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Situated on the Southwestern side of Florida, Fort Myers offers easy access to the Gulf of Mexico and some of the best fishing in the state. The area was heavily impacted by Hurricane Ian but has since begun to bounce back as the city rebuilds. If you're interested in traveling to the area for a fishing adventure, you're sure to find these 7 species in the local waters.

Redfish Caught In Fort Myers Florida

1. Snook

Best Time To Catch: March to November Fishing Technique: Live bait (pilchards or shrimp), artificial lures (jerkbaits, swimbaits, or topwater plugs)

Renowned for their elusive nature and powerful fights, snook are a prized game fish in Fort Myers. Target them from March to November when they migrate from backwaters to nearshore areas. Live bait, such as pilchards or shrimp, is a favored option. Additionally, artificial lures like jerkbaits, swimbaits, or topwater plugs can entice strikes from these feisty predators.

2. Redfish (Red Drum)

Best Time To Catch: Year-round, with peak seasons in fall and spring Fishing Technique: Cut bait, live bait (shrimp or pinfish), artificial lures (jigs, spoons, or topwater plugs)

Redfish, known for their fighting ability and delectable meat, can be found throughout the year in Fort Myers. Their peak seasons are fall and spring when they actively feed in shallow waters. Cut bait and live bait such as shrimp or pinfish are effective choices. Anglers also find success using artificial lures like jigs, spoons, or topwater plugs, especially around submerged grass or oyster beds.

3. Tarpon

Best Time To Catch: April to September Fishing Technique: Live bait (crabs, mullet, or threadfin herring), artificial lures (jigs, swimbaits, or plugs)

Tarpon, famous for their acrobatic leaps and raw power, offer an exhilarating challenge in Fort Myers. The best time to target them is during their migration from April to September. Live bait such as crabs, mullet, or threadfin herring, either free-lined or under a float, is commonly used. Anglers also have success with artificial lures like jigs, swimbaits, or plugs, imitating the baitfish that tarpon feed on.

4. Trout

Best Time To Catch: Year-round, with peak seasons in cooler months (October to February) Fishing Technique: Live shrimp, artificial lures (soft plastic jigs, jerkbaits, or topwater plugs)

Trout, commonly known as speckled trout, are a favorite among Fort Myers anglers. They can be targeted year-round, with peak seasons in the cooler months. Seek sheltered areas from October to February for the best chances of success. Live shrimp is a go-to bait, while artificial lures such as soft plastic jigs, jerkbaits, or topwater plugs can also entice strikes. Focus on grass flats, oyster bars, and drop-offs for fruitful trout fishing.

5. Snapper

Best Time To Catch: Year-round Fishing Technique: Cut bait (squid or shrimp), live bait (pinfish or pilchards), bottom fishing rigs

A variety of snapper species inhabit the waters of Fort Myers, providing an excellent opportunity for reef and bottom fishing. Snapper fishing can be enjoyed year-round, with popular targets including mangrove snapper, lane snapper, and red snapper (during open seasons). Cut bait such as squid or shrimp, as well as live bait like pinfish or pilchards, along with bottom fishing rigs, yield great results.

6. Grouper

Best Time To Catch: Year-round, with peak seasons in cooler months (October to February) Fishing Technique: Live bait (pinfish, pilchards, or threadfin herring), trolling, bottom fishing

Fort Myers offers exciting grouper fishing opportunities throughout the year, with peak seasons in the cooler months. The most common species include gag grouper, red grouper, and black grouper. Live bait such as pinfish, pilchards, or threadfin herring is effective, whether used for trolling or bottom fishing. These powerful fish will test your skills and provide a rewarding catch.

7. Spanish Mackerel

Best Time To Catch: Year-round, with peak seasons in spring and fall Fishing Technique: Trolling with spoons or flashy lures, live bait (pilchards or shrimp)

Spanish mackerel are a fast and aggressive species, offering exciting action for anglers in Fort Myers. While they can be caught year-round, their peak seasons are spring and fall. Trolling with spoons or flashy lures at a fast pace is an effective technique. Live bait such as pilchards or shrimp can also entice strikes from these voracious feeders.

Book Your Next Fort Myers Fishing Trip

Fort Myers is a great destination for anglers of all skill levels. If you're looking to get out on the water with some of the best fishing guides in Florida, find the perfect Fort Myers fishing charter for your needs.