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Top Fishing Charters in Fort Pierce

Fishing in Fort Pierce

Fort Pierce fishing charters have a lot of luck. These fishing grounds are a colorful illustration of what a well-rounded fishery can and should look like.

Known for

On the one hand, the profuse waterways of the Indian River Lagoon continue to push the envelope when it comes to delivering bragging-sized specimens, with exquisite Redfishing on the north and prolific Snook sanctuaries commonly tapped further down south. Seasonal Tarpon abound and the world record for Speckled Sea Trout (17+lbs) was taken right off the local Little Jim Bridge, cementing the city as one of the finest Gator Trout repositories this side of the Sunshine State.

On the other hand, a flourishing ecosystem supported by a maze of natural reefs and deliberate wrecks depressed right off the coastline provide plenty of structure for feisty bottom fish including Grouper, Snapper, Triggerfish, Cobia, and plenty of others.

And if you’re ever curious as to what’s lurking beyond the temperate Intracoastal Waterway, expect to swiftly find yourself in the middle of tournament-tested Sailfish and Swordfish honey spots, with copious seasons for Tuna, Wahoo, Marlin and Bull Dorados as well. You name it, it’s in these waters!

So let’s have a look at what’s biting around the Sunrise City!

Fort Pierce fishing spots

Inshore

On inshore trips around Fort Pierce, you will mostly fish around inlets and sandy beaches. The Indian River Lagoon is the richest and the most obvious choice for both hardcore anglers and families with kids. Local guides operate bay boats and center consoles to make the most out of your and their time on the water. Flexibility is the key here. You will want to be able to get close to the fish and get yourself a tasty dinner.

The nooks and crannies right off Fort Pierce hide Redfish and Trout that put even the most seasoned anglers to shame. And, if you don’t want to weather choppy seas but are just looking for a casual time on the water - these inshore waterways are brimming with fish both north and south of the city.

In addition to Reds and Trouts that are regularly caught throughout the year, you can also find superb Snook fishing in Fort Pierce. Check out inlets, jetties, and intracoastal bridges during the night for some monster-size Snook. You’ll be in for an incredible fight. If you also want to do some nature watching while on the boat, head out in the morning hours.

Tarpon put up a majestic fight and are best caught in summer time. The locals take great pride in being able to fish for Tarpon 12 months of the year. If you head north towards the Vero and Canaveral beaches, you can find monster Tarpon.

And, if you want to get out the boat and go wade fishing for Trout and Snook, scout the Middle Cover Sand Bar. Pepper Park is another great place for Tarpon, especially in summer months and it fishes well for Jacks and Mackerel too.

Up to nine miles offshore

Want to move past inlets and jetties but not go past the federal waters mark? Then book a nearshore trip. These are a great way to spend your day on the water. How come? Simply put - with every mile you pass, the schools of fish seem to rise in numbers.

Nearshore waters can get you Red Snapper and Grouper. It’s a real delicacy, just pay attention to the season opening. And if you want a relaxing trip? Sit back and wait for Mackerel to take your bait as you go trolling. For more fun, try enticing ever-hiding Cobia.

Stan Blum Memorial Boat Launch is a popular place for both inshore and offshore fishing charters of Fort Pierce. It conveniently has little shops where you can purchase food, water, and other beverages you might want to bring onboard.

Fort Pierce is remarkable if you want pier fishing too. Once you get back exploring the inlets,  head to the Bear Point Pier. It produces excellent Snapper, Sheepshead, Mackerel, and Jacks.

What can I expect on a typical inshore trip?

When it comes to inshore waters and state water fisheries, there are several things that might be of help. First off, it’s fun for anglers of all ages and skill levels. From absolute beginners to die hard fishermen, you’ll see people get all hyped about targeting Redfish, Tarpon, Spotted Seatrout, or Snook. Not to mention the craze about Snapper during the open season. And, rightly so. Simply put, these fish are strong, tasty, and splash a lot when caught. You can keep them or release them, but one thing’s for sure - it’s a trip you and your kids will remember.

Depending on how skilled you are, you can choose a half day or a full day trip. Inshore and nearshore trips won’t go past the nine mile mark, but it’s really up to you and the captain to decide whether you want to stay around the inlets and fish for inshore tablefare or fare a bit further off to scout the bottoms for Snapper or do some trolling for Mecks.

