Fort Lauderdale Fishing: An Angler's Guide

Studying Time: 9 minutes

It’s no secret that Florida’s Gold Coast has nice fishing. The realm is spectacular even by Floridian requirements, with large fish proper on the town and deep waters only a stone’s throw from the shore. If you happen to’re planning on fishing Fort Lauderdale, you’re in for a deal with – particularly if you realize what to do.

On this article, we’ll break down Fort Lauderdale’s high species and fishing spots, in addition to how and when to get probably the most out of those waters. You may find out about native laws, tournaments, and rather more. In brief, right here’s every little thing you have to know on your excellent angling journey.

What to Catch in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale has an issue. There are such a lot of fish right here that selecting your goal will be virtually as robust as catching it. To maintain issues easy, we’ll concentrate on the “must-hook” species. Take a look at our fishing calendar if you’d like a full month-by-month breakdown of what’s on provide.


If you happen to can solely goal one fish when you’re on the town, it must be Snook. These hard-fighting hunters are one of many world’s most prestigious inshore species. They’re on the bucket lists of fly anglers worldwide, and will be simply as a lot enjoyable on trolled plugs, dwell baits, or forged lures. In addition they style nice, though most anglers want to launch them.

Snook spend the entire 12 months in Fort Lauderdale, wintering within the metropolis’s canals then making for bays and passes because the climate warms up. Your finest probability of touchdown a trophy is in the summertime, when large fish crowd the seashores to spawn. Nevertheless, even the depths of winter will be productive right here.


Tarpon are the actual heavyweights of Fort Lauderdale’s inshore waters. Fish over 100 kilos are frequent in excessive season, and trophies hit double that every 12 months. Once more, you may technically catch all of them 12 months spherical. Your finest probability is within the spring and early summer season, although, when large colleges of Tarpon roll pile into the shallows.

For many individuals, the final word dream is to struggle a “Silver King” on the fly. Nevertheless, pure baits typical sort out are simply as efficient. No matter you go for, keep away from utilizing overly gentle line as this may overtire the fish. Belief us, Tarpon aren’t any simple catch even on heavy sort out.


“All these sport fish are nice, however I need one thing I can eat!” Don’t fear, you gained’t go hungry after a day on the native reefs. You may catch a wide range of Snappers in Fort Lauderdale, from small Vermilions and Yellowtails to brutish Cubera and the tastiest of all of them: Crimson Snapper. Snapper fishing is finest in summer season, however most species are round all 12 months.

Snapper are the principle occasion, however they’re not the one fish on the reef. You too can catch scrumptious Gag, Black, and Crimson Grouper, in addition to Amberjack, Triggerfish, Hogfish, and extra. You by no means know what may take your bait and that’s half the enjoyable. The opposite half is having fun with a fishy feast on the finish of the day.


A dozen totally different bluewater species need to make this checklist. Fort Lauderdale’s winter Wahoo are the stuff of legends. The Tuna fish right here is excellent. You too can catch monster Mahi Mahi (Dolphin), and even Marlin within the warmth of summer season. So why is it Sailfish that get a particular point out?

Merely put, nothing beats Sailfish for drama. From their wild mohawk of a sail to their unbelievable aerial acrobatics, these guys are actual show-stoppers and so they understand it. Sailfish additionally attain unbelievable sizes within the deep waters off Fort Lauderdale. And since the water will get so deep so quick, you don’t have to journey far to seek out them. What extra might you need?


Freshwater anglers, we haven’t forgotten you. In some ways, we’ve saved the very best for final. Peacock Bass got here to Florida within the ‘80s to cope with an invasion of Tilapia. They excelled on the job and made lifelong mates with native anglers alongside the best way. Peacocks are actually a signature catch in Fort Lauderdale’s canals, liked for his or her appears to be like and revered for his or her struggle.

