Saltwater Fishing Jacksonville Florida

Jacksonville, Florida downtown city skyline
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Welcome to the world of saltwater fishing in Jacksonville, Florida! Nestled along the Atlantic coast, this vibrant city is a mecca for fishing enthusiasts, boasting numerous rivers, inlets, and offshore reefs and wrecks teeming with a variety of saltwater fish. From redfish and flounder to cobia and tarpon, there’s always a new species to discover and catch. But with so many fishing spots and techniques to choose from, planning your saltwater fishing trip in Jacksonville can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve created this guide, filled with expert tips and tricks to help you make the most of your time on the water. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, you’ll find everything you need to know to catch more fish and have a memorable experience in Jacksonville’s stunning coastal waters. So let’s dive in and explore the world of saltwater fishing in Jacksonville, Florida!

Best Saltwater Fishing Spots in Jacksonville Florida

Jacksonville, Florida offers many great saltwater fishing spots for anglers of all levels of experience. Here are some of the best spots to go saltwater fishing in Jacksonville:

  1. Mayport Jetties: Located at the entrance of the St. John’s River, the Mayport Jetties offer excellent opportunities to catch a variety of fish species, including redfish, flounder, sheepshead, and more. The jetties are also known for their abundant shrimp and crab populations, which make great bait.
  2. Nassau Sound Fishing Bridge: This bridge offers great access to Nassau Sound, where you can catch flounder, redfish, black drum, and more. The bridge is also known for its scenic views of the marshes and estuaries that surround it.
  3. Amelia Island State Park: This state park offers access to both saltwater and freshwater fishing, with the Nassau Sound on one side and the Amelia River on the other. Here, you can catch trout, flounder, redfish, and more. The park also offers camping facilities for anglers who want to stay overnight.
  4. Huguenot Memorial Park: Located on the north end of Jacksonville Beach, this park offers excellent fishing opportunities for surf fishing enthusiasts. The park is known for its large population of redfish, as well as other species such as flounder and pompano.
  5. Sisters Creek Bridge: This bridge offers great access to the Intracoastal Waterway, where you can catch a variety of fish species such as redfish, flounder, trout, and more. The bridge is also a popular spot for crabbing.
  6. St. John’s River: The St. John’s River is one of the most popular fishing destinations in Jacksonville, offering a variety of fish species such as tarpon, redfish, spotted sea trout, and more. The river also provides scenic views of the city skyline and wildlife such as dolphins and manatees.
  7. Fernandina Beach: Located just north of Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach offers excellent fishing opportunities in the Atlantic Ocean. Here, you can catch a variety of fish species such as king mackerel, tarpon, snapper, and more. The beach is also a great spot for surf fishing.

These are just a few of the best saltwater fishing spots in Jacksonville, Florida. Whether you prefer fishing from a boat, a pier, or the shore, Jacksonville offers plenty of opportunities for anglers to catch their next big fish.

Topwater Fun In The Marsh – Jacksonville, FL Saltwater Fishing

Types of Saltwater Fish in Jacksonville Florida

Jacksonville, Florida is home to a variety of saltwater fish species that attract anglers from all over the world. Here are some of the most common types of saltwater fish you can catch in Jacksonville:

  1. Redfish: Redfish, also known as red drum, are one of the most popular game fish in Jacksonville. They can be caught year-round, but are most abundant in the fall and winter months.
  2. Flounder: Flounder are a flatfish that can be found in the estuaries and nearshore waters of Jacksonville. They are most abundant in the summer and fall months.
  3. Spotted Sea Trout: Spotted sea trout are a popular game fish that can be caught year-round in Jacksonville. They are often found in the grass flats and tidal creeks.
  4. Sheepshead: Sheepshead are a common species that can be found in the inshore waters of Jacksonville. They are known for their sharp teeth and strong fight.
  5. Black Drum: Black drum are a hard-fighting species that can be caught year-round in Jacksonville. They are often found in the channels and around docks.
  6. Tarpon: Tarpon are a popular game fish that migrate through Jacksonville in the summer months. They are known for their acrobatic jumps and strong fight.
  7. King Mackerel: King mackerel are a pelagic species that can be found offshore in Jacksonville. They are known for their speed and are a popular target for anglers who enjoy trolling.
  8. Cobia: Cobia are a popular game fish that can be found in the offshore waters of Jacksonville. They are known for their strong fight and are often caught near wrecks and reefs.


