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Top Fishing Charters in Captiva

Fishing in Captiva

The waters around Captiva are an inshore angler’s dream, with mile after mile of sandbars, mangroves, narrow passes and shallow flats. Captiva fishing charters specialize in dominating this murky backcountry, guiding groups to the huge range of inshore species the area is famous for. Redfish, Trout, Snook, and Tarpon all fight for space around Captiva and can be caught every month of the year. Head offshore, and you will find Grouper, Snapper, Amberjack, Kingfish, and other super-sized freezer-fillers.
And it’s not just the fishing which makes Captiva a paradise for vacationers. The nearby Bowman’s Beach has been ranked among the best in the world, with white sands and warm waters all year round. The island also hosts a huge range of exotic wildlife. Rare and beautiful birds like herons, spoonbills, and pelicans enjoying the ample baitfish which draw this wide range of game species. Captiva Island really does have something for everyone, with more than enough to keep the family entertained while you enjoy hour after hour of awesome angling.

Fishing Spots

The waters around Captiva are so rich that you can cast your lines pretty much anywhere and expect a good fight. Climb aboard one of the many experienced Captiva Island fishing charters, though, and you will be taken to some truly legendary locations. Whether you’re looking for a record-sized Tarpon, a trunkful of tasty bottom-dwellers, or an army of hungry Trout, you will be spoilt for choice of fantastic fishing spots.

Pine Island Sound

One of the many great things about Captiva Island is that you don’t have to travel far to find world-class fishing. Pine Island Sound is right on your doorstep and offers some of the best sight-casting action in the entire country. Head here at the right time of day and you will find mile after mile of shallow flats full of big tailing Redfish. 

Redfish & Captiva Pass

If you fancy fishing a little deeper without the long offshore treks, the passes either side of North Captiva Island are your best best. With depths of over 30 feet in places (practically blue water fishing by local standards) you can find some real monsters and seriously good food fish. And it’s much more than just Redfish in these passes. North Captiva Island fishing charters will get you on big Sheepshead, Cobia, Tarpon, Tripletail, and a whole boatload more.

Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge

Not technically on Captiva Island but way too good to leave off the list! This sprawling maze of untouched mangroves, grassy banks, and murky river mouths hosts record-worthy catches of all your favorite inshore species. If you’re looking to battle monster Snook, Redfish, Trout, and Tarpon all in one place, this is the choice for you. Even if you’re just here for the scenery, you’re in for a treat. Heading into the reserve really is like stepping back in time and with over 5000 acres of wetland, there’s more than enough space to escape the crowds.

Offshore Reefs

Captiva offshore fishing charters let you load up with tasty food fish with plenty of big battles to keep hardcore sportfishers happy. Several species of Snapper and Grouper call these remote reefs home, as well as Amberjack, Barracuda, Kingfish, and more. You may have to travel 50 miles to hit the best spots but it’s well worth it when you get there.

How much will it cost?

Most Captiva fishing charters are aboard small bay or flats boats and cost a reasonable $100 an hour. Offshore trips vary hugely in price, depending on the size of the boat and how far you want to travel. You can find a full day offshore trip for under $1000. The best deep sea action can cost almost double that on longer trips but you’ll be heading home with enough fish to feed the family for a month.

Fishing techniques

You can’t get much better than sight casting for monster tailing Reds on a calm winter’s day. Anything from soft plastics to rattling crankbaits will get you on fish around here. There are so many ferocious fish that you can cast bare hooks are expect some solid hits. If you’re in a hurry, throw out some live shrimp and you can easily hit your limits on a half day trip.
Fly fishers will also fall in love with the waters around Captiva. Fly fishing specialists spend their lives polling clients through these shallow backwaters. Whether you’re fighting Snook on an 8-weight or wrestling with monster tarpon on a 12-weight, you’re guaranteed endless fun. Most of these guides have been fishing here for decades and they’re still out on the water on their days off!

