Types of Fish in Florida Guide 2023

A favored destination for recreational fishers around the world, there are ample types of fish to catch in Florida.

Many people flock to Florida every year for the fantastic fishing that awaits them. With a year-round season across the state, recreational fishing fanatics know they can rely on Florida’s many waters to catch their favorite types of fish. From saltwater big game fish on the Atlantic Ocean, to fish that favor rivers and lakes inland, there are many types of fish in Florida to discover.

What Type of Fish Can You Catch In Florida?

With so many different types of fish in Florida to catch, you might be wondering where to begin. First, let’s explore all of the types of fish found in Florida you might come across: 

  • Bluefish 
  • Bonefish 
  • Cobia 
  • Flounder 
  • Gray Snapper 
  • Grouper 
  • King Mackerel 
  • Largemouth Bass 
  • Mahi-Mahi 
  • Panfish 
  • Red Drum 
  • Red Grouper 
  • Sailfish 
  • Snapper 
  • Snook 
  • Spotted Sea Trout 
  • Striped Bass 
  • Swordfish 
  • Tarpon 
  • Wahoo

Florida’s West Coast Fish Types

Types of Fish in Clearwater, Florida

Clearwater, Florida is based on the west cost of the state, on the banks of the Gulf of Mexico and the smaller inlet of Tampa Bay. From deep ocean fishing to shallow reef fish, here’s a guide to what types of fish you’ll find in Clearwater, Florida: 

  • Goliath Grouper 
  • King Mackerel 
  • Red Snapper 
  • Sharks 
  • Snook 
  • Tarpon 

Types of Fish in Destin, Florida

Destin, Florida sits atop the Gulf of Mexico in the Panhandle. White sand beaches and deep turquoise clear waters make this region perfect for catching saltwater fish in Florida. Like Clearwater, some of the fish you’ll find in Destin, Florida includes: 

  • Amberjack 
  • Cobia 
  • Flounder 
  • Grouper 
  • King Mackerel 
  • Mahi-Mahi 
  • Pompano 
  • Red Snapper 
  • Tuna 
  • Wahoo 

Types of Fish in Fort Myers, Florida

Located south of Tampa Bay, Fort Myers benefits from two major fishing locales in Florida. They have access to the Caloosahatchee River inland, and the Gulf of Mexico on its doorstep. You’ll find a variety of fish in Fort Myers, including: 

  • Grouper 
  • Redfish 
  • Snapper 
  • Snook 
  • Spanish Mackerel 
  • Tarpon 
  • Trout 

Types of Fish in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico

As we’ve seen from some of the above destinations dotted along the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll have an abundance of fish to catch in this part of Florida. Some of the most popular fish species in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico include: 

  • Amberjack 
  • Grouper 
  • King Mackerel 
  • Mahi-Mahi 
  • Sharks (Bull Sharks, Hammerheads, Tiger Sharks, Mako) 
  • Spanish Mackerel 
  • Tuna 
  • Vermillion Snapper 
  • Wahoo 

Types of Fish in Naples, Florida

Heading further down the west coast lies Naples, Florida. With easy access to the Gulf of Mexico on your doorstep, Naples also benefits from several shallow bays, mangroves and reefs to drop a line in. Some of the most frequently spotted fish in Naples include: 

  • Bass 
  • Grouper 
  • Sharks 
  • Snook 
  • Tarpon 

Types of Fish in Pensacola, Florida

Located in the western most part of Florida in the Panhandle, Pensacola offers an excellent jumping off point for fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Look out for the following fish species in Pensacola: 

  • Amberjack 
  • Bonito 
  • Flounder 
  • Grouper 
  • Jack Crevalle 
  • Mingo Snapper 
  • Pompano 
  • Redfish 
  • Red Snapper 
  • Sea Trout 
  • Sharks 
  • Spanish Mackerel 
  • Tarpon 
  • Wahoo 

Types of Fish in Sarasota, Florida

Sitting between Clearwater and Fort Myers, Sarasota, Florida is another great spot to head out on a fishing charter on the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the most well stocked fish in Sarasota include: 

  • Flounder 
  • Grouper 
  • Kingfish 
  • Mahi-Mahi 
  • Redfish 
  • Snapper 
  • Snook 
  • Tarpon  
  • Trout 
  • Tuna 

Types of Fish in St. Petersburg, Florida

With a location so close to Clearwater, St. Peterburg, or St. Pete as its affectionally called by locals, is home to many similar breeds of fish. From the Gulf of Mexico to Tampa Bay, you can expect to find the following fish species: 

