Fishing the Islands

From deep sea fishing to light-tackle angling, the opportunities are endless for fishermen of all kinds. Proficient captains and fishing guides conduct half- and full-day charters. If you’re an experienced boater, you may prefer to rent your own craft from one of the island’s marinas (See Boating & Charter Guides).

Great Spots – The Sanibel-Captiva Causeway, as well as the pier on the bayside of the lighthouse (open 24 hours a day) are both popular spots for surf casting. The Blind Pass Bridge is often lined with determined anglers.

A license is required for fresh-water and saltwater fishing. You can purchase a license at The Bait Center on Periwinkle Way and at Bailey’s Center at the corner of Tarpon Bay Road and Periwinkle Way. Rules and regulations on size and bag limits plus open and closed seasons change. Most bait stores distribute free lists published by the Florida Marine Fisheries Commission.

FISH CHART

FISH
HABITAT
HOW TO FIND
SEASON
BAIT
Black Drum
Bay, Rivers
Bottom
Spring, Fall
Crabs, Cut Bait
Cobia
Gulf, Bay
Bottom, Top, Trolling
Spring, Summer
Live/cut Bait, Lures
Flounder
Gulf, Bay, Creeks
Bottom
Summer, Fall
Shrimp, Minnows, Lures
Grouper
Offshore (larger) Inshore (smaller)
Bottom, Trolling
Year Round
Live/cut Bait, Jigs, Chum
King Mackerel
Offshore
Trolling, Drifting
Spring, Fall
Jigs, Spoons, Live Bait, Chum
Mackerel
Gulf, Bay
Trolling, Drifting
Year Round
Small Jigs, Spoons, Live Bait
Permit
Gulf
Casting
Summer
Crabs, Shrimp
Pompano
Bay, Inshore
Bottom
Spring, Summer
Shrimp, Sand Fleas, Small Jigs
Redfish
Inshore, Bay, Creek, Grass Flats
Trolling, Casting
Year Round
Shrimp, Lures, Minnows, Crabs
Sheepshead
Gulf, Bay, Creeks
Bottom
Winter, Spring
Shrimp, Fiddler Crab, Sand Fleas
Mangrove Snapper
Bay, Creeks
Bottom
Year Round
Lures, Minnows, Shrimp
Snook
Inshore, Structure, Creeks
Trolling, Casting, Bottom
Year Round
Shrimp, Minnows, Lures, Cut Bait
Tarpon
Rivers, Bay Gulf
Bottom, Casting
Summer, Spring
Cut Bait, Lures, Live Bait, Chum
Tripletail
Gulf, Bay, Structure
Surface, Bottom,Top
Spring, Fall
Live Bait, Jigs
Trout
Creeks, Grass Flats
Drifting, Wading
Year Round
Jigs, Live Bait, Lures
Blue Crab
Canals, Grass Flats, Pier
Traps, nets
Spring, Summer Fall
Fish, Chicken
FISH
Black Drum
HABITAT
Bay, Rivers
HOW TO FIND
Bottom
SEASON
Spring, Fall
BAIT
Crabs, Cut Bait
FISH
Cobia
HABITAT
Gulf, Bay
HOW TO FIND
Bottom, Top, Trolling
SEASON
Spring, Summer
BAIT
Live/cut Bait, Lures
FISH
Flounder
HABITAT
Gulf, Bay, Creeks
HOW TO FIND
Bottom
SEASON
Summer, Fall
BAIT
Shrimp, Minnows, Lures
FISH
Grouper
HABITAT
Offshore (larger) Inshore (smaller)
HOW TO FIND
Bottom, Trolling
SEASON
Year Round
BAIT
Live/cut Bait, Jigs, Chum
FISH
King Mackerel
HABITAT
Offshore
HOW TO FIND
Trolling, Drifting
SEASON
Spring, Fall
BAIT
Jigs, Spoons, Live Bait, Chum
FISH
Mackerel
HABITAT
Gulf, Bay
HOW TO FIND
Trolling, Drifting
SEASON
Year Round
BAIT
Small Jigs, Spoons, Live Bait
FISH
Permit
HABITAT
Gulf
HOW TO FIND
Casting
SEASON
Summer
BAIT
Crabs, Shrimp
FISH
Pompano
HABITAT
Bay, Inshore
HOW TO FIND
Bottom
SEASON
Spring, Summer
BAIT
Shrimp, Sand Fleas, Small Jigs
FISH
Redfish
HABITAT
Inshore, Bay, Creek, Grass Flats
HOW TO FIND
Trolling, Casting
SEASON
Year Round
BAIT
Shrimp, Lures, Minnows, Crabs
FISH
Sheepshead
HABITAT
Gulf, Bay, Creeks
HOW TO FIND
Bottom
SEASON
Winter, Spring
BAIT
Shrimp, Fiddler Crab, Sand Fleas
FISH
Mangrove Snapper
HABITAT
Bay, Creeks
HOW TO FIND
Bottom
SEASON
Year Round
BAIT
Lures, Minnows, Shrimp
FISH
Snook
HABITAT
Inshore, Structure, Creeks
HOW TO FIND
Trolling, Casting, Bottom
SEASON
Year Round
BAIT
Shrimp, Minnows, Lures, Cut Bait
FISH
Tarpon
HABITAT
Rivers, Bay Gulf
HOW TO FIND
Bottom, Casting
SEASON
Summer, Spring
BAIT
Cut Bait, Lures, Live Bait, Chum
FISH
Tripletail
HABITAT
Gulf, Bay, Structure
HOW TO FIND
Surface, Bottom,Top
SEASON
Spring, Fall
BAIT
Live Bait, Jigs
FISH
Trout
HABITAT
Creeks, Grass Flats
HOW TO FIND
Drifting, Wading
SEASON
Year Round
BAIT
Jigs, Live Bait, Lures
FISH
Blue Crab
HABITAT
Canals, Grass Flats, Pier
HOW TO FIND
Traps, nets
SEASON
Spring, Summer Fall
BAIT
Fish, Chicken