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Fakahatchee Bay

Collier County, Florida.

Fakahatchee Bay ends in Everglades City, Florida.

5019950.63 miles (8078829.93 sq kilometers)

About The Fakahatchee Bay

About Fakahatchee Bay, FL

Fakahatchee Bay is a bay located in the Collier County of Florida. It has a maximum depth of three feet and is surrounded by mangrove islands to its east, northeast and northwest. To its south is the island of Fakahatchee and to its southeast is the Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades National Park. The bay’s waters link up with the Fakahatchee River, East River, Gate Bay and Faka Union Bay. It is also known as Fahkahatchee Bay or Fakkahhatchee Bay. 

The bay’s name is Seminole in origin, fakka meaning ‘muddy’ and hatchee meaning ‘creek’. Farmers and fishermen have settled in the bay since the early 1900’s. It is surrounded by the Fakahatchee Strand, a thread of forested swamp which the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park is a part of, the largest state park in the state. The adjacent area of the bay is a popular destination for birding, geo-seeking, hiking, picnicking, boating, wildlife viewing and fishing.

Fakahatchee Bay Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Fakahatchee Bay, FL

The most popular fish found in Fakahatchee Bay are goliath grouper, crevalle jack and tripletail. The bay’s neighbouring mangrove areas also make it an ideal location for snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, catfish, gulf menhaden, and sheepshead fishing. The bay has brackish waters which offer a viable habitat for the listed species as they feed on shrimp, crustaceans and more prey that also thrive in that kind of environment. 

Anglers can find the best action where they can find spots littered with fallen trees and mangrove roots covered in barnacles. Baitcasting, popping and bottom fishing are the suggested ways to catch fish in the bay though one can still do some jigging, spinning, and fly fishing there. Boat ramps and launch sites are readily available around the bay and there are boat or kayak rental and fishing charter services that can be acquired. Anglers can also opt for onshore fishing as there are several piers and docks that are accessible. Fishing on the bay’s banks is also doable. One can also find good fish action where the bay meets the Gulf of Mexico. Nearby creeks, channels and deep holes are also the best spots to find fish. Anglers are encouraged to check with local fishing regulations before heading out as well as if there are limits on daily catches and bags. 

Fakahatchee Bay Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

Goliath grouper spawn from the months of July to September but are prohibited to be harvested and kept anytime of the year in both Florida and federal waters. The fish must immediately be returned to the water upon being caught and photographs can only be taken during the act of releasing. From spring to fall, anglers have a better chance of catching crevalle jack. They move into deeper water as the water cools off following the winter season. Tripletails are available to fish for during the spring, summer and fall. They can be spotted floating around weed lines and lobster or crab buoys. Snook and redfish are under catch and release only rules in Collier County, this is in response to the effects of red tide. They can be targeted all-year round. Mangrove snapper season is also open throughout the year. Catfish are best caught during the April to June period while gulf menhaden are best found in the bay’s waters during the spring and summer months. Sheepshead are can also be fished for all-year round but the easiest time to target them is from December to April.

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality

Goliath grouper spawn from the months of July to September but are prohibited to be harvested and kept anytime of the year in both Florida and federal waters. The fish must immediately be returned to the water upon being caught and photographs can only be taken during the act of releasing. From spring to fall, anglers have a better chance of catching crevalle jack. They move into deeper water as the water cools off following the winter season. Tripletails are available to fish for during the spring, summer and fall. They can be spotted floating around weed lines and lobster or crab buoys. Snook and redfish are under catch and release only rules in Collier County, this is in response to the effects of red tide. They can be targeted all-year round. Mangrove snapper season is also open throughout the year. Catfish are best caught during the April to June period while gulf menhaden are best found in the bay’s waters during the spring and summer months. Sheepshead are can also be fished for all-year round but the easiest time to target them is from December to April.

Fakahatchee Bay Fish Species

All About Fishing in Fakahatchee Bay, FL

The most popular fish found in Fakahatchee Bay are goliath grouper, crevalle jack and tripletail. The bay’s neighbouring mangrove areas also make it an ideal location for snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, catfish, gulf menhaden, and sheepshead fishing. The bay has brackish waters which offer a viable habitat for the listed species as they feed on shrimp, crustaceans and more prey that also thrive in that kind of environment. 

Anglers can find the best action where they can find spots littered with fallen trees and mangrove roots covered in barnacles. Baitcasting, popping and bottom fishing are the suggested ways to catch fish in the bay though one can still do some jigging, spinning, and fly fishing there. Boat ramps and launch sites are readily available around the bay and there are boat or kayak rental and fishing charter services that can be acquired. Anglers can also opt for onshore fishing as there are several piers and docks that are accessible. Fishing on the bay’s banks is also doable. One can also find good fish action where the bay meets the Gulf of Mexico. Nearby creeks, channels and deep holes are also the best spots to find fish. Anglers are encouraged to check with local fishing regulations before heading out as well as if there are limits on daily catches and bags. 

Crevalle Jack

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

Weight: 15 - 60 Pounds

Length: 15" - 49"

Snook

Habitat: Inshore, Flats, Backcountry

Weight: 12 - 29 Pounds

Length: 16" - 50"

Goliath Grouper

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

Weight: 75 - 150 Pounds

Length: 50" - 98"

Tripletail

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Inshore, Estuaries, Bays

Weight: 2 - 20 Pounds

Length: 18" - 36"