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Top Fishing Charters in Delray Beach

Fishing in Delray Beach

Nicknamed ‘America’s Most Fun Small Town’, Delray Beach is your go-to place if you want a vibrant hub with a long history. This town has seen a lot, from pineapple farms in its early days to winter residence of scores of popular writers and artists in the 20th century. But what makes the city even better is the sheer number of species Delray Beach fishing charters regularly catch.

Any city which borders the Gulf Stream ranks pretty high on our list. It means excellent fishing for the better part of the year. With the city’s tropical climate, offshore wrecks, and inshore honey holes, as well as its mix of architectural styles, this place is a sweet sight for any pair of sore eyes, whether you’re a pro angler or have just taken up fishing.

Delray Beach fishing spots

Before you make the trip out towards the Gulf Stream, you’ll want to check out the hotspots that lie nearby. Fishing for these inshore species will be a good warm-up session before you kick off your big game crusade offshore. Here are the places you shouldn’t miss.

Highland Beach

Just minutes south of Delray Beach, you’ll find a briny treasure hole where anglers regularly catch Snook, Tarpon, and other inshore favorites. You can cast lures from the beach, but if you want more flexibility then hop onboard a charter.

Red Reef Park

Move further towards Boca Raton and you’ll be amazed by the stock of Mangrove Snapper, Barracuda, Bonito, and Snook. These mangrove shorelines are popular among kayak lovers too.

Tropic Isle Harbor

If you’re not a kind of angler to venture far, you should check out the harbor and fish for Bream, Bluegill, Catfish, as well as some Cobia that lurk around here.

Intracoastal waters

Seek out all the creeks, inlets, piers, bridges, and seawalls you can find around here. These fisheries generally produce excellent Snook, Jack Crevalle, Tarpon, and Barracuda from early spring to late in the year.

Artificial reefs

There are hundreds of artificial reefs off the coast of Delray Beach where fishers go to get nice table fare or grapple with strong topwater predators. But be ready for a real fight as anglers have reported skirmishes with Billfish just a mile or two from land.

Gulf Stream

Unlike in some other places where you need to head almost 60 miles to be anywhere near the Gulf Stream, here you don’t need to sweat whether you’ll have enough time to land some worthy catch. With the Stream running between 5-7 miles from the coast, you’ll sure have time. But when Sailfish, Marlin, Tuna, and Wahoo strike, your line could turn into a pretzel within a second.

Fishing Techniques

When fishing Delray Beach, be open to suggestions as there are so many methods that can get you the fish of a lifetime. Be it fly fishing for Tarpon and Snook, sight casting for Redfish, bottom fishing for Snapper, or kite fishing for Sailfish, there’s nothing here that won’t get you results. Some anglers find a guide and rent a kayak, others go out on their own to surf fish. Adventurers go trolling for Mahi, Tuna, and Marlin. It’s just a matter of how you want to spend your time on the water.

Light tackle action inshore can turn into a real bonanza especially if you know how to get Redfish, Snook, Jack Crevalle, or Permit. Stock up on shrimp for Redfish, Trout, and Permit, bring feather jigs for Snook, and grab some Menhaden for Jack Crevalle. Fishing for these guys is fun and also suits novice anglers.

If you want to grab a bite, drop Pinfish and Sardines to get Lane and Mangrove Snapper. Grouper and Amberjack tend to stay near the bottom, and to pull them up you’ll need an experienced captain to help you.

When Mahi go into their feeding frenzy, no charmer in the world can stop them. Flying fish are the best live bait, but If you can’t find flying fish, bring any lures and bait that mimic them and keep your bait near the surface. Trolling bait will also get you Tuna, Wahoo, and Billfish.

Need to know

There’s no need for a fishing license if you’re fishing aboard a licensed charter. If you want to venture offshore or explore inshore fisheries on your own, you’ll need a valid license. You can purchase it online or from approved vendors locally. Regulations on bag and size limits apply, so always check current regulations when booking a trip.

When it comes to the trip itself, anglers fishing from a charter will most often find all the gear they need onboard, included in the price. You should bring food and drinks if that’s not included in the trip rates, pack sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, as well as Dramamine. No one likes getting seasick offshore, so to make sure you get the most out of your trip, prepare ahead.

Delray Beach
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Delray Beach Fishing Seasons

Inshore waters produce Bonefish and Trout. Days are dry and warm, and the fish are ready for a new season. The offshore waters hold Sailfish, but you can also hook into other game fish.

The fun never stops here really, at least when fishing is concerned. Get your buddies and go get Sailfish offshore, or stay inshore and sample Lane Snapper and Bonefish.

Early spring days bring more possibilities, as inshore lightens up with Snook. They are easily spooked, so watch out when presenting your bait. An offshore trip can get you Tuna, Kingfish, Mahi, and Sailfish.

The Delray Affair gathers arts-loving crowds, which is a good reason to come and explore the fisheries. Comb the offshore waters for Kingfish and Mahi or stay inshore for Snook and Tarpon.

The transition from spring and summer means epic bottom fishing for Amberjack and Grouper. While you’re there, troll for Mahi and Wahoo, or come back home to chase Snook and Tarpon.

The summer is here and so are Tarpon. In full swing! Try fly fishing for them and have a blast. If you love adventures, go offshore and get Wahoo and Tuna.

Opportunities are endless as you can come back home with Wahoo, Mahi, and King Mackerel. With some luck, you can even catch Marlin. Stay inshore and go after Tarpon and Jack Crevalle.

Fishing is amazing this time around and once you’ve had enough of sandy beaches, head offshore and test your tackle against Amberjack, Mahi, Wahoo, King Mackerel, or even Marlin.

The temperature may be slightly cooler now, but fishing is still on fire. Novice anglers stay inshore and grapple with Snook, Permit, and Bonefish, while adventurers head into the ocean to get Mahi and Sailfish.

Somewhat cooler waters bring Redfish, Trout, Tripletail, and Black Drum, which put up an epic fight on light tackle. You can also take on Permit. For more hardcore action, head offshore to get Sailfish and Mahi.

King and Cero Mackerel are back. Trolling offshore can give you the best results against these fish. But save some energy for Sailfish, Bonito, and Wahoo.

The dry warm winter invites crowds of anglers for one last trip of the year. You’ll find excellent fishing offshore with Kingfish, Tuna, and Sailfish swimming by the dozens.

Delray Beach Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Delray Beach

"Half day trip with captain Brian!"

fished with Operationtek on October 1, 2018

Absolutely Lake Ida is a great place to fish!

"Half day trip"

Michael Parrish fished with Gradyful Fishing Charters on May 13, 2018

Go with Shawn Safris. We booked a half day and were on the water close to six hrs. He goes all out to make sure you have the best chance to catch fish and his price is way reasonable.

Top Targeted Species in Delray Beach

Amberjack

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Sailfish

Nearby Fishing Destinations