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Guide To Fishing St. George Island: Piers, Charters & Fishing

 

Located along a remote stretch on the picturesque Florida panhandle, St. George Island offers a quiet beach retreat. Popular among families and groups seeking a low-key beach vacation, St. George offers a slower pace and a small town feel that can’t be found in larger, more commercial beach destinations. But, don’t let the sleepy pace fool you—there’s plenty to keep you busy during your stay!

 

Fishing, in particular, is a popular area activity—and it’s not hard to figure out why! The surrounding Gulf of Mexico provides warm temps and calm water that combine to make a true fisherman’s paradise.

 

Whether you’re an avid angler or a first-time fisherman, here’s everything you need to know about St. George Island fishing:

 

Where to Fish on St. George Island

There are several great fishing options on St. George Island for any time frame or budget.

 

Visitors that want to enjoy a more leisurely fishing experience can grab a reel and head to a local pier. The St. George Fishing Pier, which extends 600 feet into the gulf, is the island’s premier spot for pier fishing. Or, if you’d prefer to cast a rod with your toes on the sand, try surf fishing at the St. George Island State Park, which provides access to the calm waters of the Apalachicola Bay. Visitors are also welcome to fish from anywhere along the St. George Island shoreline.

 

For a more adventurous fishing experience, book an island fishing charter. Charters are typically sold in half or full day increments, and locations vary from different spots inshore or long trips offshore. More relaxed ‘fun’ charters are also available and are a great option for novices or families.


Piers On & Near St. George Island

Pier fishing is a popular activity for island visitors and the area is home to several piers that offer great spots for casting a line. Pier fishing is very relaxing and a great way for families and couples to enjoy some quality time together outdoors. Here are the top area piers for fishing:

Battery Bay Fishing Pier

Location: Battery Park | 1 Bay Ave, Apalachicola, FL 32320

Length: 700 feet

Eastpoint Fishing Pier

Location: Northern side of St. George Island Bridge

Length: 3,200 feet

Lafayette Park Fishing Pier

Location: Lafayette Park | 169 Avenue B, Apalachicola, FL 32320

Length: 600 feet

St. George Island Fishing Pier

Location: Southern side of St. George Island Bridge

Length: 3,200 feet

 

Pier fishers can expect to catch anything from flounder and red drum to pompano and even the rare small shark, which is a surprising and exciting catch. Pack a bag and head down to a local pier to experience this relaxing form of fishing!


Best Fishing Charter Companies

There’s certainly no shortage of charter companies on St. George Island, so much so that it can be overwhelming to pick the right guide. But fret not—we’re here to help! Here are a few of St. George’s top-rated fishing charter companies that come well recommended by visitors and locals.

SGI Charters

705 Randolph St., St. George Island, FL 32328 | (850) 370-0220

 

S GI Charters is locally owned and operated by Captain Lee Chapin with partner Coble Griffith on St. George Island Florida—an angler’s dream on the beautiful coast of the Florida Panhandle.  They offer charter fishing, shelling, dolphin encounters, kids’ trips, sunset tours, and more. Fishing charters are available for half-day trips, five-hour trips, and offshore trips and prices start at $450.

Journeys of St. George Island

240 3rd St. E, Eastpoint, FL 32328 | (850) 927-3259

 

Journey’s of St. George Island is an outdoor adventure and lifestyle company. They specialize in bay and offshore fishing charters, guided boat tours, guided kayak and stand up paddle board trips. Fishing charters are available for full and half-day trips, deep sea trips, bay and flats fishing, and more. Charters start at $375.

Island Charters

367 Cook St., St George Island, FL 32328 | (850) 542-2542

 

Captain Krista is a St. George Island native and fifth generation fisherwoman. She specializes in bay and gulf fishing charters near St. George Island. From advanced anglers, novices and even young children, Captain Krista customizes each charter to ensure her clients’ experience is one to remember! Inshore, offshore, and ‘fun’ charters are available with pricing starting at $350.

Trippin’ on Tripletail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(850) 653-7203

Charter excursions with Captain Michael Newell.

Fishing charters are a popular option for beach visitors seeking a true fishing adventure. Keep in mind that the cost of the charter covers everything from the gas for the boat, high-end fishing gear, all boat maintenance, bait, and cleaning, in addition to the local expertise of your captain and crew.

