If you are looking for a special family destination where you can do some fishing, I would highly recommend Florida. There are some great locations to fish for Red Drum “Reds” in the southern US, but my favourite place by far is the Fort Myers Sanibel Island area.
The sandy beaches, mangroves, Caloosahatchee River, and grass flats Fort Myers Sanibel Island Area the perfect spot for kayak fishing. You might see dolphins, a manatee, and a bald eagle all on one kayak trip. I like to get up early and go for a bit of a paddle. I like to stand up and sight fish along the mangroves. A good tip for sight fishing for Reds is to try a white fluke with a belly weighted hook. This is the same set up that you might use for bass fishing. Look for shallow flat areas along the mangroves under 4 feet with structure. Get a stable kayak that you can stand up on, some polarized glasses to help see the fish, and then work your way along the edge of the mangroves until you see one. Spinners and weedless spoons sometimes work well, and top water lures can work when the conditions are right. You can catch a Sea Trout, Snook and sometimes a Cobia when you are targeting Reds.
Bunche Beach is an ideal spot to take the kids out on paddle boards or kayaks as it’s nice and protected from the winds. It is a great spot to swim with the kids or collect shells along the beach. Cayo Costa State Park is a place that feels untouched. It offers primitive camp sites that require you to go in by boat, but the effort is worth it because you are rewarded by incredible scenery. The beach feels remote. The gulf can send in waves to surf from the kayak or SUP. Grill up some fresh fish right on the beach with the family. The whole experience is truly incredible!
If you are planning a trip to the area, don’t forget to bring your bike as there are more than 25 miles of cycling trails on Sanibel Islands. The JN Darling National Wildlife Refuge has a 4-mile loop that would make for an incredible afternoon with the family. You’d get in some great bird watching! Alternatively, you could check out the Sanibel Causeway if you’re up for something a little more daunting and want a workout. I love the mix of activities Fort Myers Sanibel Islands offers my family. I can get some early morning fishing in before the swimming starts and even fit in fun bike ride with the kids in the afternoon.
If you like to fish from a kayak or SUP, the Great Calusa Blueway offers a unique fishing experience. The beaches of Cayo Costa State Park are the perfect place for some family fun. If you’ve been on the fence about taking a trip out to Fort Myers Sanibel Island Area, I hope that my brief overview has encouraged you to take the plunge (pun intended)!
We were in the Fort Myers and Islands recently filming a new TV show, read the trip report.