Best Places to Fish in Florida without a Boat
Fishing enthusiasts all across the world have Florida on their list. Florida has a lot to offer to say the least. Not only fishing, but there are other attractions as well. When you get to Florida, you’ll find 2300 miles of tidal shoreline. It doesn’t end there. 660 miles of beaches is a mouthwatering prospect for both travelers and fishing enthusiasts. There’s an obvious reason why it is tagged as the fishing capital of the world. Now, all you need to do is find out which are the best places to fish in Florida without a boat and then prepare your fishing gears.
The best part is, you don’t have to own a boat if you want to fish in Florida.
To get your fishing journey started, all you need is a fishing license. Florida has numerous beaches and docks. So, if you have a license you can go to any of them and start fishing.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in some cases let people wish even if they don’t have a fishing license.
We’ll take a look at some of the best places to fish in Florida without a boat. But first, let’s understand why Florida is one of the best places to fish!
Why is Florida the Best Fishing place in the World?
Not everyone owns a boat nor do they have access to one. But why should you let that stop you from fishing? You don’t need to have a boat to fish in Florida and that’s probably the best part about Florida. It offers amazing opportunities for you to fish from the land.
So, what can Florida offer apart from access to Fishing?
Ask yourself, what would you want when you go out to fish?
Clear sunny weather? No place can beat Florida at that.
Shallow waters? Too many to count, if we’re being honest.
Florida ticks out all the boxes. You can enjoy a beautiful afternoon alone or with your pals and family under the Florida sun.
All the fishing spots have a different range of fishes, big and small. This means you have greater luck of catching a fish with your hook. On top of that, there are many habitats across Florida. The fishing industry in Florida is profound and well established.
People travel from different parts of the U.S to enjoy fishing for a couple of days. What mainly attracts fishing enthusiasts is the sunny weather and easy access to fishing. Most parts of America where fishes are available in plenty to remain closed to the general public. This is because big corporations use it as a part of their fishing industry.
When you’re in Florida, you’ll find people sitting by water bodies with the fishing rod in their hands. Being honest, it doesn’t take too long to catch one but if you’re looking for a big catch, you might get stuck for a few hours or even more.
Best Places to Fish in Florida without a Boat
Safety Issues to keep in Mind
Florida doesn’t possess any harm. But it’s always better to take some safety precautions especially since you are going to be out in the sun for long periods.
The most important thing is probably the sunscreen. Be sure to pack enough sunscreen depending on how long you will be staying in Florida. At times the temperature may rise to record levels. So, use protective gear. Wear breathable and light-colored clothes. You can also wear a bucket hat to keep the sun away. Umbrella is another viable option. It gets the job done quite efficiently.
As you’ve realized by now, the only thing to consider is the temperature and humidity. So, keep yourself hydrated at all costs. If your body has enough fluid, you can breeze through the day without any hiccups.
You can also keep a lifejacket with you. Because you never know when you might need it. Especially if you’re someone who doesn’t know how to swim.
Finally, stay sober and alert. People get into all sorts of trouble when they’re drunk. And try to avoid wild animals. Don’t feed them your food because you never know what sort of reaction they might have.
13 Best places to fish in Florida without a boat
Now that you know what gears you need, let’s take a look at the 13 best places to fish in Florida without a boat. We’ll look at what each of the locations has to offer. Based on the details you can make an informed decision about which place to go.
1. Naples Fishing Pier
The Naples Fishing Pier was built back in 1888 as a freight and passenger dock. Now it’s one of the best places in Florida to fish without a boat. Who would have thought?
The pier goes into the Gulf of Mexico and has a length of 980 feet. It’s surrounded by some amazing beaches that stretch for hundreds of miles.
You will find fishes like Spanish mackerel, Snook, Sea Trout, and Pompano. If you’re fishing in the Naples Fishing Pier use live insects or shrimps as bait to have a higher chance of success. The locals recommend using “Pink Lure” to catch the bigger fishes of the sea.
The golden rays of the sun during the sunset will take away your tiredness. While you’re at it, you might even spot dolphins, stingrays, and sharks.
2. Lover’s Key
The name speaks for itself. It is a popular wedding and honeymoon destination for the people of Florida. Apart from that, you will be able to have a lovely fishing experience here.
You will find Redfish, Yellow Tail Snapper, Sheepshead, Flounder, and Stingrays in Lover’s Key. You might even encounter sharks. Who knows!
The pier is very peaceful because it’s secluded from the locality. You might get lost in your thoughts while fishing on the pier. The pier is hidden from the sun. So you don’t have to worry about getting sunburnt.
Live shrimps can do wonders for you. There’s another option as well. You can use the traditional method and cast a net to catch fishes. Pick any method you like. No one would judge you.
3. The Posts
The Posts isn’t too far away from the Naples Pier, only a few blocks away. It’s located on the 3rd Avenue South access point. The only remaining structure on the beach is the support posts of the old pier. It stretches approximately 75 yards into the Gulf of Mexico.
