Marco Island Fishing: All You Need to Know

Studying Time: 9 minutes

Discovering it laborious to decide on between a deep sea tour and an inshore journey? Or possibly you wish to combine up your angling motion with some wildlife recognizing or shelling? Head on all the way down to Southwest Florida, the place a Marco Island fishing journey will enable for all of this and extra.

Marco Island acquired its identify from the Spanish explorers who arrived right here within the mid-1500s. They determined to christen it La Isla de San Marcos, after the Gospel author St. Mark. We’re not shocked that they went for one thing biblical. The island’s beautiful sandy seashores, blue skies, and seemingly-endless waters imply that it actually looks like heaven on earth.

Add to that the fishing alternatives on provide, and it makes for a real angler’s paradise. With the prolific Ten Thousand Islands only a stone’s throw away, in addition to loads of shallow water bays and passes, you may spend a lifetime backwater fishing right here and nonetheless discover new locations to discover. Then there’s the Gulf of Mexico. If the principle intention of your angling recreation is hooking some large fish, then you definitely’ve come to the proper place!

Earlier than you embark in your journey, check out our prime ideas and tips with regards to fishing this real-life slice of paradise…

What can I catch round Marco Island?


There’s a plethora of well-known inshore fish that inhabit Marco Island’s inshore waters, whether or not you’re exploring the Ten Thousand Islands, Rookery Bay, or the shallow waters alongside the coast. One species that stands head and shoulders above the remaining, nonetheless, needs to be the Redfish.

Beloved all over the world for its hard-fighting properties, Redfish is a agency favourite of Marco Island anglers. Why? Pay these waters a go to, and also you’ll quickly discover out – they’re simply bustling with Redfish. Not solely are you able to forged a line for them within the Ten Thousand Islands, however close by Rookery Bay is a main Redfish-chasing spot, too.

Then there’s the flexibleness {that a} Redfish journey provides. Because of the combat they put up on the top of a line, you may suppose that this species is simply reserved for essentially the most hardened of anglers. Not so round Marco Island! As you’ll be exploring calm waters, anglers of all ages and ability ranges can check their expertise at sighting and hooking these fish. There’s nothing fairly like recognizing the golden-red scales of your goal earlier than it bites!

Native anglers implement a wide range of fishing strategies with regards to hooking Reds, too. Newbies and households with little ones can check out their casting expertise. Extra skilled anglers can go for significantly gentle sort out, and even fish on the fly. The key to luring large Reds is recent, dwell bait – they particularly love Mullet and Shrimp.


Would a go to to the Sunshine State be full with out a Tarpon battle? We predict not! Marco Island is the proper place to check your preventing expertise towards the “Silver King.” This species is most outstanding in – yep, you guessed it – the Ten Thousand Islands. It additionally lives within the shallow waters that encompass Marco Island itself.

The most effective time to focus on this monster fish is between March and June when it passes by Marco Island’s waters on its strategy to spawn. Species attain as much as a whopping 300 kilos, with the Florida state file weighing in at 243 kilos. Due to this, native anglers suggest bringing alongside some heavier braided sort out. You don’t need your Tarpon to interrupt the road as soon as it’s hooked!

Equally to Redfish, you’ll be able to lure Tarpon to the top of your line with recent dwell bait. Mullets are a tried-and-true favourite for this fish, too. Though technically any angler can come face-to-gills with the Silver King, having some expertise beneath your belt earlier than battling this fish will certainly assist you with regards to reeling ’em in. Locals typically examine preventing a Tarpon to roping a bucking bronco, in any case!

One thing that’s essential to recollect is that the Tarpon is a strictly catch-and-release species within the Marco Island space. Carry alongside a digicam to snap an epic shot of your catch. Then, be sure you launch it safely into the waters. That means, era after era of angler will be capable to expertise what it’s wish to bow to the Silver King!


