Outdoor Thrills: All About Fishing & Hunting in and Around  Fort Myers Beach, FL

Thanks to its abundant saltwater, estuaries, and backwaters, as well as its diverse habitats, Fort Myers Beach in Southwest Florida offers amazing opportunities for fishing, and hunting doesn’t fall much behind. Throw in a great climate year-round and a rich historical connection between communities and nature, and you have a winning destination for your fishing and hunting escapades.

However, with so many opportunities for hunting and fishing in and around Fort Myers Beach, FL, it can be hard to know what to do and where to start, as well as figuring out the local regulations. We’re here to your rescue — This blog will act as your basic guide for fishing and hunting in and around Fort Myers Beach, FL.

Ready for some outdoor thrills?


Inshore fishing in and around Fort Myers Beach

Inshore fishing is a popular and accessible form of recreational fishing. It involves fishing in relatively shallow waters near the shore, typically along the coastline or within a few miles of the coastline. When it comes to inshore fishing around Fort Myers Beach, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Let’s go over some of it:

Fort Myers Beach

Beach fishing at Fort Myers Beach offers a perfect blend of scenic beauty, relaxation, and surprise catches, with sandy shores ideal for targeting species like pompano, whiting, and snook. On the northern tip at Bowditch Point Park, a quieter area, is excellent for fishing, while south of Fort Myers Beach, Lovers Key State Park provides pristine shores and backwater opportunities for snook, redfish, and mangrove snapper.

Matanzas Pass Bridge Fishing Pier

Regarding Fishing Piers and Jetties, the Fort Myers Beach Pier is undergoing renovations, but the Matanzas Pass Bridge Fishing Pier serves as a local favorite alternative, spanning the back bay with diverse fishing experiences for snook, redfish, and various species.

Estero Island

Estero Island, despite its crowded beaches, offers diverse fishing opportunities around docks, structures, and channels, providing a mix of inshore species like snapper, mackerel, kingfish, cobia, snook, and redfish.

Sanibel Island

Near Fort Myers, Sanibel Island provides jetties and good structures for inshore fishing, targeting species such as snook, redfish, and mangrove snapper.

Best Time for Inshore Fishing in Fort Myers Beach

Fish can be caught throughout the day, but early morning and late afternoon are optimal during feeding times when fish are more active. Changing tides can influence the bite. Inshore fishing is great year-round, with cooler months generally yielding better results.

Offshore fishing in and around Fort Myers Beach

Offshore fishing typically involves traveling several miles from the shoreline to reach deeper waters. Trust us, it’s worth the trip! When you do so around Fort Myers Beach, that means you have the opportunity to target larger and offshore species in the deeper waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Besides the natural formations, these waters
hide many artificial reefs, oil rigs, and even shipwrecks that have become habitats for a variety of fish species. Common catches include grouper, snapper, kingfish, amberjack, cobia, mahi-mahi, tuna, and even billfish.

However, keep in mind that offshore fishing requires heavier equipment and various bait and lure options to attract and catch larger species.

The best seasons for inshore and offshore fishing in Fort Myers, FL

In this region of Florida’s Gulf Coast, it’s always a great time for fishing somewhere. However, the prime fishing season starts in late spring and lasts until early fall, with June and July generally considered the best months. Many species are most active during this time. Also, summer offers a diverse range of places and species to target for those seeking a deep-sea experience.


Fishing charters and equipment rental in Fort Myers, FL

Especially when it comes to offshore fishing, charter boats are necessary for reaching these faraway locations. For that reason, many experienced charter services operate in the Fort Myers Beach area, offering guided offshore fishing trips and other types of excursions into the water.

Most times, service includes charter captains who are usually very knowledgeable about the area and will give you and your family and friends lots of valuable information.

Moreover, equipment for offshore fishing often requires heavier tackle and gear due to the larger and more powerful fish species. These companies usually provide you with everything you need in this regard, making it easier for you to simply enjoy the ride and catch your fish!

