Fort Myers Beach
Fort Myers Beach is a popular tourist destination on Estero Island with deep sugary beach running the full length of the south side of the island. Fishing opportunities on Fort Myers Beach are plentiful on their 7 miles of beaches. You can hire a fishing charter, rent a boat for the day, or fish from the endless beaches. The pier offers shore anglers the opportunity to catch larger fish than they would on fishing from the beach.
If you have a boat and want some good inshore fishing travel along the canals on the north side of the island. Fishing near the two bridges located on each end of the island also offers great opportunities to catch fish going in and out with the current. The miles of mangrove islands surround Estero Island offer even more action inshore.
By John Holmes 3/06/2012
If you are planning a visit to the Fort Myers Florida area and you would like to get in a little fishing without much planning or even a fishing license then the pier at Fort Myers Beach is the place to go. Just about everything you need is right there or within a short walk of the pier. If you want to fish either saltwater or fresh water in most places around the state of Florida you must have a fishing license. However, Lee County has arranged to pay the state a blanket annual fee to cover anyone fishing from the Fort Myers Beach Pier.
The pier juts out into the Gulf of Mexico at the foot of the bridge from the mainland to the island where the town of Fort Myers Beach overlooks the Gulf and the famous Sanibel Island which is known for its great seashells. There is ample parking among the many shops and restaurants that surround the entryway to the pier. In addition if you would like to park off site there are several "vintage look" trolleys to help you get around on the island. They are a great way to shop for picnic supplies or any other items you may need for your fishing adventure.
The "Pelicans Pitstop" shop right on the pier can supply the basics for your day of fishing including a rod and reel. The shop will rent you a rod and reel for $10 per day. There is an additional $30 deposit or they will hold your drivers license or credit card instead. They also carry all the more popular baits needed for the type of fish found at the end of the pier. Of course the shop also carries soft drinks, snacks and souvenirs. Several stores and restaurants within easy walking distance offer additional places to pick up everything from apparel to sunscreen. The pier is open 24 hours a day. However, the "Pelicans Pitstop" is only open from 8:30AM to 8:00PM. The shop also posts the local weather report tide schedule and fish catch limits.
Some of the fish caught from Fort Myers Beach Pier are: Spanish Mackerel, Flounder, Cobia, Pompano, Spotted Sea Trout, Redfish, Black Drum, Bluefish, Sheepshead, Mangrove Snapper, and Trippletail. Snook and Shark are catch and release species.
The end of the pier has plenty of shade and benches for seating. It is a great place to watch the famous Gulf sunsets. Bring your camera too, the day I was there I saw several Dolphin playing between the pier and the shore. There were also three large Pelicans perched on the rail seeming to actually pose for the visitors. So what are you waiting for? It is a beautiful ride from downtown Fort Myers out McGregor Blvd. which turns into San Carlos Blvd. Sending you over Hurricane Bay by the bridge to this beautiful fishing spot.
|Photo Courtesy of John Holmes|
The Town of Fort Myers Beach is blessed with 7 miles of deep beach on the Gulf of Mexico. This popular tourist offers endless entertainment and fishing opportunities on it's beaches. There are plenty of shops along the main downtown beach area that rent tackle and sell bait.
Access to the beach can be tricky as most of the shoreline is flanked by hotels, restaurants, condo's and other establishments. The town offers 5 public beach access points along the boulevard indicated with colored banners on poles. There no amenities, only trash cans and Butt Bag dispensors; take a bag or two along with you as you go, for your trash disposal or to just help with beach clean up.
In April 2012 they completed a 200 foot deep renourishing of the beach on a 1.2 mile stretch and added a jetty to the north end of the beach jetty to prevent erosion from Bowditch Point to Crescent Beach Park. Soon there will be good fishing at the jetty once the fish discover this new area. Fishing from the shore here is very popular due to it's wide open exposure to the Gulf of Mexico.
|Photo Courtesy of John Holmes|
Lynn Hall Memorial Park
On the west end there is Lynn Hall Memorial Park offering plenty of parking and the famous Fort Myers Beach Pier. The park has picnic areas, showers, restrooms, concession stand, bait & tackle rentals, and many restaurants and gift shops border the park.
This is a great place to take the family and your beach cart to enjoy surf fishing. If you get tired of the beach just walk on over to the pier for some deeper water action.
950 Estero Blvd Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 239-765-6794
Bowditch Point Park
This 17 acre park offers a pavillion, restrooms, nature walks and a sparsly populated beach. A recent addition is 10 boat docks for day use so boaters can stop and enjoy the park. No fishing from the docks but fishing on the beach at Matanzas Pass is fantastic.
Transversing the canals on the north side of the island is a lot of fun. Not only do you get to see wonderful house and dolphins playing, you also can fish the many docks along the canals.
As with any private property be courteious and do not get too close to the docks. Cast near the pilings where fish tend to hide. You can also do a slow troll as you slowly travel (this is a no wake zone) through the canals.
Nighttime fishing on docks lit with "Snook Lights" can also be a lot of fun.
There are two bridges leading onto Fort Myers Beach. Fishing under the bridges can be very productive especially during a tide change. The currents can be very swift so be prepared.
Lovers Key State Park
Lovers Key State Park just southeast of Estero Island offering a variety of fishing opportunities among the hundreds of mangrove islands and beaches that flank this area.
Visit Florida State Parks for more information.
For GPS Coordinates of Offshore Reefs visit Lee County Reefs