Jacksonville Fishing Charters & Guides

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Charters Near Jacksonville
Popular in Jacksonville
Blue Cyclone Inland Fishing Adventures
Jacksonville, FL
(5.0, 6 Reviews)
Hott Pursuit Charters
Jacksonville, FL
(4.9, 10 Reviews)
Popular in Jacksonville
Reel Adventures Fishing Charters
Jacksonville, FL
(5.0, 1 Review)
Recess Sportfishing
Jacksonville, FL
All Tackle Charters
Jacksonville, FL
(5.0, 12 Reviews)
Popular in Jacksonville
Capt. Dave's Sport Fishing
Jacksonville, FL
About Fishing in Jacksonville

Jacksonville Fishing Charters

Jacksonville, also known as “Jax” or “J-ville” to locals, is located in NE Florida. It may surprise you to learn that Jacksonville is the most populated city in Florida and the southeast, and is the largest city by area on the mainland (four Alaska cities win this by a mile… well, a lot of miles, actually). Running right through the center of the city is the St. Johns River, the longest river in Florida. At 310 miles long, the St. Johns is a freshwater river that flows north from Indian River County. It starts as a network of marshes just west of Vero Beach and lazily makes its way north. It flows through twelve counties before ending its journey in Jacksonville’s Duval County and into the Atlantic Ocean.

Jacksonville Freshwater Fishing

The St. Johns is a freshwater river that provides commercial and recreational opportunities for “The River City”, Jacksonville. Because of the river, Jacksonville is the third largest sea port in the state, and provides port for Navy stations, cruise lines, and cargo shipments. The St. Johns is also a great place to drop a line for largemouth bass and catfish. Largemouth bass are catch-and-release only in Florida, so the fishery has sustained a healthy population. The river is legendary for bass fishing; head south of the city for the best place to cast. Check out Doctors Lake and Old Bull Bay and drift along the banks with a plastic worm. When shad are moving, try fly fishing for bass. Once you set the hook, hold on tight as the largemouth bass will likely explode out of the water to spit the hook. Anglers can also target striped bass and crappie in the St. Johns. For crappie fishing, find the river’s deep pockets and drift jigs or minnows. If you’re looking for catfish, stay close to the banks of the river.

Jacksonville Inshore Fishing

On the coast of Jacksonville, the St. Johns River empties into the Atlantic Ocean. This inlet is an intricate delta and the river passes Mill Cove, Blount Island, the city of Mayport, and the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve before emptying into the ocean. The Timucuan Preserve is a fantastic place for hiking, exploring, and kayak fishing with over 46,000 acres of salt marshes and dunes. Fishing the preserve from a kayak gets you up close and personal with the fish. No other fishing, other than maybe wading, gets anglers that close to the action. Anglers are allowed to fish anywhere in the preserve, except for areas deemed “Designated Use Areas.” Make sure you know the regulations before you wet a line. Anglers who opt for inshore fishing in Jacksonville target redfish, sheepshead, speckled trout, and snook, just to name a few. Redfish, or red drum, is by far the most popular inshore species in the area. Reds are identified by their tan color and black dot(s) at the beginning of the tail. They are bottom dwellers but can sometimes be found in shallow waters, so their backs show on the top water. Be sure to wear polarized sunglasses as sight fishing is a key ingredient for your redfish charter. Drift fish with shrimp or crab (either cut bait or lures that imitate the real thing) under a popping cork for best results.

Jacksonville Offshore Fishing

Every year in July the city hosts the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament, one of the largest kingfish tournaments in the southeast. It’s a six-day event benefiting the Jacksonville community and is a ton of fun for the anglers who participate. “Kingfish” are more commonly known as king mackerel and are a favorite sportfish for anglers. Most anglers will troll for kings using outriggers, downriggers, and/or large planers. Use heavy tackle with a variety of live or cut bait, spoons or jigs. When offshore fishing from Jacksonville, be sure to check out Nine Mile Reef, located (you guessed it) nine miles from the shore. It’s actually a large area that runs all the way south to Daytona Beach, but Jacksonville charters will target the reef’s many kings, cobia, tuna, and more. It’s also a favorite spot for dive charters, so make sure to keep an eye out for boats flying the scuba flag and steer clear. When fishing for bottom dwellers, make sure to use weights that will get the bait to the bottom of the ocean floor. Freediving for lobster is another option for your reef visit. Look for the spiny lobster’s antennae peeking out from their hiding hole, use a “tickle stick” or Lobster Looper to encourage them out, then move the loop from behind to capture. The lobster’s antennae senses movement from the front, so approaching from behind is your best bet.

Book A Jacksonville Fishing Charter

There really are a variety of options for your Jacksonville fishing adventure. Freshwater? Check. Inshore? Check. Offshore? Check and check. You can try kayak fishing the calm marshes or head offshore for a full day of chasing kings. Whatever kind of adventure your group is looking for, let a Jacksonville charter hook you up!

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