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Stuart, FL: Sailing through the Sailfish Capital

Walkway to the sea under blue skies

It is not only the locals of Stuart, Florida, who boast about this charming coastal city. Stuart has also garnered the titles Most Beautiful City, Top 10 Beach Towns, Great Places in Florida, and Happiest Seaside Town in America, among others. Experienced travelers refer to Stuart as the gateway to the Bahamas. So, if you're either a beach lover or an adrenaline junkie seeking different kinds of outdoor and recreational activities, you will find your own special spot here. 

It's true when they say that Stuart has it all. When you step away from its beautiful sandy beach, you can set off exploring historic heritage museums and theaters. The local music and dance scenes, plus the visual art festivals in its famous downtown area, have made it to the must-do list for tourists. 

Anglers from all over the world convene in Stuart for one reason--it is known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World” great for inshore saltwater, offshore saltwater, and freshwater fishing. History has it that there was a record of more than 1,000 sailfish caught between December 29, 1940 and January 5, 1941, thus the title. Stuart abounds with sailfish as it sits on the banks of St. Lucie River, Okeechobee, and the Indian River Lagoon.   

Stuart, FL: The Fish City for All Seasons

Sailfish in blue ocean water

Stuart, FL is famous among recreational and commercial anglers. The city is home to many of the best game fish available. The waters of Vero Beach and Palm Beach are abundant with various species, and some of the best species to target in Stuart are:

  • Sailfish - these great fighters can be caught best in October, its peak season. The Lady Angler Tournament is usually held around this time in Stuart.
  • Yellowfin Tuna - this offshore game fish is, fortunately for anglers, available all-year-round especially in March and August.
  • Swordfish - this fish can be targeted any time of day in June and September; due to their incredible weight and speed, this species is definitely challenging to catch.
  • Mahi Mahi Dolphin - this fish proves to be a priceless game fish, as well as a source of tasty meat. The mahi mahi are powerful fighters due to their speed and strength. You can target them in May and September.
  • Blue Marlin - these aggressive fighters are known for their amazing acrobatic-like movements and powerful attacks, making them an exhilarating catch especially in May and September.
Fish species
Atlantic Sailfish
Atlantic Sailfish fish

Habitat: Offshore, Nearshore

Weight: 50 - 142 Pounds

Length: 90" - 124"

Blue Marlin 
Blue Marlin  fish

Habitat: Offshore, Open Water

Weight: 200 - 400 Pounds

Length: 132" - 197"

Yellowfin fish

Habitat: Onshore, Reef, Nearshore, Backcountry

Weight: 1 - 11 Pounds

Length: 8" - 34"

Swordfish fish

Habitat: Offshore, Deepwater

Weight: 100 - 400 Pounds

Length: 48" - 179"

Stuart, FL: Beyond the Sails

A woman standing beside a 1925 Springfield Rolls Royce at the Elliott Museum in Stuart

Apart from enjoying fishing in Stuart, there are other equally relaxing things you can do here. If you want some downtime, check out the museums and other historical places in this environmentally-friendly community. Here is a list of activities you can try:

1.Stroll Along Downtown Stuart

This place has gained a name for itself as the downtown with the most friendly pedestrian. It is lined with museums and theaters, maintaining an old Florida charm. 

2.The Ocean Beyond the Ocean

Visit the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center, a marine life center sitting on a 60-acre lot. Found between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean, this place teaches its visitors to become more protective of Mother Nature.

3.Stuart’s Story

If you want to see Stuart’s collection of stories about World war II, pirates, shipwrecks, and the like, make sure to stop by the Elliott Museum.

Fishing Techniques
Drift Fishing
Drift Fishing
Deep Sea Fishing
Deep Sea Fishing
Light Tackle
Light Tackle
Heavy Tackle Fishing
Heavy Tackle Fishing