February 29, 2024

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Navarre Fishing – The Complete Guide

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Fishing in Navarre might sound too good to be true. But trust us, it’s absolutely amazing. Nestled along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, it separates the East Bay River’s access to the East Bay and the Santa Rosa Sound. That’s not to mention the nearshore reefs and endless deep sea fishing playground also at your disposal.

So, with angling action almost always guaranteed, this charming coastal paradise lures anglers from all over the state – and beyond. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about fishing in Navarre. We’ll run through the most interesting fish species and the best spots to wet a line in. Plus, you’ll learn about the local seasons and fishing methods to make for a memorable angling adventure. Let’s dive right in.

What can I catch while fishing in Navarre?

It should come as no surprise to you that the list of species you can catch in Navarre is almost endless. That’s why we’ve broken this section up for you to see what’s biting in your preferred watershed.

Inshore

A lot of fishing enthusiasts want to start their angling journey right away. And Navarre offers plenty in that regard. The town’s inshore action takes place in the East Bay in the north, and the Santa Rosa Sound in the south. Naturally, the list of potential catches here is impressive.

“Bull” Redfish and “Gator” Trout are the absolute superstars, but the fishing menu doesn’t end here. You can get your hands on Sheepshead, Jack Crevalle, Bluefish, Flounder, and even Tarpon when the season allows. If that’s not enough, move just a little bit further to Pensacola Bay and add Spanish Mackerel, Sharks, and Pompano to the mix. Impressive, right?

Redfish And Trout

Photo taken by Showintail Inshore Charters

Redfish, also known as Red Drum, are favorites among all Gulf inshore anglers. And Navarre is no different. Throughout the year, but especially during the spring and fall months, these creators patrol the local inshore waters, including the flats and grassy areas of the Santa Rosa Sound.

The inshore waters are also home to Spotted Seatrout. These fish hang around grass beds, oyster bars, and shallow flats in the area. Seatrout anglers often go wading or hop on a kayak to pursue these fish, equipped with live shrimp under a popping cork or soft plastics. The same lures and bait work well for Reds, too.

Spanish Mackerel and Pompano

A young boy wearing a life jacket standing on the bow of a fishing boat with a trolling motor and the water behind him, holding two small Pompanos caught fishing in Florida
Photo taken by Angler Up Charters

Spanish Mackerel are perhaps among the most aggressive fish species in the inshore and nearshore waters. Locals troll with clarkspoons or cast jigs and spoons near schools of bait fish that Spanish Mackerel prey on, especially from late spring to early fall. In fact, you can target them right from Navarre Beach Fishing Pier – or you can head to the local artificial reefs instead.

Pompano are also frequent visitors to Navarre during their spring and fall migrations. These fish feed on sand fleas and small crustaceans near troughs and sandbars. Prepare your light tackle and gently present sand fleas (live or imitations) on a double rig with a pyramid sinker to get the Pompano to bite.

Nearshore

Naturally, the Navarre fishing action doesn’t stop there. The nearshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico are home to various productive reefs. These, in turn, hold good numbers of anything from Cobia and Amberjack to Triggerfish, King Mackerel, Snapper, and Grouper.

Snapper And Grouper

A group of anglers pose in front of a board back at the dock after a successful reef fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico, showing off their Snapper and Grouper catches on a cloudy day
Photo taken by Reel Legend Fishing Charters

It’s safe to say that Red Snapper rule the Navarre waters whenever the federal season allows. It typically opens sometime in June and goes through July, when bottom fishing enthusiasts book trips to get their hands on this prized catch. Deepwater structures, such as artificial reefs and wrecks, are prime spots to land Snapper.

Snapper aside, anglers can also target other bottom dwellers, like Gag and Red Groupers. These species are among the most popular deep water catches that react well to live bait. Similar to Snapper, the Grouper season typically begins in June, although it’s not as strict: you can fish for them through the end of the year. Look for wrecks, natural ledges, and artificial reefs.

Cobia and Amberjack

Two male anglers in baseball caps and sunglasses hold a large Cobia aboard a fishing boat, with the water behind them on a sunny day
Photo taken by H and H Sportfishing Adventures

Cobia is another migratory fish that pays a visit to Navarre’s waters between late March and early June. The best spots to locate your target are around buoys, wrecks, and large schools of bait fish. Cobia anglers sight fish from a tower or any other high point on a boat and practice bottom fishing.

Wrecks, artificial reefs, and other kinds of offshore structure are the place to be if you’re after Amberjack, too. Their season normally runs from late summer to October, although catching them isn’t the easiest task. Amberjack are known for their size and stamina, so get ready to use heavy jigs.

