Fort Walton Beach Fishing Charters & Guides

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Charters Near Fort Walton Beach
T.I.D Fishing Charters
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Sunshine Fishing Charters
Fort Walton Beach, FL
(5.0, 3 Reviews)
Code Blue Fishing Charters
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Panhandle Fishing Charters
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Popular in Fort Walton Beach
Sons Up Charters
Fort Walton Beach, FL
(5.0, 2 Reviews)
About Fishing in Fort Walton Beach

Fort Walton Beach Fishing Charters

Florida’s Panhandle is populated with cities that are known for their sandy beaches, local shops, and world-class fishing. There are many fishing charters available in the panhandle cities to take angler sont he trip of a lifetime, and Fort Walton Beach is no exception.

This small town is located just west of Destin, and is part of the famous “Emerald Coast,” a stretch of land from Pensacola to Panama City Beach. Fort Walton Beach is practically smack dab in the middle of the action, offering anglers great inshore and offshore fishing opportunities.

Visitors may find the name “Fort Walton Beach” a little odd, given the fact that the city technically doesn’t have a beach. Visitors can enjoy the sandy beach next door on Okaloosa Island, a narrow three-mile island that often gets misnamed as Fort Walton Beach, but for our purposes we’ll keep them as one.

In fact, a great pier in the Fort Walton Beach area is Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier. For those who wish to get in on the action without having to worry about getting seasick, the pier reaches 1,262 feet into the Gulf. Anglers can catch tuna, tarpon, king mackerel, cobia, mahi mahi, redfish, jack crevalle, and more. The pier offers fishing 12 months of the year, with hours varying depending on the season. There is a small fee to access the pier, but a fishing license is not required.

Fort Walton Beach Inshore Fishing

Anglers looking to take their Fort Walton Beach fishing to the next level should look into a professionally guided fishing charter. Fort Walton Beach proper is located between the Santa Rosa Sound and Choctawhatchee Bay. This gives inshore charters a unique opportunity to fish either waterway and target a variety of species.

The shallow waters of Santa Rosa Sound offer a fantastic fishery for redfish. Also known as red drum, they are easily identified by their orange/bronze coloring and black dot or dots at the beginning of their tail. They are bottom dwellers that like to hide near structures such as docks or pilings. Grab a shrimp, crab, or lure that imitates these crustaceans as your bait. Or try gold spoons, as reds have a hard time resisting these lures. Whether you are looking to chase reds with natural or artifical bait, your Fort Walton Beach fishing charter captain will be able to best advise on location, presentation, and technique!

When fishing Choctawhatchee Bay, speckled trout is a favorite target for anglers. Also known as spotted seatrout, they have spots all along their back from head to tail. They are typically found near reefs and structure, but can also be found cruising through grass flats. This is perfect, because the bay is filled with both artificial and natural reefs. Fish the early morning or late evening hours and cast topwater lures that will pop and grab the trout’s attention.

Another inshore species to target on a Fort Walton Beach fishing charter is flounder. Flounder gigging is a popular technique for anglers in the area when the season and weather are right. Typically a night adventure, the angler will use a gig, or long pole with forked end, and stick the flat fish with a steady and sure strike. The Guide’s vessel, usually a bay boat or skiff, will be rigged with LED lights for spotting flounder. During the day anglers typically use conventional rods and reels, and will bottom fish jigs to target the Choctawhatchee Bay flounder.

Fort Walton Beach Offshore Fishing

The Gulf of Mexico provides exciting and unforgettable fishing trips for anglers from Texas to Florida. Heading out of Fort Walton Beach, anglers access the Gulf from East Pass, next to Destin. Without a doubt, snapper is a top targeted species for Fort Walton Beach charters.

Red Snapper has open season during the summer, and a mini-season in the fall (usually weekends only in October). Snapper are good fighters, and even better table fare, so it’s no wonder why many anglers look forward to booking their Fort Walton Beach fishing charters during snapper season.

Red Snapper are bottom dwellers that are found near reefs, wrecks, oil rigs, and other structures. They live in water 30 feet to 600+ feet deep and are taken on live bait more than anything else. Use heavy tackle with a fluorocarbon leader. They are generally not difficult to get on the hook, but they will give a good fight once hooked up. If you happen to hook one out of season, carefully dehook and release back into the Gulf.