Should you’re seeking to face off towards some infamous underwater species, then Marco Island is the place to go to. It may appear shocking, however beneath this space’s calm backwaters lie some significantly ferocious Shark species! Fortunately, we solely imply “ferocious” with regards to the preventing spirit these fish have to supply.

Firstly, there’s the Lemon Shark. One of the simplest ways to focus on this tough-but-timid species is by chumming, or utilizing dwell bait equivalent to Mackerel whenever you spot one. Its distinctive yellow coloration means it’ll positively stand out in shallow waters! This fish prefers to lurk round mangroves, however you’ll even have the possibility to come across it when you’re exploring the Gulf, too.

Different widespread Shark species round Marco Island are Hammerhead, Bull, and Blacktip. Though you may count on to come across these beasts in deep waters, you’ll primarily discover them in waters as much as 3′ deep. Once more, chumming is the preferred strategy to hook them, however they will simply be lured in by a well-placed Mackerel, too!

Though their popularity may counsel in any other case, Sharks are an important goal for anglers of all ages and ability ranges. Marco Island fishing guides even run Shark-specific journeys for households and newer anglers. What could possibly be higher than introducing your little ones to fishing than by serving to them hook one among these brag-worthy beasts?

Snapper and Grouper

It’s honest to say that this space’s Gulf fishing alternatives are sometimes barely missed. Whereas a deep sea journey right here may not contain the massive recreation fish species you often hear about in Florida, it’ll positively make it easier to fill the freezer! Should you’re seeking to discover the Gulf, the commonest fish you’ll come throughout are Snapper and Grouper. Even higher, you’ll be capable to goal them round Marco Island’s Gulf-side synthetic wrecks and reefs.

While you consider “Florida” and “Snapper,” maybe the primary species that involves thoughts is the Crimson Snapper. There are completely different rules with regards to fishing for Crimson Snapper in state waters (as much as 9 miles out) and federal waters. Usually, the larger fish dwell in federal waters. Nevertheless, the restrictions are a lot tighter, and the pool of captains who’re federally-licensed is far smaller!

There’s an entire host of Snapper and Grouper species you’ll be able to goal, even when Crimson Snapper isn’t out there. Mangrove, Lane, Vermilion, Mutton, and Yellowtail Snapper all lurk across the reefs. They’re accompanied by Gag, Crimson, Black, and Goliath Grouper. These species aren’t simply meals fish, although. They put up a formidable battle of their very own, typically diving to the underside of the seafloor and darting out and in of the reefs and wrecks.

Grouper and Snapper are the proper goal for anglers of all ages and ability ranges, from newcomers to seasoned fishermen. The one factor to consider is the journey. Whereas you can begin fishing within the backwaters minutes from departure, Marco Island’s deep sea fishing alternatives require a barely longer journey. So long as your sea legs are robust sufficient to deal with it, the fishing is effectively well worth the journey time!

…And the Relaxation!

The record of species out there round Marco Island might actually fill a guide. The backwaters are additionally residence to Snook, Noticed Seatrout, Jack Crevalle, Pompano, and Sheepshead. Heading to the Gulf? Its nearshore waters are brimming with Tripletail, Barracuda, and King Mackerel. Journey out to federal waters, you’ll come throughout big Snapper and Grouper, in addition to Cobia and Amberjack.

How can I fish round Marco Island?

On a Boat

The most well-liked strategy to forged a line round Marco Island needs to be from a constitution vessel, alongside an skilled native captain. Fishing on this space takes place both in winding mangrove waters or the Gulf, and stepping aboard a ship makes these waters infinitely simpler to discover.

Should you’re exploring shallow waters, such because the Ten Thousand Islands or the passes round Marco Island, chances are high you’ll be getting rid of of a flats boat. These vessels are completely constructed to cruise these flat inshore waters and are often decked out with a poling platform. Your Marco Island fishing information will typically select to “pole” you throughout these waters. This lessens your possibilities of spooking your goal catch.

