Nestled right in the heart of Southwest Florida between Fort Myers and Naples is Bonita Springs, a city known for its sparkling beaches, a welcoming community, and amazing outdoor recreational activities. What was once a small community of tomato farmers and fishermen, the city is now a popular tourist destination, thanks to the development of world-class hotels and tourist attractions over the past decades. And because the city has easy access to some of the Sunshine State’s top fishing spots—from inshore grass flats and mangrove islands to the Gulf of Mexico's open waters—Bonita Springs is also a favorite destination for anglers.
Florida is known to be the fishing capital, and Bonita Springs is right in the middle of it. So you can imagine how important recreational fishing is, not just to the city’s economy, but to its people’s way of life. That’s why if you’re planning a fishing trip in Bonita Springs, you can never go wrong with local fishing guides and charters as they would certainly know how you can best experience fishing here, regardless if you’re a beginner or an advanced angler.
The city of Bonita Springs is close to some of the top fishing spots in the state. The Estero Bay at the city’s northwest corner, for instance, is truly an angler’s dream as it features various fish habitats such as seagrass beds, tidal flats, nearshore reefs, mangrove islands, oyster beds, and channels. In these natural habitats, one can target so many fish species, including trout, redfish, snook, tarpon, pompano, flounder, permit, ladyfish, black drum, Spanish mackerel, jack, grunt, sheepshead, Goliath grouper, mangrove snapper, barracuda, blacktip shark, and bonnethead shark.
Now, if you want a bit more thrill, then the Gulf of Mexico is definitely where the offshore action is. Popular quarries in the Gulf include red snapper, grouper, wahoo, Spanish mackerel, mahi mahi, blackfin, and yellowfin tuna, king mackerel, triggerfish, amberjack, crevalle jack, cobia, tiger sharks, bull sharks, hammerheads, and even some occasional mako shark.
Another great thing about fishing in Bonita Springs is that you can do so any time you want (weather permitting, of course!) because, as you know, Florida is blessed with warm weather all year round. However, if you’re targeting a specific fish, say, the Great Barracuda, Redfish, Tarpon, or Mangrove Snapper, the best time to go is during the summer months when the waters are practically brimming with these species. On the other hand, one can still catch some popular gamefish, including Black Drum and Sheepshead during fall and winter.
Bonita Springs isn’t just about scenic beaches and great fishing, though, as there are literally hundreds of ways you can enjoy your stay here. Putting together a Bonita Spring vacation itinerary? Here are three thrilling activities we highly recommend:
Just a few minutes’ drive east of the city, you can fully experience the Everglades ecosystem at the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Here, you get to walk over a two-mile boardwalk through the heart of the renowned Floridian marshlands, swamps, and forests, where you have a chance to see alligators, otters, white-tailed deer, red-bellied turtles as well as a wide variety of wading birds, songbirds, and raptors—all in their natural habitat. Truly a nature lover’s delight!
Located on Barefoot Beach Boulevard in nearby Naples, Barefoot Beach Preserve offers a different way of enjoying the sun and the sand. How? Well, this beach is on one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s Southwest coast. It features over 300 acres of untouched natural beauty where you get to bask in the sun with numerous animal species, including gopher tortoises, sea turtles (only when they’re nesting), and literally hundreds of sea birds—not to mention the equally thriving wildlife in its waters.
Nope, this is not your usual treasure hunting as you go through the “missions” using a hand-held global positioning system (GPS) device. This inexpensive, interactive, high-tech game is also a fun way to explore the city with your friends and family.