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Sanibel Island Fishing

Sanibel Island Fishing
Published: Thursday, August 13th, 2020
Updated on: Monday, December 7th, 2020

Florida Fishing at Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is an island city in the Fort Myers area of southwest Florida. It has an area of 33 square miles of which 17 square miles is land and 60 square miles is water. Sanibel beaches are a very popular tourist attraction because of the view and recreational opportunities it provides. Continuing after Sanibel Island is Captiva Island which also features some great fishing. Fort Myers has a number of deep-sea fishing charters to hunt Grouper and Mahi Mahi.


Sanibel Island is also well-known for the number of fish species available for anglers. The healthy water environment enables fish to thrive so anglers can catch many species throughout the year. Fort Myers fishing charter services are available in most areas to improve your fishing trip. 

The top 10 species you will find in Sanibel Island and Fort Myers fishing are: - Snook - Redfish - Tarpon - Sea Trout - Pompano - Snappers - Grouper - King Mackerel - Hogfish - Permit 

A lot of inshore fishing occurs here because of the Sanibel and Fort Myers fishing-friendly shoreline, with many species such as Florida pompano, snook, tarpon, snapper, redfish, and grunts caught easily by anglers. Similarly, the offshore fishing list is abundant as well, with anglers able to get fishing charters to catch groupers, snappers, hogfish, shark, and mackerel throughout the year. The beautiful houses, docks, and blue waters make it a scenic fishing trip.

Sanibel Island Fishing Charter

Baits and fishing type

Having suitable gear for fishing is very important. Anglers should use lighter lures, baits, and fly rods when fishing in shallow water, near the Sanibel and Fort Myers beach. However, for fishing in deep offshore areas, try heavy baits to attract and catch feisty, big fish. Baits also depend upon what you are looking for. Use shiners for redfish and tarpon fishing. If your target is cobia and sharks use catfish. Ladyfish and shrimps are also very effective. 

Sanibel Island does not require a boat to enjoy world-class fly fishing but it is certainly helpful. Sanibel Island fly fishing features tremendous opportunities from shore and wade fishing in very shallow waters. Because Sanibel Island is a subtropical barrier island, good angling opportunities exist throughout the year and in most weather and wind conditions. The fish habitats around Sanibel Island range from sandy Gulf of Mexico beaches to mangrove estuaries, grass flats, tidal creeks, bayous, rocky groins, and oyster bars. Common game fish species in the waters around Sanibel Island include snook, redfish, spotted seatrout, tarpon, pompano, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jack crevalle, false albacore, tripletail, and cobia. 

Only a few of the species -- i.e. tripletail, false albacore -- are not commonly fishable from shore. Sanibel Island is most renowned for fly fishing for snook. Snook fishing on Sanibel is some of the best in the world. Sight fishing for snook from our beaches during the warm months -- May through October -- provides one of the greatest thrills in fly fishing. These magnificent game fish are fast and powerful. They are also spectacular jumpers. In addition to the myriad shore fly fishing opportunities on Sanibel Island, there are hundreds of square miles of excellent angling water accessible by boat around Sanibel and its nearest sister island, Captiva. These waters include the Gulf of Mexico, San Carlos Bay, the Caloosahatchee River, Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass, and Charlotte Harbor. 

Sanibel Island can be a fly fisherman's dream with the quantity and quality of fishing. The Snook and Seatrout are very common fly fishing species. Anglers can catch them offshore or inshore. You can always get a Sanibel Island fishing charter by clicking here. 

Sanibel Island Fish Species Seasonality

Sanibel Island Florida Fish Species Seasonality

Best spots 

The island is packed with fish but a few areas are very productive such as - Sanibel Fishing Pier - Algiers Beach - Lighthouse Beach - Blind Pass Bridge Dixie Beach Rd - The Rocks - Bowmans Beach - Ding Darling Sanibel Island is waiting for you to enjoy unlimited fun and world-class Fort Myers fishing.

Sanibel Island Fishing Fish species
Crevalle Jack 
Crevalle Jack  fish

Habitat: River, Onshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Flats Backcountry, Wreck

Weight: 15 - 60 Pounds

Length: 15" - 49"

Florida Pompano 
Florida Pompano  fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore

Weight: 4 - 8 Pounds

Length: 12" - 25"

Goliath Grouper 
Goliath Grouper  fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Reef, Backcountry, Flats, Wreck

Weight: 75 - 150 Pounds

Length: 50" - 98"

Hogfish  fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck

Weight: 8 - 24 Pounds

Length: 10" - 36"

Sea Trout 
Sea Trout  fish

Habitat: Inshore, Nearshore, Covered River

Weight: 1 - 6 Pounds

Length: 20" - 55"

Snook  fish

Habitat: Inshore, Flats, Backcountry

Weight: 12 - 29 Pounds

Length: 16" - 50"

King Mackerel
King Mackerel fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck

Weight: 10 - 20 Pounds

Length: 19" - 72"

Red Snapper 
Red Snapper  fish

Habitat: Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck

Weight: 5 - 20 Pounds

Length: 19" - 39"

Tarpon  fish

Habitat: Inshore, Flats, Backcountry

Weight: 25 - 63 Pounds

Length: 48" - 96"

Redfish fish

Habitat: Onshore, Flats, Backcountry, Nearshore

Weight: 10 - 45 Pounds

Length: 30" - 61"

Permit  fish

Habitat: Inshore, Flats, Offshore, Reefs, Jetties

Weight: 9 - 60 Pounds

Length: 24" - 48"

Season and temperature

Sanibel Island has a humid and tropical climate, as it is located in southwest Florida. During summers the daily high temperature is around 90 °F, and during mild to moderate winter the daily high temperature is around 75 °F. From January to April temperature ranges from 75 °F to 55 °F. The highest recorded temperature in summers is 100 °F that is cooled by the ocean breezes from the Gulf of Mexico. You can catch snook, redfish, seatrout, mackerel, snappers, and grouper throughout the year. During spring and summers tarpon, pompano, permit, and cobia could be caught easily. King mackerel, black drum, and tripletail could be caught during fall and spring. 

Sanibel Island Weather: 


You may find it difficult to locate the best fishing spots, even if you are a pro-angler. Hiring an expert guide who knows Sanibel Island and Fort Myers beach like the back of their hand will help you in enjoying the fishing experience of a lifetime. Check out the Guidesly app to find and contact the perfect guide or fishing charter. 

Sanibel Florida Average Temperature Min Max Mean



Sanibel Florida Average Rainfall Wind Humidity Clouds Visibility