84 Fishing Charters
Top Fishing Charters in St. Augustine
Fishing in St. Augustine
With everything from tailing Redfish to ferocious Blue Marlin inhabiting the waters of this part of Northeast Florida, St Augustine fishing has something for even the most hardcore of anglers. What could be better than a fishing charter to complement a day of history? Combine exploring the cobbled streets of the oldest European-established town in the continental US with bonding with your friends and family in untouched nature. From history, architecture, and good weather, to unlimited days of salt- and freshwater fun, this town really does have it all.
Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, St Augustine has a range of angling opportunities right on its doorstep. A number of large marinas give easy access to the open ocean through the Saint Augustine Inlet, while flats and backcountry fishing are there to be explored via the Matanzas and Tolomato rivers, as well as the famous Salt Run to the west of the Anastasia State Park. This old shrimping town quickly developed a sizeable commercial fishing fleet, and now it’s time for recreational anglers to get in on the action.
Inshore fishing is strong year-round, with the flood tides being a phenomenon you don’t want to miss. Redfish is the main attraction in these waters, and they are joined by Trout and Flounder to make a Northeast Florida Slam a possibility almost every month of the year. Add Tarpon to the mix from June to September and you will realize that you don’t need to travel far to hook up on the fish of a lifetime in these waters. Wrestling with the ‘Silver King’ within sight of St Augustine beach is an experience you will never forget.
Want to fish the deeper waters? Travel out of the inlet on a fishing charter: Saint Augustine is surrounded by both man-made and natural reefs, which are the ideal home for tasty Snappers and Groupers. These honey holes also attract Amberjack, Cobia, King Mackerel, Sharks, and a host of other species who visit at various times throughout the year.
Head further offshore, and you will be able to access the migratory routes of Blue Marlin and Sailfish. This is one of the few places in Florida where Blue Marlin catches are relatively common, and the town even hosts its own Marlin club - the Northeast Florida Marlin Association (NEFMA). As if that wasn’t enough, Swordfishing is a well-established tradition in these parts, with famous faces such as Don Combs having developed the town into one of the most effective Swordfish fisheries in the state.
For those without a boat, a variety of St Augustine fishing piers will give you the chance to wet a line. Catch anything from a King Mackerel to a Tarpon from the St Johns County Ocean Pier on St Augustine Beach, or explore other options such as Lighthouse Park on Salt Run, or the Usina Boat Ramp Fishing Pier and the Vilano Beach Pier on the Intracoastal Waterway.
Rules & Regulations
No license for fishing is necessary if you’re fishing aboard a guided charter, party boat or other for-hire vessel which possesses a valid captain or charter boat license.
Types of Fishing
For deep sea fishing, most St Augustine fishing charters will troll with a mix of skirted and naked ballyhoo to get the attention of large Mahi Mahi and Wahoo, as well as Tuna, Sailfish, and Marlin.
St Augustine party boat fishing is a popular choice for smaller groups of anglers who don’t want to hire a whole boat to themselves. This will usually involve bottom fishing with bait for species like Snappers and Groupers, with King Mackerel and Amberjack also possible catches.
Pro tip: for some unforgettable light tackle or fly fishing, don’t miss St Augustine’s famous flood tides. These happen during the late summer and fall, especially during full and new moons. As water levels rise, they spill out over the coastal spartina grass, bringing hungry Redfish and Sheepshead onto extremely shallow flats. Here, you will be able to see the tips of Redfish tails moving through the water from over a hundred feet away. Honing in on and then casting to your target doesn't get much more exciting than this.
St. Augustine Fishing Seasons
Winter in St Augustine is all about clear skies and clear waters. This is the dry season, and it is great for sight fishing the flats Bring layers - temperatures range from the 30s at night to the 70s during the day.
Sight fishing inshore remains excellent, with Black Drum and Redfish being caught in large schools on the flats. Offshore, Wahoo and Tuna are biting well. The weather remains pleasant and dry.
The weather transitions to spring, and the fishing wakes up. Trout start to spawn, with bigger ones being caught. Jack Crevalle start to invade inshore and the backcountry, and Cobia start to appear.
Things really start to pick up offshore, with large numbers and large sizes of Mahi Mahi making their way back to the St Augustine docks. Rainfall is low and temperatures are pleasant at 70-80 degrees.
As the waters warm up, St Augustine experiences some of the best offshore fishing in Florida. Celebrate with the NEFMA Summer Shootout Tournament. The rainy season begins.
This is one of the best times and places to catch a Blue Marlin in Florida, with offshore fishing going crazy. Inshore, Tarpon arrive and will remain through September, as long as the waters stay warm.
Florida's tropical climate makes thunderstorms a possibility at this time of year in St Augustine. Don't let that put you off: Trout and Tarpon are biting inshore and big game is available further out.
The weather is hot: most St Augustine fishing charters will encourage morning charters to avoid storms and uncomfortable weather. The fishing is as good as ever.
Although this is usually the wettest month of the year, it has some big rewards for anglers. Sailfish can be found balling bait just 25 miles offshore and flood tides inshore make for amazing sight fishing.
Catch Trout as they spawn inshore and sight cast to tailing Redfish on the flats during a flood tide. The weather starts to cool dramatically, changing up the species caught offshore on a daily basis.
As the water temperature cools, big Wahoo start to invade the waters offshore from St Augustine. Troll for them at high speed with heavy lures and catch a monster - they can reach over 50 lbs!
The holiday season is the dry season in St Augustine, and with this comes clear waters and rewarding sight fishing for big Black Drum and Redfish. Wahoo and Tuna are biting offshore.