Florida offers the most epic saltwater fishing experience. The weather, water temperature, and countless piers make the state an angler’s paradise. If you don’t have a boat and don’t like the idea of getting into the water, the best fishing piers in Florida awaits.
Almost every city in the state has a fishing pier. It’s almost a staple among families to go fishing on weekends. Aside from being convenient, piers are safer for kids, and most don’t require a fishing license.
The best thing about Florida is its North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shores. These waters are known for their big fishes and a wide range of marine life species.
After fishing, you can cap the day by watching the sunset at the pier with your special someone. It’s a simple trip, but very enjoyable and exciting.
If you’re planning a trip to Florida, make sure that you visit at least a few of these fishing piers:
1. Skyway Bridge Fishing Pier
The Skyway Bridge Fishing Pier in St. Petersburg is probably the most popular destination among pier anglers. This is open 24/7, and you simply have to drive by and pay a small fee. You only have to pay $4 for your car and another $4 for every adult. If you’re bringing kids, those under 5 are free while ages 6 to 12 would need to pay $2 each.
This pier is actually a converted road bridge with a pier on the side. It graces Tampa Bay, so it’s quite accessible and known to locals.
Aside from fishing, this is known for the Sunshine Skyway Bridge that offers a stunning sunset view. Still, many people go here for the fish. You can hook redfish, snook, tarpon, cobia, grouper, and trout on this pier. The best part is that the pier never closes! It’s open 24/7 for all anglers and visitors who want to flex their fishing skills.
Sure, The Skyway Bridge isn’t the most aesthetic of all piers in Florida, but it sure is prolific in terms of fishes. There are also tackle shops around where you can get your supplies.
2. Cocoa Beach Pier
If you’re staying around Cocoa Beach, you should definitely check out its own pier. It’s been the highlight of the Cocoa Beach waterfront since the early ‘60s. This pier has welcomed countless anglers on its 800-feet span into the Atlantic Ocean.
Some of the common catches here are tarpons, bluefishes, sea trouts, groupers, and more. As long as the weather permits, you’ll have a great time at the Cocoa Beach Pier.
Fishing licenses aren’t required here, but you should mind the closing hours. It’s only open to visitors from 6 am to 10 pm, and the fee is $7 for adults and $5 for fishing kids under 12 as well as seniors. For those who aren’t going to cast a line, the spectator’s entrance fee is a measly $2.
Aside from fishing, the Cocoa Beach Pier is surrounded by restaurants, resorts, and other amenities perfect for family vacations.
The Navarre Beach Fishing Pier is said to be the longest pier in the entire state. It boasts a total of 1,545 feet of total length, which is one of its charming features.
Since it goes farther into the ocean, you’re more likely to catch large fishes. Anglers who’ve gone here have hooked Spanish Mackerel, Sheepshead, and Redfish. A few lucky guys also got to hook Great White Sharks!
Take note that the pier changes its hours twice a year. From May to October, they’re open from 5 am to 11 pm. Meanwhile, they have limited hours from November to April from 6 am to 7 pm.
As for the fee, anglers will pay $7, while seniors and military personnel will be charged $6. Non-anglers who wish to look around will only cost $1. Kids under 5 as well as disabled veterans can enter the pier for free.
4. Naples Pier
Spanning a total of 1,000 feet, the Naples Pier has recently bounced back from its damages due to Hurricane Irma. It reopened and is now available to all anglers 24/7. It’s also free to go and fish here, so it’s a smart choice if you don’t want to spend anything for a fishing experience. The city also issues a blanket fishing license, so there’s no need to bring your own.
The good thing about Naples Pier reopening recently is that the facilities are still new. There are cleaning stations, restrooms, snack houses, and other establishments to make your stay comfortable.
The Naples Pier is located along the Gulf of Mexico, so expect to catch sea trout, Spanish Mackerel, Redfish, and more.
Just note that it’s strictly prohibited to dive from the pier or swim within the 150-feet perimeter. No one is also allowed to bring pets or dispose of fish in trash cans.
5. Sebastian Inlet State Park Pier
Another spot I never miss during a Florida visit is the Sebastian Inlet State Park Pier in Melbourne Beach. Like Naples Pier and the Skyway Bridge Pier, this spot is open 24/7. However, you’re required to bring a fishing license and pay an entrance fee. It costs $8 for each vehicle and $4 for motorcycles. Walk-in pedestrians and cyclers will only pay $2.
In the park pier, you’ll find two jetties. It’s not the longest you can find, but it doesn’t ruin the fishing experience. This pier sits on the Atlantic waters mixed with the Indian River. This makes it the perfect spot to catch Big Trout, Snook, Tarpon, and more.
