Captiva Island, like its big sister Sanibel Island to the south, offers some of the best backwater and inshore fishing in the country. The intricate networks of bays, creeks and mangrove bushes and oyster bars culminate in the perfect fishing hotspot for a variety of fish, including the “big 3” of South Florida - redfish, snook and trout. These 3 species are abundant all-year-round so you’re almost guaranteed to do battle with them no matter when you book your fishing trip.
As well as the above fish, I also specialize in light tackle for tarpon and shark. Tarpon are particularly plentiful during their migration season in late spring and early summer. Sometimes weighing in at more than 200 pounds, tarpon are both challenging and thrilling when they bite - among guests on the boat, it’s the most prized and talked about fish in the sea.
If you’re lucky, you might get the chance to complete a grand slam - hooking a redfish, snook, trout and tarpon all on the same day. There’s almost no better place to try! While our focus will mostly be on the above species, there’s plenty of others you might find on the end of your rod, including mackerel, grouper, cobia, bass, drum, snapper and flounder.
You might get a glimpse of a the gentle and slow-moving manatee which surface every three to five minutes to breathe. There can be dolphins swimming by the boat, waiting for you to throw your catch back into the water. Wading birds have also worked out Captiva Island is a great place for fishing! You can find them closer to the shoreline where they feed on fish as well as nest and rear their young. Species include heron, ibis and egret. In fact, bird watching is also a popular hobby on the island.
If birds know a good fishing spot when they see one, sea turtles also know a good beach when they find one. The beaches on Captiva and Sanibel Islands are favored nesting places for the sea turtle during nesting season which runs from May to October each year.
Connected to Sanibel Island via a bridge at Turner Beach at the very south of the island, Captiva Island is the very image of white sandy beaches, clear blue waters and giant cactus. Temperatures are warm all-year-round, July having the hottest monthly average (83 F) and January the lowest (64 F). However, even in winter the days typically reach 70-80 F.
Perhaps the most extraordinary event on Captiva Island is the sunset. My words can’t do it justice - you’ll have see it for yourself!
The hub of the island, where most of the island’s resorts and activities are found, is located at the town of Captiva (actually a census-designated place) at the northern part of the island and connected to Turner Beach by a 5 mile stretch of road called Captiva Drive. Captiva has a year-round population of just 379 in 2015 but, of course, you’ll find many more tourists, holidaymakers and workers than permanent residents.
Apart from the fishing, Captiva Island is also known for its shelling with some of the world’s best shelling beaches hosting over 200 species of shells of all different colors, shapes and sizes.
I’m sure a trip on board our fishing charter boat will make you fulfilled, but there’s still much more to Captiva I hope you get to experience while you are in the area. You’ll find classy accommodation and sumptuous restaurants. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed meals and the service at the Sunshine Seafood Cafe. But, given the surrounding natural beauty, Captiva is all about outdoor activities.
The list is not quite endless, but pretty exhaustive; snorkeling, sightseeing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, swimming, biking, sailing, tennis and golf. There’s also an excellent program of children’s activities, from camps and fishing to pirate plays and sailing lessons.
Darrin is a local that has grown up on these waters and was able to find fish even when they didn't want to be found. We traveled from Pine Island to Sanibel over to Cabbage Key and Captiva Island by South Seas Plantation.Can't wait to get back out to the beautiful southwest Florida waters!
Darrin was a first class fishing guide. He really went out of his way to put us on fish. He had the patience to deal with the inexperienced and handled himself in a very professional manner. I will be using him again and will not hesitate to give his cards to any who ask. I will be posting a link for you on my page as well. Thanks again Darrin, my family had an amazing time!!