The westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle, is a hugely popular fishing destination, with the shallow waters in the bays and beachfronts that surround the city positively teeming with exotic fish species.
Going on a fishing charter with a seasoned guide and quality gear is a great way to experience fishing in and around Pensacola. You can either charter a small, private vessel or board a large “party boat” with other anglers. Here are 5 of the best Pensacola fishing charter companies around.
Offshore 6-pack charters
Pensacola is known for its great deep sea fishing for many different species. Run by Hot Spot Charters, these offshore 6-pack charter tours are operated on 31-34 foot centre console boats and invite you to fish approximately 15 to 30 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Possible catches include snapper, grouper, amberjack, triggerfish, mackerel, sharks, and much more. Tours can be from 6 to 12 hours depending on your preferences. Fishing equipment, licenses, bait, ice, and fish cleaning are all included in the price. As well as their 6-group tours, they can also coordinate bigger groups on larger boats.
PRICING: From $1,200 per group (max 6 people) BOOK AT hotspotcharters.com
Inshore Fishing Charters
Explore the inshore area of Pensacola on this fantastic half-day fishing trip through the area’s scenic rivers and bays. With your captain and guide’s expert supervision and instruction, you’ll get the chance to catch a myriad of local fish such as tripletail, flounder, redfish, and trout. Along the way you’ll visit secret fishing spots that you wouldn’t find on your own, deep in the backcountry waterways. All necessary equipment is included in the tour price, as well as bottled water. Guides can provide as little or as much fishing guidance as you wish.
PRICING: From $570 per group (max 4 people) BOOK AT Viator.com
Near Shore Fishing Charter
Run by All Caught Up Fishing Charters, their near shore charters consist of fishing the local bay and intercoastal areas that surround Perdido Key, located a few miles west along the coast from Pensacola. The fishing takes place anything from 1 to 9 miles offshore. Types of fishing include trolling, bottom fishing and anything in between, with common catches on the tour being speckeld trout, redfish, flounder, sheepshead, mackerel, and many more.
PRICING: From $650 per group BOOK AT allcaughtupfishingcharters.com
Shark Fishing Charter
With both inshore or offshore opportunities, Pensacola is the destination of choice for many keen shark fishing anglers. The area is a renowned shark fishery with peaks happening during warmer months of the year. Run by Fish Flat Out, this trip starts with pick up at any number of boat ramps or at a private dock to begin your personalised shark fishing adventure, during which you’ll prowl the waters with your rod for shark species including Mako Sharks, Bull Sharks, Thresher Sharks and the distinctive Hammer Head Sharks. Everything you need, including bait, tackle, licenses and fishing equipment, and even a cooler for snacks and refreshments, is provided as part of the tour price.
PRICING: From $450 per group BOOK AT fishflatout.com
2-Hour Family Fun Chartter
Offering a wide variety of fishing charter packages, Traditional Fishing Charters provide a fun-packed experience on the water. Their 2-hour charters are the perfect option for families with young children and first-timers looking for a fun and easy fishing adventure. Every fish caught on this trip is released back into the water and only your beaming smiles and memories will be brought back to shore. Boats range from 23-37 foot and come equipped with all necessary life jackets and equipment.
PRICING: From $275 per group (Max 2 people, or $50 per extra guest) BOOK AT traditionfishingcharters.com