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Naples Florida - Fishing

Updated on April 1, 2013
Catch a monster shark in Naples!
Catch a monster shark in Naples! | Source


Fishing is my favorite pastime – especially saltwater fishing. My husband shares my passion for angling, as do one of my sons-in-law and two of my young grandsons. The other grandkids like getting in on the action, too. I don’t think we could ever quite get enough of this wonderful outdoor activity. We don’t get to saltwater fish nearly as often as we’d like, as we live inland, a couple of hours from the coast. Every time we get the chance, however, we head to the Atlantic or to the Gulf for some great angling. I think we’ve just about done it all. We’ve fished in the surf, from piers, in tidal creeks, in bays, in backwaters, from our own boat, and from a kayak. We’ve pulled long beach seines and have tossed cast nets. Occasionally, we’ve been charter fishing and deep sea fishing, on party boats and with private fishing charters. Even though we’re experienced anglers, we know hiring a fishing guide who’s a lot more familiar with an area than we are is money well spent. Such is the case with my friend, Captain Mike Bailey of Fishing Naples fishing charters. If you’re interested in fishing in Naples, I think you might enjoy reading what I have to share here.

one of our favorite saltwater fish for the table: flounder
one of our favorite saltwater fish for the table: flounder | Source
Most of my grandkids love fishing.
Most of my grandkids love fishing. | Source
Redfish | Source
Redfish on the grill
Redfish on the grill | Source

Saltwater Fish

There are lots of reasons we love saltwater fishing so much. For one thing, we love the ocean – its invigorating smell, the movement of the tides, the refreshing breezes, and the screaming gulls. Another reason is the saltwater fish. When you’re fishing in saltwater, the angling possibilities are practically endless. You can never be completely sure exactly what you might land, and that makes the sport super exciting. Also, for the most part, we prefer the taste of saltwater fish to freshwater fish, with grouper being at the top of our taste list. We also like flounder, mahi mahi, cobia, snapper, pompano, redfish, sea trout, tuna, whiting, and shark. Yes, dear readers, shark is delicious if it’s prepared and cooked properly.

What saltwater fish have we landed over the years? We’ve caught flounder, redfish, tarpon, cobia, spotted sea trout, weakfish, bluefish, croaker, sand trout, saltwater catfish, ladyfish, spadefish, Spanish mackerel, sheepshead, black drum, spots, snook, and numerous shark species while fishing inshore and near shore. While deep sea fishing, we’ve landed mahi mahi, wahoo, tuna, grouper, snapper, black sea bass, and amberjack. We’ve also hooked saltwater fish that were pretty strange – cutlass fish, puffers, parrot fish, sea robins, and octopus. Once I even caught a large sea turtle, which I released, unharmed, of course. Like I said, you just never know what you might haul in from the ocean.

What types of saltwater fish might you find at Naples, Florida? Species include redfish, barracuda, tripletail, sea trout, bonita, red snapper, mangrove snapper, lane snapper, yellowtail snapper, black drum, sheepshead, flounder, tarpon, amberjack, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, blackfin tuna, ladyfish, pompano, bull sharks, tiger sharks, blacktip sharks, lemon sharks, sharpnose sharks, hammerhead sharks, cobia, permit, red grouper, scamp grouper, gag grouper, and goliath grouper. Some of these saltwater fish are around for much of the year, while others are seasonal, passing through the Naples area on their way to somewhere else. You can be assured, however, that there’ll always be something biting – no matter when your fishing trip takes place.

Naples beach and fishing pier
Naples beach and fishing pier | Source


Naples is in Southwest Florida. Have you ever ventured to this part of the state? The Gulf of Mexico is amazingly beautiful there – clear, warm, and generally calm. From around Tampa and southward, the Gulf waters often look like the Caribbean, and the Florida sand is even better than what I’ve experienced in the Bahamas. It’s incredibly soft and dazzling white. This area is also blessed with great weather, year round.

Naples, Florida is a real jewel in the state’s crown. The lovely city was named after the one in Italy. Located on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, Naples offers lots of great activities. If you’re an animal enthusiast, you can enjoy several wildlife preserves, wilderness areas, and the awesome Naples Zoo. You can also see birds and marine life in their natural habitats, often informally and unplanned, which is always a nice surprise.

