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Top Fishing Charters in Matlacha

Fishing in Matlacha

Matlacha fishing charters will take you through the grass flats of the Matlacha Pass into the vast open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Its sub-tropical climate and excellent year-round fishing make this destination a prime location for a family getaway.

Matlacha is a colorful and eclectic fishing village with a lot of pizazz which also parallels its unique location along the Gulf Coast. The fishing in Matlacha is diverse, dynamic, and exciting, and has something for everyone regardless of your level of experience.

Top Fishing Spots

Matlacha’s inshore fishing is among some of the best you’ll experience in Southwest Florida. This small island is situated in Matlacha Pass, east of Pine Island and west of Cape Coral. This area hosts a variety of species and opportunities for all types of anglers to get hooked up. Whether you’re looking to fly fish in the bay for Tarpon or go out into the Gulf to troll for pelagics, Matlacha has got the perfect mix of charters to give you what you’re looking for.

Matlacha Pass

Matlacha Pass is an aquatic preserve, brimming with marine life. This stretch of water between Charlotte Harbor and San Carlos Bay contains productive oyster bars, mangrove islands, and seagrass flats. This makes the area a great habitat for inshore species like Redfish, Black Drum, Speckled Trout, Jack Crevalle, Sheepshead, Cobia, Snook, and Sharks. Morning trips provide quite the exhilarating experience with Flounder, Catfish, and Ladyfish making an early bird appearance right around sunrise.

Trips in Matlacha Pass are kid-friendly and excellent for family trips. It won't take long to reach some of the top fishing spots, so even a half-day trip can reap many great catches. Evening and night fishing can also produce some great opportunities for reeling in the likes of Stingray, Spanish Mackerel, Pompano, Gag Grouper, and many more.

The Matlacha Bridge

Also known as "The World's Fishingest Bridge," this area has become a popular fishing spot over the years. You can catch all the inshore favorites here that Southwest Florida is known for. The current under the bridge is calm yet stronger than the surrounding waters, so your chances of a successful trip are pretty darn good. This is also a great option for families looking to get the best bang for your buck while staying close to shore.

Another affordable experience is kayak fishing, which has become extremely popular within the last decade and is a great way to fish the shallow waters around the bridge. There are a number of guides ready to take you on this exclusive adventure and put you on the fish of your dreams.

Gulf of Mexico

If you’re feeling adventurous and would like to explore the waters beyond Matlacha Pass, this area hosts a range of offshore fleets that will take you out into the Gulf to target big game species. Whether its bottom fishing for Amberjack, Grouper, and Snapper, or trolling for Kingfish and Mahi, you won’t be disappointed. These trips cater to avid anglers with strong sealegs who don’t mind staying out for 8–10 hours to increase their chances of a big catch.

What You Need to Know

All FL saltwater guides are licensed to cover everyone aboard, so no need to pick up a separate fishing license. If you’ll be fishing in any freshwater or brackish water areas, however, be sure to purchase one online or at a local retailer.

Bait and tackle are usually included as well. Just be sure to pack some snacks, drinks, a cooler for your catch, sun protection, and dramamine if you tend to get seasick. Life jackets are also usually covered, including kids sizes, but be sure to check with the captain ahead of time.

Matlacha has got a wide range of opportunities available, from kayak fishing inshore to trolling out past Pine Island. Pick your charter, invite the family, and start planning your adventure today!

Based on 14040 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Matlacha Fishing Seasons

Trout fishing is solid throughout January. Florida’s mild winters keep the water temperatures in the mid-to-high 60s, so you can expect to target other inshore species as well, including Redfish, Tripletail, and Sheepshead.

Don’t let the winter blues hold you back. February provides good action for Sheepshead and Tripletail, as well as Redfish and Trout. If your skills are on point, you may even be able to court the occasional Mangrove Snapper.

Water temperatures begin to warm up so bigger fish start to come out of hibernation and show up closer to shore. Trout increase in size and quantity, as well as Black Drum and Redfish. Other likely catches may include Cobia, Jack Crevalle, and Grouper.

It’s time for Tarpon fishing, so book a fly fishing trip for the ultimate back bay showdown! Snook, Permit, and Mangrove Snapper start to show up in numbers as well, creating a fishing frenzy in the mangroves and backcountry flats.

As water temperatures reach the mid-to-high 70s, the variety of fish increases. Redfish, Tarpon, Trout, and Snook fishing remain hot with the chance of catching various Grouper and Snapper species. Other targets include Ladyfish, Tripletail, Cobia, and even the occasional Barracuda.

Temperatures heat up, making the fish hide out in shady areas. Mangrove, Mutton, and Yellowtail Snapper, as well as Goliath Grouper, Ladyfish, Tripletail, and Cobia are willing to take the bait. Head a little further out from the Pass and target Hogfish and Black Grouper while drifting above underwater structures.

July marks the peak of the wet season, but no need to worry, rains come and go quickly. The best time to go fishing is in the morning while fish congregate around the Matlacha Bridge. Permit and Jack Crevalle are coming in hot, as well as Tarpon and Mangrove Snapper.

The wet season continues so be sure to check the forecast before planning your trip. If you avoid the storms, offshore bottom fishing produce some great opportunities for Grouper and Snapper. Night fishing for Snook around the bridge or in the flats is also a great option.

The rainy season starts to wind down but be on the alert for hurricanes. Cold fronts start to roll in but water temperatures still remain nice and warm for Redfish and Black Drum to make their comeback right in time for fall. 

Tides are low, making October perfect for flats fishing. Redfish, Black Drum, and Snook flood the waters of Matlacha Pass, granting anglers with premium action on light tackle. Head further out and troll Kingfish and Cobia or bottom fish for Amberjack and Grouper.

Strong cold fronts continue to roll in which bring Tarpon fishing to a halt. Cobia start to migrate southward along the coast but you can still target them in nearshore waters. The Goliath Grouper catch is still good, as well as Amberjack, Kingfish, and Barracuda.

Inshore fishing is prime time and Snook, Redfish, and Black Drum take the spotlight. Calmer seas will allow you to fish further out as well, targeting the likes of Gag, Red, and Black Grouper.

Matlacha Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Matlacha

"Fishing with David"

Ronald P. fished with Davey Dee’s Charter (Warfish) on March 9, 2019

Expect experienced guides. Excellent service and a lot of fish.

"Really a nice fishing trip"

Clifford B. fished with Maxed Out Charters on March 8, 2019

Bring sun tan lotion and plan for a great trip.

"Half day"

Harry F. fished with Inshore Excursions LLC - Matlacha on November 7, 2018

Just go and have fun..come back with your fish stories. HA!

"Afternoon with Captain Mike "

Dave S. fished with Inshore Excursions LLC - Matlacha on April 4, 2018

Plan on the unexpected which makes the experience that much better.

Top Targeted Species in Matlacha

Snapper (Mangrove)

Snapper (Mangrove)





Grouper (Gag)

Grouper (Gag)





Grouper (Goliath)

Grouper (Goliath)

Shark (Blacktip)

Shark (Blacktip)

Nearby Fishing Destinations

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