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Top Fishing Charters in Pensacola

Fishing in Pensacola

Pensacola seems custom-built for awesome angling. Sheltered bays, bustling reefs, deep bluewaters – the city has it all, with a large charter fleet to match. Pensacola fishing charters offer trips tailored to each fishery. All you need to do is choose. That’s easier said than done, though, so here’s a summary of your top options.

Inshore Fishing Charters: Fun for Everyone

Inshore charters are the perfect all-rounder. Kids and beginners will have a blast reeling in tasty Sheepshead and Flounder. More confident anglers can battle big “Bull” Redfish and “Gator” Trout. You can even find serious sport fish like Tarpon and Pompano – ideal for fly fishing. All this, in sheltered waters just a stone’s throw from town.
 
Inshore fishing charters usually last 4–6 hours and cost around $100–$150 per hour. Some captains offer shorter “Catch and Release” trips to give you a taste of the area’s angling. However, we’d recommend at least a half day trip for the real Pensacola inshore experience. Time really flies out on the water.

Bottom Fishing Charters: Catch a Feast

Pensacola is the “Red Snapper Capital of the World.” That’s reason enough to go bottom fishing here. And Snapper won’t be your only catch by a long shot. The reefs and wrecks offshore are home to Grouper, Triggerfish, Cobia, Amberjack, and so much more. What do they all have in common? They’re delicious!
 
Even complete beginners will enjoy bottom fishing as long as you’re comfortable on boats. They usually last 6–8 hours, with the option to troll for Kingfish on the way out for extra action. Prices vary from $100 to $200 per hour based on the size of the boat and whether it has permits to fish in federal waters where the biggest fish live.

Deep Sea Fishing Charters: Here Be Monsters

This is where things get serious. The deep sea fishing Pensacola has access to is some of the best in the Gulf. It’s a long run – at least 30 miles to reach the best fishing grounds. But once you get there, you’ll be in for the fight of your life against Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Sailfish, and the lords of the deep: Marlin.
 
Deep sea fishing charters start at eight hours. This gives you enough time to take on Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and big King Mackerel. However, if you want to take on real sea monsters like Sailfish and Marlin, it’s worth going for a 10 or 12-hour trip. It takes a lot of fuel to get offshore, so these trips usually cost $150–$200 per hour.
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Pensacola Fishing Seasons

January in Pensacola means gin clear waters and some good fishing if you know where to look. Search for Speckled Trout and Flounder in the surf, Bull Reds off the beaches, and Sheepshead in the bays.

Pensacola inshore charters target Speckled Trout in the rivers and bayous, where the water can be very clear. Pompano roll into the surf as Spanish Mackerel appear in the bay.

Fishing conditions are on the up as spring arrives. Fish for large female Trout with big topwater plugs in the shallow flats or sight fish the beaches for Redfish and Spanish Mackerel. Cobia arrive in late March.

The Cobia migration starts for real. They are great fun to catch when sight fishing along the beaches. Speckled Trout are caught in Pensacola Bay and slot Redish are caught around grass flats and docks. Look for Pompano on the beach.

The big news in Pensacola this month is the arrival of King Mackerel in Pensacola Bay. Amberjack is caught nearshore and slot-sized Redfish is found in the Choctawhatchee and Pensacola Bay system. 

Most people fishing in Pensacola are on the lookout for one thing: Red Snapper. Both state and federal waters are open. Otherwise, catch King and Spanish Mackerel in the inshore passes and enjoy the Redfish bite.

July means plenty of variety for anglers in Pensacola. Adventurous types will enjoy battling Sharks in shallow water. Cobia are caught around the reefs as they return from their spawning run. 'Chicken Dolphin' is also found here.

August in Pensacola is red hot. Catch a 'Garbage Can Slam' inshore with light tackle fun to be had for Bluefish, Ladyfish, Spanish Mackerel, and Sharks. Amberjack are finally open in federal waters.

With humid weather and consistent rain showers in the afternoons, most Pensacola fishing charters will fish early in the day. Catch slot Redfish sheltering around the docks and small Mahi Mahi over the nearshore reefs. 

October is all about giant schools of big Bull Redfish. At this time of year they arrive from the Gulf to spawn around the passes. Sight fish for them on calm sunny days to try some of the best fishing in the Panhandle.

The Running of the Bull Reds continues - join the fun for unforgettable fishing and extreme bragging rights. Lots of Flounder are caught around deep structure in the bay as they make their way to their breeding grounds in the Gulf.

As the temperature drops, you begin to find large Speckled Trout in the bayous and rivers, while some huge Redfish remain around the beaches. Complete a Grand Slam by catching Flounder on the nearshore reefs. 

Pensacola Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Pensacola

"Life's A Beach (In Florida)"

Paul H. fished with Hooked On Fishing Charters on July 24, 2019

Get a Condo or a hotel with a kitchen & stay awhile.

"Great Bay Trip"

Nathan W. fished with Capt.Glenn Flowers Pensacola Fishing Charters on July 22, 2019

Caught a lot of fish. Sizes were down but caught a ton of fish.

"My 4 hour trip was awesome!!!! A lot of Snappers and Bullhead Reds...Very,very knee on where to fish in the bay.Money well spent!!!"

Mark A. fished with Capt.Glenn Flowers Pensacola Fishing Charters on June 28, 2019

Book with Captain Glenn Flowers..Adults or kids!!!

"The First-ever fishing in Pensacola"

Shawn B. fished with Rooster Tail Fishing Charters on June 22, 2019

Yes this is the best place for first timers.

What would you recommend to anglers fishing in Pensacola, Florida for the first time?

Top Types of Fishing in Pensacola

  1. Inshore Fishing
  2. Offshore Fishing

Top Fishing Techniques in Pensacola

  1. Deep Sea Fishing
  2. Fly Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Pensacola

Snapper (Red)

Snapper (Red)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Amberjack

Amberjack

Redfish

Redfish

Cobia

Cobia

Triggerfish (Gray)

Triggerfish (Gray)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Snapper (Mangrove)

Snapper (Mangrove)

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