Offshore

If inshore and nearshore fishing wasn’t enough, there’s no need to worry. Consider heading even further out to the deep waters, where some seriously prized fish await. A lot of captains fish 30+ miles offshore, where the playgrounds yield the prospect of Billfish, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and who knows what else.

Billfish

An angler in a yellow shirt hangs over the side of a boat and holds a Sailfish by the bill on a fishing trip out of Navarre, FL
Photo taken by On The Bite Fishing Charters

To get to the Billfish grounds, prepare for a longer ride. Of course, the reward is worth it – if you manage to find your target, that is! Blue and White Marlin, along with Sailfish, are the primary billed species in the deep waters off Navarre, and are a joy to behold for any experienced angler..

Getting your hands on one of these includes a strong knowledge of trolling and the company of a knowledgeable and experienced captain. Artificial lures, such as skirted ballyhoo or large plugs, usually work well when fishing for these acrobatic monsters. Head to the edge of the continental shelf or explore the waters near floating debris from late spring to early fall.

Tuna and Mahi Mahi

A smiling angler in a hat crouching down on a boat and holding a large Tuna with the water behind him on a sunny day
Photo taken by Charter Boat Malia Ann

If you happen to find yourself fishing offshore from Navarre, chances are you’re after Tuna. Yellowfin and Blackfin are both on the menu, especially during the summer months. Similar to Billfish, Tuna also patrol around floating debris and schools of bait fish, although you can also try chumming in the waters near oil rigs.

Last but not least, Navarre’s offshore fishing menu includes the gorgeous Mahi Mahi. These colorful creatures adore the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and are often caught while fishing for Tuna. Locals go sight casting for schools around weed lines and floating debris when they spot ’em. Want even more good news? The Mahi Mahi season also peaks in summer.

How can I go fishing in Navarre?

As you might have already guessed, Navarre is a diverse fishing destination. Naturally, there’s a variety of fishing techniques favored by both local anglers and seasonal visitors. Let’s talk about the most popular methods to catch fish in Navarre…

Pier and Surf Fishing

A view from the beach of the lengthy fishing pier on Navarre Beach, with the water crashing into the beach at sunset

The Navarre Beach coastline is a perfect spot to cast a line if you don’t feel like booking a charter with a local captain. There are various spots where you can target anything that’s in season and biting from the sandy shores. Local surf fishermen usually use spikes and robust surf rods to get their hands on species like Redfish, Whiting, and Pompano.

Additionally, you can fish right from the iconic Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. Some even call it the “Crown Jewel of the Gulf of Mexico,” partly due to the fact that it’s the longest pier in the region. What’s biting from the pier? Well, anything from Redfish to Mackerel. And after you’re done, why not kick back and enjoy a drink or some food at the world-famous Juana’s Pagodas.

Inshore and Nearshore Fishing

A view from the tower of a small boat of an angler casting into the clear, shallow inshore waters of Navarre, FL
Photo taken by Showintail Inshore Charters

Inshore fishermen embrace the waters of the Santa Rosa Sound and East Bay because of the impressive list of potential catches. However, Snapper and Grouper enthusiasts venture to the depths just off Navarre’s coast for some bottom fishing action in the nearshore waters.

The nearshore grounds stretch from 1–9 miles off the coast, with the waters up to 60 feet deep. Cobia, Tarpon, and a range of reef-dwelling species are all in the cards here. One of the best areas for nearshore fishing is Navarre Beach Artificial Reefs, a mere few miles off the coast. Here, an underwater world of prized fish is all yours to target.

Deep Sea Fishing

A view across the water of a deep sea fishing boat with its riggers in the water on a cloudy day in the Gulf of Mexico
Photo taken by Reel In Fun Charters

Navarre’s deep sea fishing grounds begin somewhere around the 10-mile point and go over 60 miles offshore, plunging to depths of between 60 and 300 feet. It’s never a bad idea to head to the bluewater with a knowledgeable captain. To fully immerse yourself in the experience, a guided charter is the ideal choice.

With the expertise, equipment, and knowledge of a seasoned captain you can explore “the Edge” and “the Elbow,” natural ledges located about 25-30 miles off the coast in the Gulf. You can also fish the underwater mountain range of Sykes Ridge, approximately 35–40 miles offshore, or stay a bit closer and fish around the Oriskany Wreck, just 22 miles from the coast. Wherever you go, you’ll be up against an enviable list of opponents!