Need to know

All registered Florida fishing charters cover fishing licenses for everyone onboard. You can find plenty of fly fishing specialists in town, so there’s no need to bring your tackle box, either. Mosquitos and midges can be an issue in the shallows, so the standard selection of sprays and clothing is essential if you want to keep your concentration. Other than that it’s just the usual checklist: sunscreen, shades, and an extra layer of clothing, just in case.
Based on 15063 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Captiva Fishing Seasons

January is a great time to visit Captiva Island. Low temperatures and long low tides make ideal conditions for chasing tailing fish. The dry weather will also be a blessing offshore, where you'll find a variety of species of Grouper and Snapper, as well as some monster Kingfish.

Head out onto the flats to battle monster Snook, Redfish, and Speckled Trout and enjoy hours of shallow-water fun. Head offshore, and you'll get the chance to hook Red, Black, Gag, and Goliath Grouper, as well as Amberjack, Barracuda, King Mackerel, and more.

Temperatures slowly start to creep up in March, hitting 80 degrees in the middle of the day. Under the water, things are also heating up. The spring Cobia migration rolls into town and Snook and Redfish both start showing up in bigger and bigger numbers.

Large numbers of migratory Tarpon start showing up in April. They join the permanent population to give you even more opportunities of hooking one of these awesome fish. That's if you can escape the huge numbers of Trout who crowd the shallows this time of year.

The Ding Darling Annual Tarpon Tournament offers serious competition in a stunning setting. Battle Silver Kings worthy of the throne in this incredible nature reserve. If offshore action is more your thing, you'll find plenty of big Snapper and Grouper patrolling the reefs.

June is the start of the wet season in Southwest Florida. Brave the weather and the high humidity and you will be well rewarded, though. Snook, Tarpon, Trout, and Redfish all peak this time of year, so pack plenty of sunscreen and get ready for some awesome battles.

The annual Fourth of July Parade marches through nearby Sanibel, with plenty of activities and entertainment for the whole family. Otherwise, escape the crowds and head out for some great fishing. All the regulars are here plus Mangrove Snappers, Tripletail, and more.

High rainfall can make offshore charters unfeasible during the hot summer months but you will always find some action inshore. Low tourist season means plenty of room to fish, too. August is the last chance to catch the huge migratory Tarpon Captiva is famous for.

Summer shows no sign of leaving in September. Average highs of over 90 degrees and heavy rains don't make for the best fishing conditions. Get out early, though, and you can enjoy a calm morning before the clouds roll in. Target Redfish, Trout, Permit, Snook, and more.

A sharp drop in rainfall opens up offshore opportunities in October. That's just as well, because the reefs are swarming with Snapper and Grouper just begging for a bait to drift their way. The fall Cobia migration also rolls into town this time of year, which you won't want to miss!

There's a lot to be thankful for if you're visiting Captiva in November: cooler weather, less rain, and none of the crowds that high season brings. Add to that some great fishing from the shallowest flats to the deepest reefs and this could well be the best time of year to visit.

If you're looking to escape the cold winter weather and celebrate the festive season in style, Captiva Island is a dream destination. The reefs are packed with tasty fish and the calm flats make for perfect sight casting. No wonder it's such a popular destination.

Captiva Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Captiva

"Dayron Plana"

Dominick M. fished with Top Slot Fishing Charters on September 12, 2019

Take a fishing charter captain, they know where the fish are and what bait to use.

"Half day with dayron Beautiful day of snook"

Kenneth M. fished with Top Slot Fishing Charters on July 27, 2019

It’s a beautiful place to catch fish and dayron is the man. Great guide

"Hooked on!"

Brian B. fished with Capt Matt's Island Charters – Captiva on July 19, 2019

I recommend hiring Capt. Matt and target Snook.

"Half Day trip with Dayron"

Virginia P. fished with Top Slot Fishing Charters on July 10, 2019

A great experience. Not too much movement of the boat.

What would you recommend to anglers fishing in Captiva, Florida for the first time?

Top Targeted Species in Captiva









Grouper (Goliath)

Grouper (Goliath)

Jack Crevalle

Jack Crevalle

Snapper (Mangrove)

Snapper (Mangrove)

Grouper (Gag)

Grouper (Gag)

Nearby Fishing Destinations