How will you find the best Fort Meyers fishing charters? First you’ll have to decide what you want to fish for, and that’s going to be a very tough call — because you have a huge range of options. Fort Meyers is located along the Caloosahatchee River, there are countless canals connected to it, and it’s a stone’s throw to Matlacha Pass, Pine Island Sound, and the Gulf of Mexico. The list of species you could target and the hotspots you could cast to are virtually unlimited, and you could fish every day here for years on end without ever going to the same spot twice.
Of course, we say “could,” not “would,” because some hotspots are hotter than others. The good news is, when you hire a Fort Meyers fishing charter, you get the years of experience and local knowledge that can only be acquired by a professional captain. Some anglers, however, especially those with years of experience already under their belt, feel a stronger sense of accomplishment when they find and catch fish all on their own. If you fall into that category, don’t worry; there are also plenty of fishing boats for rent in Fort Meyers and the surrounding areas. Fishing can be challenging no matter where you wet a line, but as far as finding an area where it’s relatively easy to catch fish goes, you couldn’t pick a better destination.
As we mentioned, your biggest problem when planning a fishing trip in Fort Meyers will probably be sorting through all the options. That said, these three trips are among the most popular.
The Caloosahatchee River itself is quite salty in Fort Meyers, but the farther up the canals and tributaries you go, the fresher the water becomes. This leads to some very interesting possibilities as the freshwater and saltwater mix. Guided trips in these areas will generally take place on small flats or bay boats, which may be limited to just two or three anglers.Learn more
Many inshore fishing guides depart from Fort Meyers to fish in the nearby bays, particularly areas like Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass, and Estero Bay. Guided trips of this type usually take place on relatively small (28’ and under) center consoles and bay boats. As a result, the parties are generally limited to four or fewer anglers, but in a few cases, up to six can be accommodated.Learn more
If you want to cruise out into the Gulf of Mexico and pursue larger oceanic gamefish on a bigger boat, chances are you’ll end up on a six-pack charter. These larger vessels are often 30 or more feet long and carry a crew of six to the fishing grounds. They also commonly carry a professional mate who rigs and sets the lines, so this can be a serious learning experience for anglers who want to see how a pro does things.Learn more
There is a wide variety of marine wildlife in Fort Myers such as mackerel, cobia, bass, redfish, snapper, tarpon, as well as many sharks. Your Fort Myers fishing charter can take you to all of these top fishing spots.
You can easily drop anchor when cruising up to Sanibel Island on your Fort Myers fishing charter and swim ashore to explore the beaches.Learn more
Pine Island is a protected aquatic area where the ecological underwater landscape has been well maintained and preserved. Getting close to the water is one of the best ways to see and learn about the diverse fishing opportunities in the area.Learn more
Sail your Fort Myers fishing charter to Cayo Costa, an exclusive state park. With over nine miles of untouched beaches and sparkling water, Cayo Costa can rightly be considered a paradise for anglers.Learn more
If you have decided to charter a boat in Fort Myers, here are some of the options that are available.
Your fishing style will affect the kind of bait and tackle that you get, as well as the other type of equipment you will need out on the water.
Choose the fishing areas that are most convenient to fish by boat. Enjoy the Fort Myers skyline in style as you speed along the calm waters and cut through the gentle waves.
Pay attention to the special regulations for operating a boat in Fort Myers, such as the limits on where gasoline motors can be used and safety equipment requirements.
If you have decided on a fishing trip to Fort Myers, there are so many spectacular species of fish to catch.
Snook are highly valued sportfish, both for their fight and for their quality at the dinner table. They can be caught with both lures and live baits, but there’s nothing easy about fooling a snook into biting, so many anglers stick with bait fishing when snook are the target.
Although they aren’t good table fare, tarpon are an incredibly popular fish to go after. Their fight is second to none, they regularly leap into the air, they grow to be quite large, and on top of all that they manage to shake the hook free long before you can boat them as often as not. So, catching one is a serious thrill and is considered a significant accomplishment by most anglers.
Redfish are often found in flats, channels, and mangroves. You’ll discover that these fish can be caught with even the lightest of tackle.
When you charter a boat in Fort Myers, it is easy to try out lots of different kinds of fishing.
Live-baiting with shrimp is a very popular method of fishing in this area simply because it’s so effective. Some people will slide the shrimp onto a jig head and bounce it along bottom, and others will “freeline” it on a hook with no weight at all. Suspending a shrimp under a popping cork is another common tactic.
Soft plastic paddle-tails, twisters, and shad bodies are the choice of many light-tackle anglers who enjoy forms of fishing that require a bit of finesse. Depending on the depth, they can be fished on a quarter-ounce to a one-ounce jighead, and when an angler jiggles the rod tip to make the lure look lively you can fool just about any gamefish species into striking.
Whether you are looking for snook, redfish, or trout, or even if you are trying to catch sharks and tarpon, you’ll find so many options directly from your kayak.
Fishing is the ideal outdoor activity in Fort Myers during every season. Simply charter a boat in Fort Myers and consider these monthly variations.
Reef fish like those grouper and snappers bite strong in the middle of winter. Just keep a close eye on the weather, as cold fronts can greatly impact both the bite and the sea conditions.
The reef bite should still be strong this month. Another good alternative is to fish for sheepshead in inshore waters, as the action from this species slows down when spring hits and the water warms up.
Most seasons, March marks the beginning of improving snook action. Since they’re such a popular fish to target and there’s a seasonal closure later in the spring that runs through much of the summer, many anglers will begin going after them now and will continue to do so for as long as permitted.
Plenty of fishermen have been waiting for the spring tarpon migration, and when April hits, they’ll stop waiting and start fishing.
Remember how tough it’s been to make a choice among all the options you have to go fishing in Fort Meyers? This month it’s tougher than ever because the water has warmed up enough that just about everything is biting but the heat of summer hasn’t yet squelched the action.
As summer begins, there will still be many choices to make, but many anglers will settle on going after redfish. They tend to slack off when the heat becomes oppressive, so some years, June is the last month to enjoy a good bite from this species before the action slows down.
Now it’s hot. Really hot. And soon, the tarpon will be leaving town. Anglers searching for a battle with the silver king will go after them now before they migrate away for the rest of the summer.
Inshore fishing can be tough at this point in the summer, but there’s almost always a nice breeze — and a hot bite — at the reefs and wrecks in the Gulf. And those goliath grouper don’t mind the heat, so now’s a great time to target them.
As we say good-bye to the worst of the heat, inshore fishing ramps up. Just about everything will bite now, from speckled sea trout to snook to flounder.
October is much like May; the temperatures are in-between extremes, and migratory fish are moving through. In fact, this is often one of the best fishing months of the year for a multitude of species.
An interesting November option is going after pompano, a fish prized for its excellent meat. They tend to disappear during the warmest months of the year, but by the time November rolls around, many have returned to the local waters.
You say you’d like a fresh fish dinner for Christmas? Not a problem. The winter bite at the reefs should be coming back into full swing by now, and closer to home, the specks and reds should still provide plenty of action, too.