6 Best Fishing Charters in Fort Walton Beach

Fishing in Florida is something akin to a religion. We’ve got fresh water, salt water, deep-sea, off-shore, and every kind of style that hard-core anglers could ever want – even shark fishing! In fact, Fort Walton Beach has the longest fishing season in all of North America.

This is largely thanks to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But the Bay has no shortage of great fishing opportunities as well. Give yourself convenient access to both by staying in our comfortable vacation homes and condos right in the heart of Fort Walton Beach.

From here, you can embark on your own independent fishing adventures or sign up for a full-day fishing charter with a skilled captain who is guaranteed to help you land a big one. So grab your favorite lures, hit the water, and cross your fingers you can hook a marlin!

About Fishing in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Here are a few things you should know as you plan your day of fishing in the Gulf.

While there are many variables when it comes to Emerald Coast fishing, a few things remain the same. Fishing charters almost always have the capacity for six people. They can accommodate a variety of trips (inshore, offshore, reef, nearshore). Charters have everything you’ll need on the boat; the big exceptions to this are sunscreen, sunglasses, extra snacks, and bottled water.

The Best Time of Year to Fish in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Keep in mind that the time of year you visit has a heavy influence on the species you’ll be fishing. The longest fishing season in all of North America means you can pretty much fish for something year-round. But the best time of year to fish in Fort Walton Beach is from March to October. Here is what you need to know.

Destin Fishing Rodeo

Every year, the shores of FWB are filled with more than 30,000 anglers set to compete in a variety of fun competitions, from off-shore fishing to kayak fishing. Even spectators can join in the festive fun by watching the weigh-ins at the end of each day. If you’re a fishing enthusiast, October could be the best month for a first-time visit.

Where to Fish in Fort Walton Beach

Photo Credit: Alejandro Guzmani

Cast your line into any body of water in or around Fort Walton, and you’ll find it teeming with life. But there are a handful of fishing spots that gather locals and visitors alike to the shores of the Gulf for a few hours of fishing fun.

  • Okaloosa Island Pier: Easy enough for all ages.
  • Liza Jackson Park: Family-friendly.
  • Marler Bridge: A favorite local spot.
  • West Jetties: The treacherous rocky terrain makes this spot best for serious anglers.
  • In front of Destin’s Coastguard Station: Another local favorite for flounder, redfish, and trout.

FWB Tackle Shops

Photo Credit: dasytnik

If you would like to do some fishing without the help of an offshore fishing charter during your trip, there are a few gear shops that can get you fully outfitted.

  • Emerald Coast Bait and Tackle: Get live bait, rods, reels, and all the apparel you need for fishing under the muggy Florida sun.
  • Half Hitch Tackle: This shop is technically located in Destin, just a short drive away from FWB. Here, you’ll find 30 years of tackle shop expertise and lots of gear for offshore fishing.


You need a fishing license before you cast your line into any of Florida’s waters. Head to the Florida Outdoors to purchase your freshwater or saltwater fishing licenses before the trip.

For current restrictions and info on specialty species like sharks, rays, and more, you can familiarize yourself with the regulations on the Florida Fish and Wildlife website.

Choosing a Fishing Charter

There are lots of factors when it comes to choosing the right charter for your fishing adventure. For starters, you’ll need to decide if you are looking for a half-day or a full-day trip. Many charter companies run trips of varying lengths from 4 hours to 10 hours.

You’ll also have to decide what fish species you want to target. This will affect the type of fishing charter you want whether it’s deep sea fishing charters, inshore fishing, bottom fishing, or trolling for a big-ticket species like a shark.

Best Fishing Charters in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

1. Sparkling Water Charters

Photo Credit: Lee Reese

  • Address: Eglin Parkway Northeast 198, Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • Website: fishingbooker.com/charters/view/32768
  • Target Species: Amber jack, cobia, shark, mahi mahi, grouper
  • Trips Offered: Reef-fishing, Wreck-fishing, Inshore, Offshore, Nearshore

Operating a 30’ Sea Hunt center console, this charter is family-friendly and offers a variety of trips out into the deep blue waters for all skill levels of fishermen and women. The captain is lauded for his ability to put you on top of fish quickly and easily, guaranteeing a good catch of the day.

