Best Florida Saltwater Fishing Destinations

It’s not difficult to understand why saltwater fishing is so exciting and productive in Florida’s panhandle. Anglers who use a Garmin fish finder will have plenty of opportunities to catch inshore saltwater fish all year long in Florida’s best fishing spots, regardless of whether they use a Garmin fish finder. Even Captains and fishing veterans prefer the inshore fishery on the Gulf Coast around the waters of the Crystal River section, which includes the waters of the Crystal River section.

Having said that, the other parts of the state are also highly regarded for having a superior fishery for spotted sea trout, tarpon, snook, redfish, and cobia, as well as other species.

The best saltwater fishing spots in Florida can be divided into two categories: the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast, both of which are discussed in greater detail in the following paragraphs.



Gulf Coast

Boca Grande

Boca Grande, which means “Big Mouth” in Spanish, is unquestionably the Tarpon Capital of the World. The 90-day season, which runs from May to July, yields an average tarpon catch of 5,500 fish. There is no other fishing destination in the world that can boast such a track record.

Boca Grande offers an abundance of fishing opportunities, ensuring that it continues to be a premier fishing destination in the world. Boca Grande is not only known for producing Tarpon for inshore fishing, but it also has a thriving Redfish fishing industry. Speckled Trout and Snook can also be caught almost year-round in this area, as well as other species of fish.

These are in addition to the Bluefish, Sheepshead, and Spanish Mackerel that can be caught off the coast of the United States. During the months of April through August, the largest Tarpon population is available.

There are plenty of offshore artificial and natural reefs in Boca Grande, which means that trolling and bottom fishing along their lengths will result in good catches of a diverse variety of reef fish. Mangrove, Red Snapper, Lane Snapper, Gag Grouper, Yellowtail Snapper, Kingfish, Red Grouper, Sharks, Barracuda, Amberjack, and Wahoo are among the species found in the area.


Banana River

There are numerous seagrass flats in the area surrounding Cocoa Beach and Merritt Island, into which the shallow waters of the Banana River Lagoon flow. This area is well-known for being a haven for sea trout. The mangrove swamps along the lagoon provide safe haven for snook.

In addition to supporting a diverse fauna, the Banana River Lagoon systems also support an exceptionally diverse saltwater fishing environment. There are approximately 30 acres of shallow grass flats and several canals on the property, in addition to a large number of shoreline acres. All of these have provided a haven for countless numbers of resident and migrating fish over the years.

Snook, black drum, speckled sea trout, redfish, ladyfish, tarpon, and jacks, among many other species, have become increasingly popular targets for stalking by an increasing number of anglers. Anglers can target various inshore species with fly fishing or light tackle, depending on their preference. The Banana River flats are accessible by a well-maintained road. During the early morning hours, you can easily pull off the road or skim across the river in a flats boat.

Both residents and visitors benefit from the expertise of a large number of inshore guides with years of experience. You can also see wildlife such as dolphins, manatees, and a variety of birds on the Space Coast, which completes the ultimate Space Coast experience.

The majority of the few high-quality flats fishing charters available in the area can accommodate between one and three anglers. They provide them with tackle, fishing equipment, and fishing licenses. On the Banana River, you can also find a few pontoon boats. They provide private fishing charters for groups of up to 6 people, with plenty of space to shade and spread out, ensuring a relaxing fishing experience for everyone on board.

Captains who offer guided SUP fishing trips and kayak/paddle-board fishing trips are few and far between. They are usually reserved in the Banana River’s 1,000 islands or in the breathtaking “No Motor Zone.” At different times of the year, all of the sites can boast of wildlife and fish. Despite the fact that there will be times when the fish are not biting, those who go on fishing trips can rely on the guides, who will share their extensive knowledge of the abundant natural beauty of the Space Coast with them.

The river empties into the Atlantic Ocean through Port Canaveral, which is its only outlet.

The lagoon system is connected to the Indian River via the Barge Canal, which is located west of the port. Marine grasses, oyster bars, mangrove swamps, drift algae, salt marshes, and spoil islands are all home to a diverse range of marine species, which can be found in abundance in these habitats.



