Want to catch a world-record-class fish and get your name in the official book from the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) book? Then Ft. Myers may be the place for you. The Ft. Myers tourism program brags that "many world record fish have been caught in its waters." They are not kidding. Just a few years ago, a record-sized black grouper was landed during a charity fishing tournament. At 124.18 pounds the whopper matched the IGFA official black grouper record from Texas. For whatever reason, the Ft. Myers catch is not in the record book. IGFA's standards say the fish would be a tie for first place anyway as the weight difference was not enough to meet a new record requirement. Another near-record fish came from these same waters in 2017. A snook at nearly 30 pounds is certainly a lifetime fish for any angler. Need more? Ft. Myers has it. How about the official word record hammerhead shark. This monster at 750 pounds beat the old record by more than 100 pounds. It was caught in the Boca Grande Pass at Ft. Myers. It did not make an official record book, but a tiger shark at nearly 14 feet, 81 inches around and an estimated weight of 1,100 pounds is enough to make any angler happy. This one came off Captiva Island, one of the barrier islands at Ft. Myers. The State of Florida also keeps a record book. It has slots open too. Some of the fish in the book are subject to be replaced at any moment. There are plenty of record fish just waiting to be caught in the Ft. Myers waters. Fort Myers Fishing Charters can put you on the fish. Landing a world record, especially a line-class record, is within reach of any angler. You have to be in the right place at the right time with the right offering. Set aside world records for a moment and ask yourself, "what is my lifetime trophy fish?" It can be a redfish, trout, snook, tarpon, flounder, mackerel or any other fish that swims in the waters of Ft. Myers. Say the world record fish weighs 100 pounds. Would a 30-pounder be your lifetime fish? How about a 50-pounder? Before you head out to Ft. Myers for your shot a being a legend, check the state regulations to make sure you and your gear are legal.
Florida has some very tight regulations for redfish. The regs are a bit looser now. Thanks to these restrictions, the Sunshine State's red population bounced back and now includes some bruiser bulls. The general rule is any red of 27 inches is both a bull and a trophy. Fort Myers Fishing Charters can put you on schools of redfish that do include some of these whoppers. Whether you can catch one or not is up to the fish and you. Reds are suckers for gold spoons, jigs and grubs especially when tipped with a piece of shrimp and live baits fished under a popping cork. Reds love to school over oyster bars when the need to feed strikes. Ft. Myers also has plenty of gator trout. Gator trout are likely to hit crankbaits, jigs and grubs and cut bait under a popping cork rig. They like grassy areas with spots of sandy bottom. The Silver Kings, tarpon, are a perennial favorite. Tarpon are catch-and-release only. What makes a trophy fish is up to you but they can weigh nearly 300 pounds. Anything over 50 is a great fish and will test even the most determined angler. Many companies offer replica mounts of this hard-fighting sportfish in case you want something to hang on the wall.
Get ready to bottom fish or troll when you head offshore. The many natural and artificial reefs scattered around the deeper water are fish magnets. Crusher cobia, killer King mackerel, great gag grouper and awesome amberjacks are waiting. All can be caught trolling lures deep and the mackerels can be caught near the surface. Once you find a spot, set up with live or cut bait on bottom rigs. Be aware bottom fishing is very much a precision activity. One side of the boat may be right on top of the fish and the other side a few feet away. The offside won't catch much. If you really want a big fish challenge, goliath grouper await. Charter captains know where these hang out and will put you on them. Goliath are catch-and-release only because they were nearly fished to extinction.
Charters in Fort Myers are working twelve months of the year. They are geared up and ready for your inshore and offshore adventures. Book your Fort Myers fishing charter today, start your search here.