Hook, Line and Sinker: 5 Tips for Fishing on Sanibel Island

Woman fishing from boat during overcast day

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel are surrounded by warm Gulf waters, running rivers and hidden enclaves – all teeming with aquatic life. So it’s no mystery why fishing here is such a popular pastime. And, of all the spots in the area worthy of casting your reel, Sanibel Island houses some of the best. But before you grab your tackle box and head out into open waters – get familiar with these fishing tips for Sanibel Island.

Tip #1: Consider the season

While the area’s waters are brimming with life year-round, there are certain times of year when the fish are more likely to bite. May and October are considered premium fishing months on Florida’s southwest coast because that’s when water temperatures are more moderate compared to summer and early fall.

Tip #2: Procure the proper license

Before you bait your hooks, make sure you’ve got proper licensing from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Recreational licenses and permits are available at the county tax collector’s office, area sporting goods stores and online. Also, most fishing guides in the area will take care of your licenses and permits for you – which brings us to our next tip.

Tip #3: Hire a savvy guide

Even if you’re an experienced angler, you may not be familiar with the local fishing hot spots. Hiring a guide that knows The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel like the back of their hand will guarantee an awesome offshore adventure. Check out our online fishing breakdown to find the perfect guide for you.

Tip #4: Pick the perfect gear

Once you decide where you’re going to drop your line, it’s important to make sure you’re bringing the right equipment. The shallow waters off the Sanibel Causeway beaches are ideal for lighter bait, artificial lures and fly rods. There you’ll find snook, sea trout, flounder, pompano and more. However, if you plan to fish off the Sanibel Lighthouse Pier, you’re better off using heavier tackle to lure in the redfish, mackerel, cobia and other sport fish that inhabit the deeper water.

Man poses with caught fish

Tip #5: Stay protected against the Florida sun

The one mistake you definitely don’t want to make while on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel is getting too many rays. After all, they don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing. Always apply sunscreen a half hour before going outdoors – and make sure you’re using at least SPF15 with UVA and UVB protection. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and wrap-around sunglasses while fishing is also recommended. Plus, polarized lenses will help you see through the water, allowing you to spot your next catch with ease.

Get more fishing tips on our Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel fishing page!

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