The remnants of the pier attract a lot of baitfish. Larger fishes like Snook and Tarpon come to the shore to eat the bait-fishes. Thanks to the food-chain you can catch these big fishes and go back home with a smile.
4. Wiggins Pass
Wiggins Pass is a favorite among shoreline anglers. The pass is situated at the northern end of Delnor Wiggins State Park. It splits the Barefoot Beach Preserve from the park.
The swift and heavy current along the shoreline works to the advantage of anglers. Normally Snook and Tarpon are concentrated in the deeper channels but the current draws out the fishes. The pass works as a funnel and brings in fishes from the depth of the sea. You will find huge Snook and Tarpon fishes in the Wiggins Pass.
5. The New Pass Bridge
The New Pass Bridge is a very suitable spot for some of the biggest catches in the vicinity. The bridge splits the Longboat key from the Lido key.
You will find fishes of different species and sizes in and around the area. Pompano, Mackerel, Trout, Snook, Redfish, and Flounder can be caught from The New Pass Bridge. The seawall is regarded as the gold pot for fish by the locals. You can go there as well.
Anglers prefer the concrete platforms on both sides of the bridge. You can go to the beach on the south end for some peace and tranquility.
6. Fort Myers Beach Pier
The Fort Myers Pier go 560 feet into the Gulf of Mexico. It has been a popular location for anglers for the last few decades. Facilities like restaurants, bait shops, bars, and restrooms combined with the availability of different fishes make this place ideal for fishing.
You will find fishes like the Silver Trout, Redfish, Whiting, Snook, Mackerel, and Grouper around the waters of the Fort Myers Beach Pier.
Bring a camera with you. Because the sky looks spectacular during sunrises and sunsets. As there are a lot of Pelicans there, be sure to protect your lunch and the catches.
Parking won’t be an issue in the Pier area. Overall this is one of the best places to fish in Florida without a boat.
7. Causeway Park
The Causeway Park is located between the Caloosahatchee River, the Pine Island Sound, and the Gulf of Mexico. The species found in this area depends on the season and the current.
Normally you will find Cobia, Sea Trout, Snappers, Snook, Redfish, Grouper, and Spanish mackerel in the Causeway Park. Cobia is tough to catch. So consider yourself lucky if you manage to catch one.
Apart from fishing, you can enjoy the beautiful clear skies, the sunsets, and the island view from Causeway Park. You might even encounter a few sharks there.
8. Sebastian Inlet State Park
Sebastian Inlet has amazing on-foot fishing opportunities. The jetties, Piers, and fish-filled shorelines are ideal for camping out with a fishing rod. On the eastern side of the State Park, you will find two jetties. That’s where the Indian River meets the Atlantic.
Your hook will get stuck to fishes like Redfish, Flounder, Snook, Largemouth Bass, King Mackerel, and many more.
Many anglers decide to fish on foot in the Indian River. You can access the waters from the western side of the park. The area is also known for boat fishing, surf fishing, and charter fishing.
As the place stays crowded during the day, people prefer fishing at night. If the current is in your favor there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try out night fishing at the Sebastian Inlet State Park.
9. Crady Memorial Bridge
The Crady Memorial Bridge provides the best opportunity for Northeast Florida’s finest fishing and angling. It is mainly a mile-long pedestrian bridge.
You will find different fishes including Jack, Tarpon, Drum, and Whiting. Other species of fish include Redfish, Flounder, Black Drum, Sheepshead, Weakfish, and Trout. You may catch the occasional striped bass as well.
You should enter the bridge from the north end of Big Talbot State park or Amelia State Park. There are parking spots on both ends of the bridge.
10. Dania Pier
The Dania Pier is a 928-foot long structure that goes deep into the water providing the opportunity to catch some unique fishes on foot. This place is regarded as one of the best places to fish in Southeast Florida without a boat.
If you go to the very end of the pier, you will be able to catch yellowtail and mutton snapper as well as other fishes including Mackerel, Bluefish, Snook, Porgies, Grunts, and Barracudas. On the shallower section of the pier, fishes like Whiting, Flounder, and Pompano are easy catches.
This place has all the necessary facilities. Restrooms, bait shops, and onsite parking make this place a convenient location for fishing. But you will have to pay a fee of $3 for fishing.
11. South Pointe Park Pier
The South Pointe Park Pier is located at the end of Miami’s South Beach. This pier is parallel to the north jetty of Government Cut. You will find different species of fish in and around the pier. The structure itself attracts fishes. The tidal flushing of the major inlet brings fishes to the area.
Even on an off day, you will catch Grouper, Snapper, Tarpon, Barracuda, Grunts, and also Snook. You will be able to fish underneath the pier thanks to the center openings.
You will have to walk a fair distance from the mitered parking spot to get to the area. But the Miami weather makes the stroll rather pleasant.
