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Top Fishing Charters in Port Canaveral


Fishing in Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral fishing is famous for three things: its abundance, its diversity, and its de facto status as the best way to unwind after a vacation in Orlando, Florida. This might be one of the busiest ports in the world, but it’s surprisingly easy to escape the cruise liners and cargo ships. With the theme parks of Orlando under an hour’s drive away, miles of backcountry waters to get lost in, and some of the best deep sea fishing in Florida on the doorstep, Port Canaveral fishing charters tick all the right boxes.

Known For

Located on an inlet between the city of Cape Canaveral and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Port Canaveral is a major departure point for fishing charters and cruise ships alike. And it’s not hard to figure out why. If catching Bull Redfish in sight of the Kennedy Space Center sounds appealing, you know where to book your fishing trip.

This busy inlet connects the mighty Banana River with the Atlantic Ocean. Go west, and you’ll be in a wildlife-lover’s paradise. Explore the intricate mangrove-lined shorelines of Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach alongside Manatees, Pelicans, and Dolphins. Go east past the Canaveral Bight, and you’ll be right on the migratory route of the hottest species in the West Atlantic.

Not only is Port Canaveral naturally situated in one of the best places to go deep sea fishing in Florida. Human history has contributed to it becoming a must-do for anyone who rates catching as highly as they do fishing. You don’t have to go far off these shores to find yourself dropping your line above historical wrecks. The Pan Massachusetts and Cities Service Empire tankers were both sunk here in WWII. Nowadays, these underwater memorials are home to a thriving population of sea creatures, including top fishing targets such as Snappers, Groupers, and Amberjack.

But that’s not all. Both King Mackerel and the Silver King (Tarpon) swim past the local beaches on their annual migrations. Add Cobia and Bull Redfish to the mix, and you’ll find there’s one of Florida’s nearshore heavyweights around almost every month of the year. You’d better believe us - there’s nothing better than smoked Mackerel dip after a drag-screaming fight with these monsters.

What happens if you fish further out? Well, a full day trip offshore can usually take you up to 40 miles from the coast. Here, the list of potential species is hard to pass by: Mahi Mahi, Blackfin Tuna, Sailfish, and Wahoo are all waiting below the surface. But it’s once you travel 60-100 miles out that you can put the cherry on the cake. The Gulf stream runs within reach of Port Canaveral, and those who head to the ‘Other Side’ can experience it. It might require a 20 hour trip, but with Yellowfin Tuna and Marlin on the cards, it is well worth it. 

Rules & Regulations

If you are fishing aboard a licensed Port Canaveral fishing charter you will not be required to purchase your own fishing license. Please note seasonal restrictions apply to some fish species - consult your charter captain for up to date information. 

Types of Fishing

Fish inshore for anything from Spotted Sea Trout to Bluefish. There is something for aficionados of light tackle or fly fishing all year round. But if you want to a real thrill, come fishing in Port Canaveral in September. This is the time of Bull Redfish, who pose a real challenge to whoever dares tackle them!

Offshore, most deep sea fishing charters near Orlando will either troll or bottom fish, or do a combination of the two. Port Canaveral is no exception. Troll with natural or artificial bait for the likes of Mahi Mahi and Wahoo, or bottom fish for Warsaw, Red, Snowy, or Scamp Grouper, as well as a variety of Snappers and Amberjack. Go to the ‘Other Side’ and you could be catching big Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and even Billfish. Trolling is the name of the game here. Watch out - weather conditions can change rapidly, so make sure you are prepared!

If you can’t get enough of fishing once your charter is over, head to Jetty Park. Here, you’ll find a 1 200 foot fishing pier and a variety of amenities for everyone who has the itch to fish!

Port Canaveral Fishing Seasons

Come to Port Canaveral in January, and you'll understand why the Space Coast doesn't have a low season. Offshore, Sailfish, Tuna, and Mahi are biting. Windy? No problem. Stay inshore for Black Drum and Sheepshead.

It’s colder than usual, but it’s also southeast Florida, so we think you’ll be ok. Strong winds can make getting offshore a challenge, but if you make it out, you could catch anything from Blackfin Tuna to King Mackerel.

The inshore action heats up as the weather transitions into spring. Target Trout, Redfish, and Snook. Nearshore, Cobia starts to arrive on its migration. Don’t miss the the Cobia Madness Tournament at Sunrise Marina!

Snook fishing is on fire in the Port Canaveral area in April. Target them around the docks and mangrove islands. Take a deep sea fishing charter, and you could be catching King Mackerel, Amberjack, and Mahi Mahi.

Things start to get really exciting in May, with lots to catch on a charter or in a competition. Test your skills and try for a cash prize at the May Dolphin Tournament or the Central Florida Offshore Anglers Tournament!

It’s peak season, and oh my, will you know it when you come to the docks. Look for Mahi, Amberjack, Kingfish, and Grouper. Get inspired at the Canaveral Mac Attack - this is the best time of year to take home a smoker!

It might be hot out, but that doesn’t stop the fish. This is peak season for Tarpon fishing, with big Kingfish also migrating along the beaches close to Port Canaveral. Up for a challenge? Look for Sailfish and Wahoo offshore.

Expect the beaches to be packed all along the Space Coast. Our advice? Head out on the water first thing in the morning and catch your fill before the tourists even wake up. You'll get the best bite and beat the heat.

As the crowds disperse, fishing in Port Canaveral gets better than ever. The inshore fish are bigger than ever, with big Bull Redfish, Trout, and Black Drum all biting. Look for Cobia as it returns southwards from its migration.

If there is such a thing as a shoulder season in southeast Florida, this is it. Expect fewer crowds on the beaches and in the charter boats. Wahoo and Sailfish are found offshore, with Bull Redfish spawning inshore.

Make the most of the lull in the crowds and catch the biggest fish of your life on light tackle - we're talking big Bull Redfish. Expect choppy conditions offshore. If it's safe, head out to catch Sailfish, Wahoo, and Mahi!

Celebrate the festive season with smoked Mackerel! December means the Kingfish run, which makes for some of the best fun you can have on the water. Inshore, look for Pompano, Black Drum, Tripletail, and a whole lot more.

Port Canaveral Fishing Calendar

What People Are Saying About Port Canaveral

"Headed out to shark fish with Captain Shane."

Christopher Mccreless fished with OFishal Business Charters II on March 20, 2018

Do your research. Location, time, weather, etc., all contribute to the experience. We went night shark fishing. It was a lot of fun, but the sharks attacked the bait for the first couple hours and then they were gone. In my opinion, set up everything the best you can but then remember, it is fishing. Enjoy it, but remember you cannot totally control what happens. We had a great time though.

"3/4 day veterans trip with Captain Todd"

Brad Schofield fished with Spot Stalker Charters–Pt. Canaveral on March 14, 2018

Spend those extra few bucks and hire a larger charter boat on a nicer day

"Half-day Trip for Tripletail "

Minh Tran fished with Cutlass Crew Fishing Charters on March 2, 2018

If it's your 1st time, it's always best to get a local captain with years of fishing in the area. Fish aren't always in the same spot, and a quality captain will have multiple spots to accommodate the weather conditions, so you can enjoy the catching.
Port Canaveral
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Based on 6593 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Top Fishing Techniques in Port Canaveral

  1. 1 Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Port Canaveral

Cobia

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Amberjack