April 17, 2024

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Everglades City Fishing Guide: Complete Guide

Reading Time: 9 minutes

The Everglades are famed for their incredible wildlife and fishing opportunities, so what would you expect from Everglades City? At the mouth of the Barron River, you’ll find a haven where you can truly connect with nature – all within a short ride from some of Florida’s bigger cities. With luscious mangrove forests and abundant flats, fishing in Everglades City is a unique adventure best experienced firsthand.

Known as the “Stone Crab Capital of the World,” Everglades City is a must-visit if you want to get some delicious Crabs cooked to perfection. There’s no shortage of game species you can target either, with those mangroves and flats offering prolific brackish and salty waters. The city – if you can really call it that – measures just 1.2 square miles and is completely surrounded by water.

Sound enticing? Well, this guide will equip you with all the knowledge you need to get a pinch of local flavor when it comes to fishing here. We’ll run through the top species, spots, techniques, and more. Let’s dive into this real Floridian gem one step at a time.

Everglades City Top Catches

The list of potential catches in Everglades City is practically endless. Species like Snook, Redfish, Tarpon, and Tripletail, patrol the intertwining mangrove channels, the expansive flats, and deeper offshore waters. But there’s plenty more. Here are some of the area’s prime catches.

Snook

A man in a baseball cap and sunglasses sitting on the front of a boat in Everglades City, holding a large Snook with the water visible behind him
Photo courtesy of Love-n-It Inshore Charters

Fishing in Everglades City is boring without Snook. A staple of the local inshore fishery, this species is highly sought-after by both locals and visitors alike. While their rich meat is a delicacy, the majority of Everglades City charters practice catch and release. The ethos of conservation is strong here!

Snook are hard to miss, with a striking line running down the side of their body. While the average catch is somewhere between 20 and 30 inches, trophies can reach over 40 inches in size. Snook fishing in Everglades City is mostly about the fish’s potent game quality, due to the serious challenge they present.

During the colder months, Snook hang out in the warmer, deeper waters of the creeks and backcountry bays. As the season shifts, the fish migrate to the outside island bays, which marks a time of active bite. Fish on, as it’s an unmissable opportunity for all inshore enthusiasts!

Redfish

A young girl in a pink shirt and green baseball cap standing aboard a fishing charter and holding a Redfish with the water behind her on a sunny day
Photo courtesy of Fan Sea Luxury Charters

The shallows of Everglades City shimmer with the distinctive hues of Redfish. Known for their characteristic black dot near the tail and a fiery spirit that’s the stuff of legends, “Red Drum” are a favorite of every angler. The maze of mangroves, grass beds, and flats are their prime playgrounds in Everglades City.

If you’re lucky, you can land a “Bull Red,” which measures over 30 inches in size. However, the average-sized Redfish aren’t small either, ranging from 18 to 27 inches long. Plus, they’re active pretty much throughout the year, especially during the warmer months. Look for structures and lush grassy terrains in shallow water, and consider challenging them – and yourself – with light spin tackle.

Tarpon

A man in a blue shirt crouching on a fishing boat in the Everglades, holding a Tarpon with mangrove-lined waters visible behind him on a cloudy day
Photo courtesy of Anchor Charters Of Naples

Everglades City’s shimmering waters are also graced by the presence of the majestic Tarpon. The “Silver King” isn’t only inspiring in size, but is also widely recognized as one of the ultimate challenges in sportfishing. That’s thanks to their sheer strength and incredible acrobatics. Anglers usually target either grown-up Kings with an average size of 80–100 pounds, or juvenile Tarpon, weighing 5–30 pounds.

These behemoths set the stage for unforgettable encounters in the springtime, when anglers target them in the outside bays. During the summer months, Tarpon migrate to the beaches. No matter when you decide to hunt for the Silver King, they’re predominantly a catch-and-release species in Everglades City.

Permit

A man in a blue shirt standing next to an older man in a yellow shirt, holding a large Permit aboard a fishing charter out of Everglades City on a sunny day
Photo courtesy of All In Deep Sea Fishing Charters

The elusive Permit have long been the stuff of fishing legends in Florida’s coastal waters. And the summer is the time to come if you’re after the best Permit bite in Everglades City. The warmer currents make their lively behavior even more pronounced, although the fish remain as spooky as ever. Plus, these silver gladiators are known for their lightning-fast runs!

