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The 7 Best Fishing Spots in Southwest Florida

Tigertail Beach, Naples Pier, 10,000 Islands, Boca Grande and more

BY December 31, 2015

Photo by Jim Freeman

Fishing is big in Southwest Florida, but if you don’t know where to go, you’re “just a blind man with a stick,” says Eric Sandberg of floridagofishing.com. So, let us guide you.

Naples Pier and Fort Myers Beach Pier: Both attract many a fisherman (along with a few hungry pelicans) because of the variety of fish that thrives beneath the piers. Both piers have a snack shop that sells bait.

Lovers Key State Park: The 712-acre preserve covering three islands is good for fishing from the shore. Or, for a bigger challenge, drop a line off the bridge to catch tarpon.  

Blind Pass: The currents in the thin strip of water between Sanibel and Captiva are a haven for snook, redfish and more. Fish from the small beach or the rock jetty.

Tigertail Beach: Head to the north end of Marco Island for this flat, wide beach. You can fish in the tidal pools or wade across the lagoon to drop your line in the Gulf on the pristine Sand Dollar Beach.

 10,000 Islands: It’s worth the trip down to Everglades City. Take your boat or kayak and explore among the mangroves. The area offers up freshwater, saltwater and brackish ponds. Hundreds of species of fish can be found here.

Boca Grande Pass: The World’s Largest Tarpon Tournament is held at Boca Grande Pass each year for good reason. The popular area off the south end of the island is known among fisherman as one of the best tarpon fishing holes in the world.


So, you've got your fish. Now where to? Head to any of these places that will cook your catch. At some, you can pull the boat up right beside it.

Dock and dine…

Naples

The Boathouse, 239-643-2235, naplesboathouse.com; The Dock at Crayton Cove, 239-263-9940, dockcraytoncove.com; Riverwalk at Tin City, 239-263-2734, riverwalktincity.com

Marco

Snook Inn, 239-394-3313, snookinn.com

Bonita Springs

Big Hickory Seafood & Grille, 239-992-0991; Coconut Jack’s Waterfront Grille, 239-676-7777, coconutjacks.com

Pine Island

Ragged Ass Saloon, 239-282-1131, raggedasssaloon.com; Low Key Tiki, 239-282-8485, lowkeytiki.com; The Waterfront Restaurant, 239-283-0592, waterfrontrestaurant.com; Woody’s Waterside, 239-283-5555, woodyswaterside.com

Sanibel and Captiva

Gramma Dot’s Restaurant, 239-472-2723, sanibelmarina.com; The Green Flash, 239-472-3337, greenflashcaptiva.com

Cape Coral

Rumrunners, 239-542-0200, capeharbourdining.com

Goodland

Stan’s Idle Hour, 239-394-3041, stansidlehour.net

Fort Myers

Lighthouse Restaurant, 239-489-0770, lighthousewaterfrontrestaurant.com; Pinchers at The Marina at Edison Ford, 239-434-6616, pinchersuse.com

Fort Myers Beach

Bayfront Bistro, 239-765-4371, bayfrontbistro.com; Big Game Waterfront Grill, 239-463-3043, biggamewaterfrontgrill.com; Doc Ford’s, 239-765-9660, docfordsfortmyersbeach.com; Matanzas Inn, 239-463-3838, matanzasinn.com; The Nauti Turtle, 239-765-1100, nautiturtle.com; Nervous Nellie's, 239-463-8077, nervousnellies.net; Parrot Key Caribbean Grill, 239-463-3257, myparrotkey.com

Not dockside but will cook your catch …

Blue Provence, Naples, 239-261-8239, bleuprovencenaples.com; The Fish Monger, Fort Myers Beach, 239-765-5544, fishmongerfl.com; Smokin Oyster Brewery, Fort Myers Beach, 239-463-3474, smokinoyster.com; SS Hookers, Fort Myers, 239-689-3857, sshookers.com