Half day trips cost about 450 USD for private groups. This mostly means up to four anglers and pays off as you will have a captain by your side. You will find that most captains will share their tricks and tips and you will learn about different species and the marine life. You will have the boat to yourselves and the captain will help you decide where to go and what to catch.

Full day trips range around USD 600. You will have eight hours to explore these hot spots. And with all the fish around there, from Permit, Sheepshead, Trout, Redfish, Jack, Tarpon, Snook, Snapper, Grouper, and Mackerel, you won’t notice how fast time goes by.

As a rule, these trips include the fishing license and captains will provide all rods, reels, and tackle. You should bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, non-marking shoes, clothes in layers, plenty of water to stay hydrated, a camera, and your favorite food and drinks. The captains will most likely provide life vests for your little ones, and you can always consult with them before the trip.

As for the best season to fish Fort Pierce? Pretty much any time of the year. Summer is often the answer to that question, but local captains will tell you that Fort Pierce is so abundant that any given day will likely produce some fish.

Offshore

Fort Pierce offshore fishing charters have a lot to brag about. On an average day, you could be snatching trophy Mahis, Sailfish, Wahoos, and Tuna. The only questions is how far you’re willing to go.

And, just to be clear - you can easily be surprised by an odd game fish swimming closer to the shore as you’re trolling for Mackerel. But if you really want to look for your next best record - or state for that matter - board an offshore charter and head out to the gulf stream.

The west wall of the gulf stream can be between 20 to 40 miles from the Fort Pierce marina, sometimes even closer. Which is great! This means solid fishing even when the cold front hits the waters during winter time. On a full day trip you could head either north or south and hope to get a real gamer.

Nice Bull Mahis swim in the waters between 150 and 200 ft deep. This usually means that you need to head between 15 and 20 miles out. Sailfish swim nearby and are caught throughout the year. In winter months, they head south and are starving, so if you want a nice holiday gift, book a spot and go get that Sailfish.

You can do some nice bottom fishing for Snapper and Grouper around 70 to 90 ft deep waters, so basically passing the 10 mile mark. And if you want an impressive Kingfish, head to the reefs where the water is 60 to 80 ft deep and you can get yourself a fish of a lifetime.

What makes Fort Pierce a sweet spot for game fishing is that stellar fishing takes place in waters from 90 to some 230 ft deep. These fisheries lie about 15 miles offshore and can produce incredible results.

In summer time, Blackfin Tunas move around 10 to 12 miles offshore, followed by Sails and Mahi Mahi. If the weather’s nice and calm, December be can be as lucrative as July.

If you want to target the ocean’s top predator - Swordfish, you will need to head out more, meaning 20+ miles, preferably at night time. And, the trip can be ultra rewarding as you can also battle White Marlin, Black Marlin, Wahoo, and Mahi.

What will I be doing on an offshore trip?

Depends on what you want to get, you’ll meet the captain, get bait, and head straight out. Beginner anglers can also join the chase - it’s just the matter of how adventurous they are and how big fish they want to get. You will mostly put live bait in the water, do some trolling around the fisheries which can be a great way to spend the day. You can sit back and wait for the game to bite. And once they do, the adrenaline will be rushing! More experienced anglers know this feeling too well - it’s the thrill of the chase and these Mahis and Sailfish fight like warriors.

To use your opportunities the best, you should go for a six hour trip or more. A full day trip is the safest bet if you want to have enough time for fishing. It will take you up to an hour to start chasing your prey. A full day trip for a private group costs around USD 1200 and more, depending on what type of fish you want to target. Specialized trips may cost more, but can yield an unbelievable catch. 

You should equip well for these trips as you will be heading far out. If you’re prone to motion sickness, best consult with the captain about taking medication the night before.
Bring food and drinks, plenty of water, clothes in layers and some extra clothes, as well as sun-protection, a hat, and polarized sunglasses.

Rules and regulations

A fishing license is not required for anglers fishing aboard a guided boat or a for-hire charter, as long as the vessel has a valid charter captain or charter boat permit.

Types of fishing

Fort Pierce is a great place to see a variety of fishing techniques at work. From anglers standing on the pier to charters that fish near the gulf stream, fishing is diverse and altogether enjoyable, no matter how skilled you are.

Inshore

If you want to explore the seemingly endless inshore possibilities, you need to equip yourself well with bait and lures to stand a chance against the Reds, Trout, and other hard hitters.

