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Upcoming Fishing Seasons in Steinhatchee Florida

Three rods sitting in rod holders on the side of the boat

In Steinhatchee, the weather is beautiful, nature is beautiful, wildlife is abundant, and the gracious charm of Old Florida is everywhere you look. Whether you’re riding a bike or paddling a kayak, there’s plenty to love, and Steinhatchee Marina is all about helping you enjoy it. The most popular leisure activity in Steinhatchee, however, is fishing! We can help you with that, too, with everything you need for a successful fishing trip, from gear to rental boats to Steinhatchee fishing charters.


What makes fishing in Steinhatchee so amazing?

For thousands of years, the nutrients carried down the Steinhatchee and other local rivers as they flow to the Gulf of Mexico have created one of the world’s richest and most productive ecosystems. Other factors, like the shallow water in vast sections of the Gulf and fertile grass flats in the area, make it an incredible place to fish & scallop. A wide variety of fish, including shellfish, can be found here, and people have loved fishing in the area for as long as people have lived here. When early explorers travelled these lands, they wrote about large mounds of oysters and mussel shells along the shores, and early settlers wrote about far-off families with excitement about the abundance of wild game and fish in the Steinhatchee area. There are plenty of species of both freshwater and saltwater fish to be found, and scalloping is a favorite pastime here.

Of course, you are probably reading this to learn about fishing in Steinhatchee now, and not for a history lesson about the grand fishing days of the distant past. The great news is that the fishing remains just as amazing today as it has always been, with the fish biting all year round. The hotspots for fishing shift as the seasons change.

  • Spring: In April, May, and June, as the water gets warmer, anyone with a small boat can catch spotted seatrout, redfish, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and jack crevalle in the backcountry, inshore, shallow beach, and brackish waters. On the Steinhatchee Reef, you can follow the seagulls to find aggressive fish like bluefish and trout. It is also a good time of year for offshore fishing, where you can expect to find grouper, black seabass, and red and Florida snapper, and this season also brings a run of king mackerel.
  • Summer: This is the season for scallops, from June 15th to Labor Day. All you need to catch these shellfish is a mask, snorkel, fins, and a mesh bag to contain them. Just make sure you slather on sunscreen, even if the Steinhatchee weather forecast predicts clouds. Florida’s tropical climate is sure to catch you by surprise if you’re not paying attention! Scallops can be found in seagrasses, as well as in patches of brown algae.
  • Fall: October, November, and December bring spotted seatrout, redfish, bluefish, and Spanish mackerel to the flats. Offshore, you’ll find grouper, black seabass, red snapper, and kingfish. As the weather cools and the water gets colder, the Steinhatchee River will be full of large spotted seatrout.
  • Winter: The winter months of January, February, and March are great for grouper fishing on the ledges along the coastline. At the Steinhatchee Reef, you’ll find Sheepshead, a delicious little fish that will put up a fight.


Varieties of Fishes You Will Find

The sheer variety of fish that thrive in Deadman Bay and the Steinhatchee River is amazing. If you want to go saltwater fishing, the bay is a wonderful option. Fishing on the river yields both freshwater and saltwater fish. There are so many different types of fish here that we don’t have space to cover them all here, but here is a list of some of the most popular.

  • Kingfish: Also known as King Mackerel, this fish has a hefty appetite and is extraordinarily agile, able to jump several feet into the air. In the summers, it is abundant around Steinhatchee, as it hunts for bait fish around the island.
  • Tarpon: This is another royally nicknamed fish, known as the Silver King. A Tarpon can grow to be enormous, and is a formidable opponent, even for seasoned fishermen. It’s hard to get near them because they’re easily spooked, and once you get them within striking range, their bony jaws are resistant to being hooked. If you do get them hooked? They’ll perform amazing acrobatic feats to make it a fight to the very end.
  • Redfish: These are always in Steinhatchee, and they’re really fun to catch. Whether you are a novice or an experienced angler, there’s a redfish you can catch.
  • Snappers: Many people travel to Florida just to try and catch a Red Snapper, but they’re only around in summer. Many different species of fish swim around the reefs near Steinhatchee throughout the year, so why not try your luck at catching one? Depending on the season, you might find Lane, Mutton, Mangrove, or Vermillion Snappers.
  • Scallops: Sure, these are not fish, but they’re so popular in Steinhatchee that we have to mention these Mollusca. They’re easy to catch, and if you don’t know how to do it, you can easily find professional guides to help.


Different Types of Fishing

Now that you know when to fish and the types of fish you’re likely to catch, what type of fishing will you choose? It’s such a popular activity that we have plenty of options in Steinhatchee. Just make sure that if you plan to go off on your own, rather than on a charter boat, you check the licensing requirements before you make your plans.

  • Charter Fishing: For a customized experience, book a private charter. This is a great way to ease into fishing in Steinhatchee, in the company of experienced captains who can guide you to the best spots and advise you on the best techniques.
  • Party Boat Fishing: This is an affordable arrangement that lets you meet new people, make new friends, and maybe even learn new fishing tricks! If you’re competitive, it can also be fun to try and catch the biggest trophy! The only downside is that if you’re new to the sport, you might not get the attention you need, because the crew will be stretched thin. Then, too, everyone is trying to catch something, so you’ll have to settle for whatever is biting.
  • Kayak Fishing: This can be an adventure, and it allows you to get to remote inshore spots or offshore reefs, depending on your preference. It’s certainly a challenge, though, and requires a lot of physical stamina, because you might have to paddle a long distance and you’ll have enough energy to pull in the fish.
  • Shore Fishing: In Steinhatchee, there are plenty of opportunities to fish without ever getting in a boat! Piers, jetties, and docks are everywhere but be prepared. You may have to visit several locations before you catch the fish of your dreams.


When you are ready to discover the charm of Steinhatchee, Florida, Steinhatchee Marina is here to provide you with a relaxing oasis, away from the hectic modern world. You don’t need to have a boat to enjoy all that we have to offer, from marvelling at the exquisite beauty of nature to dancing to live music with a craft beer in your hand. We provide a full range of marina services, including boat storage, rentals, and Steinhatchee fishing charters. Whether you’re interested in fishing, scalloping, kayaking, or manatee watching, we want you to enjoy all that the Big Bend area has to offer. Our experienced and courteous staff is deeply knowledgeable about our local region, and we provide our guests with world-class customer care. For more information about all we have to offer, call 352-578-1900 or contact us through our website. We look forward to introducing you to the best-kept secret of Florida’s Gulf Coast!