Are you ready for an adrenaline-filled adventure on the open waters? Shark fishing in Fort Myers, Florida is a thrilling experience that draws anglers from all over the world. With a variety of species available and a beautiful coastal location, it’s no wonder this destination is a favorite among fishermen. In this blog, we’ll explore everything you need to know for a successful shark fishing trip in Fort Myers, from the best spots and gear to expert tips and tricks. So, grab your fishing gear and get ready for an unforgettable experience on the Florida coast!
Best Shark Fishing Spots in Fort Meyers Florida
There are several great shark fishing spots in Fort Myers, Florida. Some of the top locations include:
- Sanibel Causeway Bridge: This is a popular spot for anglers, offering access to deep water and plenty of shark species.
- Fort Myers Beach Pier: Another great location with easy access, the pier attracts a variety of shark species and is particularly productive during the summer months.
- Lovers Key State Park: This park offers a more secluded fishing experience, with access to beaches and inlets that are known for their shark populations.
- Boca Grande Pass: This location is a bit farther out from Fort Myers, but it’s known as one of the best places in Florida for shark fishing, with opportunities to catch massive sharks like hammerheads and bull sharks.
Remember to always follow local fishing regulations and safety guidelines when shark fishing.
Types of Sharks You Can Catch in Fort Meyers Florida
Fort Myers, Florida is known for its diverse shark populations, with several species commonly caught by anglers. Some of the types of sharks you can catch in Fort Myers include:
- Blacktip Shark: These sharks are known for their acrobatic leaps out of the water and their tendency to swim in shallow water near shorelines.
- Bull Shark: Considered one of the most aggressive shark species, bull sharks are known to inhabit both freshwater and saltwater areas.
- Hammerhead Shark: These sharks are named for their distinctive hammer-shaped head and are known for their impressive size and strength.
- Lemon Shark: Found in both shallow and deep waters, lemon sharks are known for their distinctive yellow-brown coloration and their tendency to inhabit mangrove swamps.
- Nurse Shark: These bottom-dwelling sharks are known for their docile nature and can often be found resting in groups on the ocean floor.
- Sandbar Shark: A popular sport fish, sandbar sharks are known for their impressive size and their tendency to inhabit shallow coastal waters.
- Tiger Shark: Considered one of the most dangerous shark species, tiger sharks have a reputation for their aggressive behavior and their broad diet.
- Atlantic Sharpnose Shark: A smaller shark species commonly found in shallow coastal waters, Atlantic sharpnose sharks are known for their distinctive snouts.
- Shortfin Mako Shark: One of the fastest shark species, shortfin mako sharks are known for their impressive speed and agility.
- Thresher Shark: These sharks are named for their long, whip-like tail and are known for their distinctive hunting style, which involves using their tail to stun prey.
Best Time of Year for Shark Fishing in Fort Meyers Florida
The best time of year for shark fishing in Fort Myers, Florida varies depending on the species of shark you’re targeting. However, in general, the best time for shark fishing is from late spring to early fall (May to September) when the water temperatures are warmest and the sharks are most active.
- Blacktip Shark: Best caught from March to October, with peak activity in May and June.
- Sandbar Shark: Best caught from April to October, with peak activity in June and July.
- Lemon Shark: Best caught from May to October, with peak activity in July and August.
- Bull Shark: Best caught from May to October, with peak activity in June and July.
- Hammerhead Shark: Best caught from April to September, with peak activity in June and July.
- Tiger Shark: Best caught from May to October, with peak activity in August and September.
- Atlantic Sharpnose Shark: Best caught from May to September, with peak activity in July and August.
- Shortfin Mako Shark: Best caught from May to October, with peak activity in July and August.
- Thresher Shark: Best caught from May to October, with peak activity in August and September.
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines and the best times to catch each species may vary based on local conditions and weather patterns.
Best Baits and Lures for Shark Fishing in Fort Meyers Florida
When it comes to shark fishing in Fort Myers, Florida, the best baits and lures can vary depending on the species of shark you’re targeting. Here are some baits and lures that are commonly used by anglers in the area:
- Live bait: One of the most effective baits for shark fishing is live bait such as mullet, bluefish, and ladyfish. Make sure to use a sturdy rod and reel setup and a strong leader to handle the power of these predatory fish.
- Cut bait: Fresh cut bait such as bonito, jack crevalle, and mackerel can also be effective for attracting sharks. Use large chunks of bait and a wire leader to prevent the shark from biting through your line.
- Chum: Chumming the water with fish scraps, blood, and fish oil can help attract sharks to your location. This can be especially effective for species like bull sharks and lemon sharks.
- Lures: Some anglers prefer to use lures such as jigs or soft plastics to attract sharks. These can be effective for species like blacktip sharks and sandbar sharks.
Remember to always handle sharks with care and release them safely back into the water to ensure their continued survival.
Recommended Gear for Shark Fishing In Fort Meyers Florida
Shark fishing in Fort Myers, Florida can be an exciting and challenging experience, and having the right gear can make all the difference. Here are some recommended gear items for shark fishing in the area:
- Rod and reel: A sturdy rod and reel setup is essential for shark fishing. Look for a heavy-duty rod with a high line capacity and a powerful reel with a strong drag system. A 7-8 foot rod with a 50-80 lb test line capacity is a good starting point.
