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Ready to try something new? Maybe it is time for you to visit the most colorful town in Southwest Florida - Matlacha Island.

Matlacha Island is a small spit of island located between north Cape Coral and Pine Island. The word Matlacha, pronounced as Mat-la-SHAY, is a Seminole word that means big warrior which perfectly suits the history and heritage of this town. Formerly known as an old Florida fishing village, the island of Matlacha holds the record of being one of the best angling locations in Florida.  Home to the brightly painted galleries, island-inspired boutiques, and cafes, Matlacha is truly a place you would not want to miss.

Matlacha Fishing

The historic gill net ban may have killed the commercial fishing industry of the town, but it gave birth to recreational angling any time of the year. Thus, one’s visit will be productive, no matter what month or day of the year.

The Spring seasons - particularly during the months of March to May - warm up and clean the water, making them extremely clear. This makes angling during these months easier compared to the rest. During this time of the year, redfish is a productive catch most especially if you use live bait options and light tackle lure fishing, and even fly fishing. Large speckled trout are also a productive catch during this season. Lastly, Large snook is also bountiful, as they begin school and get ready for the main spawning season.

In summer, Peace River, located North of Matlacha, and Caloosahatchee River, south of the town, discharges in the northern reaches of Charlotte Harbor that leaves Matlacha with an enormous amount of resident fish. Some of the most-caught species during this time of the year include grouper, mutton, yellowtail snapper, goliath grouper, ladyfish, tripletail, cobia, permit, jack crevalle, and mangrove snapper.

Fall fishing in Matlacha also yields good produce. The first cold front of October to the month of December is truly a majestic sight and time for anglers as fish begins to prepare for migration. Schools of mackerels, bluefish, and sea trout fill the deeper water of Matlacha. Other species to land on during this time are black drum, kingfish, cobia, amberjack, and grouper.

Lastly, winter fishing does not fall short. One can catch a good amount of sheepshead, tripletail, gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, Florida Pompano, and sea trout.

Fish species
Sheepshead 
Sheepshead  fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck

Weight: 1 - 8 Pounds

Length: 14" - 20"

Black Drum 

Habitat: Brackish Waters, Onshore

Weight: 15 - 90 Pounds

Length: 0" - "

Bluefish

Habitat: Nearshore, Onshore

Weight: 3 - 15 Pounds

Length: 15" - 51"

Cobia
Cobia fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck

Weight: 10 - 80 Pounds

Length: 24" - 79"

Discover Matlacha, Florida

1.Join the Lovers Key Guided Eco Tour-Mangrove Estuary

Lovers Key State Park offers 2 ½ miles of beach coastline with incredible views and shelling. One can also hike the 5-mile trails that allow visitors to witness different wildlife sightings daily. These tours are done in the estuary with manatees and dolphins. If you are lucky enough, you get to see one!

2. Spend your Free Time in Matlacha Park

Matlacha Park is a little park that offers quite a number of activities. From grassy areas for picnic grounds to the fishing piers, this little park has it all for you. You can dine in with your family and witness the beauty of the island and its colorful establishments. You can also opt to go fish along the fishing piers.