Fishing in Bonita Springs: A Complete Guide

Studying Time: 7 minutes

Midway between Fort Myers and Naples, lies an enthralling seaside neighborhood that gives wonderful fishing. Simply image lush mangrove forests and miles of glowing seashores. Then add in the truth that the realm presents entry to each Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and you’ll start to see why so many anglers love fishing in Bonita Springs.

An aerial view of the bay in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Out on this a part of Southwest Florida, there are various totally different fish to focus on and varied strategies to check out. Should you’re seeking to begin planning your fishing journey, learn on and we’ll discover the colourful Bonita Springs fishery collectively.

High Fish to Catch in Bonita Springs

Irrespective of the time of yr you go to, there’ll be one thing you may catch. The Estero Bay estuary serves as a nursery for a lot of species, together with Snook, Redfish, and juvenile Tarpon. Exterior the bay, the checklist of targets grows even greater because the fish migrate alongside the coast of Florida. Listed below are simply a number of the high fish to catch in Bonita Springs.


There are only a few inshore species which can be as thrilling to catch as Snook. They’re recognized for his or her pace and intelligence, and can usually blitz to underwater roots in an try to chop your fishing line. Should you do handle to maintain them hooked, they’ll put up a tough battle and dazzle you with their acrobatic leaps.

A man holding a big Snook on a fishing boat.

Whereas you’ll find them year-round, the prime time for Snook fishing in Bonita Springs begins round April and extends into October. You’ll often discover these feisty fish by pitching to mangroves, docks, and comparable constructions. Alternatively, you may attempt fishing across the inlets or alongside the Imperial River.


For a lot of anglers, Redfish stand on the high of their checklist of inshore fishing favorites. And rightfully so – these fish are enjoyable to catch, they put up a fantastic battle, and so they can develop to spectacular sizes. Redfish are additionally ravenous feeders, making them a fantastic goal for novices and skilled anglers alike.

A young girl holding a Redfish, caught while fishing in the Bonita Springs area.

The most effective half about fishing for Redfish is that they’re very adaptable and might be present in many various areas. In Bonita Springs, you’ll find them hiding within the mangroves, grass flats, or within the channels connecting Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.


Identified for his or her uncooked energy, unimaginable stamina, and acrobatics that rival even Sailfish, Tarpon are one among Florida’s most beloved species. They’re notoriously troublesome to hook, because of their bony mouths, and so they’ll give even probably the most skilled angler a tough battle. Oh, and did we point out grownup Tarpon can weigh over 200 kilos?

A fisherman on a boat holding a juvenile Tarpon caught in Estero Bay, Florida.

Estero Bay holds a year-round inhabitants of juvenile Tarpon. These will give anglers a small trace of what they’ll count on when taking up the monster-sized, grownup model. Greater Tarpon often present their silvery scales round April, and it’s doable to catch them all through Could, June, and July.

Largemouth Bass

With its lineup of saltwater favorites, it’s solely truthful to say Bonita Spring waters additionally present a house for the freshwater famous person – Largemouth Bass. These fish are blessed with intelligence and so they battle laborious as soon as hooked. For a lot of novice anglers, fishing for Bass is what will get them really hooked on fishing.

A fisherman holding a Largemouth Bass in Florida.

To seek out Largemouth Bass in Bonita Springs, it’s best to enterprise inland, up the Imperial River or one of many many native creeks and channels. There, you’ll get the perfect likelihood to entice the chew of those elusive fish.

And Extra!

Inside Estero Bay, Jack Crevalle, Noticed Seatrout, Snapper, Sheepshead, and Barracuda are simply a number of the many species you may add to the checklist of doable catches. In a number of the native channels, you may even discover the colourful Peacock Bass hiding. Then again, if you happen to resolve to trip additional out into the Gulf of Mexico, the checklist grows even longer.

An angler on a boat holding a big Barracuda.

Reef fishing nearshore will put you up towards the likes of Tripletail, Snapper, and Grouper. Focusing on these scrumptious species is a good possibility for anglers seeking to put some fish on the desk. In fact, battling it out with a hungry Shark is at all times doable round these components!

Finest Methods to Fish in Bonita Springs

Boat and Constitution Fishing

Fishing from a ship will provide you with probably the most flexibility as you discover the Estero Bay estuary. You’ll get entry to mangrove islands and varied nooks and crannies that fish wish to inhabit. As well as, boat fishing will assist you to cowl extra floor or get to fishing spots additional offshore.

A center console boat parked at a beach in Florida.

Should you’re a newbie, your greatest wager to have a productive fishing journey is to go on a fishing constitution. The native captains hold their fingers on the heartbeat because the fish transfer round and know which strategies work greatest. They’ll additionally give you the suitable gear for the kind of journey you’d wish to go on.

