If you're looking for great fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, you've come to the right place! Fort Myers Beach and Naples Florida offer many excellent saltwater fishing opportunities for locals and visitors alike.
The towns of Fort Myers Beach and Naples Florida both sit on the west coast of Florida facing the mighty Gulf of Mexico. This stretch of coast line is famous for water sports, fine beaches, snorkeling, and saltwater fishing for popular sports fish like sailfish, Mahi Mahi, tuna, grouper, snapper, and Jewfish among others. This stretch of popular beach is located approximately 130 miles south of Tampa and there is 30 to 35 miles of pristine beaches and coastline between Fort Myers Beach and Naples Florida.
This location is considered a hidden gem among locals, and a place where tourists in the know go to experience the best of Florida while staying away from the cities. The town of Fort Myers Beach boasts a large number of public beach access points, public beaches, and areas where boating, jet skiing, and fishing from shore is all allowed.
Finding experienced fishing charters is no problem, and there are even tour boats for the many local parks and sites to see like the ever popular Estereo Bay Preserve State Park or Mount Key Archaeological State Park if that's your thing. Heading further south towards the Naples end of the Florida stretch you'll find even more to check out. Famous Marco Island is just south of Naples and only about 8 to 10 minutes from the Collier-Seminole State Park. You can also look at checking out sister islands Captiva Island and Sanibel Island. Sanibel is the larger of the two, but both of these islands are famous for having great saltwater fishing off shore, colorful shells on the beach, and a relaxing atmosphere. A small bridge at Turner Beach connects the two islands and popular sites include Redfish Pass and the scenic Captiva Drive. The region around Naples Florida is also home to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Cypress National Preserve, and is just a stone's throw away from the Everglades.
Nearby Ten Thousand Islands with their famous beaches and saltwater fishing for sailfish, Mahi Mahi, tuna, grouper, snapper, and Jewfish. Professional Naples fishing charters excel in this area because of the wide variety of fish available. There are many ecosystems in this area adding into a remarkable landscape like marshes, mangroves, brackish waters, and even beaches and the saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico. Wildlife lovers will have chances to take pictures of dolphins, ospreys, eagles, and even manatees – and that's not even including your trophy catch!
Getting a professional fishing charter for the Fort Myers Beach and Naples Florida area is a good idea since there are so many places that offer excellent fishing, but the best spots for one type of fish such as Mahi Mahi or yellowfin tuna won't be the best spot for other fish like snapper or grouper. Hiring an experienced and professional local fishing charter can help you to find the best spots for your particular fish. After all, people have a lot of success in a wide variety of areas from the Naples Pier to the local canals when tidal currents are strong and beach fishing at dawn or dusk is also pretty famous.
Then there are the local fishing limits are regulations. Some are easy to figure out. If you're going to Naples or Fort Myers Beach Florida looking for a professional charter for sailfish then you have to catch one that's at least 57 inches to keep it, and there is no closed season but there is a daily limit of one per person. On the other hand, what about snapper which have over half a dozen specific sub species and then you have sea trout and snook which each have a wide array of fishing seasons, regulations, and additional license requirements surrounding them. Many types of grouper are open for fishing, but the rare Nassau grouper is a protected species and some areas are even listing Jewfish as a protected species. Finding out all this information on your own can be very hard but the many professional fishing charters found up and down the Fort Myers Beach and Naples Florida regions will know these rules and regulations and be able to keep you from unintentionally getting yourself into trouble.
The time of year can also have a major impact on when the best fishing is going to be for each species. Overall the best fishing is during the warm months of the year, but each species has its own pattern. Kingfish normally don't show up in force off the Naples Florida or Fort Myers coast until May and stay until late July then the run is over until a second one comes through in the fall, normally around October sometime.
On the other hand if your idea of an ideal Naples Florida fishing charter is for yellowfin tuna, blue marlin, mahi mahi (dolphin) or wahoo than you had better show up in early spring if you want the best chance of catching the biggest and most populous runs. Trophy sized tarpon are spring and fall fish as they follow schools of migrating mullet for food.
Professional Florida fishing charters will be licensed and certified, which should provide some degree of trust. They're going to be the ones who can show you how to troll the Gulf of Mexico in the right spots to give yourself a shot at trophy (or even record) sailfish, wahoo, mahi mahi, or giant grouper among many others. The other reason having a professional guide is so important is because sometimes there are temporary regulations put in place to help fish populations recover after a heavy fishing season or commercial harvest – and you don't want to get caught in violation of any of these!
If you'll be traveling through the entire Fort Myers Beach and Naples Florida areas you will want to visit several different places along the way. Charlotte Harbor is definitely worth a visit around the Fort Myers area and there are over 300 species of fish, 100 birds, and a wide array of other wild like, including dolphins who will sometimes play in the wake of a boat, which is quite a site to see!
Pine Island is the largest island on Florida's west coast and as opposed to the common white sand beaches they are often fringed with mangroves. The area is considered by many to be one of Florida's unspoiled and best kept secrets. Matlacha, Bokeelia, Pineland, St. James City, and Pine Island Center are the communities worth a stop in for a laid back and enjoyably lazy pace that balances out the hectic rush of intense saltwater fishing with an experienced and professional Naples Florida Charter.
Where you kick off your fishing adventures doesn't really matter. Up and down this stretch of beaches and coastline you will find many different docks and marinas with virtually any of them offering professional services. That said, two of the most popular include Port o Call Marina and Marco River Marina. These are great places to start, although many other options can be found up and down the coast.