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Fishing in Jacksonville

Fishing in Jacksonville Florida comes naturally to the locals. Located at the mouth of the mighty St Johns River and facing out onto the Atlantic Ocean, this northeastern Floridian town has both salt and freshwater in its blood. With a whole range of options within sight of downtown Jax, what are you waiting for?

Known For

There’s a reason why Jacksonville is home to the biggest Kingfish tournament in the whole of the Southeast. These waters are home to bonafide monsters, with record-breaking Mackerel coming in alongside big Cobia, huge Redfish, and even impressive sizes of Largemouth Bass.

With rivers, inlets, offshore wrecks, and so much more just about every type of maritime feature can be found in these parts. What better way to get in on the action than teaming up with a local expert aboard any one of the local Jacksonville fishing charters?

Pick an inshore charter, and two of your top targets will likely be the notorious Redfish and Spotted Seatrout. These energetic bait busters can be found romping through the expanses of St John’s River, Mill Cove, and the Intracoastal Waterway. If you want to haul in a huge Bull Redfish within site of a major metropolis, this is the place for you.

As if that wasn’t enough, you will also most likely stumble upon Flounder, Yellowmouth Trout, Black Drum, Ladyfish, Bluefish, Sheepshead and much more as you peruse the scenic shallow waterways. This part of the world is said to have some of the best backwater fishing in the whole of Florida.

Tempted? We don’t blame you. And seeing as some of the most effective Jacksonville fishing spots are also some of the most beautiful, this is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of city living. Check out the Nassau Sound Fishing Bridge, which is only accessible through Amelia Island State Park.

Journey out into the Atlantic, and you will be faced with a lot more than just Mackerel - not that that’s anything to complain about. Jacksonville is en-route for many migratory species, including Tarpon and Cobia. And when it comes to deep sea fishing, Jacksonville Florida can serve up a selection that will spark the imagination of any die-hard Floridian. This may involve taking a fishing trip that lasts a full day, but with Sailfish, Wahoo, and Blackfin Tuna at hand, trips to the Gulf Stream are most certainly worthwhile.

But it’s not all about the salt life. When the bite is slow offshore, freshwater fishing in Jacksonville Florida is hot. The waters south of downtown Jax are famous for Largemouth Bass fishing, while Bluegills, Catfish, Striped Bass, and Hybrid Stripers are also on the cards. Why not make a day of it at the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve? 

Rules & Regulations

Guests aboard a guided boat in these parts do not need to buy a fishing license for saltwater - fishing charters in Jacksonville Fl cover this for you. But if you are fishing freshwater or on some public piers, shorelines, and bridges, you will need to have the appropriate fishing license.

Types of Fishing

Saltwater fishing in Jacksonville can mean anything from throwing topwater plugs to Spotted Seatrout inshore to sight fishing for Redfish in the flats. Offshore, and trolling and bottom fishing become the name of the game. Don’t miss the Cobia migration in late spring. This is only rivalled by the explosive Tarpon action you will find in August and September.

Looking for something different? Jacksonville fly fishing can take you exploring the grass flats and wetlands for tailing Redfish or even have you hooking up on a tasty Sheepshead.

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Jacksonville Fishing Seasons


The best thing about fishing in Jacksonville in January is that although it may be cold, the water is very clear. Fishing inshore is great for Sheepshead and Bluefish, while Black Sea Bass is being caught on the offshore reefs.


Battle the colder weather and get out on the water. Look for Redfish schooling in the creeks, around the jetties, and in the Intracoastal Waterway. Black Drum and Sheepshead are also biting well.


March is the month of big Black Drum in Jacksonville, and most inshore charters will devote a lot of time to catching and releasing the bigger breeding fish. With the water heating up, this is a great time to get out and about.


Winter fishing is now well and truly behind us and the warmer waters attract bait and a great variety of fish. Head out with light tackle and target Ladyfish, Spanish Mackerel, and Jack Crevalle. Look for Cobia at the end of the month.


The fishing picks up even more. Spanish Mackerel, Ladyfish, and Redfish are all biting inshore, while Cobia is in full swing nearshore. Fan of big fish and small boats? Don't miss the Jacksonville Kayak Fishing Classic.


The ocean water warms up, nearly hitting the 80s mark. Saltwater moves up the river, meaning Redfish and Trout can be caught up to 20 miles upstream. Nearshore, look for Kingfish, Cobia, and Tarpon within 9-10 miles. 


Be quick on your toes in Jacksonville in July. Fish in the morning to miss the storms and look for Sharks and Tarpon in the inlet and Bull Redfish in St Johns River. Don't miss the Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament!


August means big fish and excitement in Jacksonville. What it doesn't necessarily mean is lots of eating fish. Charters this month will often involve battling with mighty Sharks nearshore or Bull Redfish in the inlet.


Fishing starts to diversify again in September. Look out for Tarpon in large numbers as they school from Fernadina to Matansaz Inlet. Offshore, Sailfish is biting 25 miles out.


In October, there are two words on the lips of every angler in Jacksonville: Bull Redfish. Big Reds are spawning in the flats - watch out for their spotted tails as you pole or wade towards them and practice your cast.


November is a great time to fish in Jacksonville. As the waters cool, the baitfish gather together as they begin their southerly migration. This attracts a large number of enjoyable inshore species, as well as the big Redfish.


With Redfish in clear waters and Sheepshead and Black Drum around the jetties, there's plenty to take your bait. And with plenty going on nearshore and offshore, the festive season will be far from boring.

Jacksonville Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Jacksonville

Half day with captain bill had a blast very cool experience.
Tommy C. fished with Hooker Charters & Guide Service on May 23, 2020
Be patient when setting your hook, some fish you just have to let them go with it a pick up and real instead of snatching
3/4 day trip with Captain Dennis
Stephen B. fished with Sea Dancer Charters on March 19, 2020
There are lots of choices, so choose what you're most interested in.
Half day with Richard Bloom
Andy L. fished with Northeast Florida Fishing Charters on July 31, 2019
Book a private charter it's a much better experience.
July fishing trip
Robert M. fished with Sea Dancer Charters on July 15, 2019
I watched this guy work with other captains who were much younger than him and obviously have learned from him. They have a community that work with one another to help each other catch the best that they can catch. This is the guy to go for.
Half day with CPT David
Vonce I. fished with Backwater Fishing Adventures on July 13, 2019
The type of fishing we did was backwater with a depth from 3ft to 20ft. The fishing in the backwater was better than expected. So, yes I would recommend fishing in Jacksonville.
Red Snapper Fishing!
Robert H. fished with Epic Offshore Fishing on July 12, 2019
Great opportunity to fish and enjoy just a little of what the Atlantic Ocean has to offer.
Half day with caption Dennis
Mela S. F. fished with Team Buck Rogers Fishing Charters on July 5, 2019
Worth the money and experience deep sea fishing
Full day trip with Captain Robert
Scott M. fished with Fishbuster Charters on June 16, 2019
Make sure you have a helper. When they get to biting, it can be one after another. Always good to be able to keep up.

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