A typical Permit weighs somewhere between 10 and 20 pounds. If you manage to land one over 30 pounds, you don’t only get a trophy fish, but also the promise of a feast worthy of all the effort! Permit are a gastronomical delight, although you always need to stick to the size and bag limits.

Snapper

A man in a baseball cap standing on a fishing charter on the water near Everglades City holding a large Red Snapper on a sunny day
Photo courtesy of Reel Funds Fishing Charters

The nearshore and offshore treasures of Everglades City include various species of Snapper. Here, you can get your hands on the alluring Mangrove, vibrant Yellowtail, and the elusive Lane Snapper, depending on the season.

Naturally, each Snapper presents its own unique challenge. These bottom dwellers are excellent opponents, presenting a good fight and a promise of a cooler full of delicious rewards. Snapper are known for their keen instincts, demanding adaptability from every angler. If you’re after the biggest of the three, the average Yellowtail will be 12–16 inches, while Mangrove and Lane are slightly smaller.

Grouper

A woman with sunglasses on her head, smiling and holding a Groper to the camera aboard a fishing charter on a sunny day
Photo courtesy of Wild Thing Charters

Let’s venture further into the depths of Everglades City’s offshore waters. From 15 lb Red to 400 lb Goliaths, the rocky outcrops, reefs, and wrecks are home to various types of Grouper. Add stealthy Gag to the mix, and you’ll get yourself a perfect mix. And, as though that wasn’t enough, Groupers bite all year round, especially during the summer and winter months.

Mammoth Goliath, in particular, often stake their claim around significant underwater structure. They’re ambush predators that often hunt with sudden, powerful strikers. However, you can only admire them in the water – all Goliath are heavily protected, and, once hooked, need to be released back into the water.

How to Go Fishing in Everglades City

Fishing in Everglades City is beyond the ordinary, offering a myriad of opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. Now that you know which species to target, let’s delve into the diverse ways you can cast your line:

Everglades City Shore Fishing

A vie from behind of a silhouette of a woman in a baseball cap fishing next to a lake in the Everglades at sunset

The beauty of the Everglades City fishing scene lies not just in its offshore depths and inshore spots but also along its tranquil shores. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, surf fishing is never a bad choice. Plus, discovering a marked or unmarked spot along the coastline is an adventure in itself!

While surf fishing possibilities might seem limited compared to fishing from a boat, the reward is still worth it. You won’t be fishing for Groupers and Sharks, but you might end up with Redfish at the end of your fishing line. Locals often fish by the city’s seawalls, although you can always find your own, less crowded, spot.

Everglades City Kayak Fishing

Some Everglades City anglers say that kayak fishing offers a more intimate connection with the water. In addition to that, you can pair it with casting a line from a small skiff to change your perspective a bit. As you paddle through the waters, you won’t only be able to enjoy whatever the inshore waters have to offer but also immerse yourself into the beauty of the city.

If you want to navigate the outside barrier islands, inshore waters, or the river mouths on a kayak, consider hiring a local guide. You can also book a kayak fishing trip and paddle through Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Islands.

Everglades City Nearshore Fishing

A family fishing aboard a boat in the nearshore waters out of Everglades City, with a woman facing the camera and posing on a sunny day
Photo courtesy of Fan Sea Luxury Charters

Nearshore fishing in Everglades City will take you to various reefs and wrecks of the Gulf of Mexico. And, of course, all its treasures, such as Snapper, Grouper, Kingfish, and Cobia, to name a few. These species gather around underwater structure, ready to test your bottom fishing skills.

Note that, similar to kayak fishing, nearshore excursions are usually more productive if you’re accompanied by a local guide. Plus, the absolute majority of the nearshore spots are accessible only by boat.

Everglades City Charter Fishing

Booking an Everglades fishing charter is definitely a good investment. This liberating experience lets you focus solely on the thrill of fishing, without having to worry about anything else. You can hire a guide and spend your day in the bay or travel to the Ten Thousand Islands, checking out all the productive spots on your way.

By fishing with a charter, you also grow as an angler and learn more about the area, all at same time!