12. Fort Desoto Park
This 1,136-acre park is the gem of Pinellas County. It is located in south St. Petersburg. The park comprises camping grounds, bathrooms and shower facilities, picnic spots, bait shops, and Dog Park. It also has historical significance.
You will find a decent mix of Redfish, Trout, Flounder, and Snook. Other species like Cobia, Pompano, Mangrove Snapper, and Mackerel can be caught from the historic piers. Also, sharks are aplenty in the waters of the Fort Desoto Park.
The Park authority charges $5 for each vehicle irrespective of the number of passengers. The Bay Pier and the Gulf Pier played their part in both the World Wars.
13. Jupiter Pier
This is one of the newest fishing spots in Florida. The 225ft long pier was constructed in 2015. It stands on the west side of the south bank also known as U.S 1 on top of the Loxahatchee River. Because it’s in close vicinity of the Jupiter inlet, you will be able to catch a decent variety of fishes.
Sheepshead, Croakers, Jacks, Drum, Lockdowns, and Mangrove Snappers are easy targets from the pier. Snook fishes come out of the inlet and stay around the bridge and pier area.
You don’t have to pay any fees to get onto the pier. But the downside to this pier is there are no bathrooms as of now. There’s another pier close to this one called the Juno Beach Pier. You can go there as well. You will find blue water fishes including African Pompano and Sailfishes there.
Fishing tips in Florida
Fishing on piers and jetties is a rather comfortable experience. You can go at your own pace and identify what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
For people who are just learning how to pier fish they should use a double dropper rig with the No. 2 hook and a few ounces of pyramid weight at the bottom. If you’re ready for a bit of challenge, you can use live bait fishes or fish cut sardines.
Get a rolling cart to move all your belongings. It will make your experience far more pleasant.
Don’t pressurize yourself too much. Enjoy the scenery and you will do just fine. This isn’t any rocket science.
Best Time to Fish in Florida
Keep in mind that there every fish has their breeding season and depending on that they come to the shore. But typically, during the spring season, they are easy to catch.
Time of day
During summer: the ideal time to fish is late evenings and early mornings.
During fall and spring: the ideal time for fishing is around the dusk period.
Time of Season
If you want to catch bass fish, spring is the best time of the year. Fishes come to the shallow waters to spawn so you can catch them from the piers and jetties. March and April are the ideal months.
Required Gear for Bass Fishing in Florida
Bass fishing is very popular in Florida because of its availability. But it isn’t easy to catch Bass because they offer a challenge. That’s what makes the experience fun. If you’re new to bass fishing, firstly you should learn about the essential gears. Once you know how to use the gears, your fishing record will be similar to a pro.
When you buy bass fishing gear, you will need to give attention to the durability of the product. Your equipment needs to be strong enough to withstand corrosion. The fish will try to fight away. If your gears are fragile the fish will escape. To add salt to the wound, bass can even break your fishing rod if it’s not durable.
Let’s take a look at the required gears for bass fishing.
Also read: How to fish for trout?
Your fishing rod is one of the most important components of the entire setup. Because it needs to be durable enough to withstand the struggle. At the same time, it should be sensitive enough to alert you when a fish gets stuck.
You can go for a medium to heavy power rod. The rod also needs to be a fast action rod otherwise it won’t pick up the bites and nibbles of the bass. In the end, it comes down to personal preference.
Some fishermen prefer the casting rod as it can control heavier lures and lines. On the other hand, the spinning rod provides better accuracy. So, the choice is yours. Pick something that goes with your fishing style.
Whatever fishing reel you choose, it should provide you the flair to hook and catch large bass. Brands use materials like graphite, aluminum, and steel in their fishing reels. Aluminum reels are durable and stout. The graphite made reels are lighter and they are resistant to corrosion.
You’ll be safe with either of the two material options.
Bass anglers mainly use three types of fishing line.
The braided lines don’t stretch. Plus, they are sturdy and durable.
You can also go for the Fluorocarbon line because it’s almost impossible to see in the water and they are resistant to abrasion.
Buy extra lines because the fishes tend to run away. Give priority to the fishing line’s poundage. Most pro bass anglers use test lines with a poundage of eight-pound or above.
You have the opportunity to be creative with the fishing lures. There are so many options to choose from. They come in different sizes, colors, and shapes.
The plastic worm is a popular choice for bass fishing. These worms can be rigged in different ways and you can choose from a variety of colors. By experimenting you’ll know which one the fish wants. Crankbaits and jigs are also good options. You can use crankbaits in different depths. The jig is made to replicate a crawfish.
You should do a bit of research and find out what the local fishes eat. By duplicating their food, you’ll have a higher chance of catching bass than using a random fishing lure.
Florida offers vast opportunities for fishing and these are our top picks for the best places to fish in Florida without a boat. Don’t worry too much about the techniques of fishing.
Enjoy the moment and the fishing will take care of itself.