Obviously, the Naples beaches are what lure many people to the area, along with the warm, sunny weather. Miles of snow-white beaches invite residents and visitors alike to relax and play. Naples beaches include Clam Pass Beach Park, Vanderbilt Beach, Lowdermilk Beach Park, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, North Gulfshore Boulevard Beach, and Naples Municipal Beach, which has a fishing pier. Relaxing on the warm sand, swimming in the Gulf, snorkeling, and searching for unique seashells are all great outdoor activities in Naples.

If one of your favorite hobbies is shopping, you’ll be all set in Naples! One of the hottest spots is 5th Avenue South, with restaurants, community theatres, art galleries, salons, spas, a charming inn, boutiques, stores, specialty shops, and markets. You’ll find some amazing and unique items, including jewelry, works of art, antiques, cosmetics, shoes, apparel, children’s clothing, home décor, and more. You won’t want to miss Tin City, either. To browse over 150 stores in comfort, check out Coastland Center on Tamiami Trail. All the favorites are there, including J.C. Penny, Abercrombie & Fitch, Macy’s, Dillard’s, American Eagle, Nine West, Old Navy, Hollister, Kay Jewelers, Gymboree, Skechers, and Spencer’s.

If you like great food, your palate will love Naples! Fresh seafood straight from the Gulf is the local specialty, but you’ll have lots of other types of food from which to choose. With all the local restaurants, you can find cuisines like German, Romanian, Italian, Greek, Mediterranean, Mexican, Spanish, British, Irish, Southwestern, Cuban, French, Austrian, Polish, Hungarian, Peruvian, Japanese, Thai, Hawaiian, Jamaican, Caribbean, Vietnamese, and Chinese. You could eat your way around the world without ever leaving Naples! If you prefer good ol’ American fare, you can enjoy steaks, sandwiches, barbecue, and steaks. Even vegans and vegetarians will find numerous Naples restaurants that cater to them.

Okay, I’ve saved the best of the Naples activities for last – the fishing! Saltwater fishing is a passion in Southwest Florida. With all the gorgeous water and so many saltwater fish species, how could it not be? There are lots of different angling opportunities, too. You can fish from the pier, in the surf, in a kayak, or in a boat. The area has plenty of bays, estuaries, mangrove islands, canals, and the sprawling Gulf itself. You’ll find plenty of opportunities for fishing on your own, but for the best and most rewarding results, hire one of the Naples fishing charters or a personal fishing guide. Whether you’re a complete beginner, a seasoned angler, or somewhere in the middle, you’ll love Naples fishing!

Naples, Florida

Naples, Florida:
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Naples Florida

Fishing Charters - the ultimate in fishing!
Fishing Charters - the ultimate in fishing! | Source

Fishing Charters

If you ever make your way to Naples, be sure to schedule some time for fishing. Check out all the fishing charters in the area before you go. You might get somewhat overwhelmed by all the choices you find, so be careful. Don’t hire the first fishing guide you find online. Do a little research on different fishing charters. Find out what each one offers, and read some honest reviews. You’ll also need to read up on the charter fishing vessels, keeping your safety and comfort in mind. Find a fishing guide who has a fast boat, too, that enables you to maneuver quickly and easily from fishing spot to fishing spot.

Charter fishing provides the best angling experience you’ll probably ever find. A seasoned and experienced fishing guide will do his utmost to make sure his clients have a productive, exciting angling adventure. Even if you’ve never wet a line in your life, good fishing charters will provide you with help and advice when you need it, so you’ll feel confident about your fishing. Of course, experienced anglers will have just as much fun, too. If you have kids with you on your Naples vacation, fishing charters provide wonderful family outings. It’s a great way to see and explore the area and all its wildlife, and doing battle with a few saltwater fish provides some adrenaline-pumping excitement.

Deep Sea Fishing can provide some huge fish.
Deep Sea Fishing can provide some huge fish. | Source

Deep Sea Fishing

We’ve been deep sea fishing off the coasts of Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina. Of the three, we most enjoy Florida deep sea fishing. The water is prettier, and in most cases, it’s much calmer – especially in the Gulf of Mexico. Another great thing about Florida deep sea fishing is that you don’t always have to spend hours riding in a boat before reaching the fishing grounds and deep water. I get seasick pretty easily, so that’s important to me. If you’ve never been really seasick, you can’t imagine how miserable it can be. I think I actually turned green when I went deep sea fishing in Georgia, off the coast of Isle of Hope. You don’t have to worry about that when you’re deep sea fishing in Naples because deep water is closer to shore.

