Boca Grande Fishing Charters
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Top Fishing Charters in Boca Grande
Fishing in Boca Grande
Boca Grande fishing charters enjoy a well-earned reputation for having the best Tarpon fishing in the world, especially during the summer months. How could they not, considering Boca Grande is known as ‘The Tarpon Capital of The World.’ In fact, the Boca fishery has been blessed with prolific Tarpon fishing for so long, the first records of hooking the fish in the area date all the way back to the late 1700s and the first British settlers.
However, the party isn’t over once the Silver King leaves, it’s just getting started. The mammal wildlife and breathtaking vistas make for fantastic sightseeing trips, while nearshore fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is a favorite of many a fisherman.
While most people come to fish Tarpon in the Boca Grande Pass, the town itself is in such a perfect position that it can cater to various fishing appetites. Most captains offer a diverse range of packages, from inshore fishing for Snook, Redfish, Trout, and Pompano in the flats and mangroves to longer trips to the numerous artificial reefs and wrecks - prime locations when it comes to bottom fishing. The reefs are also great for Cobia fishing, a time-honored favorite of anglers all around Florida.
Boca Grande Fishing Spots
Boca Grande Pass
Boca Grande Pass is the location to visit for anyone who wants to cross Tarpon fishing off their bucket list. It lies on the southernmost end of Boca Grande and separates it from the island of Cayo Costa. Thousands upon thousands of these fierce silver giants will gather in the pass, but that does not make catching them any easier.
This is also a perfect place to catch Sharks as well, a fact sometimes unfairly glossed over. In fact, the world record for the biggest Hammerhead Shark caught was achieved right here in Boca Grande Pass. It weighed at 1280 pounds, and some say there are even bigger ones swimming around.
The Lighthouse Hole
When all the Tarpon addicts have left the Pass, experienced local anglers are once again able to fish ‘the hole’ in peace. It is a popular spot because the depth of the water drops to around 70 feet, as opposed to areas in the immediate vicinity that don’t go below a depth of 40 feet. This makes it the best spot to bottom fish for Snapper and Grouper.
The Phosphate Dock
While the story of Boca Grande’s phosphate industry did not have a happy ending, the waters near the dock have become a rewarding fishing place for people looking to catch especially big Goliath Groupers. Apart from schools of Groupers, plenty of Snook and Snapper are also present. After fishing here, you’ll definitely be able to see why Goliath Groupers are called such.
The Gulf of Mexico
Most captains will also offer a nearshore fishing option as the nearshore waters in the Gulf of Mexico are very productive even if you don’t go too far out. The typical range is up to nine miles out, where you can troll for Mahi Mahi, Kingfish and Cobia, as well as do some bottom fishing for Red Snapper in state waters. If you haven’t grappled with a Smoker yet, this is a great place to try.
How much will it cost?
The usual price for an inshore trip runs around $100 an hour. A lot of fishing guides in Boca Grande provide you with the option of booking a special Tarpon trip during the season, which is usually a bit more expensive but includes tackle, bait, and lures that are intended for the sole purpose of Tarpon fishing. Nearshore trips are pricier, at about $140-150 per hour.
While Tarpon fly fishing is popular with experienced anglers, most charters do not include fly fishing gear which means you will need to bring your own.
Rules & Regulations
All registered charters include licenses for passengers aboard, so you don’t need to worry about that part of the trip. People planning to go at it on their own will need to have a valid Florida fishing license with them. This can be done online as well as in any bait shop.
Tarpon fishing is done for the sporting aspect of it, which is why you can only keep a single Tarpon if you are looking to break the IGFA record and have bought a $50 tag from the FWC. Special regulations also come into play during the busy months of April, May, and June. Among these is the limit of three lines per single vessel for catching any species in Boca Grande.
Types of Fishing
Having the best Tarpon fishing trip is the name of the game in Boca Grande, so it’s no surprise that most captains have specialized in catching Tarpon one way or another.
Traditional live-bait fishing remains the most beloved and popular method of fishing, both for Tarpon as well as regular game. Popular bait includes mutton minnows, sandperch, crabs, and squirrelfish. Fly fishing is the preferred method of more advanced anglers but is nowhere near as common as live-bait fishing.
Bottom fishing and trolling are well-represented due to the abundance of natural and artificial reefs, which make good fishing grounds for Red Snapper, Kingfish, Sharks, Mahi Mahi, and much more besides.
Boca Grande Fishing Seasons
This is a very nice time to be fishing the backcountry because the fish have started moving into the warmer waters in earnest.
Snook and Redfish inhabit many of the same areas this time of year, and poling along the flats can be especially rewarding.
By the end of March, the water temperature should warm up to around 75-80°F. This means better bait, as well as more game fish.
The start of Tarpon season! Thousands upon thousands of Tarpon migrate to these waters to breed, and some will stay as late as November.
Probably the best time to be fly fishing during the entire year. Fly fishing for Tarpon is no small feat, so make sure to have a captain who knows his stuff.
Things may vary from year to year, but June is usually the peak of Silver King season. The Boca Grande Pass is absolutely packed with anglers going at it.
The weather starts being hot and humid, and it’s a good idea to go a bit further out to bottom fish at the reefs and wrecks.
While this is a great time to catch plenty of fish, it’s also dreadfully hot. Probably the best time for Snook during the entire year.
Some may think it’s too late to be fishing for the Silver King, but they are sorely mistaken. Waters around the pass are great, and it’s cheaper now.
Around the start of the month, the tides start getting lower and lower, making for a great chance to do some sight fishing for Cobia.
November is usually when winter starts in earnest, but that does not seem to bother Redfish one bit. Snook start moving out of the flats around this time.
At this time of year, shrimp is your live bait of choice, and you can catch some big and delicious Pompano before the end of the year.
Boca Grande Fishing Calendar
What People Are Saying About Boca Grande
"3/4 day trip"
Go with a captain. Be prepared for rain, sun, wind and possibly rough conditions. It is outdoor activity on the water. It is a roller coaster ride, enjoy the adventure.
"Definately a must with Captain Taylor"
Be ready to have fun and if you burn easy, bring sunscreen, ha. Listen to Captain Taylor and you will have a blast and feel like you're a natural at catching fish when your trip is done. This was my wifes first time fishing and she had a blast every minute on and off the boat.
"Captain Rick Butler and Captain Travis"
Be open to a whole new experience. Any fish is a good catch! Relax, and enjoy the day!!!
"Half Day trip with Captain Rick."
Get the right captain & he will take care of all your needs.
Top Fishing Techniques in Boca Grande
Top Targeted Species in Boca Grande
- Size 25 to 80lbs
- Food Value None
- Game Qualities Excellent
- Habitats Inshore, Flats, Backcountry
- Size 3 to 12lbs
- Food Value Good
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, Flats, Backcountry
- Size 10 to 30lbs
- Food Value Good
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck
- Size 75 to 150lbs
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Average
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, Reef, Backcountry, Flats, Wreck