Truth be told: there are a lot of great fishing spots on Sanibel and Captiva Islands! Visiting the islands of Sanibel and Captiva offer a unique environment. While relaxing on the sandy beaches attracts millions of visits each year to these islands, Sanibel and Captiva offer other activities as well. As a local to the area, I can tell you that growing up on the islands involved a lot of fishing. There is no greater thrill than landing that trophy fish! Or the anticipation of a large linesider (snook) attacking a perfectly throw bait as it drifts underneath a dock. Having the right equipment can make all the difference in the world. Furthermore, choosing the right location and the right time is equally important. Yes, the fishing on these islands can be spectacular. However, it can also be very boring if done incorrectly! Let’s go over some of our favorite Sanibel fishing spots.
Locating on the east end of Sanibel Island, the Sanibel pier is a great place to expect some action. Compared to other Sanibel fishing spots, the tide can really move fast here, so bringing at least an ounce of weight is recommended. Be sure to check our tide chart before coming out. Here you can really hook up with everything that Southwest Florida has to offer. If you have a cast net, then you can probably catch your own bait around the pier. If you are like most visitors, you probably left your cast net at home or, well, you don’t own a cast net! Not to worry, there are a couple bait shops on the island (at least). The bait box is a solid choice if fishing the pier. it is located across from Dairy Queen on Periwinkle. I would recommend shrimp if they are decent size. The problem is that in the summer, locally caught shrimp tend to be on the smaller side. The larger shrimp are found in cooler water. And given that the Gulf of Mexico is relatively shallow for a few hundred miles offshore, well the water temperatures are high, and thus the shrimp are small. Ask for some jumbo shrimp, although you will pay more for them. If unavailable, perhaps some live pinfish would do the trick. The pier is a great location to intercept schooling fish as they make their way inshore or offshore depending on the tidal flow and season. Be sure to check our tide chart for up to date information by clicking here.
Spanning over three miles in length, the Sanibel Causeway offers a lot of great Sanibel fishing spots. There are three segments geographically when looking at the Sanibel Causeway; A,B & C spans. If fishing by boat, the pilings underneath all three spans are likely to produce a variety of fish. Fishing the bottom of the bridge pilings is also where you can find the goliath grouper. These massive fish can reach over 500 pounds! They are federally protected, but still a lot of fun for anglers to test their strengths. Depending on the time of year, migratory tarpon make their way through the Causeway every year. Look for crabs passing by on a strong outgoing tide. Nothing is more thrilling than hooking up with a 150 lb. tarpon by the causeway and then watching it jump 5 feet out of the water! Finally, on the beaches of the causeway, there is great flats fishing for spotted seatrout, ladyfish, snook and more. Try floating a popping cork on the bayside with a live shrimp.
The bridge that separates Sanibel and Captiva is referred to as blind pass. This is a great spot to fish for Redfish and Snook. You can fish on the bridge or from the shore, the choice is yours. Migratory fish are constantly coming and going through this famous pass. Try fishing the bridge after sunset when the snook really come out. There have been several beach re-nourishment projects geared to protecting the pass. After Hurricane Charley in 2004, the pass closed up and the fishing was ruined. Now with the pass open, it has again become a great spot to fish, not to mention one of or favorite beaches to visit.
We hope you enjoy our favorite Sanibel fishing spots. If you are looking for information regarding which fishing equipment to use, click here to visit our store. Here, we recommend popular fishing products that local anglers use on the islands. We also provide links to order these products on Amazon, simply because this is where you can order the best products for the lowest price.