When in Florida, a must-visit fishing location in Fort Myers. It is home to an affluent fish population and an abundant coastline. Whether you are planning inshore or offshore fishing, Fort Myers is a happy place for fishing enthusiasts. There’s no need to go to the water to catch a fish as long as you have the necessary permission to explore the 6.2 square miles and find the fishing spots. However, if you are into challenges and want to catch a wider variety of fish, booking a charter for offshore fishing is your best option. The offshore wrecks and reefs are home to different species. 

You need to take note of the best times to catch the top fish. While Fort Myers offers year-round access to freshwater fisheries and saltwater spots, it makes sense to book your visit when your preferred species would be abundant. Consider the time of day when you go fishing. Making an early start is great because most fish roam in the water in the morning. They dislike the high sun, so the next best time is at night. 

Top fishes you can catch in Fort Myers.

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Grouper

Grouper species are abundant from November to March. It includes the Red Grouper, Black Grouper, and Gag Grouper. The red grouper grows enormously, reaching 10 to 12 or 20 pounds. The gag grouper can gain up to 50 pounds, while the black grouper can weigh 100 pounds. All of them are good for eating. You can catch them with live baits, sardines, and frozen squid about 30 miles offshore. 

If you are lucky, you can catch a Goliath Grouper. This fish can weigh up to 500 pounds, testing your strength because it fights hard. It eats large baits. There is plenty of this specie on reefs and wrecks. Booking a fishing charter to jumpstart your fishing excursion will take you to the best spots.

Snapper

Offshore snapper species feed on pinfish and mullet, so make sure to have a lot for your baits. They love to stay around the wrecks and reefs, mostly in schools. The best time to catch snappers is from October to March. To catch a snapper, it is essential to keep your bait low under the water and then slowly jig it back towards you.

Snappers are active during the morning due to a lot of baitfish activity, so they tend to come out from their hiding places.

  • Red snapper – It fights hard when caught. It can grow from 8 pounds to over 25 pounds. This specie is good to eat, and you need to run about 50 miles offshore to find the best fishing spot.
  • Yellow Tail and Mangrove snapper- The average size of this type of fish is around 5 pounds. Catching it is exciting and action-packed. Book a Fort Myers fishing charter for a short boat ride for incredible offshore fishing that ensures your family fun.

Sharks

Fort Myers waters are home to various kinds of sharks. The list includes bull sharks, lemon sharks, great hammerheads, and black tips. They can be found in deep channels, nearshore wrecks or reefs, and passes. 

Tarpon

The mighty Tarpon or the Silver King is the much-sought saltwater species in Florida and worldwide. This fish is available year-round off the shores of Fort Myers Beach, but the tarpon season is from March to July. The tarpon is hard to catch with silver scales and impressive aerial jumps because it fights back and tends to leap into the water after being hooked.

A full-grown tarpon can weigh 100 to 280 pounds and is 4 to 8 feet long. This specie love to roam the flats and look for deep holes or grassy cover to stay away from the sun. Use pinfish, pogies, or shrimp on your bait for offshore tarpon fishing.

Amberjack

Amberjack or Reef Donkeys fight very hard when caught. It does not surrender easily, so you must show force to beat it. It is one of the best fish to take home, proving your fishing skills and stamina. Full-grown amberjack can grow up to 110 pounds.

Jack Crevalle 

Jack Crevalle is also known as a Black Cavalli. It has a reputation for being the most challenging fish to fight. Some call it “canal tuna” because it likes getting close to boats and doing small circles in the water, making it more challenging to catch. This specie is a sports fish and is not edible.

Largemouth Bass

The best seasons to catch a lot of Largemouth Bass in Fort Myers are Spring and Fall. It is like living in well-covered areas to avoid the sun’s heat during afternoons. In the morning and evening, these species roam around to find food. Largemouth fish can be found near docks, weed lines, or deepwater ridges.

The northern section of the Caloosahatchee River is where the salty water meets the freshwater, attracting a school of largemouth bass. You can use live bait, crankbait, spinnerbait, frogs, or worms to catch your prized fish.

Redfish

Redfish, also called a red drum, can be found year-round in Fort Myers. The best period to catch them is from August to December. It thrives in mangroves and nearshore grass flats but mainly throughout the river. A grown redfish weighs 10 to 45 pounds and measures 30 to 61 inches long.

It is one of the most popular fish among fishing enthusiasts because it is a good game fish and is perfect for a dinner dish. It tastes good and is considered a delicacy among the locals. When catching a redfish, get ready for a real challenge because it is one of the aggressive species. However, it is worth the fight because the meat quality of this fish is superb. 

King Mackerel

Kingfish or King Mackerel is a nearshore fish that anglers love to catch. However, it’s like a feed and frenzy fishing because it is hard to beat. You must attract it with live bait and prepare for a ferocious battle afterward. The challenge is exciting, but wait until you have it on your dinner plate. King Mackerel is truly a finger-licking, mouthwatering fish worth the fight in Fort Myers. 

Snook

Famous for its aggressive nature, snook fights back when caught on bait. With its signature black stripe on the sides, this slender fish can grow up to 50 inches long and weigh 12 to 29 pounds.

It is a common specie in the Fort Myers waters and is commonly found in abundance in shallow water areas like mangroves, flats, docks, inlets, and throughout the Caloosahatchee River.

This species is most active during summer and spring. It likes warm water and becomes aggressive in finding food in the morning and evening.

To catch a snook, use a live baitfish throughout the day. Artificial bait comes in handy when fishing in the morning or evening. It likes pogies, shrimp, and pinfish.

Spotted Sea Trout

The best time for big trout fishing is from May to July. The waters of Southwest Florida have large schools of this specie. During winter, when the water is freezing, sea trout return to grass flats to eat or spawn out on reefs nearshore. Use live bait, pinfish, shrimp, finger mullet, or pilchards to catch a sea trout.

Takeaway

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Fort Myers is truly a paradise for anglers and fishing adventurers. Go for an offshore fishing trip in the deeper waters of Fort Myers Beach and experience how to conquer the most challenging varieties of fish in this part of Florida. You may also opt to try winter fishing if you’re looking forward to another incredible fishing season. While there, visit the nearby islands, just a short boat ride. Don’t miss the thrill and fun; embark on your fishing adventure now!