You are here

The beaches of Sanibel are surrounded by warm Gulf waters, a perfect place for fishing. While the waters are filled all year with fish and wildlife, May and October are considered premium fishing months. This is when the water temperatures are more moderate compared to summer and early fall.

Before you bait your hooks you need to get proper licensing from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. You can obtain the proper one by visiting their web site or several places here on island, such as:

 The Bait Box – 1041 Periwinkle Way (239) 472-1618

  • Bailey’s Center – 2477 Periwinkle Way (239) 472-1516
  • Jensen’s Marina – 15107 Captiva Drive (239) 472-5800
  • Adventures in Paradise – 14341 Port Comfort Road (239) 472-8443
  • Whitney’s Bait & Tackle – 1554 Periwinkle Way (239) 579-0399
  • And all Marinas

You can also hire a guide. Most fishing guides in the area will take care of your licenses and permits for you. The best place to check on this is with one of the above companies.

You will need the right gear for you excursion. For the shallow waters off the Sanibel Causeway are ideal for lighter bait, artificial lures and fly rods. There your likely to find snook, sea trout, flounder, pompano and more. If you plan to be in a little deeper water, such as the Sanibel Pier, you are better off with heavier tackle to lure redfish, mackerel, cobia and other sport fish. If you are on a budget, all you need is a fishing pole, some tackle and bait. If you go with a fishing guide will, they will provide the boat, poles and bait. Most importantly , professional fishing guides know where the fish are!

Different times of year you will find different fish.

All Year:

  • Snook
  • Redfish
  • Sea trout
  • Spanish mackerel
  • Snappers
  • Grouper

Spring and Summer:

  • Tarpon
  • Pompano
  • Cobia
  • Permit

Spring and Fall:

  • King mackerel
  • Tripletail
  • Black Drum

Winter and Spring

  • Sheepshead

Last but surely not least, don’t forget your SPF (at least 15) with UVA and UVB protection. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and wrap-around sunglasses while fishing is also recommended. Polarized lenses will help you see through the water, allowing you to spot your next catch with ease.

Now go out and enjoy a nice relaxing day of fishing. Good luck!