Best Time of Year for Saltwater Fishing in Jacksonville Florida

The best time of year for saltwater fishing in Jacksonville, Florida largely depends on the specific species of fish you are targeting. Here is a general guide to the best times of year to fish for some of the most popular species in the area:

  1. Redfish: Redfish can be caught year-round in Jacksonville, but are most abundant in the fall and winter months.
  2. Flounder: Flounder are most abundant in the summer and fall months.
  3. Spotted Sea Trout: Spotted sea trout can be caught year-round, but are most abundant in the cooler months of the year.
  4. Sheepshead: Sheepshead are most abundant in the winter months, when they spawn.
  5. Black Drum: Black drum can be caught year-round in Jacksonville, but are most abundant in the cooler months of the year.
  6. Tarpon: Tarpon migrate through Jacksonville in the summer months, typically from May through August.
  7. King Mackerel: King mackerel are most abundant in the fall months, typically from September through November.
  8. Cobia: Cobia can be caught in the offshore waters of Jacksonville from late spring through early fall.

It is important to note that these are just general guidelines and that fishing can be good at any time of year in Jacksonville. Factors such as weather, tides, and water temperature can all have an impact on fishing success. It’s always a good idea to check local fishing reports and talk to local anglers to get the most up-to-date information on the best times and locations to fish in Jacksonville.

Exploring Saltwater Creeks in Jacksonville, FL

Best Bait for Saltwater Fishing in Jacksonville Florida

The best bait for saltwater fishing in Jacksonville, Florida varies depending on the species of fish you are targeting. Here are some popular baits for some of the most commonly targeted fish in the area:

  1. Redfish: Live shrimp, live mullet, or cut bait (such as crab or menhaden) are all effective baits for catching redfish in Jacksonville.
  2. Flounder: Live finger mullet or mud minnows are popular baits for catching flounder in Jacksonville.
  3. Spotted Sea Trout: Live shrimp, small pinfish, or soft plastic lures are all effective baits for catching spotted sea trout in Jacksonville.
  4. Sheepshead: Live fiddler crabs or barnacles are popular baits for catching sheepshead in Jacksonville.
  5. Black Drum: Live shrimp, cut bait, or crabs are all effective baits for catching black drum in Jacksonville.
  6. Tarpon: Live crabs or mullet are popular baits for catching tarpon in Jacksonville.
  7. King Mackerel: Trolling with artificial lures or live bait (such as cigar minnows or sardines) is an effective way to catch king mackerel in Jacksonville.
  8. Cobia: Live eels, pinfish, or threadfin herring are all effective baits for catching cobia in Jacksonville.

Recommended Gear for Saltwater Fishing in Jacksonville Florida

The recommended gear for saltwater fishing in Jacksonville, Florida depends on the type of fishing you plan to do and the species of fish you are targeting. However, here are some general recommendations:

  1. Rod and reel: A medium to heavy action spinning or baitcasting rod with a reel suitable for the targeted species is recommended. A 7 to 8-foot rod is usually appropriate for inshore fishing, while a longer rod is needed for surf fishing or offshore fishing.
  2. Fishing line: The recommended fishing line will depend on the targeted species, but 10-20 lb monofilament line is a good choice for inshore fishing. For offshore fishing, a heavier line may be needed.
  3. Hooks: The size and type of hooks will depend on the targeted species, but circle hooks are often recommended for their ability to reduce gut-hooking and increase survival of released fish.
  4. Lures and bait: The best lures and bait for saltwater fishing in Jacksonville will depend on the targeted species. Live bait, such as shrimp or mullet, is often effective for many species. Artificial lures, such as soft plastics or topwater plugs, are also popular choices.
  5. Tackle box: A tackle box or bag with compartments for organizing hooks, lures, and other fishing gear is essential for keeping everything organized and easy to access.
  6. Fishing line scissors or pliers: These tools are useful for cutting fishing line and removing hooks from fish.
  7. Sun protection: Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are important to protect against the strong Florida sun.
  8. Fishing license: A valid Florida fishing license is required for all saltwater fishing in the state.
Jacksonville Florida Kayak Fishing

Best Saltwater Fishing Charters in Jacksonville Florida

There are many excellent saltwater fishing charters in Jacksonville, Florida. Here are some highly rated options:

  1. Jax Beach Fishing Charters: Jax Beach Fishing Charters offers guided inshore and nearshore fishing charters for up to 4 anglers. They target species such as redfish, trout, flounder, and tarpon.
  2. Amelia Island Fishing Company: Amelia Island Fishing Company offers guided inshore and nearshore fishing charters for up to 4 anglers. They target species such as redfish, trout, flounder, and tarpon.
  3. Team Buck Rogers Fishing Charters: Team Buck Rogers Fishing Charters offers guided inshore and offshore fishing charters for up to 6 anglers. They target species such as redfish, trout, flounder, tarpon, and king mackerel.
  4. Fish Hunter Charters: Fish Hunter Charters offers guided inshore and nearshore fishing charters for up to 4 anglers. They target species such as redfish, trout, flounder, and tarpon.
  5. Jodie Lynn Charters: Jodie Lynn Charters offers guided inshore and offshore fishing charters for up to 6 anglers. They target species such as redfish, trout, flounder, tarpon, and king mackerel.

