Estero Bay is an angler’s paradise, featuring 15 square miles of brackish water, inshore grass flats and mangrove islands that offer shelter to snook, redfish and trout, while jack cravelle, grouper, snapper and shark lurk in the watery passes leading in and out of the bay. Year ’round fishing enthusiasts will find an assortment of charter fishing boats that ply Estero Bay and the coastal waters. Thrifty anglers may find cheaper off-season rates during the less touristic summer months.
Most visiting fishermen will need a freshwater or saltwater fishing license, although exceptions are made for children under 16, Florida residents 65 and over, military veterans and a handful of other cases. Under Florida law, a fishing license is required any time an angler attempts to take a fish (including catch and release) and even if only passively assisting the catch (for example by baiting a hook). Apply for a fishing license online, at any sporting goods shop, hunting or bait shop and at the county tax collectors’ offices.