  • Amberjacks 
  • Cobia 
  • Grouper 
  • Kingfish 
  • Redfish 
  • Snapper 
  • Snook 
  • Spotted Sea Trout 
  • Tarpon 

Types of Fish in Tampa Bay, Florida

Tampa Bay has excellent fishing for those looking to stay a little inland, instead of venturing out onto the open Gulf of Mexico nearby. Tampa Bay is widely known as a tarpon fish paradise, but you’ll find many other types of fish here, including: 

  • Black Drum 
  • Flounder 
  • Pompano 
  • Redfish 
  • Sheepshead 
  • Snook 
  • Speckled Trout 
  • Tarpon 

Florida’s East Coast Fish Types

Types of Fish in the Florida’s Intracoastal

Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway is filled with excellent recreational fishing spots, and an abundance of different types of fish in Florida are found here. Keep an eye out for: 

  • Barracuda 
  • Jack Crevalle 
  • Redfish 
  • Snook 
  • Tarpon 
  • Trout 

Types of Fish in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys offers some of the best fishing to be found in Florida. With easy access points to both the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico, you can expect a lot of the fish species mentioned already, with plenty of deep-sea fishing available as well. The most popular fish to catch in the Florida Keys are: 

  • Barracuda  
  • Blackfin Tuna 
  • Bonefish 
  • Grouper 
  • Jack Crevalle 
  • Mackerel 
  • Mahi-Mahi 
  • Mutton Snapper 
  • Permit 
  • Sharks 
  • Tarpon 
  • Wahoo 
  • Yellowjack 
  • Yellowtail Snapper 

Types of Fish in South Florida

South Florida attracts many recreational fishing enthusiasts thanks to its easy access to a number of waterways and deep-sea fishing spots. You can expect to find the following fish here: 

  • Bass 
  • Cobia 
  • Flounder 
  • Grouper 
  • Mahi-Mahi 
  • Marlin 
  • Redfish 
  • Sailfish 
  • Snapper 
  • Snook 
  • Spotted Seatrout 
  • Tarpon 
  • Tuna 

Types of Fish in the South Florida Canals

Dotted along South Florida are a number of inland canals and waterways. Some will be saltwater, while others will be freshwater so they will have a mix of both fish species. When traveling the South Florida Canals, keep an eye out for: 

  • Barracuda 
  • Largemouth Bass 
  • Mangrove Snapper 
  • Peacock Bass 
  • Redfish 
  • Snapper 
  • Snook 
  • Sunfish 
  • Tarpon 

Types of Fish in the St. Johns River in Florida

The St. Johns River starts at Vero Beach and meanders over 300 miles towards the Atlantic Ocean. Along the St. Johns River you’ll find many other lakes and rivers to fish in, encompassing some of the best inland fishing in Florida. You can expect to find the following fish here: 

  • Americal Eel 
  • Catfish 
  • Common Carp 
  • Largemouth Bass 
  • Paddlefish 
  • Perch 
  • Pike 
  • Rainbow Trout 
  • Red Drum 
  • Striped Bass  
  • Sunfish 
  • Walleye 
  • White Crappie

Fish Types in Florida

What Types of Puffer Fish are in Florida? 

With the ability to inflate themselves when threatened and thereby stave off predators, a few different species of pufferfish call Florida home. Of the 120 pufferfish species in the world, some of the top ones you’ll find here include: 

  • Balloonfish 
  • Bandtail Puffer 
  • Brindled Burrfish 
  • Checkered Puffer 
  • Marbled Puffer 
  • Northern Puffer 
  • Porcupinefish 
  • Sharpnose Puffer 
  • Southern Puffer 

What Types of Freshwater Fish are in Florida? 

While many come to Florida for the coasts, you can’t forget about the many lakes, rivers and streams that run throughout the state. An abundance of freshwater fish in Florida are available to catch here: 

  • Americal Eel 
  • Atlantic Sturgeon 
  • Bass 
  • Black Crappie 
  • Bowfin 
  • Catfish 
  • Common Carp 
  • Florida Gar 
  • Panfish 
  • Pickerel 
  • Shad 

What Types of Grouper Fish are in Florida? 

As we’ve explored already, grouper can be found in most waterways and ports around Florida. But just how many types of grouper fish are there in Florida? A few of the most frequently caught grouper fish in Florida are: 

  • Black Grouper 
  • Gag Grouper 
  • Goliath Grouper 
  • Nassau Grouper 
  • Red Grouper 
  • Scamp Grouper 
  • Snowy Grouper 
  • Speckled Hind Grouper 
  • Warsaw Grouper 
  • Yellowfin Grouper 

What Types of Saltwater Fish are in Florida? 

