If you are keen on fishing and going on holiday in the Florida Panhandle, you may be wondering about fishing on Santa Rosa Beach on the Emerald Coast.
The chance to wet a line while your family relaxed in the sun has got you all excited, and now you’d like to know: can you fish on Santa Rosa Beach?
Yes! You can fish on Santa Rosa beach, provided you have a Florida saltwater fishing license.
Popular fishing spots in the area include Grayton Beach State Park, Eden Gardens State Park, and Deer Lake State Park.
Fish species in the area include redfish, sheepshead, catfish, and speckled trout.
There is a fair amount to know about fishing in the Santa Rosa Beach area.
From where to find charters and what sort of charters are available to what sort of fish you can see in the area and the best way to catch them.
We give you the lowdown on how to get the most out of your Santa Rosa Beach fishing experience!
Where Can You Fish In Santa Rosa Beach?
You can fish at spots in Choctawhatchee Bay or on the gulf coast side of town. Popular fishing spots include Grayton Beach State Park, Eden Gardens State Park, and Deer Lake State Park.
Point Washington is a favorite spot among locals for snagging trout, and other points east of there also provide good trout fishing.
There is a dead end on the water at the end of East Hewitt Road that affords good fishing opportunities.
Various charter companies in the area offer inshore fishing opportunities out of Santa Rosa Beach, which provides trips of at least 4 hours, charging hourly.
Check the listing to see whether it departs from the bay in Santa Rosa Beach or from Destin Harbor.
There are also charters of 2 to 4 hours specifically aimed at kids and teaching them how to fish.
So if you have youngsters in tow and you would like to introduce them to fishing in the peaceful waters of the bay, look out for one of these charters.
TripShock offers an aggregator of inshore bay fishing in the Santa Rosa Beach area in Choctawhatchee Bay’s calm, shallow waters. Find it here.
What Are You Likely To Catch On Santa Rosa Beach?
The fish species you are likely to catch on Santa Rosa Beach include redfish, black drum, bluefish, sheepshead, speckled trout, flounder, snook, catfish, and cobia.
What you end up catching will depend on factors such as the season, the bait you use, and the location you are fishing in.
However, a species you are particularly likely to encounter in the area is redfish, also known as reds, red drum, or channel bass, one of Florida’s most popular sports fish.
Tips For Catching Redfish On Santa Rosa Beach
Because you are particularly likely to encounter redfish and will want to catch them, here are some tips on how to do so.
Look for redfish in shallow water, such as around docks and pilings. However, this depends on the season, as they move around throughout the day to find their preferred temperature.
In summer, you will find them in shallow water in the morning and in deeper water later in the day. On the other hand, it will be the opposite way around in winter.
Because they are a “hit and run” species, circle hooks provide a highly effective way to catch them: the circle hook sets itself when they bite and run.
Redfish are a bottom-feeding species, and you may see their large spotted tails poking up out of the water. If you see this, try live bait on the bottom.
As far as bait goes, we recommend that you try live mullet on the bottom when the water is clear and cut bait when the water is murky.
You could also try fiddler crabs, blue crabs, or even mud crabs, as redfish love eating crabs.
If you are trying lures, use gold spoons, as redfish go mad for these.
Where Can You Find Info About Fishing On Santa Rosa Beach?
For more information about fishing on the Emerald Coast, we recommend that you look at the Half Hitch website (look under “Locations”).
They provide fishing reports for various locations along the Emerald Coast, where they have stores, and fishing forecasts for these locations and the entire Florida Panhandle.
Have a look to get a good idea of what to expect when fishing on Santa Rosa Beach.
Alternatively, we recommend stopping at Yellowfin Ocean Sports stores in Watercolor, Seagrove Beach, and Grayton Beach, all within Santa Rosa Beach, and asking the friendly staff behind the counter.
Legal Requirements To Fish On Santa Rosa Beach
You will need a Florida saltwater fishing license to fish on Santa Rosa Beach in the Florida Panhandle.
But there’s an exemption if you are under 16 years old or are a resident over 65 years old, or fall under one of the other exemptions provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Disabled veterans are exempt from having to have a Florida fishing license, so if you have served your country, check that you qualify for the exemption, and then enjoy some fishing R&R courtesy of the state.
If you are fishing in freshwater, you will need a Florida freshwater fishing license.
Every person fishing needs a license. Licenses are not transferable. Plan and avoid trouble with the law.
You can obtain more information about licenses from this page.
You can purchase and pick up a license from your nearest Walmart (the Outdoor Sporting Goods department) or from the Yellowfin Ocean Sports stores, which will also serve your bait and tackle needs.
You can fish on Santa Rosa Beach on the Emerald Coast, and there are many fishing opportunities in this area.
There are loads of inshore fishing opportunities in the bay, or you can try fishing from the beaches or creeks.
There are plenty of charters for you to try, including some that cater specifically to kids.
Be sure to stay legal by purchasing a Florida saltwater or freshwater fishing license and carrying it with you, and then get on with enjoying the fishing in Santa Rosa Beach!