Farther out into the Gulf, anglers can hook up with pelagic species such as tuna, marlin, and swordfish. Night fishing for swordfish is a common bucket list trip for anglers. Fishing charters will stay out for over twelve hours targeting this incredible species. The lights from the boat (and a glowstick that is typically fixed to your terminal tackle) will attract the swords enough for them to take the bait, usually squid. Once on the line they will run and jump, inducing heart-thumping adrenaline for any angler. Swordfish are part of the billfish family and identified by their long sword-like bill. A pelagic fishing charter out of Fort Walton Beach is a trip that all members of your party will reflect on for a lifetime!

Fort Walton Beach Fishing Calendar


The good news is this is the “slow” season for tourists. The bad news is it’s also not the best time to catch loads of fish. But the two balance out as black, mingo, red and white snapper can all be caught along with triggerfish, speckled trout and redfish. Cold weather doesn’t stop the fish, but it makes it a little more tricky. That’s why a good fishing charter captain is a big plus.


Speckled sea trout, snapper and redfish continue to be good as well as grouper and a few pompano. Florida weather can be fickle this time of year, so weather plays a big role. Triggerfish provide a lot of action this month. A few Spanish mackerel and pompano also start showing up. It’s a good time to take a half-day trip and see what is biting.


Grouper and scamp grouper start to really pick up this month and triggerfish are abundant. Spanish mackerel, redfish, speckled trout and all the snapper family continues to be productive. This is one of the best months for Bonito.


Things start to pick up for amberjack, Spanish and king mackerel, sheepshead and pompano and Jack Crevalle add a nice bonus to fishing success. Black and red drum (redfish) turn on in the spring and the wahoo bite gets real, especially if the weather has warmed up.


Bonito grouper, sheepshead, all the snapper and wahoo are the top bites this month. Redfish and speckled trout continue their good bite. Amerjack is a popular species as are king and Spanish mackerel and triggerfish. A few blackfin tuna are also starting to show up in catches. Don’t forget about the grouper. Your Fort Walton Beach fishing charter captain will know the best areas and baits to have success here.


Mahi mahi come into play strong this month with a few marlin as well. Sheepshead turn on and shark fishermen start to see action. Vacation time crowds pick up and so does the fishing. Longer trips become the norm with some wahoo, yellowfin and blackfin tuna opportunities. Amberjack are on, the specks and redfish continue to bite and snapper provide a lot of action. If you have a summer vacation in the area, book a trip for yourself and the whole family and make preparations for some fine dining on the filets from your adventure.


It’s on for the summer! This month is one of the best of the year. Sailfish, yellowfin and and everything that has been biting the past few months — mackerel, snapper, triggerfish, grouper, mahi mahi — all provide good targets for fishing trips. It’s a great time for deeper water snapper, wahoo, mahi mahi and more. While some trips run only half a day, this is a good time for a full-day trip to take advantage of all the fish that are biting. Longer trips also go out further and put you on bigger fish.


What do you want to catch? The whole menu is available this month and you can talk to your captain about what you want to catch. The big guns like sailfish, tuna and marlin are there as well as smaller, tasty fish like snapper, mahi mahi, grouper and redfish. Jack Crevalle, pompano, speckled trout and shark are also favorites this month. It’s another good time for longer trips to put you on a bigger variety of fish and bigger fish. Talk to your captain about the best options for you.


The fishing remains hot, but the threat of hurricanes also has to be considered this month. Keep your eye on the weather, but also keep your hooks sharp for tarpon, tuna, wahoo snapper and sailfish.


The crowds thin out and the fish start to change patterns, but your captain can put you on king and Spanish mackerel, pompano, specks and redfish, shark, red snapper, mangrove snapper as well as a few lingering tuna, sailfish, tarpon and wahoo.


Thanksgiving month still offers plenty of good fishing and some fish like redfish and speckled trout move into nearby inland waters as do Spanish and king mackerel. Snapper fishing is still hot and wahoo, sheepshead and grouper fishing is still good. Flounder fishing is also a good bet for action and a good meal.


The end of the year doesn’t mean the end of the fishing. It’s a great time to celebrate the holidays with a fishing charter for some snapper, sheepshead, triggerfish, grouper, flounder, mahi mahi and inland speckled trout and reds.

Book A Fort Walton Beach Fishing Charter

Fort Walton Beach charters are running twelve months of the year. If the Gulf is too rough, the Bay will have a nice offering. Either way, the local captains can get you hooked up on the trip of a lifetime. Start your adventure by searching for the Fort Walton Beach charter that’s perfect for your group, found here.

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