Fishing in Jacksonville FL: What You Need to Know

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Fishing in Jacksonville FL provides you with an opportunity to battle a few of the most enjoyable species within the nation. Situated on the mouth of the mighty St. Johns River and going through out onto the Atlantic Ocean, this northeastern Florida city has each salt and freshwater working by means of its veins. The alternatives begin the second you get close to the water, so at all times be prepared!

This can be a fishery that’s made up of numerous productive fishing spots. With rivers, inlets, offshore wrecks, and a lot extra nearly each kind of maritime characteristic could be present in these components. This text will assist you to get acquainted with a few of the high native goal species, standard spots, and alternative ways you’ll be able to go about attending to the fish.

Jacksonville Fish Species

In Jacksonville, there are few targets you received’t have the ability to discover, given sufficient effort and time. Nonetheless, until you’re planning your complete journey round a particular dream catch, you’ll need to know what targets you’ll probably be seeing. Beneath is a listing of a few of the common suspects.

King Mackerel

There’s a purpose why Jacksonville is dwelling to the most important Kingfish match within the Southeast. These waters maintain bonafide monsters, with record-breaking Mackerel being removed from a uncommon sight. Not solely are these predators well-known for his or her measurement, but additionally for being ravenous feeders. Their velocity, agility, and acrobatics make every encounter an exciting one.

Whereas stalking their prey, Kingfish can sometimes be discovered round buildings equivalent to ridges, reefs, and wrecks. Nonetheless, in the course of the hotter months, they will even be seen when fishing from the shore. They’re a enjoyable species to focus on because of the truth that they not often transfer alone, so working into one usually means there are extra round! 


These mighty fish keep on the high of many Florida anglers lists because of their nice style, steady numbers, and enjoyable angling expertise. Cobia survive on a food regimen wealthy in protein and, because of the abundance of baitfish in native waters, usually develop to spectacular sizes. You’ll discover them the place their prey strikes, lurking close to reefs and wrecks in each inshore and offshore waters.

When going after these brutes, you’ll give your self the most effective likelihood at a formidable catch in the event you preserve shut to those hotspot buildings. In Jacksonville, this may be executed with out even getting on the water because the native shore fishing spots see loads of Cobia passing by. Nonetheless, stepping into barely deeper waters will get you on high of wrecks the place the actual monsters are!

Crimson Snapper

Wanted by anglers motivated by the reward of a tasty catch, Crimson Snapper are at all times going to be standard targets in any fishery that has them. Jacksonville is definitely no totally different. Any journey providing the chance to reel in a pleasant specimen is certain to provide you an opportunity at a number of picture-perfect moments and lifelong recollections.

Fishing for Crimson Snapper in Jacksonville provides you the added benefit of getting no closed season in state waters. That is nice information for any angler who isn’t capable of put aside a date in the course of the brief Gulf season, however nonetheless needs a shot at these prized fish. Federal waters, nonetheless, are the place you’ll discover the most efficient spots, so a go to in the course of the open season is at all times value it. 


The supreme elusiveness and legendary preventing spirit of Tarpon have all contributed to the near-mythical standing these fish get pleasure from. Their nickname, the “Silver King,” tells you all you could know on the subject of the extent of respect anglers have for these beasts. Catching giant Tarpon is on the bucket listing for all Florida anglers, but it surely’s not a problem everybody’s as much as.

With Tarpon current within the native waters year-round, there’s by no means a scarcity of motion on Jacksonville inshore adventures. Nonetheless, you must take into account that Tarpon are, in any case, migratory fish, and the most important ones by no means keep put all 12 months lengthy. Because of this, in the event you’re decided to get your self a trophy catch, purpose for the interval between June and September. 

Redfish and Black Drum

The staple of all inshore fisheries within the area, Redfish are standard each amongst novices and seasoned anglers. Discover the flats round Jacksonville for a shot at tailing Reds, or go to the wealthy backcountry and inshore honey holes. The number of adventures that will let you goal Redfish make them an incredible selection for anglers on the lookout for an intro to Jacksonville fishing.

When you’re concentrating on Redfish, there’s a excessive probability you’ll additionally run into Black Drum. These species go collectively like peanut butter and jelly! Being barely extra forgiving to novices than their purple cousins, Black Drum are an incredible various goal on inshore journeys. Contemplating their giant measurement and scrumptious style, it’s simple to see why they’re so standard.

Forms of Fishing in Jacksonville

Fish from the shore, get on a constitution boat, be a part of a celebration of anglers, or blaze your personal path. The adventures you’ll be able to have in Jacksonville are available in all styles and sizes. Discover out extra about the most well-liked forms of fishing beneath and select the one that most closely fits your wants.

Constitution Boat Fishing

Fishing aboard one of many native constitution boats is without doubt one of the greatest methods to expertise what’s on supply in Jacksonville. That is largely the case because of the standard of town’s constitution fleet. The wealth of expertise amongst the native guides and captains, and the number of journeys supplied by them, are sufficient to fulfill even essentially the most demanding guests. 

On non-public charters, you’ll additionally profit from having knowledgeable information you to your goal as rapidly as potential. It will will let you maximize your precise fishing time and make your journey extra productive general. It’s additionally an incredible possibility for anybody wanting to combine it up and check out their hand at totally different strategies.

