Some of Florida’s best fishing spots aren’t land bound; they’re hovering over the Gulf of Mexico.
Circus by the Sand [Clearwater Beach, FL]
For the last 20 years, fire eaters, jugglers, and break dancers have put on a free show at Pier 60. They’re just some of the street-performing acts you’ll find every day of the week from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. It’s the Mallory Square of the mainland as every evening ends with three-hour live band sets, craft fairs, or a sunset showing of family favorite movies.
A Fisherman’s Dream [Naples, FL]
It’s a fisherman’s dream at the Naples Pier, where lines are cast without the hassle of getting a license – because the city has instated a blanket one, so you’re covered. While underneath and around its edges are peppered with a rainbow of sunbathers’ umbrellas, the end of the 1,000-foot-long upper deck is the gem. Fishermen here have plenty of space to cast a line for snook and Spanish mackerel with spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico.
Turtle Fever [Juno Beach, FL]
Palm Beach County’s beaches are the most densely nested in the US, which is why, come March through October, the Juno Beach Park Pier is a hot spot for watching sea turtles swim out of the Atlantic and ashore (it’s prime nesting season). The 990-foot pier is only a 10-minute drive north from North Palm Beach and serves as a spot to watch wildlife, as well as a shady reprieve from the sun with two large tents.
Mammoth Atlantic Fishing from Shore [Deerfield Beach, FL]
In this Florida fishing area, there’s no need to catch a ride on a deep-sea afternoon excursion (although you could if you want to ride the waves). The International Fishing Pier at Deerfield Beach has been known to see fishermen haul in huge catches from its dock – just ask the then-13-year-old Jake Hobbs about landing a 70-pound sailfish off this same pier a few years ago. Young anglers can even get first-time advice from the tackle shop staff or take a private lesson to learn how best to cast into the waves.