Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach—The Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast—is internationally renowned as one of the world’s top sport fishing destinations. Deep-sea, back-bay, and flats fishing bring dedicated anglers to the Charlotte Harbor area in search of their own personal records or International Game Fish Association world records.
Charlotte Harbor, Florida’s second-largest open-water estuary, is formed by the blending of saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico with freshwater from the Peace, Myakka, and Caloosahatchee rivers. This creates an ecologically important breeding ground for fish species numbering in the hundreds. Anglers enjoy targeting tarpon, four species of snook (common, swordspine, fat, and tarpon), redfish, barracuda, cobia, sharks, grouper, and many, many others.
The area is also known as the Tarpon Capital of the World, and rightfully so! Often called "The Silver King," this beautiful catch-and-release fish is a bucket list item for many anglers, and runs strong in these waters starting in late April through October, often peaking in June.
We treasure our fisheries and environment, and have a growing number of guides completing the Florida Friendly Fishing Guide certification, which demonstrates their commitment to preserving the future of Florida’s fisheries through sustainable boating and fishing techniques.
While saltwater fishing is what we're known for, freshwater anglers need not fret. A plethora of options abound in rivers and lakes, such as Webb Lake and its three surrounding Marl Ponds in the Babcock/Webb Wildlife Management Area. Webb Lake is a 5-mile long, man-made reservoir chock-full of largemouth bass, freshwater snook, bluegill, speckled perch, and channel catfish. Note: bass are catch-and-release, but the other species can be kept; check bag limits before you go. When targeting bass at Webb Lake, you'll need weedless lures, as the fish congregate in the cattails and bulrushes near shore. Also important to note: no gasoline motors are allowed on the lake, so try a kayak or electric motor, or take advantage of plenty of shore fishing spots along the edge of the lake and the three Marl Ponds.
If you're hitting the waters with a guide, great! They know where the fish are, how to work the 1.5" tidal swing in Charlotte Harbor, and will keep you "in-the-know" on regulations. Importantly, your license is automatically covered while fishing with a licensed guide.
If you are planning on fishing without a guide, make sure to check out state regulations and license requirements, all of which can be done online at the Florida Wildlife Commission site at MyFWC.com. Licenses can also be obtained at the local tax collectors offices in Englewood, Port Charlotte, and Punta Gorda, as well as at many bait and tackle shops.