Take note that you’re right in the state park. If you get bored fishing, you can explore around and let the kids enjoy other activities. They will surely love the wildlife tours as well a local museum visit. The Sebastian Inlet State Park Pier is also a surfing attraction in Melbourne Beach.
6. Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier
Pensacola has a rich history, but they also have hidden angling gems – one of which is the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier. This is a 1,471-feet long pier with several establishments nearby to make your stay comfortable.
Moreover, the pier is situated beside the Gulfside Pavilion, where you can seek shelter when the sun is too hot. The pier has a nice view, and many tourists get the chance to see Blue Angels fly by.
If you want to go fishing in Pensacola, you should time your visit during the summer months. This is where you can catch large Redfish, Spanish mackerel, Pompano, Tarpon, and Cobia. You can even have the chance to hook a feisty sailfish!
Fishing licenses aren’t required here but note that the pier is only open from 6 am to 9 pm. Also, entrance fees are $7.50 for fishing adults and $4.50 for fishing youths. Meanwhile, military personnel and seniors only have to pay $6.50.
Take note that this pier is in the northwest part of Florida. Despite the distance, the fishing action here happens all year round.
7. Venice Fishing Pier
Another fishing pier you can visit is this one in Venice, FL. The entrance at the Venice Fishing Pier is free, and the pier is open 24/7. You don’t need to bring a fishing license, which is added convenience.
The pier is 700-feet long, and while shorter than most, it’s teeming with a real mix of species. You can hook Sheepshead to Sharks here, aside from other fishes. They also host fishing tournaments, which you can join in. Registration is usually free, and you only have to donate an item to support their cause.
Aside from that, you can find the Papa’s Baitshop and Jan’s Beachtique not far from the pier. Here, you can purchase your angling essentials together with some snacks. You can also rent rods, reels, and sand shovels from them.
This place is also family-friendly since the kids can enjoy playing on the sand while you battle a large catch on the pier.
8. Jacksonville Beach Pier
The Jacksonville Beach Pier is about a quarter-mile long, facing the Atlantic Ocean. The pier itself is short, but many anglers in and out of Florida are flocking here. They are open from 6 am to 10 pm, but they close at 7 pm from December to March.
You’re not required to bring a fishing license here, but you have to pay a $4 fisherman fee. Spectators only need to pay $1, while kids under 6 years old are free.
Take note that they have a limit of three fishing rods per angler, but they allow the use of carts to transport your tackle. Also, they don’t allow the use of surfboards, rollerblades, fly rods, cast nets, hand lines, and bicycles on the pier. They also prohibit shark fishing here.
The pier has recently reopened after repairs were done in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Right now, tourists can enjoy the length of the pier where they can catch Kingfish, Tarpon, Jacks, and more. There are also surrounding amenities that you can enjoy.
9. Dania Beach Fishing Pier
Dania Beach is strategically situated between Hollywood, FL, and Fort Lauderdale. It’s a 928-feet pier located on the Atlantic coast. All year round, anglers go here to hook Yellow Tail Snappers, Tarpon, Bluefish, Snook, and more.
Moreover, the Dania Fishing Pier doesn’t require fishing licenses. For fishing adults, the entrance fee is $3 while $1 for spectators. The pier is open from 6 am to midnight all year long.
The good thing about this pier is its location. The bridge sits on deep waters, so you’ll get to access more fish species that you can’t hook in other locations. Some anglers even got to hook a Barracuda and Mutton Snapper here.
For snacks and tackle, you can buy them from nearby shops. You can also pay for parking if you’re bringing a car.
Aside from fishing, Dania Beach is also a great spot for family vacations. The ocean park has many surrounding amenities for you and your family to enjoy.
10. Pier 60
Pier 60 is located in Clearwater Beach, which is probably the most family-friendly beaches in Florida. It’s a world-class pier surrounded by pavilions, restaurants, tackle shops, and more. All year-round, the 1080-feet pier welcomes countless anglers.
You can hook Jacks, Flounders, Sheepshead, Silver Trout, Spanish Mackerel, and more on this pier. Aside from anglers, Pier 60 is also a great spot to watch street performers at sunset.
Pier 60 is usually open all year long, but opening hours vary widely. For the most part, the pier is open for 24 hours except for some days between December and February.
The authorities here don’t require a fishing license. Also, entrance fees are considerably cheap, for just $8 and $6.75 for seniors. Meanwhile, kids between 5 and 15 years old will have to pay $5.25.
Overall, Pier 60 is a happy place for families and anglers. If you want a staycation in Florida where you can flex your angling skills, this is the place to be.
These best fishing piers in Florida are just some of the best spots to visit in the state. As a subtropical area, the fishing season in FL is always hot. But if you want the best catches, you might as well head here during summer. Just make sure that you have your tackle ready to wrestle a big fish.