Known as “the tarpon capital of the world,” Punta Gorda’s great freshwater and saltwater fishing make it an attractive fishing destination. You can find a wide range of sport-fishing species around the area. The waters are rich with common snook, gray snapper, largemouth bass, gulf flounder, goliath grouper, spotted sea trout, redfish (red drum,) crevalle jack, cobia, bluegill, Spanish mackerel, and tarpon. Some of the biggest tarpons on record have been spotted at Punta Gorda, making this area very popular with sport-fishing anglers.
Fly fishing from a boat is popular in Charlotte Harbor or the nearby Boca Grande Pass. Many anglers enjoy bottom fishing, spearfishing, dead-bait fishing, and deep-sea fishing in the harbor. Grouper often swim near wrecks, bridges, reefs, and rocks, while shallow areas are the best places to spin or cast for barracuda. You’ll find snook and redfish in quiet areas of the harbor with few boats, and sea trout near shallow grass flats in warm weather.
Visit the main Punta Gorda and Englewood Beaches for freshwater and saltwater fishing from the docks, piers, beaches, and river banks to catch many types of fish. There are also plenty of boat ramps, marinas, and charter services available in the area. You’ll also find many fish species around the seagrass and oyster beds, mangroves, canals, passes, and artificial reefs at Pine Island Sound.
Head to Webb Lake and Marl Ponds for freshwater fish, such as largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish, and tilapia. Non-motorized boats and shore fishing is allowed at Webb Lake. Marl Ponds offers drift fishing, trolling, still fishing, and fly fishing. Look for fish near cliffs, gradual shores, steep banks, and outlets at Marl Ponds. Spring is the best freshwater fishing season.
Snook and redfish spend summer in Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico, moving to the mangroves and canals in fall. The best time for tarpon fishing is May through July. There is a daily catch and release limit for spotted sea trout.
Punta Gorda Fish:
Punta Gorda boat ramps:
The following boat ramps provide access to Punta Gorda.