Nearshore Fishing

Full Day – $1000

Nearshore fishing trip offerings are just as numerous and attractive.  The term “near shore,” in Southwest Florida, refers to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico a short distance out from shore, less than twenty miles but usually six to twelve.

Permit Fishing - Nearshore Fishing

Southwest Florida has more to offer than just stellar deep sea fishing action.

These first several miles of shallow, warm, fertile water are some of the most bountiful in all of Florida. Fish of all shapes and sizes from Permit, Barracuda, King Mackerel, Sharks, Snapper, and the behemoth Goliath Grouper call these waters home.

Near shore trips are not deep sea trips, but don’t for a moment think this has any impact on the quality or quantity of fish caught. This is some of the most active and consistent fishing that Florida has to offer. Catches of over a dozen different species ranging from King and Spanish Mackerel, Mangrove Snapper, and Barracuda to Amberjack, Cobia, Sharks, and Goliath Grouper are not unusual. Many of these fish average over 20lbs and can run as large as 500lbs as in the case of the mighty Goliath Grouper.

Commonly Caught Species*

King Mackerel (Kingfish)Cobia Fishing - Nearshore Fishing
Goliath Grouper
Bull Sharks
Hammerhead Sharks
Blacktip Sharks
Mangrove Snapper

From live bait fishing for drag burning King Mackerel on light tackle to fooling the keen eye of the Mangrove Snapper and even checking the mighty Permit off your list of Grand Slam species or playing tug-o-war with a shark or Goliath Grouper, there is something lurking on the near shore wrecks and reefs to suit every angler.

You might just decide that the vicious top water strike and aerial display of a four or five foot Great Barracuda tops your personal favorite list! Even with so many fish to “target” the great thing about fishing near shore is that every time you put a bait in the water you never know what may end up on the other end.  The action is usually fantastic and the species varied, this is the mixed bag of fishing in Southwest Florida.

Near shore species availability is all about the seasons, water temperature, and fish migrations.  Feel free to contact Capt. Tom to find  out what species are usually available during your planned travel time, or to find out what the best time is to target the species you are most interested in.

Although near shore trips focus more on sport fishing, the more relaxed regulations pertaining to seasons, bag, and size limits, as well as an increase in the variety of edible fish, near shore fishing offers an excellent chance to take home some of top shelf table fare.

Tackle & Techniques

Light Tackle, Live and Artificial Bait

Generally lighter tackle from 10-15lb spinning gear is used for reef species, but expect to tangle with many larger fish that require tackle up to 80-100lb class (both spinning and conventional) when appropriate. A good mixture of various live, dead, and artificial baits are always on board.

*Captain Tom makes his living as a fishing guide, not a magician. Please remember, there are many factors which will impact species availability–some of which we have control over, and some we may not. The list above represent species commonly caught on this type of charter. Season, tide, weather, angler experience, tackle and time invested all contribute to the availability of our targeted species.

A selection of nearshore fishing photos: