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Top Fishing Charters in Everglades City

Fishing in Everglades City

Everglades City fishing is something that needs to be experienced to be believed. Located at the southernmost tip of Florida, it’s one of the few places where you can truly disconnect from city life and still be only 50 minutes away from Naples and Marco Island, and only an hour and a half from Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

It might be a short distance from these main cities, but you’ll feel a world away. Not only will you find incredible fishing here, but an immense subtropical wilderness, arguably the largest one in the United States, that has a primitive swamp-like feel to it you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. This is the definition of backcountry fishing.

Known For

Everglades City is the gateway of the 10,000 Islands and is located just past the Chokoloskee Bay. It has an incredible landscape covered in mangrove forests, which are the perfect habitat for some of your favorite inshore species. There’s something to catch year round, such as Tarpon, Pompano, Bass, Snook, Mangrove Snapper, and plenty more. It’s highly recommended to bring an Everglades City fishing guide along with you on your fishing trips, as these creeks, rivers, and bays are like a maze and are very difficult to navigate by yourself.

Stone Crab Capital

Everglades City is known as the Stone Crab Capital of the World. From October 15 to May 15 these Crabs’ deliciously sweet claws are harvested and cooked to perfection. Most Crabs are released and will grow their claws back in 1–2 years. You shouldn’t leave without trying one of these.

Backcountry Fishing

There are two distinct parts to the Everglades inshore fishing: the “inside” and “outside” areas. The inside is connected via bays and has more of a freshwater feel. Meanwhile, the outside which faces the Gulf has more flats and mangrove islands.

The fishing to be found on the “inside” of the Everglades is productive and varied, and you can avoid any bad weather further out to sea. Hotspots such as Whitewater Bay, Lake Ingraham, Fakahatchee Bay, and East Cape Canal offer a sheltered space with protection from the wind. The overcast days are great for seeing Snook more clearly in the water.

Luckily, there are many areas that are not heavily fished. In the Everglades National Park there are many areas where motors are not even allowed, such as the West Lake and Bear Lake canoe trails. As only hand-propelled vessels can go here they are relatively quiet compared to other areas. You are likely to see kayaks and canoes more than fishing boats!

Fishing Tips

These waters are as varied as they are awesome. From saltwater, to brackish water, right up to freshwater, each area has a diverse ecosystem to discover. Remember, the smaller the boat, the better chance you have of getting into all the nooks and crannies with ease. As well as Tarpon, Redfish, and Bass, you can also target species such as Black Drum, Speckled Trout, Shark, Tripletail, Permit, and Ladyfish.

Here are our top tips:

  • The best equipment to have on board are spinning rods spooled with 8–20 lb line, and 8 wt fly rod outfits. These will help with a variety of species.

  • Fishing in Everglades City is also some of the best for Bass fishing. When going after these bad boys, have your shiners ready to go! Alternatively, another great method to reel them in is by flipping jigs.

  • Find Redfish in Florida Bay, Snake Bight, Garfield Bight, and more. These fish will respond well to jigging, live shrimp, and mullet. When targeting Snook and Tarpon you’ll want to use topwater plugs, flies, jigs, live pilchards, and shrimp.

  • Head after Cobia in the fall and winter at the tripod markers bordering the Everglades National Park for the best chance to find schools of them. Cast a light or medium plug rod and troll slowly to find the hot spots.

  • The best time to fish is early in the morning or late in the day with the rising or falling of the tide. Remember to bring your polarized sunglasses as these shallow waters are ideal for sight fishing.

Need to Know

Check the weather before you go. Hurricane season starts from June through to November, with winds picking up from mid-August to mid-October.

There have been mercury warnings for some Bass in northern Florida Bay. Double check online for the latest information regarding the current levels of mercury in fish here. Eaten once a week will not cause problems, but should not be done more than this on a regular basis while the warning is in place.

Rules and Regulations

If you’re fishing with a licensed captain in saltwater then you do not need to purchase a fishing license. Anglers fishing in freshwater need to buy a FL fishing license.

Budget

Everglades City fishing charters range in price, but you can expect to pay between $600–$800 for an 8 hour trip, while a 4 hour trip costs around $450 for 3 people.

Getting There

Everglades City is just 37 miles from Naples, a straight journey along the US 41-N. From Miami, jump on the US 41-S for 85 miles. The closest airports are Miami International Airport and Naples Municipal Airport.

Escape the urban jungle and explore these labyrinth waters today.

Everglades City
4.75
Based on 9396 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Everglades City Fishing Seasons

The waters are excellent for Amberjack, Sunshine Bass, Red, Black, and Gag Grouper, Kingfish, and Lane Snapper. Lows of  53°F and highs of 75°F will keep things fast-paced.

Come down to the Everglades City Seafood Festival for a three-day event of music, food, and fun. Largemouth Bass action heats up now. The Amberjack and Grouper action continues.

Join the locals at the Calusa Days event, showcasing 1,000 years of history, for a family day out. Or,  how about the Big Cypress Shootout reenactment? This is the last month for Amberjack, Black and Gag Grouper.

Jack Crevalle is awesome now, and Cobia is great for the month. Goliath Grouper and Spotted Seatrout get active. This is the last month for Sunshine Bass and Flounder until September.

Temperatures can reach 86°F so dress appropriately. Peacock Bass, Permit, and Shark fishing all get exciting now. Snook are everywhere as they fatten up for the spawning season.

Mutton Snapper gets exciting now, with species such as Barracuda and Goliath Grouper continuing to be awesome. Careful of the mosquitoes and no-see-ums – you’ll need plenty of bug repellant.

Snook continues being hot to catch as Tarpon has its last month of greatness. Thunderstorms are more likely to affect you getting out on the water this month.

This is the last month for epic Peacock Bass, Shark, Bluegill, and Permit hook-ups. Snook and Redear Sunfish are still great. Temperatures are reaching 89°F with over two weeks of rain expected.

Join in with “Hook’em in the Glades,” a fishing fundraiser tournament to support the local Everglades City School in their academic and athletic opportunities. Largemouth Bass, Sunshine Bass, and Cobia are picking up again.

The Miami Attractions Month of buy-one, get-one-free, will reach the Everglades too. As well as many attractions further up north, you can visit the Everglades National Park. Stone Crab season opens from October 15.

Black and Gag Grouper, Pompano, Ladyfish, and Lane Snapper all heat up again as the weather cools off. Head to the oyster bars for the best chance of catching Snook.

Amberjack and Black Crappie come back into focus, with King Mackerel and Largemouth Bass staying active still. Try to cast close to the mangroves, especially any fallen ones, for the best bite.

Everglades City Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Everglades City

"Nice guy but..."

Jeremy H. fished with Old Florida Guide Service - Everglades on July 22, 2018

Make sure you use A LOCAL GUID THAT KNOWS WHAT HES DOING!

Top Targeted Species in Everglades City

Redfish

Tarpon

Spotted Seatrout

Permit

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