A number of popular fishing spots can be found in and around Jacksonville. They include the Nassau Sound Fishing Bridge, which is one of the best fishing spots in Northeast Florida and is accessible by boat. The mile-long fishing bridge, which spans Nassau Sound and can be accessed through Amelia Island State Park, provides opportunities to catch Drum, Jack, Whiting, and Tarpon, among other species.

In the Guana River Wildlife Management Area, a protected area that provides access to excellent surf fishing, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities. It includes Lake Ponte Vedra, also known as Guana Lake, which is well-known for its redfish, flounder, black drum, and sea trout harvest.

The Mayport Jetties, which are located at the mouth of the St. James River and the Atlantic Ocean, are another popular saltwater fishing spot. Speckled trout, redfish, flounder, bonito (sea bass), tuna, cobia (wahoo), and barracuda are among the species that can be caught on the inshore and offshore waters.

It is possible to go freshwater fishing at the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve because of its spectacular location. It is particularly well suited for light tackle and fly fishing.


4. St. Augustine

Travelers to Saint Augustine can book the best fishing excursions/charters for inland waterway fishing, deep-sea fishing, and dozens of other activities while on vacation. Salt River is one of the most popular inshore redfishing spots in the world.



Stuart, which encompasses the area from Sebastian south to Hobe Sound, provides access to some of the best inshore gamefish, including permit, ladyfish, pompano, sea trout, redfish, snook, snapper, sheepshead, and sea trout. Grouper, flounder, barracuda, blackfin tuna, bonito, blacktip shark, cobia, dolphin, jack crevalle, sailfish, and Spanish Mackerel are among the offshore and nearshore species that can be caught.




Atlantic Coast

Big Bend

A high concentration of redfish has been consistently observed in the Big Bend area, which stretches from Cedar Key to Homosassa and includes the limestone bottoms and shelves of coastal waters. For a long time, the Crystal River area has been the site of tarpon fly fishing records being set.

Spawning trout, flounder, redfish, black drum, and the occasional triple tail are among the species that can be found on most inshore charters. The spring-fed rivers also have a healthy population of large snook.



Chassahowitzka is another of the best Florida fishing spots on the Atlantic Coast, and it is located on the Gulf of Mexico. It is in the eastern three miles of the Chassahowitzka River that fly fishermen are most likely to catch sheepshead, mangrove snapper, bluegill, and largemouth bass, among other species.

Alternatively, the western half of the river, with its fluctuating tides and expansive views, provides saltwater fishing opportunities, with red drum redfish, a scattering of inshore snapper and drum species, along with snook, being the most common species caught. Anyone who is committed enough to travel to the Gulf of Mexico will have the opportunity to catch not only those saltwater fish, but also cobia, tarpon, Spanish Mackerel, jack crevalle, sharks, pompano, and spotted sea trout, among other species.


Everglades and Keys


From May to June, the Everglades and Florida Keys are ideal tarpon fishing destinations. Tarpon fishing is possible anywhere along the Florida coast, from the Glades to the oceanside and under bridges. In addition, there are tremendous opportunities for the silver kings to profit from the situation. It is between the middle of May and the end of May that the redfish and snook fishing in Florida Bay really begins to heat up. Anglers who enjoy casting topwater plugs will find success during the last few weeks of May or the first few weeks of June.

The Ten Thousand Islands area contributes a significant amount of sea trout to the Everglades on an annual basis. Another popular fishing spot is the Chokoloskee area, where anglers can catch snook, cobia, trout, and redfish, among other species. The Florida Keys, particularly along the coasts of Islamorada and Marathon, provide a productive tarpon fishery.



Anglers will enjoy an exciting experience at the mouth of the St. Marks River in the Panhandle, which has been praised for its large trout potential. The entire coastline, from Maine to Louisiana, is known for its large catches of redfish, trout, and cobia, among other species. During the month of September, it is possible to catch up to 100 redfish per day.


Tampa Bay

In the southern section of Tampa Bay, the flats provide excellent snook fishing opportunities. There are a variety of species that can be caught at different times of the year. These include amberjack, pompano, red grouper, black drum, sea trout, snook, redfish, cobia, barracuda, sheepshead, shark, jack crevalle, Spanish Mackerel, King mackerel, permit, ladyfish, bluefish, little tunny, and trout. Amberjack is the most common species caught.