Fishing is a big deal in Florida. The state has churned out over 4,200 world records in fishing and offers over 7,700 lakes and more than 10,500 miles of rivers and waterways, not to mention over 2,200 miles of tidal shoreline, all teaming with aquatic life.
But, when it comes to big game fishing in Florida, the name says it all – bigger fish, bigger boats, bigger hunting grounds, and bigger bragging rights.
Perfectly located just a short stroll from the sea, The Chesterfield Palm Beach is the ideal launching point for some offshore fishing. But before you hit the high seas, get your strength up dining at our on-site restaurant – the fish is locally sourced and startlingly fresh. Then let the games begin…
Where to go and what to catch?
There are a couple of sure-fire spots to keep in mind for big game fishing in Florida, depending, of course, on what you want to catch. In Florida Bay and the inner curve around the Keys and the mainland, you can find five main types of game fish: Bonefish, Redfish, Snook, Tarpon and Permit. But if you head out a bit further, you can try your luck in the deep-sea area close to the Gulf Stream and fish for Marlin, Sailfish and Swordfish – the big three.
Some fish can be caught all year round, like the Redfish or the Swordfish, but for others there are specific fishing seasons. To give you an idea, the best fishing season for the Blue Marlin is May to October, with Sailfish fishing reaching its peak from November to May.
No fishing trip would be complete without paying a visit to the Humps. Now practically synonymous with Ernest Hemingway and his fishing adventures, the Humps are an incredible element of the underwater landscape, and part of the reason that Florida is such a fishing wonderland. The water around these little underwater mountains is nutrient-rich, attracting the likes of the elusive Marlin and Sailfish, which in turn attract the fishermen.
How to get offshore
It’s always best to hire a charter or guide if Florida isn’t your usual stomping ground, or you’re new to big game fishing. There’s a lot of ocean to explore after all, so having access to advice, guidance, and equipment from a professional charter service is invaluable. There are plenty of great services to choose from, such as Therapy-IV or Reel Intense (docked in New Port Cove Marine Center, just 20 minutes from the hotel). Charters can tailor your fishing experience to suit your skills, time, and desired prey. But if you choose to fish independently, remember to get yourself a license.
First, make sure that your fishing lures are strong – and we mean really strong. Some of these fish can weigh up to (and over) 100lb, and do not come easy. Similarly, don’t skimp on your rod, otherwise you will go home empty handed (both of fish and rod) and with your fishing fantasies at the bottom of the ocean.
Secondly, remember that patience is a virtue when it comes to big game fishing in Florida. View these fish as the worthy opponents they are and prepare to devote some time to catching them. The greatly coveted Marlin, for example, has been known to put up a serious fight (four to six hours, in some cases).
Header image © Antonio Balaguer soler/Hemera/Thinkstock