Here are some of the most popular rental options:


Adventures In Paradise

With 35 years of professional services in the region, Adventures In Paradise is a go-to service to explore the waters around Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island in fun-filled adventures.

Whether you want to fish, go shelling, or just take a lunch cruise to see some sea life, including dolphins, hiring their services is a guarantee that your day will be amazing. The captain is always knowledgeable, and sunset cruises are big hits.


Endless Summer Charters

For nearshore and back-bay fishing in the waters of Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers Beach, and Cape Coral, Endless Summer Charters is a popular choice. Their services are great for professional anglers as well as for families with kids who just want a relaxing day on the water — and they also offer sunset cruises and eco-tours. The captain always receives praise from their clientele.


Sanibel Offshore Fishing Charters

With names like “Miss Hayden,” “The Iron Maiden,” and “The Sea Calf,” the vessels of Sanibel Offshore Fishing Charters are famous in the region, as is their service for its quality. The captains know the area very well and will make sure you enjoy yourself in your water exploration. Safety is concern number one, and then it’s about catching fish!


Hunting in and around Fort Myers, FL

It’s not all about fishing. The region around Fort Myers also offers some hunting opportunities, although the practice is not as prevalent in other regions of Florida. While hunting opportunities for large game like deer may be limited, the region does provide other types of hunting.

One popular hunting activity in the Fort Myers area is waterfowl hunting, targeting birds that inhabit the areas surrounding wetlands and marshes. You can pursue ducks and other waterfowl in designated hunting areas.

Also, if hunting is your thing, make sure to look for private hunting clubs and ranches in the broader Southwest Florida region. They offer hunting experiences for various game species, including wild hogs and small game.


Are there any rules and regulations for hunting and fishing in Florida?

Yes, in Florida, anglers are required to possess a valid fishing license, with exemptions for certain groups like children, seniors, and veterans. Some regulations define the minimum and maximum sizes for various fish species and the number of fish you can harvest in a day. Also, certain species may have closed seasons during which fishing is prohibited to protect spawning populations.

Like fishing, hunters are required to obtain the appropriate licenses and permits before engaging in hunting activities.

Heads up! In Florida, you are legally required to know the rules and regulations, so it’s crucial to do your own research before heading out into hunting or fishing escapades. To learn more about the specifics and regulations regarding fishing and hunting in Florida, head to this website.


Extra Tips for Hunting and Fishing in and around Fort Myers Beach, FL

As you can see, fishing and hunting in Fort Myers Beach is a great way to explore the outdoors, and the area offers a lot of fun in that direction. To make the most of your experience, here are some extra tips.

  • Think about the species you want to catch or hunt and do some studying about their habits and preferred habitats. This is a great way to understand nature, and you can find most information online nowadays. Asking locals about it is also a fun way to learn more.

  • Safety should always come first. For hunting, always wear the necessary clothing during hunting seasons and use proper firearm safety practices. Also, if you’re going alone, always let someone know your hunting plans.

  • Follow ethical fishing and hunting practices and respect private property boundaries. Leave no trace and be considerate of the environment and wildlife.

  • If you’re new to the area or hunting in general, consider joining a local hunting group or hiring a guide. They can provide valuable insights into the best hunting spots and techniques. Beyond the options mentioned above, you can also do your research and look on online forums.

Wondering where to stay during your visit to Fort Myers Beach?

Our resort-style vacation rentals in Fort Myers Beach cater to all tastes and budgets. Whether you choose to explore the sights or stay indoors, you’ll find everything you need to make yourself feel right at home.
And guess what? You can bring your dog along! We offer beautiful pet-friendly homes on Fort Myers Beach.

To experience the highest quality in amenities, decor, and cleanliness, book your stay with Sun Palace Vacations. We guarantee you’ll have the most enjoyable and relaxing vacation ever!