Florida is known for its many fishing opportunities; whether both freshwater or saltwater, and deep sea saltwater fishing in Florida is simply awesome. Whether you are looking for that elusive yellowfin tuna, wanting to hook a monster grouper, or are seeking for a lot of good-sized eaters for the pan or grill; there are many options available, no matter what coastal area of Florida you may find yourself in.
A Wide Array of Options
Depending on where your location is, you must understand that the type of fish available will vary. The type of fish available to anglers on the Atlantic side of the state is going to be very different from anglers who are fishing on the Gulf side, especially in cities like Tampa and St. Petersburg. In addition to this (and as you would have expected), The Florida Keys also offers its own variety of options for adventuring anglers.
If you know what species of saltwater sports fish that you are fishing for, make sure the city you are travelling to has access to that type of fish.
Here’s a short and non-exhaustive list of the popular saltwater species that are available:
- Bull Sharks
- King Mackerel
- Mahi Mahi
- Spanish Mackerel
- Yellowfin Tuna
Fishing on the Atlantic Side
There are multiple deep-sea charters found throughout the eastern part of the state (which is also referred to as the Atlantic side). Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, and of course Miami are all incredibly popular spots where thousands of saltwater charter captains are ready to guide paying anglers to the best saltwater fishing grounds the United States has to offer.
Wahoo and Mahi Mahi are common up and down the Atlantic coast and they are easy to find from any port on that side of the state. They are a hard-fighting saltwater fish that is delicious when cooked and they thrive on the Atlantic side. If you’re up north in Jacksonville or Daytona Beach, Sailfish is a great option because it offers itself as an enormous trophy and puts up an incredible fight. Jacksonville is particularly known for its king mackerel (and even some tuna) fishing. Going south to Daytona Beach opens up chances to go after the amberjack and triggerfish.
Cocoa Beach offers anglers plenty of opportunities to find quality-sized mackerel and the popular but rare marlin and tuna. Although West Palm Beach is a unique location that offers a little bit less than some of the other locations, it is the best spot to go to if you’re looking for a trophy-sized sailfish or that big-time bull shark.
Miami offers anglers some top-notch saltwater fishing because they have a little bit of everything; from amberjack to tuna to sailfish.
Fishing the Keys
While the Keys are more like each other than to any part of the rest of Florida, it is worth remembering that there can be major differences from one major Key to the other. Anglers willing to spend their money on a full day charter as opposed to a half day charter will have the time of their lives as they chase Goliath Grouper, Mackerel, Marlin, Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, Snapper, and even Tuna.
In other words, there’s a shot at every type of big saltwater fish imaginable in the area.
Fishing on the Gulf Side
Fort Myers, Tampa/St. Petersburg, and Clearwater are all outstanding ports from which to sail out into the Gulf. Grouper fishing is much more common on this side, as is shark fishing and as well as many of the other popular species like Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, amberjack, and more. This gives plenty of options for anglers who want to chase some serious trophies.
In-Shore Saltwater Fishing
There are plenty popular saltwater fishes like the cobia, redfish, snooker, spotted trout, and many more that aren’t on this list (because they tend to be near the shore or in more shallow waters as opposed to out deep).
Even though this article is all about finding the right spot to enjoy some of the best deep saltwater fishing in the world; a day off by the shore at each of these areas can still offer plenty of opportunities for the determined angler.