 

Types Of Fish You Can Catch

The warm gulf waters are home to more than 500 varieties of fish alone, so it’s not hard to see why St. George Island is a fisherman’s paradise. Though the opportunities are endless, select varieties are highly coveted by fishermen. Here are a few of the most popular fish to catch in the area:

  • Grouper
  • Swordfish
  • Cobia
  • Amberjack
  • Mackerel
  • Wahoo
  • Red Drum
  • Snapper
  • Flounder
  • Mahi Mahi

 

These are just a few of the popular varieties that fishermen enjoy catching. Each of these listed are legal to catch and keep, assuming they meet the length requirements. What you catch depends on how far offshore you go and how deep the waters are, among other variables.

 

What could be better than coming home with a fresh catch for dinner?

 

St. George Island Bait Shops

You can’t fish without the proper equipment! Luckily, St. George Island is home to several local bait and tackle shops that can help you stock up on all of the fishing essentials. From fishing rods and accessories to live bait and more, check out these top-rated local shops.

Survivor’s Island Bait & Tackle

28 W Pine Ave, Eastpoint, FL 32328 | (850) 927-3113

Fisherman’s Headquarters

40 W Bay Shore Dr., St George Island, FL 32328 | (850) 927-4004

Island Outfitters

235 E Gulf Beach Dr., St George Island, FL 32328 | (850) 927-2604


FAQs

Here are a few other frequently asked questions about fishing on St. George Island.

What are the best times of year to fish at St. George Island?

Believe it or not, St. George Island is a year-round fishing destination! The southern location in the warm Gulf of Mexico keeps temperatures rather warm all year long, which means twelve full months of fishing each year! Even in the dead of winter, off-season visitors can catch seasonal varieties like flounder, redfish, and more.

Do I need a fishing license?

Yes, you will need a license to fish on St. George Island. This license needs to be purchased through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; options vary for residents and non-residents. Residents have the option to purchase a license for a single year, five years, or for a lifetime. Non-residents are able to purchase a fishing license for three days, seven days, or a full year. Licenses are easy to purchase online or at a local tackle shop. There are fines for fishing without a license, so be sure you have yours ready to go because DNR can and will check!

 

Can I rent fishing equipment?

Unfortunately, solo fishing trips will require you to purchase or bring your own basic fishing gear. Rods, reels, line, etc. can easily be acquired at a local bait and tackle shop or you can add it to your packing list. If you don’t want to purchase, book a fishing charter. The cost of the charter includes the cost of all equipment, and most charters stock high-end gear for their guests.

Can I keep the fish I catch?

That depends. Florida, like other states, has strict regulations on the fishing industry. Laws are in place with how large the fish can be and how many fish can be caught in a single season. Here are a few of the most common fish and their size and catch regulations:

 

Flounder – Minimum 12” total length; daily limit of 10 per person

 

Red Drum – Minimum 18” total length, maximum 27” total length; daily total of 1 per person

 

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) – Gulf Waters, no limit; Atlantic waters – 20” minimum fork length; Gulf & Atlantic daily limit – 10 per person

 

Sheepshead – Minimum 12” total length; daily limit of 8 per person

 

Pompano – Minimum 11” fork length; daily limit 6 per person

 

Each fish has different legal limits, so be sure you check online if you’re unsure. If you’re on a charter, your captain will be familiar with local laws and can guide you through the process.

 

Can I eat the fish I keep?

Yes! You’ll only want to keep fish you can eat, and many of the local species are very easy to prepare. Popular fish to eat include flounder, sheepshead, black and red drum, and dolphin—to name a few. If you book a charter, many captains will filet the fish for you. Of, if you enjoy a solo fishing trip and don’t feel comfortable cleaning your catch, it’s not hard to find someone that will. Try a local pier or fish shop; some offer affordable cleaning services.

What if I don’t catch anything?

Empty nets and still rods happen to the best of us. But remember, fishing is about the experience! Don’t get discouraged if you have an unproductive trip. And, if you’re still set on seafood, St. George Island offers plenty of fresh fish markets and local seafood joints to get your fill of fish.