Known for its exclusive estates and pristine beaches, Palm Beach is exactly what most people imagine when they think “Florida”. There’s a lot more going on beneath the surface, though, nowhere more so than on the water. Palm Beach fishing charters can take you to a whole world of different habitats, from shallow creeks and hidden canals to the deep blue waters of the Gulf Stream and beyond.
Palm Beach fishing guides comb these waters in search of the best catch. Pick a fish, they’ll find you five. Blue and White Marlin and Sailfish top the big game guestlist, while delicious deep-sea species like Vermillion Snapper, Dusky Grouper, and Tilefish lurk below. Even right in town, you can find Snook, Tarpon, and Peacock Bass, all within casting distance of each other.
In fact, there’s so much going on that it’s easy to forget there’s a town here! Palm Beach has some amazing restaurants, parks, bars and yes, beaches. Make sure you save at least an hour or two to check them out between charters.
Palm Beach Fishing Spots
Palm Beach is surrounded by water in every direction, so there’s plenty of choice when it comes to fishing. Here are some of our favorite spots, to help you get the lay of the land:
Palm Beach Canals
Why travel to fish when you’ve got great fresh and saltwater canals flowing through the whole town? Palm Beach canal fishing can get you on Bass, Snook, and a ton of other great gamefish.
Just a couple of miles south of town, this is one of the best places to sample the area’s great Bass fishing, with easy parking and lots of water.
Lake Worth Lagoon
Lake Worth Lagoon separates Palm Beach from the mainland, so it’s right on your doorstep. Its shallow waters are full of Snook, Tarpon, and Redfish.
Head out past Palm Beach Inlet and you hit deep-water reefs just a few miles from shore. You can find some seriously tasty food fish here, such as Snapper, Grouper, and even Tilefish.
Named after its neat trick of funneling Sailfish right past the shore, this is one of the best fisheries for Atlantic Sailfish on the planet, and it’s an easy cruise away!
If you’re looking for the biggest fish in the sea, it doesn’t get much better than this. Blue and White Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna - they’re all waiting just 10-20 miles offshore.
Types of Fishing
So you looked at that list and said, “yes please, I’ll have it all”. Well, that’s awesome, you won’t regret it. If you do need to narrow it down a bit, you can normally expect to go on one of these three trips:
Light & Fly Tackle for Bass and Snook
With a mix of salt and freshwater and some top gamefish in both, there’s a lot to like about Palm Beach canal fishing. Local guides offer kayak, boat, or on-foot trips exploring these waters with fly or light spinning gear. There more than just two gamefish to fight, though. Tarpon and Redfish love the murky waters of the Lake Worth Lagoon, and you can find exotic invaders like Clown Knife Fish in freshwater canals.
With all of this, you’ll need a variety of tackle. Fly anglers should pack a stiff 8-weight for the Bass but will need something a lot stronger for the area’s Tarpon and even its Snook. There are several fly fishing experts that provide quality tackle if you don’t have room to bring all your own. Conventional anglers will also be catered for, with light and finesse spinning rods and a variety of plugs, spoons, and crankbaits to match the range of species.
Reef fishing for Snapper and Grouper
Palm Beach reef fishing is some of the most productive food fishing in the state. The main reason is that it gets so deep so fast. The floor drops 200 feet in no time and just keeps sinking after that. Chumming and drift fishing Palm Beach’s inshore reefs is great family fun and bags you a ton of tasty table fare like Snapper, Grouper, Hogfish, and Amberjack.
Head out further (and we’re only talking an hour’s cruise here) and you can try deep dropping for monster Snappers and Groupers. You’ll also find Tilefish, Barrelfish, Wreckfish, Gnomefish, and other weird and wonderful creatures. This is heavy tackle territory, with electric reels and blinker lights a common sight on the deepest reefs.
Deep Sea Fishing for Sailfish and Marlin
All these wacky bottom fish are fun, but if you want big fish that don’t look like they’ve been exposed to radiation or hit by a truck, there’s plenty of action on the surface. Palm Beach deep sea fishing starts so close to town you barely have time to take in the view and offers some of the best big game battles in the country. Sailfish are the local superstars, showing up in large packs just a few miles from shore. Make the long and perilous journey out to the Gulf Stream (usually no more than 20 miles) and you can find Blue and White Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo, and Mahi Mahi.
Most of the big game action focuses on trolling, with both lures and dressed baits bringing in their share of fish. Some boats have tuna tubes and can get you trolling bridled Bonito or Skipjack, too. Sailfish are the exception to the rule here and are normally taken on kites. Kite fishing is an iconic part of the Gold Coast sportfishing scene, and nothing gets big fins poking out of the water like skipping baits across its surface.
Need to know
Licenses are included on all Palm Beach fishing charters. If you’re fishing freshwater or from land, you’ll need to buy your own fishing license. You can find all the details and order yours here
. Some other important things to pack are a hat, shades, sunscreen, and an extra layer in case it gets cold. If you’re heading offshore, do yourself a favor and take some Dramamine before you go, especially if you’re not used to being on the water.