With saltwater surrounding the state on three sides, there are a number of types of fish in Florida that inhabit the saltwater. Many flock to the saltwater of Florida to try and catch: 

  • Amberjacks 
  • Barracuda 
  • Black Drum 
  • Bluefish 
  • Bonefish 
  • Bonito 
  • Catfish 
  • Cobia 
  • Flounder 
  • Grouper 
  • Herring 
  • Kingfish 
  • Mackerel 
  • Mahi-Mahi 
  • Marlin 
  • Perch 
  • Pompano 
  • Redfish 
  • Sailfish 
  • Sea Bass 
  • Snapper 

What Types of Fish are in Florida’s Lakes? 

Similar to the canals of Florida, you’ll be able to find a large amount of freshwater fish in Florida’s lakes. These include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • American Eel 
  • American Shad 
  • Black Crappie 
  • Blue Catfish 
  • Chain Pickerel 
  • Common Carp 
  • Largemouth Bass 
  • Piranha 
  • Spotted Sunfish 
  • White Bass 

What Types of Fish are in the Indian River in Florida? 

Stretching over 120 miles, the Indian River is a top fishing destination for fishing enthusiasts that runs into Florida’s IntraCoastal Waterway. Aside from the beautiful views and ample fishing spots, people enjoy fishing for: 

  • Black Drum 
  • Jack Crevalle 
  • Grouper 
  • Pompano 
  • Redfish 
  • Sharks 
  • Snapper 
  • Snook 
  • Speckled Trout 
  • Tarpon 

Florida is an incredibly popular fishing destination for fanatics the world over. And it’s easy to see why with water on three sides, and ample rivers and lakes cutting across her surface. The best way to enjoy catching the many types of fish in Florida is from the bow of your own sportfishing boat or sportfish yacht. These vessels were built specifically to help anglers access the best fishing locales – whether they are inland or in the deep sea – and are designed with space for rods, reels, fishing chairs and even plenty of cold storage for your many catches of the day!

YATCO Boating and Fishing Guides

  • Types of Fish in Florida Guide: We’ve seen a number of fish that call Florida home and make this a bucket list fishing destination for many anglers in the world. If you’re wondering what fish are in season when or what types of fish can be found in a number of destinations across Florida, YATCO has a guide for that. For a complete run down on all the types of fish you can catch in Florida, check out YATCO’s guide. 
  • Sport Fishing Yacht Guide: Many recreational fishers will choose to use the best yacht for the job when it comes to fishing. And you can’t go wrong with a sportfishing yacht – specifically designed to hold all of your fishing gear, optimize space for maneuvering, and the power and stability to take you wherever the fish are. Explore YATCO’s Sportfishing Yacht Buying Guide
  • Flybridge Yacht Guide: Similar to the sport fishing yachts, flybridge yachts are also popular amongst anglers, thanks to their upper decks which offer the perfect height to explore the horizons and scan for fish activity. Learn more about flybridge yachts in our guide
  • Florida Deep Sea Fishing Florida: Deep sea fishing is a special type of fishing in which anglers head out to the depths of the ocean to pull out some really large game fish. You’ll want to look for water at least 100ft in depth, where you can discover fish like 1,000-pound marlin or hooking a big tuna! Learn more in YATCO’s Deep Sea Fishing Guide 2023. 
  • Boating in Florida Guide: Before you head out on the water for your next big catch of the day, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the rules of the water in Florida. Whether you are a resident, or someone looking to visit and do some fishing, you’ll want to be sure to heed the ways of the water. YATCO created a Boating in Florida Guide for this very reason
  • Boat Financing Guide: Maybe you want to make fishing more than just a charter once or twice a year, and instead invest in your own boat or yacht you can take out any time you want. And in a place like Florida, where the fishing season never ends, it’s the perfect place to buy your next yacht. Learn about Boat Financing in our Guide
  • Boat Maintenance Guide: Now you know the boat you want, it’s important to learn how to maintain it as well. There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to improving the longevity and overall look and feel of your boat or yacht. Learn the proper ways to keep your vessel in good shape with YATCO’s Boat Maintenance Guide
  • Boating the Right of Way Guide: Just as we need to learn the rules of the road when we head out in our car, it’s important to learn the rules of the water as well. Whether you are a seasoned sailor, or new to boating, YATCO created a Boating Right of Way Guide to better understand some of the rules and buoys or signage you may come across on the water
  • Boat Insurance Guide: While certain states (including Florida) and countries around the world may not make boat insurance compulsory or a legal requirement before heading out on the water, it’s still a prudent idea to secure boat insurance before slipping off the dock. Learn more about the importance of boat insurance with our guide

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