Near the coast of Naples are numerous fishing grounds that are extremely productive. These include reefs, wrecks, shelves, and rocky bottoms where big saltwater fish hang out. Depending on the time of year, you might land cobia, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, snapper, sharks, permit, amberjack, barracuda, little tunny, or a monster goliath grouper. In fact, one of Captain Mike’s clients recently pulled up a 500-pound grouper!

You can also spend time fishing around the Ten Thousand Islands, hundreds of islets whose waters are littered with mangroves, sand bars, oyster beds, and other fish-attracting features. If you prefer, you can do some inshore fishing in bays, over flats, in backwaters, and in estuaries for snook, redfish, tarpon, trout, pompano, black drum, flounder, ladyfish, and sheepshead. Naples is like Disney World for anglers!

A fishing guide can make all the difference!
A fishing guide can make all the difference! | Source

Naples Fishing - with Captain Mike Bailey

Tarpon Fishing:

Fishing Guide

You’ll need a great fishing guide in order to make the most of your trip. I know only one fishing guide on a personal level, and he’s amazing! His name is Captain Mike Bailey. Mike is friendly, professional, talented, and extremely knowledgeable about Naples waters and the area’s saltwater fish. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just check out all the glowing online reviews and comments from his happy customers! And now instead of just one fishing guide, Fishin Naples has two. Just recently, Mike has joined forces with Captain Hunter Robertson, another Naples native and expert angler. Together, these two offer a dynamic duo when it comes to charter fishing in Naples! To learn more about Captains Mike and Hunter and all they have to offer, click the link in the first paragraph of this article.

Captain Mike Bailey has been fishing Naples for more than thirty years, so he definitely knows what he’s doing. He’s won all sorts of fishing trophies and other accolades. He has a great boat, too, the Ms. B. Haven. The vessel is twenty-five feet long and was custom built for fishing the Naples area. It has a powerful engine, a GPS system, fish-finding instruments, full electronics, large live wells, comfortable seating, a top for shade, and ample room for fishing. Captain Robertson’s twenty-six-foot boat, Fish Hunter, is just as impressive.

Next time you’re planning a Florida fishing trip or vacation, consider Naples. Set aside a day to do some great charter fishing that you’ll never forget. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying such an adventure – even people who don’t enjoy fishing. Mike knows the Naples area well, and he always includes some history and interesting facts along the way. The scenery is amazing, and there’s a good chance you’ll get to see dolphins, lots of birds, and other examples of wildlife during your fishing trip. You’ll feel completely at ease and safe with Captain Mike Bailey or Captain Hunter Robertson at the helm, too. You can just sit back and enjoy the trip, or you can be an active participant in the fishing process. For everyone involved, fishing in Naples will provide some lifelong memories!

Add your feedback!

What's your favorite saltwater fish for the table?

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    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      ryan, we love Florida fishing! Redfish are super fun to catch. Good luck on your next fishing trip!

    • ryanraff profile image

      Ryan Rafferty 

      6 years ago

      I went fishing down in Naples a few years ago and it was Redfish galore! Great article, makes me want to take a trip down there sometime in the near future!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Tam. You don't join your hubby in saltwater fishing? We used to have a cuddy cabin boat that we used in salt water, but it was a pain to tow it two hours to get to the ocean. Good to see you!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      Doc, that's my oldest grandchild. He's a fishing fanatic!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      Kierstin, lucky you for living in Naples! I think we'd be in heaven there. lol

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      Carol, super fresh fish is hard to beat! It's too bad so many people never get to enjoy it. Thanks for reading!

    • tamron profile image


      6 years ago

      My husband loves to saltwater fish. We were thinking of buying a saltwater boat. Great Photos of fishing in Naples Florida!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      You have made it very easy for any Naples visitor to go fishin' now with all this great information, Holle. Is that one of your grandsons with that enormous redfish? They are both adorable. The fish is cute, too.

    • Kierstin Gunsberg profile image

      Kierstin Gunsberg 

      6 years ago from Traverse City, Michigan

      Nice, I lived in Naples for quite a while and we fished there often.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      We lived in Bonita Springs for several years and the pier brought back many memories. We didn't fish in those days..I could join that table right now and dig into fresh fish. Nothing better than fresh fish...Great hub ..we did fish in Oregon and caught lots of trout and steelhead... Voting up and pinning.


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