Areas around bridges and jetties fish well for Snook. Stock on feather jigs to make your day on the water enjoyable and try to stay quiet. Snook are easily spooked and you don’t want to scare them away.

Redfish and Spotted Seatrout will go for live shrimp and soft baits. You can find them all around Fort Pierce, from more secluded fisheries to open inshore waters. First light fishing around top waters should be excellent for Trout, while Reds will also move around coves.

Tarpon are ferocious fighters, and fly fishing for them can be super lucrative. If you want to get them, the best live bait is live mullet, some shrimp, and pinfish, though they won’t say no to spoons or plugs. Sight casting is the most popular method.

Offshore

The best way to get Sailfish is to go trolling with some ballyhoo and circle hooks. You should make the fish come to the surface, so you might consider putting some squid on your outriggers and go trolling. Pay attention to the water and the second you spot the sail, get the rigged ballyhoo down to the fish and try to get it to take the bait. Kite fishing is also a popular method to get Sailfish.

Mahi are by no mean fussy eaters, so when they’re hungry, they will go for anything. Trolling works the best for them. When trolling for Kingfish around the reefs, use live sardines or threadfin.

If you want bottom fish, aim for Snappers and Groupers. Snapper bite well for squid, while Grouper will go for anything as long as you drop the bait deep enough - lobster or crab, they don’t mind it.

You want Marlin? Then stock on ballyhoo and go fast trolling. Their strength is legendary and their jumps even more awe-inspiring. It takes a skilled fisherman to get them, so you should find a charter captain and accompany him to the gulf stream.

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Fort Pierce Fishing Seasons

Mahi and Sailfish are fantastic this time of the year. Search for 100+ ft deep waters and get the bait going. Night-time Snook is fine and Pompano are there too.

Sailfish are here and there, but Mahi can be caught anywhere from 80 to 300 ft deep waters. Trout are on the chew inshore and so are Snook. Nice Mangrove Snapper swim at 60 ft.

Big Jacks, big Snook, and big expectations of Mahi offshore sum up March pretty well. The weather’s getting better and so is fishing. From Vero Beach to Ft. Pierce, Redfish are also biting nicely.

April offers nice Snook and Trout around mangrove shorelines. Soft bait does the trick for Redfish. Later in the month, Mahi and Blackfin Tuna are fine out there, at 130 ft.

Kingfish trolling produces nice results and Cobia are close behind. South jetty fishes well for Snook and there are decent Mangrove Snappers.

Bottom fishing continues with Snapper, Amberjacks, and Groupers biting. Tarpon rise in numbers so check out the jetties.

Trolling for Mahi Mahi should yield nice results. Inshore, Snook’s been spotted around the bridges. There are some Reds and Trout.

Swordfish time! Get your buddies and go for some proper deep sea fishing to get Swordfish. Mahi and Wahoo fishing is also brilliant.

Nice Sailfish and Mahi are caught offshore. You can also snatch some fine Snapper and Grouper. Around the reefs, Kingfish bite is still exquisite.

Inshore, Reds are biting well, while offshore charters spot Mahi and Sailfish. With the cold front, Snook fishing becomes excellent.

Redfish are a big thing now. Snook fishing around inlets is worth the trip. Offshore, Sailfish travel south looking to feed.

Kingfish are moving around the reefs, with Snook bite still solid inshore. Far out, you can get Mahi and Sailfish. There are many Trout and Pompano too.

Fort Pierce Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Fort Pierce

"Half day trip with Captain Jonathon"

Karinda Ross fished with Colossal Catch: The Reel Experience on July 23, 2018

I’m too inexperienced to recommend anything lol.

"Fishing with Richard"

Daniel Pena fished with Fins Sport Fishing on June 15, 2018

Definitely look up Captain Rich on the Fins charter . These guys will put you on fish , they will have my business every year !!!

"1/2 day trip with Captain Jon"

Miriam Bednarczyk fished with Colossal Catch: The Reel Experience on June 14, 2018

It was a hot day and one to be patient, but the captain’s determination and the eventual excitement of the catch, made it a great day on the water.

"Half Day Trip with Geoff Horowitz"

Lisa Doidge fished with Capt Geoff Horowitz Inshore Fishing on March 8, 2018

Probably to go ahead and book a charter that furnishes equipment and bait and offers to clean them also.

Top Fishing Techniques in Fort Pierce

  1. Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Fort Pierce

Snapper (Mangrove)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Snook

Nearby Fishing Destinations