Merritt Island Fishing Charters & Guides

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Charters Near Merritt Island
Southern Mayhem Fishing Charters
Cocoa Beach, Fl
(5.0, 32 Reviews)
Popular in Cocoa Beach
RocketCity Charters
Cocoa Beach, FL
(5.0, 1 Review)
Popular in Cocoa Beach
Hooknreel Fishing Charters
Cocoa Beach, FL
(5.0, 7 Reviews)
Canaveral Kings Sportfishing Charters
Port Canaveral, FL
(5.0, 32 Reviews)
  • The average cost for a four hour trip in Merritt Island is $646, while the average cost for an 8 hour trip is $1281. Prices can vary based on trip duration, boat size and amenities, and the type of fishing your group is looking to do. View all Merritt Island Charters here.

  • There are no shared trips currently available in Merritt Island. View all Merritt Island Charters here.

  • The most common charter boat types in Merritt Island are:

    Sport Fisherman

    Center Console

  • The average charter boat size in Merritt Island is 27 feet.

About Fishing in Merritt Island

Merritt Island Fishing Charters

Merritt Island, to the east of Orlando, sits between the Indian River on the west and the Banana River on the east. Merritt Island is also the headwaters of both. The rivers are saltwater. The Indian River is pretty long. The Banana River is short. Sykes Creek and the Banana River Aquatic Preserve make up the southern end of Merritt Island. With easy access to the Atlantic Ocean to the east and miles of creeks, marshes and tidal flats in the two rivers, Merritt Island offers amazing saltwater fishing opportunities. Turn west and drive just a bit and you discover Central Florida is covered with freshwater ponds that hold huge bass, bream and crappie. It is also an hour from Disney and the other theme parks in this part of Florida. Merritt Island is on the same island chain as the Kennedy Space Center. Merritt Island makes an ideal location for a base camp to explore Central Florida's fishing and the family attractions that also cover this part of the Sunshine State. Before you head out for a day of wetting a line, check the regulations to see creel limits and what is in season.

Merritt Island Inshore Fishing

On the north end is the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. This federal preserve also covers Cape Canaveral, but those areas are well-marked so you know to stay clear. The refuge itself has some fishing regulations on top of the state rules for saltwater fishing. The tidal creeks running through this area are prime redfish habitat. Fishing for reds when the tide is low is often done by sight. The fish will expose their backs and tail fins in the shallow water. If the water is shallow, make sure you are also fishing either surface lures, very light lures, or live and cut bait with no weight attached or weight well above the hook. A live shrimp might require a sinker to get enough casting weight; just put the lead on the line several feet above the hook. When the fish are deeper, such as around the cuts and channels, live and cut bait and shrimp-imitating lures lures fished under a popping cork are sure to draw strikes. Indian River has a reputation for producing gator trout. Sport Fishing Magazine lists it as a top spot for finding the big ones. Big trout are hard to fool. Likely they were caught a time or two while growing up and so learned a few things. Light lines, especially fluorocarbon, is needed. Live fingerling mullet, big shrimp and small pinfish under a popping cork are the top baits. Lipless crankbaits and shrimp jigs are also effective. Trout will hang on on the flats, especially near sandy spots in the grass beds. While not a traditional hotspot for tarpon, the northern end of Indian River does have a good population of smaller tarpon. Live pinfish, mullet and blue crabs are the top live baits. Some people want a tarpon on a fly. If that is you, take shrimp, crab and big streamer pattern flies and sight cast. When you see a tarpon cruising along, cast ahead of the fish so that your fly will cross his path. Just be sure you have plenty of backing because even a 25-pound tarpon will peel the line off. Snook, flounder and other inshore species are also found here.

Merritt Island Offshore Fishing

Offshore fishing in the Atlantic from Merritt Island ranges from stunning to fair depending on the season and the target fish. Specific fish are either open-water species like king mackerel, wahoo, tuna, mahi mahi, sailfish and marlin to the reef species like grouper, amberjack, the underrated hogfish and snappers. Trolling ballyhoo or cigar minnow-tipped dusters or lures at or near the surface is an excellent way to find the traveling species. Experienced Merritt Island fishing captains also watch for diving seabirds. That's a sure indicator that something is driving baitfish to the surface. The same rigs can be pulled deep with a downrigger. Trolling those rigs past underwater structure on the downrigger is an excellent way to see what has set up housekeeping on the many natural and artificial reefs in the area. Amberjack and grouper are especially fond of hitting trolled lures. Other reef fish are best caught dropping a line right over the side with live or cut bait. Squid is a preferred bait for the smaller fish while the big ones like live fish baits. When it comes to grouper, Merritt Island fishing charters can put you on the monster of the deeps, the goliath grouper. These arm-strainers like huge baits and require seriously heavy lines if you want to get one to the boat.

Book A Merritt Island Fishing Charter

Something is always biting down on Florida's central Atlantic coast. Merritt Island is an excellent place to stay to catch some great memories and something for the table that you cannot get in a restaurant. Find a local Merritt Island fishing charter today and get the adventure started.

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