- Leader: A strong wire or fluorocarbon leader is essential for preventing the shark from biting through your line. Use a leader that is at least 6 feet long and has a breaking strength of at least 100 lbs.
- Hooks: Use circle hooks in sizes 10/0 to 16/0, depending on the size of the bait and the species of shark you’re targeting.
- Bait and chum: As mentioned earlier, live bait such as mullet, bluefish, and ladyfish, as well as fresh cut bait like bonito, jack crevalle, and mackerel, can be effective. Chumming the water with fish scraps, blood, and fish oil can also help attract sharks to your location.
- Fighting belt and harness: When fighting a large shark, a fighting belt and harness can help take some of the strain off your arms and back.
- Safety gear: Safety should always be a top priority when shark fishing. Wear a personal flotation device and consider carrying a shark deterrent device like a shark shield.
- Knowledge and experience: Finally, it’s important to have knowledge and experience when shark fishing. Research the species of shark you’re targeting, learn how to properly handle and release them, and consider hiring a local guide with experience in shark fishing
Best Shark Fishing Charters in Fort Meyers Florida
There are many great shark fishing charters to choose from in Fort Myers, Florida. Here are some of the best options:
- Fish Skins Charters: Fish Skins Charters offers a variety of fishing charters, including shark fishing trips. Their experienced captains will take you to the best shark fishing spots and provide all the necessary equipment and bait.
- Offshore Hunter Fishing Charters: Offshore Hunter Fishing Charters offers both inshore and offshore fishing trips, including shark fishing. Their experienced guides have a deep knowledge of the local waters and can help you target a variety of shark species.
- All-In Fishing Charters: All-In Fishing Charters offers a range of fishing trips, including shark fishing expeditions. Their knowledgeable guides will provide all the necessary equipment and help you target a variety of shark species.
- Reel Revenge Fishing Charters: Reel Revenge Fishing Charters specializes in shark fishing trips and offers both half-day and full-day outings. Their experienced captains have a deep knowledge of the local waters and can help you catch a variety of shark species.
- Sea Reaper Fishing Charters: Sea Reaper Fishing Charters offers a variety of fishing trips, including shark fishing tours. Their experienced guides will take you to the best shark fishing spots and provide all the essential equipment and bait.
No matter which shark fishing charter you choose, make sure to book in advance and ask about their specific equipment and policies regarding catch and release.
Where to Stay When Shark Fishing in Fort Meyers Florida
Fort Myers, Florida has a variety of accommodations to choose from when planning your shark fishing trip. Here are some options to consider:
- Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa: This resort is located on Sanibel Island, just a short drive from Fort Myers. It offers luxurious accommodations, multiple dining options, a full-service spa, and access to nearby beaches and golf courses.
- Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina: This resort is located on Fort Myers Beach and offers beachfront accommodations, multiple pools, a full-service spa, and a marina with fishing charters available.
- DiamondHead Beach Resort & Spa: This resort is located on Fort Myers Beach and offers beachfront accommodations, a heated outdoor pool, a full-service spa, and a beachfront restaurant.
- Edison Beach House: This beachfront hotel is located on Fort Myers Beach and offers a variety of accommodations, from studios to two-bedroom suites. It also features an outdoor pool, a hot tub, and a beachfront bar.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers Beach/Sanibel Gateway: This hotel is located just a short drive from both Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island. It offers comfortable accommodations, an outdoor pool, and a complimentary hot breakfast.
No matter where you choose to stay, make sure to book in advance and consider proximity to your desired fishing spots and charter companies.
Expert Tips and Tricks for Successful Shark Fishing in Fort Meyers Florida
Shark fishing can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it requires some skill and knowledge to be successful. Here are some expert tips and tricks for successful shark fishing in Fort Myers, Florida:
- Choose the right gear: When targeting sharks, you’ll need heavy-duty gear that can handle the weight and power of these large fish. A strong, sturdy rod and reel with heavy line and leader material are essential.
- Use fresh bait: Sharks have a strong sense of smell, so using fresh bait can increase your chances of success. Some good options for shark bait include fresh fish, squid, and shrimp.
- Fish at the right time: Sharks are more active during certain times of day and tides, so it’s important to plan your fishing trip accordingly. Early morning and late evening tend to be good times to fish for sharks, and outgoing tides can also be productive.
- Know your location: Different species of sharks prefer different habitats, so it’s important to know where to find the species you’re targeting. Researching the area and consulting with local experts can help you find the best spots to fish.
- Be patient: Shark fishing can require a lot of patience, as it may take some time to attract a shark to your bait. Don’t give up too quickly and be prepared to wait it out.
- Practice catch and release: Sharks are an important part of the ocean ecosystem and many species are threatened or endangered. Consider practicing catch and release to help preserve shark populations for future generations.
By following these expert tips and tricks, you can increase your chances of success when shark fishing in Fort Myers, Florida. Remember to always fish responsibly and follow local regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
Fort Myers, Florida is a great destination for shark fishing, with a variety of species available and numerous charters and accommodations to choose from. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, there are plenty of opportunities to catch these elusive and powerful fish. However, it’s important to follow local regulations and practice responsible fishing to help preserve shark populations and ensure a sustainable future for this important species. With the right gear, bait, and knowledge, you can enjoy a thrilling and rewarding shark fishing experience in Fort Myers, Florida.