A quick look at a maritime chart shows why Spanish explorers chose to settle in St. Augustine. Waterways provide easy access to the open ocean, which sheltered settlers in safe harbor and allowed for convenient travel. Today the waters of St. Augustine attract a new type of explorer — anglers from around the country. Fishing in St. Augustine is a popular activity, and enthusiasts flock to the area to fish off the pier, from their kayaks, and on the shores of St. Augustine’s beaches.
The St. Johns County Ocean Pier on St. Augustine Beach offers a great opportunity for land-based ocean fishing. For a low $3 daily entry fee for non-residents, anglers can catch everything from tarpon to king mackerel. Other fishing piers in St. Augustine and the surrounding area include Lighthouse Park on Salt Run, the Vilano Beach Pier and Usina Boat Ramp Fishing Pier on the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Rose of Sharon Pier north of the Bridge of Lions. There are also some smaller fishing piers in nearby Treaty Park (on the lake), Vaill Point Park (along Moultrie Creek), and Faver-Dykes State Park (on Pellicer Creek).
Kayak fishing in St. Augustine is also a popular choice. Salt Run, protected by Anastasia Island to the west and Conch Island to the east, is the ideal place for fly fishermen to hunt tailing redfish. Nearby Anastasia State Park serves as an excellent base of operations and an ideal place to launch your kayak. Kayaks can be rented at the park or from other outfitters around the city. All you need is a spinning rod, some artificial lures and pair of old tennis shoes to catch fish like the pros on the professional redfish tour. If you want to spend more than one day on the water, there’s no better place to tie up for the night than Devil’s Elbow Fishing Resort.
Conch House Marina in St. Augustine Beach and the marina at Nix Boat Yard Road in St. Augustine are home to some great offshore fishing charter companies. Sea Love Charters will take you deep into the ocean to find blackfin tuna, wahoo, mahi mahi, kingfish and sailfish. In the summer months especially, the Atlantic Ocean off St. Augustine is a playground for kingfisher-men. King mackerel, found from North Carolina to the Florida Keys and throughout the Gulf of Mexico, support the most lucrative saltwater tournament series in the United States. The Southern Kingfish Association, headquartered in St. Augustine, sanctions more than 100 tournaments throughout the Southeast. With purses totaling more than $100,000, the kingfish tour now rivals the professional bass fishing circuit.
St. Augustine boasts some of the finest spots for backwater fishing. If you’re an angler who enjoys fishing from a flat boat or skiff, we’ve got some sweet honey holes in shallow inshore saltwater. Fishardy Charters will get you right up close to the fish so anglers can see them before they cast to them. You’ll probably also get to learn a lot about St. Augustine from Captain Jacob. You can customize your fishing experience for a few hours or most of the day. Drum Man Charters prides itself on making a day on the water as much fun as it is productive, with everything from Red Drum to Sheepshead and even Tarpon. After a successful day of fishing, relax with a cold brew while they fillet your catch for the day.
Fishing in St. Augustine is a great outdoor activity to take part in during your vacation to Florida’s Historic Coast. Kayak the waters of St. Augustine, plant yourself at a pier, or explore the open ocean.