West Palm Beach is the kind of town where you can spend your whole vacation fishing and not fish the same way twice. West Palm Beach fishing charters range from flats boat excursions for Snook and Peacock Bass to multi-day offshore adventures aboard some of the biggest cruisers you’ve ever seen.
The waters are so deep here that even a half day trip will give you a ton of options to work with. Battle big Sharks along the shoreline, drop some bait for tasty reef species, or wrestle with Mahi Mahi and Sailfish just a few miles offshore. Book in for longer, and the ocean’s greatest treasures are yours for the taking.
Don’t ignore the town itself, though. West Palm Beach is a great vacation spot even without its awesome angling. The sandy beaches, beautiful reserves, and a vibrant restaurant and bar scene will make you want to come back year after year. That’s exactly what most people do!
Some of the best fishing spots in West Palm Beach are only a few minutes away. This is good news, because you’re going to want to hit them all. There’s something here for everyone and deciding what to target is often harder than the fishing itself.
What better place to start than right where you cast off? These waters run along the length of the Southeast Florida and offer mile after mile of inshore fun. Redfish and Snook call these waters home pretty much year-round. Head up towards Palm Beach Inlet and you can also get on seasonal catches of Tarpon during the early summer months.
Heading out from Palm Beach Inlet, you’re immediately surrounded by a dozen active reefs. Spots like the Bridge Reef and the Playground will get you fishing in 100-200 feet of water within three miles of shore. Grab your biggest cooler and get ready for fish after fish, with Grouper, Snapper, Hogfish, and even Amberjack. There are also lots of Barracuda, so expect a few stolen catches.
Think the reefs are close to town? Wait till you get out to the Gulf Stream. These warm, rich waters can come within 10 miles of town, bringing big game pelagics within sight of land! Even on a half day, you can expect to see Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Sailfish, and Blackfin Tuna, depending on the time of year. You won’t want to come in when your time’s up, that’s for sure.
Dare to head out further (and we’re still talking 30 miles tops) you can hit awesome spots like Sailfish Alley, where local pros have caught and released 80 Sailfish in one day. Ditch the topwater action to fish the deep, and you could be dining on deep-water species like Tilefish, Barrelfish, Wreckfish, and even the king of the deep himself – Swordfish.
Canals & Lakes
But let’s dial things way in a moment. With all this deep-water action it’s easy to forget the incredible fishing found right here in town. Bass fishing in West Palm Beach is simply amazing, with Peacock Bass
swarming every available freshwater canal during their long summer spawning season. Largemouth Bass also love to hang out here, as well as the exotic Clown Knife Fish. West Palm Beach fishing guides offer walking, kayaking, and boat fishing tours of the town’s best spots.
How much does it cost?
The cherry on top of West Palm Beach fishing trips is the fact that they’re really pretty cheap. Freshwater trips cost under $300 for a half day, and saltwater trips aren’t much more. You can spend the morning on one of West Palm Beach’s great center consoles for around $400, or change up to a full day for only a couple hundred more. This gives you time to split your trip between the reefs and the Gulf Stream or track down the biggest billfish out there.
Looking for something a bit more exclusive? How about a 50-foot cruiser? High-end charter boats are taken to the next level here, offering 5-star service and absolute luxury. Half days usually cost between $600 and $700, depending on the size of the boat, and full days run somewhere around the $1200-$1500 mark. Expect the world from these incredible vessels and you won’t be disappointed.
With so many awesome species and such a large charter fleet, Palm Beach fishing guides have got their tactics down for every fish out there. From the shallow canals to the deep ocean currents, you’ll be fishing with an experienced captain with more than a few local tricks up their sleeve.
Deep Sea Fishing
West Palm Beach deep sea fishing
is different for every species. Whether you’re trolling for Blue and White Marlin, kite fishing for Sailfish, or fishing the abyss for monster Swordfish, quality equipment is a constant. You will usually be trolling dressed, brined Ballyhoo, but kite fishing is very much a live bait game, with Bluerunners and Goggle Eyes filling the wells of every offshore boat in town. Daytime swordfishing was pioneered in Southeast Florida and uses heavy electric reels, whole Squid, blinking lights, and enough lead to load a cannon.
The thought of fly fishing
West Palm Beach’s endless canals draws a lot of eager fly anglers to town. The mix of fresh and saltwater canals means that you can often target Snook and Bass without even changing spot! Big game fly fishing is also very popular, going after Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Sailfish offshore. You could be using anything from a 5-weight to a 12-weight, with a huge range of colors and shapes to tempt in whatever you’re targeting
Chumming the reef is a popular tactic on bottom fishing trips. Wake the reef up with a couple of frozen chum blocks, Then drift across it with chicken rigs of strip bait. On deeper reefs, you can have a lot of luck with a single rig of live bait. Pinfish is the common choice among local charter guides.
Need to know
All registered West Palm Beach fishing charters cover fishing licenses for everyone on board. For freshwater fishing or kayak trips, you will need to buy your own. You can do this online
ahead of your trip, or pick one up at a local tackle shop. Fly anglers will be pleased to know there are several fly fishing specialists operating in the area.