Heading out on a Gulf journey as a substitute? You’ll spend extra time touring to the hotspots, so that you’ll seemingly be dashing off on a vessel constructed for sportfishing. These boats are often decked out with top-quality fishing gear, equivalent to outriggers and downriggers. They’ll turn out to be useful whenever you’re plumbing the depths of the wrecks and reefs!

On Foot

On foot fishing right here typically means casting a line within the shallow waters of the Gulf. Your goal species can embrace something from Snook, to Snapper varieties, to Sharks, and past. It’s widespread for anglers to arrange their rods and reels on the seaside, beneath bridges, or round jetties.

One other bonus about fishing on foot round Marco Island is that this space is fairly small and simply walkable, with majority of on foot hotspots positioned shut to one another. If you realize the place you’re going and what’s biting, it’s an unbeatable means of discovering what the Gulf’s inshore waters have to supply.

From a Kayak

What could possibly be extra dreamy than slowly drifting by the winding waterways of the Ten Thousand Islands, rod in hand, ready for the catch of a lifetime to chew? If you need the possibility to stand up shut and private with these waters, at your individual velocity, kayak fishing is the way in which to do it!

Kayak fishing across the Ten Thousand Islands provides the possibility to hook a “seize bag” of inshore favorites, too. There’s Snook, Redfish, Noticed Seatrout, Tarpon, Shark species, and many extra on provide.

One factor to concentrate on, although, is that though kayak fishing could look straightforward, in actuality it’s something however. Navigating a kayak round skinny, shallow waters could be difficult sufficient – now add a fishing rod into the combo! Should you’re assured about your means to regulate a vessel and your fishing gear on the similar time, although, it’s an expertise you received’t neglect.

The place can I fish round Marco Island?

The brief reply: so many locations! We’ve outlined our favorites beneath, so have a look to find the proper departure level in your Marco Island fishing journey:

  • Calusa Island Marina: Situated on the japanese aspect of Marco Island, there’s a purpose why locals name this marina the “Gateway to the Ten Thousand Islands”! Charters depart from right here and may have you casting your line within the Ten Thousand Islands very quickly.
  • Caxambas Park and Marina: Now we’re heading all the way in which over to the southwest aspect of Marco Island! This park and marina is residence to an entire host of constitution vessels, docked and ready to take you out to discover the Gulf of Mexico.
  • South Seashore: That is the least-populated seaside on Marco Island, and is residence to Caxambas Move. Right here, you’ll discover rock jetties that are the proper place to forged a line from when you’re fishing on foot.
  • Jolley Bridge: Though this bridge’s fishing pier was eliminated, you’ll be able to nonetheless fish from the sand beneath it, and can even launch your kayak from it! It offers entry to the various bays and passes round Marco Island.

Anything I have to know?

The legalities of fishing right here, in fact! As we talked about above, sure species you’ll encounter when fishing round Marco Island are topic to strict rules. Should you’re fishing with a information, they’ll be capable to inform you extra about this. Going solo? Be sure you try the FWC beforehand.

Equally, you’ll have to be sure you have a sound Florida fishing license available, too. Once more, when you’re fishing round Marco Island with a information, this might be offered for you. Should you’re fishing alone, you’ll be able to simply buy one from the FWC web site.

Marco Island: A Slice of Paradise

We didn’t wish to be too heavy-handed with the paradise metaphors, so we determined to depart one of the best one till final. In addition to being named after a saint, and bearing greater than a passing resemblance to heaven on earth, Marco Island can also be positioned alongside Florida’s “Paradise Coast.” There actually is not any higher place to indulge within the angling journey you’ve all the time dreamed of. What are you ready for? Seize your rods and reels and prepare to step into paradise!

Have you ever ever been fishing round Marco Island? Any prime spots we missed out on? Tell us within the feedback beneath – we love listening to from you!

Leave a Comment