From the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Coast and all the way down to the Keys, Florida boasts some of the world’s finest and most diverse fisheries. Whether it’s flats, mangroves, reefs, wrecks, deep water trenches – you name it, the Sunshine State’s got it all. We’ve curated a list of some of our favorite Florida fishing spots to help you decide which place to check out next.
Truth be told, this doesn’t even begin to cover a fraction of Florida’s amazing fisheries. With such a large state surrounded by two major bodies of water, it’s impossible to include all of Florida’s hottest fishing destinations in one article.
Wherever you decide to go, you won’t go wrong. With so many opportunities around each corner, it can be hard to know where to start exploring the “Sportfishing Capital of the World”.
That’s why we decided to put together a list of some of our favorite Florida fishing spots for the thrill of a lifetime!
10. Jacksonville / St. Augustine
Jacksonville sits right on the mouth of the St. Johns River, facing the Atlantic Ocean. This town offers endless freshwater and saltwater opportunities for both types of anglers. Some of the areas you should definitely check out are Mill Cove, Nassau Sound, and Amelia Island State Park.
No matter where you go, you can expect a day full of action, targeting Cobia, Redfish, Black Drum, and King Mackerel. Every July, Jacksonville hosts one of the country’s largest Kingfish tournaments. Over 300 boats hit the water in pursuit of thousands of dollars in prize money.
Just an hour’s ride away lies St. Augustine. Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, this historic town offers a wide range of angling opportunities right on its doorstep.
When it comes to inshore fishing opportunities, Redfish is the name of the game in St. Augustine. Combine targeting them with going for Trout and Flounder, and you’ll earn yourself a Northeast Florida Slam. Oh, and while you’re here – don’t forget to add some Tarpon to the mix!
Travel outside of the inlet, and you’ll find lots of Snapper, Grouper, Amberjack, Cobia, King Mackerel, and sharks. Head further offshore, and you’ll access the migratory routes of Blue Marlin and Sailfish.
Whether you’re a competitive angler or you’re just getting started, this area’s got plenty of charters that will show you an amazing day on the water.
Things to Do
Once you get off the water, there are many things you can do in both Jacksonville and St. Augustine.
Jax is one of the biggest cities in Florida, but it still has a small-town vibe. For a relaxing day in the city, explore the streets, visit shops and coffee houses, and don’t forget to enjoy a scenic stroll on the Riverwalk. For a taste of local history and amazing views, head to the Fort Caroline National Memorial. If you’re visiting with kids, make sure to hit up the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
St. Augustine is one of the nation’s oldest cities. Needless to say – the town has a rich history which you can explore in many ways. Historical sites and artifacts can be found on every corner. We’re talking about military forts, castles, Gilded-Age hotels, and much more. On the other hand, St. Augustine has beautiful beaches, nature trails, and a fascinating lighthouse. Whatever you choose as your activity, we’re sure you won’t get bored!
9. Daytona Beach
If there’s one thing that fishing in Daytona Beach is all about, it’s the abundance of different opportunities. You can fish the calm waters of the Halifax River or head offshore for an epic battle against some of the Atlantic’s most sought-after fish.
Head south to Mosquito Lagoon and get ready to hook into a variety of species, including Snook, Red and Black Drum, and Sheepshead. If you’re looking for a longer trip, book a deep sea charter that will take you trolling for Wahoo and many other pelagic species.
Daytona Beach also has some of the best Largemouth Bass fishing in the state, which you can explore if you decide to travel inland.
Things to Do
Daytona Beach is a popular tourist destination with many activities you can combine with your fishing trip. First of all, the town is known as the world capital of racing. If you’re also a car enthusiast, make sure to visit the famous Daytona International Speedway.
The town has a rich history and many museums to prove it. If you want to explore them, we recommend leaving an entire day aside. Some of the best museums are the Halifax Historical Museum, Ormond Memorial Art Museum, and the Museum of Arts and Science. And of course, Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, where you can climb up its many stairs for amazing views.
If you’re short on time, but still want to see as much as you can, you can rent a bike, and explore the historic sites. For those looking to relax, spend your day sunbathing on some of the beautiful, white sandy beaches.