shoreline and boating access to the river are both available at the City Dock under the Hwy 98 Bridge.
How much will it cost?
Flounder gigging trips usually last 3-4 hours and cost $300-$400.
Half day trips to the Gulf cost $700-$800, and may take you either nearshore or offshore. For a full day trip of 8-10 hours, expect to pay between $800 and $1,100. Longer trips are generally recommended so you can spend more time fishing after you reach the offshore fishing grounds.
Types of Fishing
Flounder gigging usually calls for a special boat designed to light up the shallow waters of the flats while drifting seamlessly through the night. Much more akin to hunting than fishing, this technique will have you scanning the sandy bottom for Flounder and spearing them with a gig.
While fishing offshore, freelining live Pogies will entice King Mackerel. You can also bottom fish using this bait to attract Amberjack. Bottom fishing with a wide variety of other baits and lures will help you catch Snapper, Grouper, and other fish near the seafloor.
Trolling is the primary method for catching Barracuda, Mahi Mahi, Cobia, and other pelagics.
Need to Know
While many charter operators allow customers to keep their catch, bear in mind that some species are not always open to harvest. Seasonal closures vary from year to year and they may be different depending on whether you fish in state or federal waters.
Your captain will help you fish according to regulations, but you can always stay up to date online before you head out.
Likewise, size and bag limits apply to species caught in the Apalachicola River. The bag limit for Hybrids, Stripers, and White Bass is 20 fish per day. You can read more about these river species and regulations online.
Apalachicola Fishing Seasons
Apalachicola Fishing Calendar
What People Are Saying About Apalachicola
"Fishing with Caleb"
This is a great time to go... early to mid October.
"Full day trip with Captain Greg "
Fishing is excellent, but weather is unpredictable. So bring your raincoat along with your fishing pole.
"Half Day with Captain Shawn"
Indian Pass! That's where you want to begin your fishing adventure! Call on Shawn Chalker!! Bar Hoppin Charters!
Top Fishing Charters
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