The coast of southwest Florida is home to the Ten Thousand Islands, a chain of remote islands dotting the Gulf of Mexico. Though the Ten Thousand Islands actually only host a few hundred islands, few places in the country are better for viewing coastal and island wildlife. The largest barrier island in the Ten Thousand Island chain, Marco Island, is as prized for its fishing as it is for its natural beauty.
Marco Island is one of the few islands in the Ten Thousand Islands inhabited by people. Often considered the gateway to the rest of the Ten Thousand Islands, Marco Island offers plentiful fishing opportunities both on its shores and as an access point to the rest of the remote Islands.
Planning a Fishing Trip on Marco Island
If you're planning a fishing trip to Marco, you'd better have the best Marco Island fishing spots in mind before you go. Remember that the rainy season mainly occurs between June and October, though the water remains temperate all year round. Unlike many of Florida's vacation destinations, Marco Island has avoided the touristy, party-all-the-time vibe of Miami or Daytona Beach. The only main attraction here is pristine sand and surf: perfect for serious anglers intent on fishing.
Fishers may enjoy staying at one of the island's many vacation rentals, rather than juggling equipment in a cramped hotel room. Most are beachfront properties with direct access to the shore; some even have private boat docks for guest usage. As an added benefit, you'll have a full kitchen to cook up whatever you caught that day.
Below you'll find some of the best Marco Island fishing spots on the island.
Marco Island Marina
The Marco Island Marina is a great place to start. In addition to offering up boat rentals and fishing charters, the Marco Island Marina has fishing guides on hand to help you get the most out of your fishing trip.
Fishing Spots for Travelers Without a Boat
Let's start with the obvious: you can fish directly from the beach. Beach fishing is a great way to satisfy your fishing cravings while still spending time with the rest of your (non-fishing) family. However, keep in mind that beach fishing is most productive at dusk and dawn.
Another popular spot where you'll find both local and visiting fishermen is where the two mainland bridges connect with Marco Island's shores. Another option is to scout out the various canals found all over Marco Island and try your luck fishing there. Even without a boat, you'll have no trouble finding an isolated spot to dip your line.
Backwater Fishing at Marco Island
If you've got access to a boat, try your hand at backwater fishing off the shores of Marco Island or one of the nearby Ten Thousand Islands . This is one of the best options for families traveling with kids: when they tire of fishing, head to the shore and let them search for shells or build sand castles on the beach. This is also a great way to see some of the Ten Thousands Islands' natural wildlife (dolphins included).
Take an Offshore Fishing Charter
Deep off the shores of Marco Island, you'll find prize catches like king mackerel , grouper , or the Godzilla of all Marco fish species: the Goliath Grouper , a Loch Ness-esque catch that can weigh up to 800 pounds. Offshore fishing can often be combined with backwater fishing trips, so you can get a taste of both experiences.
Visit Rose Marina
Marco Island's Rose Marina is the center of all fishing life on the island. Stop by this three-acre marina for local fishing guides, equipment, bait, and tips on where to find the best Marco Island fishing spots. If you want to try your hand at offshore fishing, you'll need to book a charter; you'll find over 20 companies to choose from at the Rose Marina.
Marco Island vacation rentals with pool (from the left clockwise): #161043, #256650, #170949