2. Panhandle Fishing Charters

Photo Credit: Mindscape studio

  • Address: 104 Miracle Strip Parkway, Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • Website: destinfloridaboatcharters.com
  • Target Species: Amber jack, black drum, bluefish, flounder, red grouper, sheepshead, redfish, red snapper, Spanish mackerel, and more.
  • Trips Offered: Inshore, Nearshore fishing, Flats fishing, Backcountry, Night fishing, Bay and Gulf Fishing.

Panhandle Fishing Charters is one of the few FWB charters that offers lots of specialized trips so you can really tailor your trip to you. Choose between fish and fun trips for the whole family, shark fishing, bay fishing in Choctawhatchee Bay, and your typical Gulf fishing trips.

3. Sons Up Charters

Photo Credit: MPH Photos

  • Address: 1201 Miracle Strip Parkway Southeast, Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • Website: fishingbooker.com/sonsupcharters
  • Target Species: Bonito, blackfin tuna, wahoo, triggerfish, almaco and amber jack, flounder, gag grouper, red snapper, and more.
  • Trips Offered: Offshore, nearshore, reef, wreck, and deep sea fishing charters from 4-10 hours.

Jet across the water with the whole family in a top-of-the-line 27’ Cape Horn center console with twin 200 HP Suzuki engines. This charter is a family-run operation very familiar with these waters which means the likelihood of scoring a big catch is high. Captain Mike will even fillet up your catch for you at the end of the day making cooking your fresh seafood dinner back at the vacation rental a breeze.

4. Destin Inshore Charters

Photo Credit: Darryl Vest

  • Address: Miracle Strip Parkway Southeast 1318, Okaloosa Island, FL
  • Website: destininshorecharters.com
  • Target Species: Spanish mackerel, black drum, bluefish, flounder, spotted seatrout, mangrove snapper, and more.
  • Trips Offered: Bay Fishing

Welcome to the premiere fishing charter in the FWB area for bay fishing. While many anglers are interested in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the sheltered bay is teeming with diverse fish species just waiting to be hooked. If you’re looking to try your hand at spinning or light tackle this is a great fishing charter for you.

5. Liquid Prescription Fishing Charter

Photo Credit: project1photography

  • Address: 1201a Miracle Strip Parkway Southeast, Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • Website: facebook.com/Destinfishinguides
  • Target Species: King mackerel, gag grouper, bonito, red and vermillion snapper, blackfin tuna, and more.
  • Trips Offered: Inshore, Nearshore, Reef, Flats, Wreck, and Backcountry. Specializes in Bottom fishing and Trolling.

Captain Cory is a knowledgeable and professional fisherman with a speedy boat ready to get you out on the water and to the fish fast. Equipped with misters and shade, this boat is one of the best for visitors who are not used to the Florida heat.

While not the species he typically seeks out, sailfish and sharks are not an uncommon catch on his boat. Keep in mind that this slightly smaller boat only holds five people! This makes it a great budget-friendly option for smaller groups or families.

6. All Out Fishing Charters

Photo Credit: fogcatcher

  • Address: Old Ferry Road 100, Shalimar, FL
  • Website: alloutfishingllc.com
  • Target Species: Little tunny (false albacore), scup (porgy), mahi mahi, grunt, scamp grouper, almaco jack, snapper, king mackerel, and more.
  • Trips Offered: Nearshore, offshore, reef, and wreck fishing.

This renowned fishing company hosts a variety of boats, so you can choose the style that best fits your group’s needs. They even have catamaran-style boats for a spacious and comfortable fishing experience. Choose between a four and a ten-hour trip where you’ll spend your day trolling for a variety of fish and hoping to hook a swordfish in the deep or pelagic fish closer to shore.

Other Noteworthy Fishing Charters in the FWB Area

Here are a few standalone, highly recommended fishing charters that you can book through their own personal websites.

Stay With Us After a Great Day on the Water!

Fort Walton Beach has more to offer than just excellent fishing. It’s also a wonderful vacation destination for couples, families, and groups of friends looking for a scenic beach stay. Our vacation rentals have a plethora of amenities for every kind of trip. You can choose stays with heated pools, ocean views, or even a BBQ grill to properly cook your day’s catch.

Book you stay with Legacy Vacations today!