Fishing Regulations in Jacksonville Florida

To ensure a successful and legal fishing experience in Jacksonville, Florida, it’s important to be aware of the local fishing regulations. Here are some key regulations to keep in mind:

  1. Licenses: A valid Florida fishing license is required for all saltwater fishing in the state. Licenses can be purchased online through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website, at a local tax collector’s office, or at a licensed agent.
  2. Bag and Size Limits: There are bag and size limits for many saltwater species in Florida, including those found in Jacksonville. These limits can change depending on the species, location, and time of year, so it’s important to check the most up-to-date regulations before heading out.
  3. Closed Seasons: There are closed seasons for some species in Florida, which means they cannot be harvested during certain times of the year. Again, these closed seasons can vary depending on the species and location, so it’s important to check the most recent regulations.
  4. Protected Species: Some saltwater species in Florida are protected and cannot be harvested or must be released immediately if caught. These protected species include, but are not limited to, sawfish, sea turtles, and Nassau grouper.
  5. Gear Restrictions: There may be restrictions on the type of gear that can be used for fishing in certain areas. For example, some areas may prohibit the use of certain types of nets, traps, or spearfishing equipment.

It’s important to review the most up-to-date regulations from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) before fishing in Jacksonville, Florida. The FWC website provides detailed information on fishing regulations, including bag and size limits, closed seasons, and gear restrictions.

Surf Fishing in Jacksonville, FL

Where to Stay When Saltwater Fishing in Jacksonville Florida

If you’re planning a saltwater fishing trip to Jacksonville, Florida, there are many great options for places to stay. Here are some suggestions for accommodations near popular fishing spots:

  1. Ponte Vedra Inn & Club: This luxury resort is located on Ponte Vedra Beach, just a short drive from some of the best saltwater fishing spots in the area. The resort offers oceanfront rooms and suites, as well as a range of amenities, including a spa, golf courses, and multiple dining options.
  2. Hampton Inn Jacksonville Beach/Oceanfront: This beachfront hotel is located in Jacksonville Beach, just a short walk from the pier and several popular fishing spots. The hotel offers oceanfront rooms and suites, as well as a pool, fitness center, and free breakfast.
  3. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville – Mayport/Beach: This hotel is located in the Mayport area of Jacksonville, near several popular fishing spots, including the Mayport Jetties. The hotel offers a range of room types, as well as a pool, fitness center, and free breakfast.
  4. Courtyard by Marriott Jacksonville Beach Oceanfront: This beachfront hotel is located in Jacksonville Beach, just a short walk from the pier and several popular fishing spots. The hotel offers oceanfront rooms and suites, as well as a pool, fitness center, and on-site dining options.
  5. One Ocean Resort & Spa: This luxury resort is located on Atlantic Beach, just a short drive from several popular fishing spots. The resort offers oceanfront rooms and suites, as well as a spa, pool, and multiple dining options.

These are just a few suggestions for accommodations near popular fishing spots in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s always a good idea to do some research and check reviews to find the best option for your needs and budget.

Expert Tips and Tricks for Successful Saltwater Fishing in Jacksonville Florida

If you’re looking to improve your saltwater fishing game in Jacksonville, Florida, here are some expert tips and tricks to help you catch more fish:

  1. Research the Best Spots: Jacksonville has many great saltwater fishing spots, but not all are created equal. Do your research to find out where the fish are biting and what species you can expect to catch. Some popular spots include the Mayport Jetties, the St. Johns River Inlet, and the offshore reefs and wrecks.
  2. Use Live Bait: Live bait is often more effective than artificial lures when fishing in Jacksonville. Shrimp, mullet, and pogies are all good options for saltwater fishing in the area. Try using a circle hook and letting the bait drift with the current for the best results.
  3. Pay Attention to the Tides: The tides can have a big impact on saltwater fishing in Jacksonville. Look for incoming or outgoing tides, which can bring in baitfish and attract larger predator fish. Use a tide chart or app to plan your fishing trip around the tides.
  4. Be Patient and Persistent: Saltwater fishing can require a lot of patience and persistence. Don’t give up if you’re not catching fish right away. Keep trying different techniques, bait, and locations until you find what works.
  5. Stay Safe: Safety should always be a top priority when saltwater fishing in Jacksonville. Wear a life jacket, use sunscreen and protective clothing, and keep an eye on the weather. Be aware of any local regulations and restrictions, and follow all boating and fishing safety guidelines.
Fishing in Jacksonville: All You Need to Know

Conclusion

Jacksonville, Florida is a fantastic destination for saltwater fishing enthusiasts. With a variety of species and excellent fishing spots, there’s something for everyone. By doing your research, using live bait, paying attention to the tides, being patient and persistent, and staying safe, you can increase your chances of having a successful fishing trip. And with a range of accommodations available, you can enjoy all that Jacksonville has to offer both on and off the water. So grab your gear and get ready to reel in some big fish in this beautiful coastal city!

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