Fort Myers

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Fishing in Fort Myers

Hop aboard a Fort Myers fishing charter for some of the best fishing Florida has to offer! Located on the stunning Caloosahatchee River, with Charlotte Harbor and the Estero Bay within easy reach, it’s easy to see why Fort Myers is an inshore fisherman’s paradise. The Matlacha Pass and the Pine Island Sound are at your fingertips, and Gulf waters are a short boat ride away.

If you’re looking for a Backcountry Slam (catching Redfish, Snook, and Speckled Trout in a day) you’ve come to the right place! The shallow waters are home to Tarpon as well, which is a true Fort Myers staple. A half day trip will give you enough time to explore these shallow waterways, or you can opt for a specialized trip targeting a specific species like Tarpon or Sharks.

The waters around the reefs and wrecks of the Gulf get pretty deep – and the deeper the water, the bigger the fish! Visit them for a chance to battle big Snapper, Grouper, and Amberjack. Make sure to book a trip that will have you spend a full day or longer on the water in order to really maximize your chances of breaking some records.

To enjoy this prolific fishery, hit the docks of the Caloosahatchee River at Fort Myers Shores for your pick of charters ready to take you out. You can also head to the nearby Punta Rassa or Fort Myers Beach where there’s never a shortage of charters.

Rules & Regulations

If you’re planning on hiring a professional charter, you don’t have to worry about the fishing license, as the captain will provide it for you. Since there are specific regulations when it comes to certain species, hiring a reputable guide is the best way to ensure you’re fishing legally.

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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 feet 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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Top Fishing Techniques in Fort Myers

  1. Fly Fishing
  2. Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Fort Myers

Snook

Snook

Redfish

Redfish

Snapper (Mangrove)

Snapper (Mangrove)

Tarpon

Tarpon

Spotted Seatrout

Spotted Seatrout

Cobia

Cobia

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Grouper (Goliath)

Grouper (Goliath)