The sun is shining and the fish are biting, which can only mean one thing – it’s summertime on Okaloosa Island! It’s no secret that people come to the Emerald Coast for their summer vacations to experience the beautiful emerald waters and sugary white sands, but did you know that the Emerald Coast is also one of the top fishing destinations? While there’s no shortage of fishing spots, we’ve narrowed down some of the top Okaloosa fishing spots to cast your line.
Okaloosa Island Pier
Locals and tourists alike can agree that the Okaloosa Island Pier is one of the best spots around to cast your line and reel in some gulf guppies! With many different types of fish in the water on the west end of Okaloosa Island, you never know what you’ll catch off the 1,262-foot pier. Most commonly caught off the pier are Redfish, Ladyfish, Hardtails, Mackerel, and Tarpon. But don’t be surprised if you see other exotic Gulf fish being hooked there. The best part of fishing off the Okaloosa Island Pier is that they offer anything you might need for a day of fishing. Visitors can come to the pier and get fishing licenses, rods, and reels for sale or rent, as well as bait and tackle.
Are you an avid angler looking for a challenge? Well, then the West Jetties is just the spot for you! The challenge of this fishing spot is climbing over the large, and sometimes hazardous boulders to reach the tip of the giant rock pile that jets out into the Gulf. You’ll want to make sure to pack light and wear the proper shoes before you venture out to reach your fishing spot. But with this risky journey comes reward when you start reeling in fish like Spanish Mackerel, Snapper, and Grouper! Just make sure to always look out for snorkelers, surfers and any passing watercraft before casting your line at the West Jetties.
The Marler Bridge is a hotspot for local fishermen because of its location on the east end of Okaloosa Island connecting to Destin. As long as you stay between the posted fishing locations, fishing off the bridge is free and legal for anyone. The most commonly caught fish off the Marler Bridge are Redfish, Sheepshead, and Black Snapper. If you hook one of these bad boys and your fish is within the required limits, you’re free to take it home and enjoy some freshly caught dinner!
Beach and Surf Fishing
There’s nothing like heading out to the beach for the day and casting a line right there off the shore! You never know what you’ll reel in and you get a chance to avoid some of the crowds. A few of our favorite public beach fishing spots are near the Okaloosa Island Boardwalk and a little south of the property. If you’re looking for someplace a little more secluded, there are several public beaches on the east end of the island that offer some privacy for surf fishing. The best time for this kind of fishing is first thing in the morning!
Experience Okaloosa Fishing
There’s no shortage of fishing spots around here which makes each fishing trip a new experience. Now that you know all the ins and outs of fishing on Okaloosa Island, all that’s left to do is cast your line and kick back while you wait for the fish to start biting!
*Please note that Florida requires a fishing license and is required for anyone over the age of 16. For more information visit myfwc.com.