Deep Sea Fishing in Fort Myers, FL
Known as the idyllic setting to land a ‘Backcountry Slam’ and go home with Snook, Redfish and Sea Trout on a same day, not many dare explore what lies far offshore Fort Myers in the Gulf’s deep waters. There is certainly wonder about what you could reel in once you hit the blue waters, but it’s not the first thing that comes to mind. However, if you’re adventurous enough to explore the offshore reefs, you’ll be in for a really sweet treat.
What and where to catch
If you head to the offshore reefs, some 20 miles from the coast, you can explore the ocean floor and get Lane and Mangrove Snapper, as well as Amberjack, and some Cobia.
Further out, at 30 miles from the shoreline and stretching up to 75 miles offshore, a network of reefs and wrecks are home to top-class pelagics and bottom dwellers, including Mahi Mahi, Gag, Goliath, Red, Black, and Scamp Grouper, Amberjacks, Snapper, and Cobia. And for some excellent trolling action - there are King, Cero, and Spanish Mackerel.
How to get these fish to bite?
If you’re looking for a Grouper bite, get pinfish ready and make sure to drop them deep enough. Gag and Goliath Grouper are the most common species off Fort Myers and you will find many anglers lined up to hop onboard and get going. Grouper are voracious and will take your bait in a split second. April and May are excellent time to get them over reefs and wrecks.
Up for some trolling? Then go chase Mackerel. They are fussy and you better have quality fresh or frozen bait to entice them, but it is going to be a challenge to get them hooked.
Deeper waters will also reward you with Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna. They love live bait, so you can do some chumming with pinfish or Bonita to spice things up, and then use outriggers and troll until you feel the rods bend. You’ve gotta move fast if you want to stand a chance. For some more niche methods, you can also do some kite fishing.
To get a Blue or White Marlin, you need to head far offshore to waters deep from 600 to 1000 ft. Some charters will offer the Bahamas trip and take you out for several days of fishing to have solid chances of getting one. Marlin are fast and merciless, and seeing them jump out of the water leaves no one indifferent. Fast trolling with live bait (Tuna and Skipjacks) should do the trick.
Sailfishing requires knowledge and experience, so find a captain who’s done it before. Kite fishing or fishing with dredges to imitate a school of Sailfish’s prey is a proven method to yield the prize.
Top Targeted Deep Sea Fishing Species in Fort Myers
- Size 5 to 20lbs
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck