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Steinhatchee, FL Fishing: Fish Along the Best Kept Secrets in Florida

Steinhatchee, FL Fishing: Fish Along the Best Kept Secrets in Florida
Published: Sunday, October 17th, 2021
Updated on: Monday, October 25th, 2021

On the Gulf of Mexico, at the southern end of State Road 51, lies an unincorporated community that combines the ambiance of the 19th century and the convenience of the 21st century- Steinhatchee. Steinhatchee is a small town in the Big Bend region of Florida that is home to a diverse set of species, both inland and water. 

Human presence in the town of Steinhatchee can be traced back to prehistoric times, dating from 12,000 BC. However, it was only in the year 1931 that the community was named after the Steinhatchee River. The term was derived from the Native American word esteen hatchee which means, the river of man. The town’s most significant contribution to the Confederacy’s war efforts was the procurement of salt from seawater that is still evident even today. However, due to the size and limitation of the town, the people in the area thrive by fishing and small plot farming. Their fishing industry gradually increased and became a mainstay for most residents. Today, the town of Steinhatchee is known to be one of the best-kept secrets and angling locations in Florida. 

The town offers a step back in time as you roam the streets with sights of unique architecture and feel the ambiance of Old Florida. In addition, the town also offers different activities that anglers and their families enjoy. 

Steinhatchee Fishing

The town of Steinhatchee is a small fishing village where anglers can experience world-class fishing. The town is known for its top-notch flats which is a great place to land on some redfish and spotted sea trout. Its open waters are also full of artificial reefs full of some of the world’s finest gamefish and few reef donkeys. In addition, the small town of Steinhatchee is filled with marinas what produces a productive catch any time of the year. No wonder different anglers are thrilled to visit this small town. Aside from the laid-back vibe, it also offers beginner and professional anglers an experience to remember.

For over 200 years, the town of Steinhatchee has been known for its abundant fishing grounds. Today, it remains to be a fishing paradise as it hosts different various fishing tournaments and scallop specialties. So, what species can be found in Steinhatchee?

When it comes to Steinhatchee angling, the options of species to land on are endless. The combination of ocean and river waters in the town offers angling action any time of the year. One of the top species to target is the kingfish, which is famous for its ferocious appetite. This species is most abundant during summer as it goes hunting for bait around the island. However, the best spot to target them is in the deep waters of about 30 feet.

Tarpon is another famous catch in this town. This species, also known as silver king, has near-mythical status in the town as they land first on the list of the most prized inshore species anywhere in the world. Since they are capable of growing huge, this tarpon is really an intimidating opponent even for skilled anglers. Aside from this, they are also easily spooked, making them harder to catch. A trick to catch them though is to use dead baits such as mullet heads or half mullets and patiently wait for them to catch the bait on the bottom of the water. Anglers are also advised to use heavier gears and large jigs for trolling and surfcasting.

Next on the list is the Redfish, which is a productive catch throughout the year. The fun part of catching redfish in Steinhatchee is that anglers of different skills levels can bring home one. A standard technique of landing on some redfish is light tackle casting and flat trolling. However, if you want to accept the challenge of landing on some bull redfish, sight casting or fly fishing in the shallows would be your best option. 

Snapper is also a most-sought for catch in Steinhatchee, especially for those who love nearshore fishing. However, unlike the other species, snappers are seasonal and may not be available year-round. So if you want to land on some snapper, you should visit Steinhatchee during their peak season which is around the months of June and July. These months will offer great angling action to catch some lane snapper, mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, and vermillion snapper.

Landing on these species is truly a majestic experience especially for visiting anglers. But the fishing town has more to offer especially when you visit its famous fishing locations and spots.

The diverse and abundant fish species will not be here without Steinhatchee’s sheer number of fishing places. Its crystal clear waters, shallow rivers, bays, and inlets complement its mineral-rich soils and deposits, making it a fish haven. So if you want real angling actions. Try visiting these places when you are in town.

The Steinhatchee River is one of the places where angling action happens, especially along its reef and stream. Because of the river’s natural reefs, flats, and sandbars, it has become an ideal hideout for many species. Flyfishing in the river may land you some redfish, speckled trout, grouper, cobia, Spanish Mackerel, and more. Fishing in the area is productive during the months of October and November, and even in warmer months.

Another fishing location is Deadman’s Bay.  The mix of freshwater and saltwater in the bay creates a vibrant underwater community. Real angling action happens during the months of April to June as the water warms over the reef’s shallow grass flats. One may land on some redfish, sea trout, crevalle jack, ladyfish, King Mackerel, cobia, amberjack, and black sea bass in the area. 

The Gulf of Mexico is another location anglers look forward to visiting especially those who love offshore fishing. Here, one can catch some red snapper, Florida snapper, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, red grouper, Spanish Mackerel, bluefish, and sheepshead.

Steinhatchee is truly a paradise for anglers looking for some angling fun, isn’t it? With the abundance of fish species and fishing locations, visiting anglers will experience an amazing and productive trip any time of the year.


Top 10 Fish Species in Steinhatchee, FL

The top 10 fish species in Steinhatchee, FL are tarpon, crevalle jack, ladyfish, King Mackerel, lane snapper, mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, sheepshead, redfish and spotted sea trout.


Steinhatchee, FL Fishing: Fish Along the Best Kept Secrets in Florida Fish species
Sheepshead  fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck

Weight: 1 - 8 Pounds

Length: 14" - 20"

Pacific Crevalle Jack

Habitat: Offshore

Weight: 10 - 43 Pounds

Length: 12" - 40"

Mutton Snapper

Habitat: Onshore, Reef, Nearshore, Backcountry

Weight: 5 - 15 Pounds

Length: 0" - 20"

Lane Snapper

Habitat: Coral Reefs, Sand, Inshore, Nearshore

Weight: 3 - 8 Pounds

Length: 10" - 24"

Tarpon  fish

Habitat: Inshore, Flats, Backcountry

Weight: 25 - 63 Pounds

Length: 48" - 96"

Cobia fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck

Weight: 10 - 80 Pounds

Length: 24" - 79"

Redfish fish

Habitat: Onshore, Flats, Backcountry, Nearshore

Weight: 10 - 45 Pounds

Length: 30" - 61"