Where to Go Fishing in Everglades City

A view across the water of four metal cages, looking like bunkers of sorts on a clear day
Photo courtesy of Runnin The Flats

Everglades City serves as the entrance to the Ten Thousand Islands – a complex of mangrove isles and channels rich in diverse fishing spots. Key locations include Chokoloskee Bay, other intricate waterways, backcountry shallows, and the expansive Gulf of Mexico further out. Here are some of the most popular spots in town:

  • Chokoloskee Pass. This navigational passage is more than just a route, it’s an angler’s goldmine. Acting as a vital channel to the mesmerizing Ten Thousand Islands, the Pass teems with sought-after species like Snook, Seatrout, and Redfish.
  • Chokoloskee Bay. Spanning 10 miles in length and 3 miles in width, this bay is a real fisher’s playground. Enclosed by Florida’s southwest coast on one side and the Ten Thousand Islands on the other, the bay allows you to try jigging, fly fishing, spinning, or bait casting.
  • Nearby Wrecks. Just beyond Chokoloskee Bay lies a world of shipwrecks. These sunken treasures offer more than just stories of the past, with Grouper, Snapper, and Amberjack among the potential catches here.
  • Barron River. Flowing right through Everglades City, this river is an easily accessible spot for anglers. Its waters – a mix of fresh and brackish – host a variety of species, from Snook and Redfish to Mangrove Snapper.
  • Oyster Bar. Located near Chokoloskee, the Oyster Bar is a good destination for anglers targeting species like Sheepshead, which are often found around the oyster beds. It’s also a hotspot for Seatrout, especially during the cooler months.
  • Demijohn Island. Positioned to the south of Chokoloskee and among the Ten Thousand Islands, this area offers expansive grass flats that are prime hunting grounds for Redfish and Snook, especially during high tide.
  • Rabbit Key. A short boat ride from Chokoloskee, this is a serene spot favored by those who enjoy the peace of the Everglades. Surrounded by shallow flats, it’s ideal for sight fishing, especially for species like Bonefish and Permit. Plus, the view of the sunset here is nothing short of magical.

When to Go Fishing in Everglades City

What truly sets Everglades City apart is its dynamic range of fishing seasons, ensuring that anglers have a variety of species to target throughout the year.

A young girl fishing off the side of a boat in Eveglades City, with a small Sheepshead on the end of her line as a boy in a red sweater looks on at sunset on a clear day
Photo courtesy of Capt Joey D Charters – 32′

As the waters begin to warm in spring, the Tarpon run kicks off. This is when Silver Kings migrate through the waters around Everglades City in large numbers. Additionally, Snook start to become more active, lurking around mangrove edges and oyster bars, making this season a double treat for sportfishing enthusiasts.

Summer in Everglades City is synonymous with Redfish. As temperatures rise, these hard-fighting fish school up in the shallows, especially around the mangrove islands and grass flats. Meanwhile, Mangrove Snapper and Seatrout also become prominent, with the warmer months bringing them closer to the inshore waters.

As fall approaches and temperatures drop slightly, the focus shifts back to Snook, which become more prevalent in the backwaters and river mouths. The cooler months of winter are prime time for Sheepshead and the occasional Pompano, adding to the diversity of species available during this season.

Everglades City Fishing Rules and Regulations

An infographic featuring the flag of Florida along with text that says "Everglades City Fishing Regulations What You Need to Know" against a dark blue background with a vector of a boat and the FishingBooker logo

Booking an Everglades City fishing charter will cover your saltwater license. However, if you’re interested in freshwater fishing, you’ll need to buy a Florida fishing license in advance.

While many species in the Everglades can be targeted year-round, there are specific seasons for certain species like Snook, Redfish, and Tarpon. There are also bag and size limits to maintain sustainable populations of pretty much every species. Your charter captain will typically provide guidance on this. For detailed rules, protected areas, or gear restrictions, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website is your go-to source.

Fishing in Everglades City FAQs

Fishing in Everglades City: ​​Where Adventure Meets the Angler

A view across the water near Everglades City towards the setting sun in the distance, creating an orange hue in the sky

Fishing in Everglades City is not just about the destination – it’s an experience. An untouched gem of Florida’s wilderness, this place perfectly mixes the thrill of the catch with the tranquility of nature, making every fishing trip in Everglades City a journey of discovery. It’s time for you to uncover it yourself.

Have you ever been fishing in Everglades City? What’s your favorite catch? Let’s discuss it in the comments below

The post Everglades City Fishing: The Complete Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Lisa
Title: Everglades City Fishing: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/everglades-city-fishing/
Published Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2023 12:00:41 +0000

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