Celebration Boat Fishing

If you wish to check the chew at offshore hotspots, however don’t have a gaggle to take action with, you’ll need to get on a celebration boat. These kinds of adventures are an incredible mixture of leisure on the water and enjoyable angling motion, with a pleasant dose of pleasant competitors. You’ll have the ability to goal prized species, share tales, and choose up suggestions out of your friends all with out breaking the financial institution.

There are, nonetheless, some issues you must consider when becoming a member of a celebration boat journey. In contrast to non-public charters, the crew on social gathering boats has to are likely to a lot of visitors. Which means issues like baiting your hook and unhooking your catch might be as much as you. It’s one thing value contemplating in the event you’re a novice. 

Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing goes to enchantment to the anglers with the most important urge for food for journey. This can be a fishing expertise that may check your expertise at each step. Nonetheless, this additionally implies that while you succeed, the reward might be that a lot higher. It’s an exercise that requires nice bodily stamina and fishing approach, though it additionally depends upon the place you resolve to fish.

That is partly on account of current tendencies which have seen kayaking transfer out of the inshore waters and into the fishing grounds nearshore and past. Naturally, in the event you’re simply stepping into kayak fishing, it’s greatest to stay to calmer waters, however in the event you’re on the lookout for the final word problem there are few that may high huge recreation kayak fishing.

Shore Fishing

When you’re the kind of angler who likes to take issues into their very own arms and get after numerous species from the shore, Jacksonville is your city. Being positioned on a significant waterway, such because the St. Johns River, implies that numerous fish species of spectacular measurement can usually be caught from the shore. 

With over 1,100 miles of inside shoreline, it could be unattainable to cowl all of the shore spots the place you’ll be able to drop a line in Jacksonville. Bridges, jetties, parks, piers, and far more can be found within the space, with goal lists that rival these of all the highest fisheries within the nation!

Jacksonville Fishing Spots

What your Jacksonville journey finally ends up trying like is finally all as much as you. Whichever kind of fishing you resolve to check out, there might be various spots you’ll be able to discover on any given day. Beneath are a few of the ones which have turn into the most well-liked over time. 

Stinson Park: Situated adjoining to the Ortega River Bridge, that is thought-about by many to be one of many metropolis’s most lovely parks. Nonetheless, it’s good for extra than simply offering a fairly photograph backdrop. Having speedy entry to each the Ortega and St. Johns River, the park has nice alternatives for all visiting anglers.

Dutton Island Protect: This park stretches out alongside the shores of the Intracoastal Waterway. The Waterway is a famously wealthy fishery which is much more noticeable inside the protect. It’s the right setting for a kayaking journey with countless hidden spots to discover. That includes climbing trails, tenting trails, and a fishing pier, there’s entry to nice angling even in the event you select to remain off the water. 

Synthetic Reefs: Jacksonville’s synthetic reef system has greater than 100 synthetic reefs.  It’s made up of varied sunken objects, offering meals and shelter to all of the fish calling these waters dwelling. Inshore, you’ll be able to check the chew on the George Holt Reef, whereas offshore you’ll be able to strive your luck at deep-sea wrecks such because the Payments Barge and different vessels not removed from it.

The Gulf Stream: Heading out of Jacksonville,you’ll be touring about 60 miles offshore to achieve the Gulf Stream. That is the place the most effective huge recreation fishing alternatives town has to supply are. Relying on the season, there might be colleges of pelagics passing by means of, with wealthy deep sea reefs hiding a completely totally different group of prizes.

When to Go to Jacksonville

Having such a wealthy and various inshore fishery, along with direct ocean entry, implies that Jacksonville by no means lacks obtainable targets. You solely must be aware of dates in the event you’re after a particular species or in the event you’re trying to participate in a neighborhood match. Beneath are a few of Jacksonville’s largest occasions.

Jacksonville Fishing Tournaments

Jacksonville has a wealthy match fishing scene, with lots of its occasions attracting a whole lot of members from all around the nation. This implies high competitors and superb prizes. Inshore fans will definitely need to try October’s Flounder Pounder and the El Cheapo Sheepshead Event, taking place every March.

Serving to preserve Jacksonville a fishing hub in the course of the winter season is the Northeast Florida Wahoo ShoutOut. Going down in the course of the months of February and March, it’s the world’s largest Wahoo match. Lastly, in July, you’ll have the ability to participate within the well-known Larger Jacksonville Kingfish Event. One other world’s largest, this match pays out enormous prizes in the event you handle to beat the powerful competitors.

Fishing Seasons and Rules

Within the curiosity of preserving the populations of a few of the space’s hottest catches, not all fish could be harvested year-round. Allow fishing is closed April by means of July, whereas Hogfish is off-limits Could by means of October. Grouper species are additionally protected and may’t be focused from January by means of April.

Guidelines on bag limits and minimal harvesting sizes for numerous targets are additionally enforced. Nonetheless, since these have a tendency to vary every season, it’s greatest to get knowledgeable about them on official web sites earlier than getting on the water. When you’re becoming a member of a licensed captain, you’ll be able to depend on them to give you the required info.

A Sportfishermen’s Mecca

As evidenced by the large tournaments happening right here yearly, Jacksonville’s angling supply has put it on the map of numerous anglers worldwide. No matter your most well-liked fishing technique or approach, coming right here will will let you put it to the check and enhance alongside the best way. Enjoyable instances on the water, tasty catches, and jaw-dropping prizes – there’s one thing for anglers of all ability ranges in Jacksonville.

Have you ever already been fishing in Jacksonville? Drop a remark beneath and share your tales with us!

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