Peacock Bass fishing is finest in the summertime months, when the water is sweet and heat. That is additionally a good time to focus on invasive species like Clown Knife Fish and Snakehead. Visiting within the winter? Not an issue. Goal Largemouth Bass as a substitute. South Florida is residence to large Largemouth, which tag out the Peacocks to verify the motion is crimson scorching all 12 months spherical.

And Extra!

These are just a few of Fort Lauderdale’s predominant fish species, however there are such a lot of extra on the market. From Allow and Barracuda to Sharks, Cobia, and potential world-record King Mackerel, you’ll discover motion all over the place you flip. All of it relies on how you like to fish.

Find out how to Fish in Fort Lauderdale

After that handy segue, let’s take a look on the other ways to get pleasure from these waters. Clearly, the way you fish is essentially determined by what you wish to catch. It could possibly additionally come right down to your funds. Right here’s a abstract of what to anticipate from the principle types of fishing in Fort Lauderdale.

Shore Fishing

It is a low-cost, easy technique to moist a line and catch just a few fish for dinner. You in all probability gained’t hook a monster fishing from shore, however you may have a ton of enjoyable. The primary draw back to shore fishing is that you have to deliver all your personal gear. Both that, or depend on low-cost rental rods which may not be in nice form.

There are two predominant methods to fish from shore. You may discover the canals looking for Bass, Snook, and unique invaders like Clown Knife Fish. In any other case, head to the seaside to forged for Trout, Redfish, Snook, and small Sharks. By legislation, you may solely fish on Fort Lauderdale Seaside between 6:00 p.m. and eight:00 a.m., however the fishing is best at evening, anyway.

Pier Fishing

In case your predominant precedence is catching fish, go to a fishing pier. It’s a one-stop store for every little thing you want, from rods and bait to cleansing stations and benches. Pier fishing might not have the identical outdoorsy vibes as surf fishing, however you’re more likely to catch one thing because of the construction the pier supplies.

The closest fishing pier to Fort Lauderdale is Anglin’s Pier. The far finish of the pier is presently closed, so you may’t attain the deepest waters. You may nonetheless catch all kinds of fish right here, although. Anticipate every little thing you’d discover on the seaside plus Mackerel, Cobia, and even small Snappers.

Constitution Fishing

It doesn’t matter what you’re after, fishing on a constitution is one of the best ways to get it. Your captain will take you to the very best spots for every species and provide you with high-quality gear to catch them. They’ll educate you their high methods for tempting in fish and be available that can assist you when you wrestle your prize to the boat.

There are dozens of constitution boats in Fort Lauderdale. Some boats are arrange for giant sport, bluewater angling. Others are finest at combing the shallows or exploring the town’s canals. You may even rent an on-foot information if you wish to catch large Bass from land. No matter you’re after, there’s a information or a captain who focuses on it.

Occasion Boat Fishing

Occasion boats, or drift boats, are larger, shared charters that provide a slice of ocean angling on a funds. As you may guess from the title, you’ll primarily be drift fishing round reefs and wrecks. Your predominant targets shall be Snappers, Groupers, and different tasty backside fish. Some boats can even run longer journeys, heading out looking for large pelagic predators.

We’ve written at size about drift fishing in Fort Lauderdale so we gained’t go over all of it once more right here. In brief, it’s an effective way to reel in some fish for those who don’t have sufficient folks for a non-public journey. Nevertheless, you don’t get wherever close to as a lot assist as you’d on a constitution, which will be irritating for inexperienced anglers.

