Looking for the best places to fish in Jacksonville FL? Florida is perhaps best known for its sensational weather and fabulous beaches, but there is also a great selection of waterways in which you can find some of the world’s most incredible fish just waiting to be snapped up. Located just south of the state of Georgia, at the convergence of the Atlantic Ocean and the St. John’s River, Jacksonville is a city teeming with great fishing spots, both saltwater and fresh –– either from chartered boats, dedicated piers, and bridges or public shorelines. You just need to know where to look.
Here are some of the best spots for fishing in Jacksonville:
1. Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier
It should come as no surprise to locals to see Jacksonville Beach on this list, as it’s one of the most popular sites for fishing in the entire region.
Featuring one, long stretch of a boardwalk (nearly a quarter of a mile to be more specific) leading out into the Atlantic Ocean, this pier offers some of the best opportunities for catching exceptional saltwater fish. In fact, the pier is so long, that the type of fish available depends almost entirely on where you are standing –– for more exotic, deep-water fish, just walk to the end of the line.
In all, Jacksonville Beach provides plenty of space for anglers and fishermen (no license required) while offering incredible scenic views, making it the perfect location. Because this is such a popular spot, you may find it crowded during peak hours, but there are still plenty of resources available to make a day of it, including bathrooms, on-site parking, and a tackle shop.
Opening hours: (April through November) 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; (December through March) 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
2. Stockton Park
Located in the Ortega neighborhood of southwest Jacksonville, just along the St. John’s River, Stockton Park is another great spot for fishing. Cast your lines off from the quiet, riverfront pavement and watch as non-motorized boats and kayaks drift atop the water. Despite its central location, Stockton Park is actually a very tranquil area with ample spaces for parking, plus there are plenty of fishing supply stores nearby, including a West Marine on Roosevelt Blvd.
Opening hours: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. every day
3. George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier
Spanning the Amelia River and overlooking the scenic Nassau Sound, this expansive, pedestrian-only footbridge is one of Jacksonville’s most iconic (and beautiful) spots for fishing.
Not only does it offer incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean from within the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve, but the free-flowing waters feature a range of exceptional in-shore species, including flounder, speckled trout, and tarpon. Best of all, the vastness of the preserve means that you are sure to find a secluded area of your own without too many interruptions.
A veritable gem of Florida’s East Coast, George Crady Bridge is a well-known fishing pier and, as such, local guests tend to respect the area and often keep noise to a minimum. Entry is $2 per person and paid via an honor box along the bridge.
Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. to sunset every day
4. Trout River Bridge Pier
Arguably one of the true gems of Jacksonville, this relatively obscure converted bridge that branches out across the Trout River is populated with a wide variety of catchable fare –– and not just trout, as the name suggests.
Catfish and redfish are on offer for patient anglers who don’t mind waiting to snag some beauties. This cozy spot is an open secret among local residents, many of whom are happy to share their stories in-person.
However, if you prefer a solo trip, you can rest assured that the open vistas and lush foliage provide a serene backdrop for your time over the water. Despite the Trout River Bridge’s proximity to nearby seafood restaurants and tackle/supply shops, there is minimal parking and no on-site facilities or bathrooms, so plan ahead if you’re coming from afar.
Opening hours: All day, every day
5. Lake Shore
Simply put, Lake Shore offers a fairly standard pier in a mostly basic setting –– one that many professional fishers might consider off-putting, due to its proximity to multiple noisy streets and rail yards.
However, what Lake Shore lacks in beauty, it more than makes up for in yield. Known to local anglers as a haven for catfish (both blue and bullhead varieties), bluegill, largemouth bass, and gar, this area is THE place for reeling in some outstanding species.
Unlike some of the other spaces on our list, Lake Shore is very well known throughout Jacksonville and, as such, can get very busy, very early. There isn’t much in the way of amenities –– no parking or bathrooms –– but there are tackle and supply shops nearby. For no-frills fishing with great variety, Lake Shore is a definite must.
Opening hours: All day, every day
6. Dames Point Fishing Pier
A treasure trove of fish, featuring wild varieties of drum and trout, awaits anglers fishing from the Dames Point Pier. With sweeping views of the Jacksonville region, not to mention the Dames Point Bridge –– the longest cable-stayed bridge in the country –– you may just find yourself getting lost in the scenery. This classic wooden structure is a popular attraction among locals, however, the space rarely feels congested or noisy. Dedicated parking and bathrooms are featured nearby, in addition to plenty of open space and benches for a fish fry-up.
Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day
There you have it! When it comes to world-class fishing opportunities, Jacksonville offers some of the most unique and unforgettable experiences in the entire country. Don’t wait any longer to give this under-appreciated gem of a city a try: make Jacksonville your next destination for recreational adventure –– and try any (or all) of our top fishing spots.