Kayak Fishing

A view across the water of a lone kayak angler heading out along the calm waters of Navarre, FL, on a cloudy day
Photo taken by Reel Patriots Guide Service

Finally, kayak fishing in Navarre allows you to explore the intricate seagrass beds and oyster bars and get your hands on Redfish, Sheepshead, and a host of other inshore species. You can launch out of Navarre Park Kayak Launch, which is one of the most popular locations for kayak fishing. Alternatively, some local kayak anglers launch near Garcon Point Bridge.

This is a great way of getting up close and personal to the fish you want to target, and you’ll get double the workout as you would fishing from shore. True, you need to keep your balance, which isn’t easy. But we’re sure, after landing your first fish from a kayak, you’ll be back for more.

When to Go Fishing in Navarre

As you already know, there’s always something biting in Navarre. The area’s subtropical climate makes it a perfect spot for year-round action. However, there are certain times when it’s better to target specific species.

An aerial view looking towards the beach and town of Navarre, with the legendary fishing pier in the foreground sticking out into the water just after sunset

In spring, as the water temperatures begin to rise, Redfish and Speckled Trout are active in the flats, along with Sheepshead and Flounder. Nearshore, Cobia begin their annual migration, and locals chase them around the Navarre Beach Artificial Reefs.

Reds, Speckled Trout, and Flounder continue to bite throughout summer, joined by Jack Crevalle, Tarpon, and Ladyfish inshore, and Mahi Mahi and Mackerel around the Oriskany Wreck and artificial reefs. Deep-sea fishing also heats up with Red Snapper season usually opening in June.

Fall is an excellent time to switch your attention back to the inshore fishing. Targeting Reds, Trout, and Flounder that will be starting to move into shallower waters. This goes on through winter before the cycle starts again.

Navarre Fishing Spots

An aerial view of the waterfront on the bay or sound in Navarre, with a few docks and piers extending out into the water on a sunny day

The beauty of fishing in Navarre is that you have a lot of spots at your disposal. After all, this town was pretty much built for fishing. You can stay as little or as long as you want casting your line, depending on which species you’re after. Book a quick inshore trip or opt for a full day exploring the nearshore waters. Alternatively, venture 20+ miles out to the offshore grounds to make the most of it all. Here’s a quick list of spots for you to consider:

  • East Bay. The serenity of East Bay’s waters need no introduction. You can test your angling skills against the Speckled Trout and Flounder that dwell in the calm waters of the Bay, all surrounded by seagrass beds and oyster bars.
  • Santa Rosa Sound. This is another idyllic spot for some inshore fishing. Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder are among the most popular catches in the sound’s ample grass flats. Plus, you might also see some dolphins as you cast your line!
  • Eglin Air Force Base. These waters are in truly uncharted territory – you’ll need special permission to access these fishing grounds. If you have the permit, enjoy the secluded waters of the base and everything they have to offer.
  • Yellow River. Just a short ride from Navarre, you can explore the gorgeous Yellow River and get your hands on Bream, Bass, and Catfish among others. If you’re a freshwater enthusiast, consider casting your line here beneath the cypress trees.
  • Navarre Beach Artificial Reefs. These artificial reefs are located just a couple of miles off the coast of Navarre Beach. The list of potential catches here includes anything from Snapper and Grouper to Cobia and Tarpon.
  • Oriskany Wreck. A sunken aircraft carrier, resting about 22 miles offshore, this is a must-visit spot. Hop on a boat and let your captain take you to the wreck, where you can target Snapper, Grouper, and Amberjack.
  • The Edge and Elbow. These spots are perfect for serious offshore anglers. The natural ledges are located about 25–30 miles from the coast in the Gulf of Mexico. You can fish for some reef species or hunt for Billfish, Wahoo, and Tuna here.
  • Sykes Ridge. If you don’t mind the ride, head to this underwater mountain range that lies about 40 miles offshore. The reward will be worth it. You can catch anything from Snapper and Grouper to Amberjack.

Navarre Fishing FAQs

Fishing in Navarre: Fabled Tales from the Emerald Coast

An aerial view looking towards the beach and town of Navarre, with the legendary fishing pier in the foreground sticking out into turquoise waters on a sunny day

Fishing in Navarre is so many things: inspiring, productive, and very Floridian. This coastal oasis has so much to offer, no matter which fish you have in mind. Plus, Navarre has a way of luring anglers back time and time again. We’re sure you’ll head back with some tales to tell and that burning desire to return.

Have you ever been fishing in Navarre, Florida? What was the first fish you hooked? Tell us all about your adventure in the comments below!

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

By: Lisa
Title: Navarre Fishing: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/navarre-fishing/
Published Date: Sat, 06 May 2023 15:59:03 +0000

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