Find the Perfect Fishing Spot in Fort Pierce
The action is hot —inshore and off— in Fort Pierce.
It’s not uncommon for fishermen to want to save the best fishing spots for themselves, but in Fort Pierce, it’s tough to keep the good locations secret. That’s because there are so many places from which to cast a line and hook into a game fish.
“Fort Pierce remains one of the best destinations in Florida for recreational fishing,” says Charlotte Bireley, director of tourism and marketing for St. Lucie County. “There are a variety of places to fish, a diversity of species and many opportunities for anglers of all skill levels.”
Fishing is a big part of the area’s DNA. Commercial and recreational fishing in Ft. Pierce date back over a century. In the early 1900s, fishing was a major industry. On the riverfront in Fort Pierce were fish houses and packing plants for the mackerel, mullet and kingfish that were brought in by the boatload and then shipped out by railroad up the East Coast.
Today, recreational fishing is the draw for anglers. They descend on Fort Pierce with rods and reels knowing that the waters can deliver big rewards, including record-breaking catches. The Florida record spotted sea trout, at 17.7 pounds, was captured here, in the Indian River Lagoon.
If you head offshore by boat, you can bottom fish for species like grouper or troll the water’s surface for mahi-mahi and sailfish. The area is also known for kingfish; it’s home to the national championship tournament hosted by the Southern Kingfish Association.
Don’t have a boat? You can cast lines from the jetties that flank the Fort Pierce Inlet. This is a great place to find snook all year long, but especially in summer months.
Beaches are another good place for species ranging from tarpon, blacktip sharks and mackerel to permit and jacks. And there’s action throughout the year. The best time, though, is during bait runs, which begin in August and end by November. Two of the most sought-after species for beach fishermen are pompano and whiting, which show up when the water temperatures drop in November.
There’s plenty of inshore action, too, particularly in the Indian River Lagoon, a 156-mile estuary where grass flats are fertile feeding ground for spotted sea trout. Small species are also drawn to roots of Mangrove trees, which in turn attract large predators like snook and redfish. From the high perch of a public dock you can try to lure the flounder and black drum that gather around the pilings.
Anglers love Fort Pierce for its variety of species, but amenities like multiple marinas, free public boat ramps, bait and tackle shops, cleaning stations, charter boats and fishing guides, along with great hotels keep them returning every season. And then there are the friendly locals, who, unlike some sportsmen, are happy to share their favorite fishing spots with visitors (well, maybe not ALL the secret spots!).