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Top Fishing Charters in Fort Myers

Fishing in Fort Myers

Fort Myers fishing is something special. With ample opportunities for those after a 'Backcountry Slam' (catching Snook, Redfish and Sea Trout all in one day), and one of the largest Tarpon populations in the southern USA, the city's temperate waters abound with the country’s favorite inshore game fish, no matter what time of year. If cruising the flats for infinite Redfish schools or raiding the mangroves for the elusive Snook sound like your kind of day out, expect to call the sunlit shores of Fort Myers your second home in no time!

Known For

Located on the mighty Caloosahatchee River and positioned within easy reach of Charlotte Harbour to the North and the Estero Bay to the South, Fort Myers is surrounded by some of Southwest Florida’s finest fishing areas. San Carlos Bay and Matlacha Pass are just around the corner, while the Pine Island Sound travels between Pine Island and a range of barrier islands. Beyond the islands, the Gulf of Mexico awaits, full of just the types of reefs and wrecks that Snappers, Groupers, and Amberjacks love.

What does that mean? Year round fishing action, and lots of it. It’s hard to say what type of fishing Fort Myers is most famous for, what with its stellar cast of species. The area’s expansive grass flats, mangrove-lined estuary systems, and deep channels make the ideal habitat for Trout, Redfish, and Snook, and it is not unusual to find a Goliath Grouper lurking in the inshore waterways. But what draws most fanatical fishermen here year on year is some of the most exciting Tarpon fishing Florida can offer. With a season lasting from mid April to mid August, Fort Myers Tarpon fishing is all about big fights and fast paced action. Shark fishing is another of Fort Myers’ highlights: even on the hottest of days, you can have a blast fighting these mighty creatures on the flats and shallows in the area. With Cobia passing through on their spring and fall migrations and big Permits setting up residence on the local reefs, this really is a true Floridian fishing experience.

But it’s not all about the fishing. Anglers will be sharing the waters with dolphins and manatees in the summer, and it’s only a short ride from Fort Myers to Sanibel and Captiva Island. And with Southwest Florida International Airport being only a short drive south of the town, this is one of the most accessible vacation destinations there is. 

Rules & Regulations

If fishing aboard a guided charter or a party boat with proper licensing, there's no additional fishing permit required.

Types of Fishing

Amazing fly and light tackle fishing for Redfish and Snook on the flats, with Tripletail being a great target from January for some light-hearted fun. Head offshore and fish over the reefs and wrecks for Amberjack, Snappers, and Groupers. Wade along the beaches in late spring for Snook, grapple with a Shark or Goliath Grouper in shallow water on heavy tackle, sight fish for Cobia, and go for the adrenaline rush of a lifetime in a battle with the mighty Silver King, or Tarpon.

Fort Myers
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Fort Myers Fishing Seasons

Enjoy southern Florida's mild winters on a January fishing trip in Fort Myers. Look for Trout and Redfish on the open flats and backcountry. Stone Crab season opens, inviting Tripletail around the marker buoys for a great light tackle fight.

Trout fishing remains very good, with Snook becoming more active towards the end of the month. The local reefs are home to tasty Sheepshead, giant Black Drum, and Gator Trout.

March in Fort Myers is a transitional month. Cobia start to appear around the local reefs, Permit can be found, and Red Grouper are caught offshore. Watch out for Spring Break crowds and windy weather.

April sees the gradual beginning of the Tarpon season, as the Silver King starts to move to the back bays and Fort Myers Beach. There is great topwater action on the flats and backcountry, with Gag Grouper, Cobia, and Permit nearshore.

Tarpon fishing really starts to heat up, with large schools congregating in about 20 ft of water about one to three miles from the coast. Snook gather on the beaches. This month is all about variety with great action nearshore too.

The weather starts to get hot and the rainy season sets in until September. Mid-day fishing concentrates on colder waters by creek mouths or targeting Sharks on the flats. Offshore, Snapper, Grouper, and Cobia are biting.

The weather gets even hotter, making fishing best around the jetties and piers early in the morning or in the channels and passes later in the day. Tarpon is migrating northwards but still very much available from Fort Myers.

Fishing for Snook and Tarpon starts to taper off around the beaches, although Snook may be caught on the flats as they travel towards the backcountry lakes. 

Fort Myers becomes less crowded in September as families take the kids back to school and hurricanes threaten. Water temperatures are still warm, so look for deep holes and shade, targeting Redfish, Snook, and Trout.

The main focus for Fort Myers fishing in October is Redfish. Big ones. They start to spawn in inlets and river mouths at this time of year. Sight fishing on the flats is exceptional, thanks to very low tides. Cobia starts coming south again.

The Redfish spawn continues, with excellent fishing available. Temperatures gradually start to drop, remaining extremely comfortable for fish and anglers. Big Trout start to show up on the flats and the Snook are getting fat.

With weather in the mid 70s and clear beaches, it is easy to see why winter is the high season for fishing in Fort Myers. This is the start of winter fishing, with flats fishing being phenomenal for Redfish, Trout, and Snook.

Fort Myers Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Fort Myers

"Half day trip with Captain Charles"

Thaddeus K. fished with Capt Charlies Fishing Charters on July 2, 2019

Read the reviews and book with the best. You'll not regret it.

"4 Hr"

Greg M. fished with Maxed Out Charters – Fort Myers on June 12, 2019

Ask exactly what is open to catch and what you can actually keep.

"4 hr afternoon Trip with Mike and chris "

Durwin Y. fished with Just Livin The Dream Charters 2 on April 23, 2019

Sunscreen sunscreen and a hat and have fun

"Outstanding experience"

Joachim Z. fished with Capt. Bill Walker's Fishing Charters on April 21, 2019

Stay inshore (Bay waters) with an experienced Capt.

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

Top Fishing Techniques in Fort Myers

  1. Fly Fishing
  2. Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Fort Myers





Snapper (Mangrove)

Snapper (Mangrove)



Spotted Seatrout

Spotted Seatrout



Grouper (Goliath)

Grouper (Goliath)

Jack Crevalle

Jack Crevalle

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