All at Sea: 10 of the Best Fishing Spots in Florida

best fishing spots in florida

Florida is known as the “fishing capital of the world” for a good reason. It is estimated that about 2 million people visit Florida each year to go fishing.

You can catch anything from red drum and tarpon to sailfish and grouper. 

Florida is surrounded by water, so how do you know where the fish hang out?

Keep reading this guide to discover ten of the best fishing spots in Florida that you can drop a line in and catch a monster fish.

1. Destin

Destin is home to some of the most crystal clear beaches in the world. It doesn’t get the nickname “Emerald Coast” for no reason. 

It is a popular tourist destination for many reasons, including fishing and recreational activities. Destin is widely considered one of the best fishing towns in Florida by many.

Being home to some of the best saltwater fishing offered in the United States, Destin is known as “the luckiest fishing village.” Take a stroll down Harbor Boardwalk, and you will find over 100 charter boats waiting to take you out on all different fishing excursions.

You can stay in one of the most popular fishing spots in Destin, Choctawhatchee Bay, or you can head out further to deeper water.

Common Fish You Will find

  • Redfish
  • Spanish mackerel
  • Red snapper
  • Grouper
  • Sailfish
  • Tarpon
  • And shark

Destin is a great spot to vacation, and the fishing is perfect for everyone – from amateurs to professionals.

2. Florida Keys

The Florida Keys consist of 125 miles of islands at the southern tip of Florida and is home to some of the most unique fishing in the world. 

The only difficult thing about fishing in the keys is determining what spot you are going to pick.

Key West is a favorite among fishers, being one of the best saltwater fishing spots in Florida. The calm waters and flats surrounding the island make it the perfect place to start your fishing. Many people will rent a boat and explore the channels of Cudjoe Key for a fishing experience of a lifetime.

Common Fish You Will Find

  • Snook
  • Tarpon
  • Yellowtail snapper
  • Lemon shark
  • Grouper
  • Barracuda 
  • And bonefish

Each island in the Florida keys has its own unique fishing experience that offers all different kinds of fish.

3. Lake Okeechobee 

Lake Okeechobee is the largest lake in Florida and is a freshwater fisherman dream. The lake is massive at 730 square miles, making it the second-largest natural freshwater lake in the United States.

It holds more fishing tournaments than anywhere else in Florida and has also been deemed the “black bass capital of the world.” 

There is a path conveniently located around most of the lake, making it easy for fishers to access. It is recommended to talk to locals or charter fishermen here to learn about some of the best spots to find fish.

Common Fish You Will Find

  • Largemouth bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • And sunfish

The best way to fish on Lake Okeechobee is by boat to get into the various fishing holes present on the lake.

4. Tampa Bay

There are so many different spots to fish in Tampa Bay. Clearwater and St. Petersburg both offer not only pristine beaches but also some of the best Florida gulf coast fishing has to offer. 

No matter what time of year you visit, you are are sure to catch something. From numerous piers to charter boats, you can find somewhere to drop a line in and catch some awesome fish.

Offering 400 square miles of abundant sea life, Tampa Bay is a favorite spot for fishers all over the world.

Common Fish You Will Find

  • Red drum
  • Black drum
  • Snook
  • Tarpon
  • Jack
  • Red snapper
  • Grouper
  • And blackfin tuna

If you find yourself in the Tampa Bay area, the Sunshine Skyway bridge offers an excellent spot to go fishing for grouper and snook.

5. Stuart

Stuart is another popular spot for sport fishing and has even been named the “sailfish capital of the world.” 

Whether you like fishing off of piers and bridges or would rather fish from the inlets, Stuart offers it all. 

Common Fish You Will Find

  • Sailfish
  • Tarpon
  • Barracuda
  • Blackfin tuna
  • Dolphin
  • Bonito
  • And flounder

If you are looking to catch snook in Stuart, the St Lucie River is the only place you can find five subspecies

6. Panama City

Panama city, known for its wild summers, is a go-to spot for fishers year-round.

The shallow flats are an ideal fishing spot. With the crystal clear water, you can see what fish are around. If you would like to try deepwater fishing, Panama city offers offshore charters that are very popular among the fishing community.

Common Fish You Will find

  • Redfish
  • Tarpon
  • Cobia
  • Mackerel
  • Red snapper
  • And amberjack

The Panama City Marina is a popular spot for fishers to catch snapper, grouper, and Spanish mackerel without having to take a boat out.

7. Jacksonville 

Jacksonville offers over 1,100 miles of shoreline, making it a favorite among anglers. The plentiful fresh and saltwater options give fishers a variety of places to toss a line in. 

You will never get bored fishing in Jacksonville. From piers to bridges, you will find a variety of different fish to reel in. 

Common Fish You Will Find

  • Whiting
  • Black drum
  • Sea trout
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth bass
  • Snapper
  • Sailfish
  • And Bluefish 

There are a variety of places in Jacksonville to go fishing, but many locals swear by fishing on the St Johns River.

8. Miami

Miami is known for its wild parties and beautiful beaches, but it is also a famous fishing spot. 

Deep-sea fishers are in for a treat when visiting Miami. The stretch in between Miami Beach and fort pierce is known as “sailfish alley.” Here you can catch massive sailfish, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and much more.

Common Fish You Will Find

  • Mahi-mahi
  • Swordfish
  • Grouper
  • Sailfish
  • Snapper
  • And Wahoo

Night fishing in Miami is extremely popular and offers a chance to catch unique fish.

9. Cocoa Beach

On Florida’s space coast sits Cocoa Beach, which offers over 500 species of fish. You can fish year-round and can expect to catch a fantastic variety of fish.

Cocoa Beach’s thousand islands offer an excellent opportunity to catch snook and trout. 

Common Fish You Will Find

  • Snook 
  • Trout
  • Grouper
  • Red Fish
  • Snapper
  • And sea trout 

Check out Sebastian Inlet for a fishing experience of a lifetime. There, you can find Redfish and Spanish mackerel.

10. Sarasota

Sarasota is considered a sanctuary for fishing due to its healthy ecosystem.

You have your choice of freshwater or saltwater fishing, both offering a genuine experience.

Common Fish You Will Find

  • Snook
  • Jack
  • Tarpon
  • Grouper
  • Snapper
  • Seatrout
  • And drum

One of the most popular spots to fish in Sarasota is the New Pass Inlet, where you can toss a line in right off the bridge.

Looking to Visit the Best Fishing Spots in Florida?

You can visit any of the places listed in this article to find some of the best fishing spots in Florida. They are all excellent places to visit and vacation as well. 

Fishing at any of these places is best experienced on a boat. For your next boat rental, contact us for a hassle-free experience. 

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