Bonita Springs

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Fishing in Bonita Springs

Bonita Springs fishing charters really have everything going for them! Sitting on the southern end of the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve, the city boasts a vibrant inshore fishery that would make it a must-visit destination for inshore anglers all on its own. Add to this the diverse nearshore and offshore target list, typical for Southwest Florida, and there’s little left to ask for!

Although the bay is often lauded as a prolific Snook and Redfish habitat, perfect for novice anglers, this is not where the offer ends. Its brackish waters also hold the likes of Seatrout, Black Drum, Sheepshead, Flounder, Whiting, and many others, most of which can be found rummaging the area’s grass flats at various times of the year.

Those looking for a bit more of a challenge may opt to visit the nearshore wrecks and reefs In state waters. Places like the Causeway and Edison Reef host plenty of nearshore species like Cobia, Gag and Red Grouper, large offshore Snook, Mangrove Snapper, Amberjack, Barracuda and much more. If you decide to go even further, you’ll get to the reefs holding Goliath Grouper, Barracuda, and Red Snapper.

Anglers with only a few hours to spare, will be pleased to know that a half day trip will allow them to get a great taste of the inshore waters. You’ll be spending most, if not all of your time in Estero Bay making these the perfect outings for families. If you set aside a few extra hours you’ll be able to hit the May and Causeway Reefs, located farther offshore. 

Rules & Regulations

Fishing with a licensed captain or charter operator, you won’t need to worry about having a fishing license because it’s up to the crew to provide all the necessary documentation. Fishing in federal waters requires a separate permit that only a few captains have.

Bonita Springs
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Bonita Springs Fishing Seasons


The start of the year is a great time to be going after Kingfish. Drifting near the Causeway Reef with silvery live bait should do the job.


It’s still too cold for Snook to show up, but you can get plenty of Sheepshead this time of year, especially near Big Hickory Island.


This is when the waters will finally start to warm up, and will usually be in the high sixties. Plenty of big Seatrout, Redfish, and Spanish Mackerel are yours to find.


April is when Snook arrive in large numbers, and it will stay that way right up until October. Guides will start doing Snook night trips around this time.


Depending on the individual season, Tarpon might start showing up in local waters in bigger numbers. If so, get ready for the fight of a lifetime.


Summer is probably the best single time to be fishing in Bonita Springs. Kingfish might taper off, but the waters are filled with everything from Tarpon to Snapper.


If you’re interested in surf fishing, this is a great time to cast out for some Ladyfish and Amberjack and look awesome while you’re at it.


If you’re lucky, there still might be some stubborn Tarpon that stayed in the area, but even if that’s not the case, great fishing can still be had both inshore and offshore.


Now that the waters continue to cool, you can expect Redfish to show in much larger numbers, and Sharks to be making their way closer to inshore waters.


This is when fish start to migrate south for the winter, but it’s still a great time to target Redfish, Kingfish, Trout, and more besides.


Early winter is when Tripletail and Cobia start popping up, so get ready to do some trolling for absolutely delicious fish.


Redfish and trout are huge in the backwater, while you can find a good number of Grouper, Snapper, and Sheepshead over at the reefs.

Bonita Springs Fishing Calendar

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Reviews of Fishing in Bonita Springs

Fishing fun with Captain Dan!
Kathy B. fished with Get Hooked Custom Charters on November 25, 2019
Book a fishing charter with Captain Dan!
Half day with Capt Fred
Jack A. fished with Fred Gowdy Charters on June 6, 2019
A half day was a good experience, we were on fish about every stop, Capt Fred did a great job. June is rainy, and can be hot. The 1/2 day was good.
Peacock bass fishing trip
David A. fished with Fred Gowdy Charters on June 5, 2019
The hotter and sunnier it is, the better you can see the peacock bass in the freshwater canals. I was told they spawn in the heat of the summer
March fishing trip
Karen S. fished with Fred Gowdy Charters on March 29, 2019
Do not know enough to recommend to anglers.

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