Fishing in Jacksonville
A city with more than 1,110 miles of interior shoreline is a prime location for freshwater, saltwater, deep sea, and fly fishing.
By Bob McNally
Jacksonville is a water wonderland, and almost every pond, lake, creek, river, beach area and tidewater offers superb fishing few other regions in America can hope to equal.
No brag, just fact.
The St. Johns River is the nucleus of area angling, and it offers world class fishing for a staggering variety of species.
Largemouth bass angling is excellent in the freshwater reaches of the St. Johns south of downtown Jacksonville. Virtually all the larger freshwater creeks feeding the river are jammed with bass, as well as panfish such as bluegills, sunfish, crappies, and catfish.
Striped bass and hybrid stripers are available in spring holes feeding the St. Johns, and around area bridges and points with docks.
In the lower tidewater reaches of the St. Johns River, giant, hard-fighting "bull" red drum (redfish) are available nearly year-round, with superb fishing available July through November, and offer some of the most dogged and leg-buckling fishing any visiting angler could want. By state law it's all catch-and-release fishing for heavyweight reds. But if a 30 to 40 pound glimmering crimson-sided redfish is your goal, this is the place to catch one -- and it can be landed within sight of downtown Jacksonville.
Fishing enthusiasts love Jacksonville’s convenient water access and variety of fresh and saltwater species fishing options. Fish Jacksonville’s riverfront shoreline, drop a line from a bridge or pier, or sail out from one of the many marinas dotting the shoreline. Adventurous anglers can charter a boat for unmatched deep sea fishing or rent one from Boat Florida Rentals if staying inland.
The best way for newcomers to learn Jacksonville’s waters is to pair up with an expert fishing guide. Let the guide do the work and navigate to the best spots, while you enjoy pulling in a big one.
Jacksonville boasts two signature fishing contests. Every July The Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament comes to town, with more than 500 boats fishing for hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes. Each May Jacksonville hosts the world’s largest kayak fishing tournament, The Jacksonville Kayak Fishing Classic.
Learn more about where to fish in Jacksonville.
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