Fishing in Fort Lauderdale


When you mention fishing in Fort Lauderdale, chances are most people will automatically picture spectacular centre console boats & fishing yachts. And of course,&n...

When you mention fishing in Fort Lauderdale, chances are most people will automatically picture spectacular centre console boats & fishing yachts. And of course, smiling people posing with a big redfish, a snook, a large tuna or a marlin.

Indeed, the Atlantic Ocean in eastern Florida offers a world of options. Inshore fishing there's tarpon, jack crevalle, barracuda, speckled trout, snook and redfish. A little farther on the ocean you can target redfish, grouper and amberjack over the reefs and wrecks.

And offshore fishing in Fort Lauderdale is possible all year round. During winter and spring you can hook sailfish trolling or fly fishing. The best time for marlin fishing in Fort Lauderdale is summer. In Fort Lauderdale anglers have several excellent options, all within a short distance from the beach. Whether you prefer to fish for bottom fish over the reefs or chase billfish offshore, here is your complete guide to sport fishing in Fort Lauderdale.

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The fish species you'll target depend on the time of the year, the fishing area and many other variables. Your fishing guide in Fort Lauderdale will help you hook a nice fish in these waters. Whether your a first-time angler, you want to book a family fishing tour or a fly fishing tour, Fort Lauderdale offers great inshore fishing, wreck & reef fishing and offshore big game fishing. 

Inshore Fishing in Fort Lauderdale

Tarpon, snook, redfish, snapper, and jack are some of the fish you can find near the flats off Fort Lauderdale. Some of these fish can be caught on soft-plastic lures or live bait, while others must be trolled for using ballyhoo.

Wreck and Reef Fishing

The East Coast of Florida has dozens of offshore shipwrecks and interesting reefs that attract fish looking for shelter and food. These fishing spots are located at different depths, which means you need to use different baits and lures depending on where you go. Dolphin, wahoo, blackfin tuna, skipjack, permit, barracuda, kingfish, shark, grouper, snapper, amberjack, and more can be caught around different wrecks.

Offshore Fishing in the Gulf Stream 

Head over to the deep blue off Fort Lauderdale, and you may encounter blue marlin, wahoo, sailfish, dolphin, kingfish, swordfish, yellowfin and blackfin tuna, sharks, and more. You will need heavy tackle to catch these elusive and fast swimmers.

Top sport fishing species in Fort Lauderdale


The majority of sport fish in Fort Lauderdale are migratory. This means you will find them at different locations depending on the time of year.


The first to arrive are cobia, kingfish, blackfin tuna, wahoo, and yellowfin tuna. Kingfish and amberjack can be found near reefs and wrecks. Mahi Mahi fishing is good. From May the Grouper Season is open.


Swordfish season begins in the summer months along with Mahi Mahi. Snapper and Grouper fishing is good fishing over the reefs. This is the best time to target marlin.


Snapper, grouper, amberjack, shark, barracuda are active over the reef and the wrecks in fall. Pelagics like Mahi and Sailfish are biting closer to shore. 


The winter won't stop you from fishing in Fort Lauderdale. During these colder months you can hook sailfish, mahi, tuna, wahoo, kingfish and cobia around the reefs. Swordfish fishing is also good in winter.



Fort Lauderdale is also well-known for its many year-round activities. You can take a stroll along the beach or go jogging to stay fit. Take your family to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park and watch dolphins play in the water near you, have fun at Buccaneer Bay Water Park, or visit Stranahan House, which is an old fortified house built in the 19th century.

There are many historic sites to visit for those interested in history, such as Bonnet House, an old plantation-style home dating back to the late 1800s, or Stranahan House. You can take guided tours or explore on your own during certain days of the week.

If you have kids with you, then take them to the South Florida Museum, where they will get an opportunity to see more than 60 wildlife creatures up close.

If you are an avid golfer, you will be happy to know that there are many golf courses in Fort Lauderdale. There are also many luxury spas and hotels if you want to relax for a day or two after fishing before heading back home.


You need a saltwater fishing license if you are over 16 years old and going to fish in the ocean, bays, or any coastal waters in Florida. But licenses are covered if you go salt water fishing with a licensed fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale. For fresh water fishing you'll need a fishing license.

Saltwater and freshwater Licenses for residents and non-residents are available in 5-year, annual, 7-days, 3-days, or 1-day options. If you are only planning to go fishing for a couple of hours or less, then the 1-day option is your best choice.

Veterans and persons over 65 years of age do not need to get a fishing license if they prefer to fish in freshwater. However, if you plan on venturing into saltwater even for just one hour or less, then you will be required to purchase the 1-day saltwater fishing license.

Bag Limits

In order to protect the local fish stocks, the State of Florida has strict rules on bag limits. For each species there are minimum sizes and daily recreation bag limits. Snook, grouper and tarpon are catch & release only. Check the rules before you drop a line in the water in Fort Lauderdale. Your fishing guide knows all the local regulations.



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