Fishing Tips from Fort Walton Beach Locals

| By Meagan

Fishing Tips

There are plenty of exciting activities to do in our area. Fishing in Fort Walton Beach should be at the top of your “To-Do” list during your vacation stay. Fort Walton Beach and surrounding areas provide some of the best fishing around! However, finding the perfect spot in those locations can be challenging for tourists and visitors.

Without a trusting local’s friendly pointers and direction, you might end up spending the day tossing bait, rather than reeling your prize fish in. I’ve put together a list of the local fishing hot spots you might want to dip your hook into when fishing in Fort Walton Beach:

Marler Bridge: For those who don’t recognize the name, it’s simple to find. This bridge connects Okaloosa Island to Destin. (Hint: think Crab Island) Fishing from this location can result in Redfish, Sheepshead, and Black Snapper. Just be sure any fish you plan to keep are within the required limits. Fishing from this bridge is legal and free. Please stay within the posted allowed areas for fishermen.

Okaloosa Island Pier: I’m not going to beat around the bush on this one. This 1,262-foot pier is one of the locals’ favorite spots. It’s located on the western end of Okaloosa Island. (Hint: think Crab Trap Restaurant) This location has everything you could need for the day: from fishing licenses to renting equipment and bait. Angling here results in Redfish, Tarpon, Hardtails, Mackerel, and Ladyfish. However, there’s always the element of surprise when you dip that hook into the Gulf of Mexico. Just be sure to have your fishing license if you’re over the age of 16 and keep those fish within regulation. There is a daily admission fee of $8.00 to access the pier.

Beach Fishing: This one is for the angler looking for serenity. Fishing in Fort Walton Beach and the surrounding island offers all kinds of opportunities to escape the crowds and find seclusion. Simply find yourself a section of sand, set up a beach chair, cast your line, and enjoy the goodies you brought in the cooler. Some local favorite spots for surf fishing are behind the boardwalk (near the pier) or down near the Jetties on the eastern side of the island. You’ll reel in Spanish Mackerel left and right in this location. Keep an eye out for seabirds swarming over schools of fish just below the water’s surface. This is usually a tell-tale sign of predator fish swimming around below, forcing the school to swim upward. Sink your hook in this area for a true zinger.

Charters: While slightly costly for some, Charter Boat Fishing can result in some pretty spectacular results in our area. Besides getting insight into the local waters, you could reel in Tarpon, Cobia, Shark, Snapper, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, Grouper, Flounder, Redfish, Speckled Trout, Kingfish, Redfish, Pompano, Sheepshead, Mangrove Snapper, and Blue Marlin. Another perk: according to FishingBooker.com, anglers fishing aboard a hired charter aren’t required to possess a fishing license, provided the vessel has a valid charter captain or charter boat permit. We recommend the following local charters: Destin Bay Charters and Salty Jig Charters.

Fort Walton Beach is a dream destination for anglers. Being located near the 100-Fathom Curve (the fastest path to the Gulf of Mexico’s deep waters), you’re in the prime location to catch those big, deep-water fish you crave. So, book your stay with us and get ready for some amazing angling!

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Topics: Fishing, Fort Walton Fishing, Insider

Meagan

Written by Meagan

Meagan loves weddings at the Breakers! She enjoys helping brides make their special day the best day ever. Full of ideas and fun, Meagan can't imagine ever getting tired of weddings.




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