Fort Walton Beach is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts, with phenomenal catches to be had all year long. Below, we’ve put together a day to day Fort Walton Beach fishing guides to the ultimate fishing trip in Fort Walton Beach. Pick up a local fishing license or ask your charter guide if they provide licenses, then get started!
Day 1: Pier Fishing
Just across Choctawhatchee Bay from Fort Walton Beach is Okaloosa Island, home to the famous Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier. Here, you can catch a variety of fish close to shore, from tarpon and king mackerel to cobia and tuna. The pier also has a tackle shop and concessions on site if you’re looking for equipment recommendations in your Fort Walton Beach fishing guides.
Day 2: Inshore Fort Walton Beach Fishing Guides
Whether you decide to fish from the beach, the marina, or aboard an inshore fishing boat, inshore fishing is a fun and relaxing experience. Close offshore trolling is another popular form of inshore fishing. Charters like Rusty Anchor offer both gulf inshore fishing and bay sport trolling.
Day 3: Bow Fishing
Bow fishing is an exciting fishing technique where anglers use special archery equipment to shoot and reel in their fish. Panhandle Fishing Charters offers bow fishing trips in Choctawhatchee Bay, both day and night.
Day 4: Bay Fishing
Choctawhatchee Bay and other bays in the Destin area have a wealth of fishing for you to enjoy, and a variety of ways for you to fish. From flounder gigging to bow fishing, to catch and release charters, bay fishing with companies like Panhandle Fishing Charters is a wonderful experience.
Day 5: Offshore Fishing
Offshore fishing is the pinnacle of Florida fishing, especially in Fort Walton Beach and the Panhandle region. There are a ton of offshore fishing charters, but Rusty Anchor, Panhandle Fishing Charters, and One Shot Charters are all great choices.
Day 6: Deep Sea Fishing
While deep sea fishing is a type of offshore fishing, there’s a huge difference in the depth you’re fishing at and the types of fish you catch while deep sea fishing. Charters like One Shot Charters can get you into the deep waters and help you catch species such as swordfish, trigger fish, amberjack, sharks, and more.
Day 7: Surf Fort Walton Beach Fishing
Surf fishing from the beach is a fun way to wrap up your Fort Walton beach fishing trip, allowing you to enjoy the water and the angling at the same time before heading home. When surf fishing in Fort Walton Beach, you’ll want to use a heavy, long spinning rod with a strong braided line and leader, using as much weight as you can. Dropper-rigs, Carolina rigs, and pompano rigs are also helpful, as are pyramid sinkers, bank sinkers, and slip sinkers.
Even More On-The-Water-Fun to Be Enjoyed
While time spent fishing is sure to please, when your plans already have you focused on the water, why not make even more of the adventure? Fort Walton Beach and nearby Destin are both great places to get out and enjoy time on the waves at your own pace and in your own style. Any of the following activities can easily be paired with time fishing, whether independently or as part of a chartered experience. If you’re the type of traveler that just can’t get enough of the fun, make sure to expand the itinerary by adding these water-based adventures to your trip.
Go Dolphin Spotting
While reeling in great catches is sure to thrill enthusiastic anglers in the Fort Walton Beach and Destin area, sometimes, sitting back and observing amazing marine creatures in their natural habitat is just as satisfying. When this is the case, pair your day of angling with some time on the water watching for jumping dolphins by booking a tour with Destin Dolphin Cruise. Headquartered at 500 Harbor Boulevard, booking time with Destin Dolphin Cruise is a great way to get close to marine life while learning from experienced naturalists and guides along the way. These dolphin spotting experiences are wonderful but Destin Dolphin Cruise also offers guests the option of booking a sunset cruise to combine dolphin spotting and watching the Florida sky come to life with color as the sun sinks below the horizon.
Savor Time Snorkeling
Taking time to cast a line and reel in something from below the waves can be fun, but so can making time to explore underneath the water for yourself! Snorkeling is a popular activity in the waters that surround Fort Walton Beach and one that’s definitely worth enjoying while you’re here! If you’re not up for solo exploration, the team at Pelican Adventures offer guided snorkeling excursions that are one of a kind. Over 2.5 to 3 hours, groups of up to 30 guests can enjoy a comprehensive snorkeling experience in the emerald green waters that have long defined this region. From tropical fish and sea turtles to incredible underwater plants, you’ll encounter an array of amazing moments you won’t soon forget.
Try Paddle Boarding
Take your angling adventure to an even more relaxed level by setting aside time to explore the waves via paddle board. Powerup Watersports on Okaloosa Island is a great place to rent a board for the day whether you’re an experienced paddle board enthusiast or new to this balancing act. Once you get the hang of it, paddle boarding is a great way to see the sights at your own pace and really maximize time on the water.