The place to Fish in Fort Lauderdale

There are tons of of nice fishing spots round Fort Lauderdale. Even for those who’re after one particular species, you’re spoiled for alternative on the place to catch it. To slender issues down, listed below are the principle fishing areas close to city:

  • Intracoastal Waterway: The primary goal right here is Tarpon, however you may also discover Snook, Redfish, Trout, and extra. Fish from shore in spots like Hugh Taylor Birch State Park or bounce on a ship to succeed in extra secluded areas. Maintain an eye fixed out for manatees within the winter!
  • Fort Lauderdale Inlet: One other spot that’s nice on a ship or from shore. Solid from the jetties on the north aspect of the inlet for Jacks and Snook. In any other case, take to the water for even larger Snook and the added probability of hooking Tarpon, Cobia, and rather more.
  • Anglin’s Pier: It prices $7.00 to fish from the pier. You too can lease rods and purchase bait right here. Relying on while you go to, you may catch Snook, Pompano, Allow, Cobia, Bluefish, King and Spanish Mackerel, and extra. With so many fish about, one thing will chew earlier than lengthy.
  • Canals: Fort Lauderdale is a maze of canals, most of that are stuffed with fish. Fish round bridges and docks in your nearest canal for Largemouth and Peacock Bass, Snakehead, and Bowfin. You too can discover large Snook, Tarpon, Redfish, and extra in saltier waters.
  • Reefs: There are virtually 100 reefs round Fort Lauderdale. You want a ship to succeed in them, however they’re effectively well worth the journey. Shallow spots maintain Yellowtail and Mutton Snapper, Mackerel, and Cobia. Deeper reefs are residence to large Snappers, Groupers, Amberjack, and extra.
  • Gulf Stream: If you happen to’re after actual bucket-list fishing, that is the place to go. The Gulf Stream comes proper previous Fort Lauderdale, bringing Wahoo, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Sailfish inside 10 miles of the shore. You may even catch Marlin and Swordfish out right here!

When to Go to Fort Lauderdale

There’s no dangerous time to go to Florida’s Gold Coast. The climate’s at all times heat and the fish are at all times biting. Nevertheless, there are just a few angling occasions that you just don’t wish to miss. On the similar time, some species are off-limits for a part of the 12 months.

Fishing Tournaments

Most tournaments within the Fort Lauderdale space run out of close by Pompano Seaside. The season begins off in February with the Sailfish Problem, a severe bluewater occasion with tons of of 1000’s of {dollars} in prizes. Anticipate some fierce rivalry for those who join this one.

If you happen to’re on the lookout for one thing extra relaxed, try the Saltwater Summer time Sequence. Three tournaments run from Could to August: the Shootout, Slam, and Showdown. These are extra fun-focused occasions, concentrating on Kingfish, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and Tuna. They nonetheless provide loads of pleasant competitors, although.

Do you like fishing, charity, and wine? Ever wished that you may get pleasure from them suddenly? Sounds just like the Line, Vine, and Dine Match is for you. This charitable occasion advantages native causes with a Billfish match and public sale. There aren’t any large prizes, however you may anticipate some severely good meals and loads of advantageous wine.

Seasons and Laws

Earlier than you begin reeling in fish, you ought to be conscious of some necessary closed seasons. Most Grouper species are shielded from January 1 to Could 1, whereas Hogfish are closed from November 1 to Could 1. Snook have two closures round Fort Lauderdale: December 15 to January 31, and June 1 to August 31. Lastly, Tarpon and Goliath Grouper are release-only all 12 months spherical.

Everytime you go to, be sure to purchase a fishing license for those who want one. All freshwater anglers aged 16 and up want a license. In saltwater, you don’t want a license on a constitution or a licensed pier. Take a look at our Florida license information for exceptions and customary questions.

Why Fort Lauderdale? As a result of It’s All on Your Doorstep!

Fort Lauderdale presents some severe selection. Bass, Snook, Tarpon – you don’t even want to depart the town to benefit from the journey of a lifetime. The offshore chew is simply as spectacular, with deep-water Snappers and even Billfish biting nearby of land. Throw in a big constitution fleet and Florida’s well-known climate, and also you simply sorted your trip plans for the subsequent decade!

Have you ever ever been fishing in Fort Lauderdale? What did you catch and the way? Tell us your tales or drop us a query within the feedback beneath. We stay up for listening to from you!

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