For extra seasoned anglers, renting a ship can be a superb possibility. Renting could price you lower than occurring a constitution, relying on how a lot you spend on gas, bait, and gear. Nonetheless, if you happen to’re going as a gaggle, splitting the price of a constitution might be the most suitable choice.

Kayak Fishing

Typically, it’s greatest to chill out and take issues gradual. With its calm waters, slim channels, and numerous hidden spots, Estero Bay is the proper place to take action. Hopping on a kayak will provide you with an intimate, up-close view of the gorgeous pure surroundings. It’s additionally an effective way to sneak up on fish whereas barely making a sound.

A photo showing the view from a kayak with a fishing pole visible.

In fact, earlier than you resolve to go kayak fishing in Bonita Springs, be certain that to test the climate and wind circumstances. Such a fishing is greatest fitted to anglers who’ve had some expertise with it earlier than. That’s, until you don’t thoughts taking the occasional dip!

Shoreline Fishing

Whereas occurring a ship or hopping on a kayak could assist you to discover extra fishing spots, there are different methods to have a productive time out. Bonita Springs options miles of shorelines, quite a few docks, and a number of other bridges that each one work as wonderful spots to forged your line from.

An angler reeling in a fish from shore.

Fishing from shore can be the most cost effective possibility, and a unbelievable technique to mix some angling with a enjoyable day on the seaside or a nature stroll. In fact, you’ll have to carry your fishing gear and, usually, an acceptable fishing license. 

The place to Fish in Bonita Springs

An aerial view of Lovers Key State Park in Bonita Springs, Florida.

While you’ve determined what you wish to goal and the way you wish to do it, it’s time to choose a spot to focus your consideration on. Fortunately, with the standard of fishing this a part of Florida presents, there are quite a few choices. Take a look at our checklist of a number of the greatest fishing spots in Bonita Springs:

  • Lovers Key State Park: Should you’re in search of a spot on your personal secret fishing affair, Lovers Key State Park is likely one of the greatest spots to start out. It options miles of pristine shorelines, mangroves, and flats. Snook, Redfish, and Mangrove Snapper can all be discovered right here.
  • Imperial River: With its brackish waters, the Imperial River supplies a house for a lot of saltwater and freshwater species. It’s a well-liked spot for Snook fishing and also will assist you to hook into some Largemouth Bass.
  • New Cross: In addition to being a fantastic place to fish for Snook, Redfish, and Jack Crevalle, New Cross can be a unbelievable possibility for boaters who simply wish to relax and chill out. Take a break on one of many sandbars, or, if you happen to’re bringing a pet, go to Canine Seaside and make recollections along with your furry buddy. 
  • Estero Bay: Strive fishing the mouth of the Imperial River, proper the place it flows into Estero Bay. Right here, you’ll get the possibility to catch Noticed Seatrout, Snook, Redfish, and extra.
  • Large Hickory Cross: Arrange on the causeway that overlooks Large Hickory Cross. Solid into the close by mangroves or attempt fishing the underside construction beneath the bridge. If nothing’s biting, head into Bay Park North and take a look at fishing close to the boat ramp there. You might find yourself catching some Snapper, Snook, or Catfish.
  • Large Carlos Cross Bridge: For anglers seeking to catch Jack Crevalle, Redfish, Sheepshead, or Noticed Seatrout, Large Carlos Cross Bridge could be a good possibility. Fish from the bridge or arrange on the seaside subsequent to it. Often, you might even hook right into a Goliath Grouper.

Fishing Laws in Bonita Springs

An infographic that says 'Bonita Springs Fishing Regulations' against a blue background.

In Florida, saltwater licenses should not mandatory if you happen to’re fishing on a constitution. Nonetheless, freshwater anglers older than 16 have to have a freshwater allow. Should you’re fishing solo, a mixture license will allow you to goal each freshwater and saltwater species. Check out our Florida fishing license information for extra particulars, widespread questions, and exemptions.

One other factor it’s best to have in mind is the leisure rules for the species you’re seeking to goal. To make sure Florida’s native species are there to carry anglers pleasure for years to return, the FWC retains a detailed eye on fish populations. To remain updated, go to the FWC website earlier than your journey.

Bonita Springs: The Full Wildlife Expertise

Manatees in Florida swimming together with some birds in the background.

With dolphins that like to hold across the bay and manatees that slowly make their approach by the serene channels, Bonita Springs is a paradise for nature lovers. However removed from simply that, it’s additionally a superb fishery, filled with alternatives to reel in that prized catch. All you might want to discover these fascinating waters is a trusted native information by your aspect, and also you’ve received your self the proper fishing trip!

Have you ever ever been fishing in Bonita Springs? What’s the fish you’ve had probably the most enjoyable catching? Share your tales within the feedback under!

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