Saltwater fishing in Pensacola, Florida is a fantastic way to spend time with friends and family. The Gulf of Mexico is filled with tons of different species of fish that provide an exciting challenge on the water. Whether you are looking for redfish, trout, or anything else, there will be something out there waiting for you!
Booking a charter fishing trip is a great way to enjoy a half-day (4 hours) or full-day (6 hours) of fishing in the Florida panhandle.
My family and I booked a trip with Captain Dave Yelverton through GulfBreezeFishing.com. He's a local Pensacola fishing expert and is available for both private charters as well as group trips.
Captain Dave offers both inshore fishing charters and nearshore fishing trips. Inshore fishing trips take place in the bay and nearshore fishing trips take place further out. (Nearshore fishing would probably be what you think of when you think of Deep Sea Fishing.)
My family and I booked a half-day inshore fishing trip and met Captain Dave in Pensacola. Captain Dave grew up fishing in the Gulf Breeze area and has years of spin fishing, fly fishing, etc. under his belt.
Our trip was booked just prior to the Colonial Pipeline hack which caused a temporary shortage of gasoline - while we at the beach! Being that we were driving over from Orange Beach and would have to take a circuitous route thanks to the three-mile bridge in Pensacola being out, Captain Dave graciously offered to meet us at the Bayou Texar boat ramp.
We met Captain Dave and were apprised of safety measures. We then set a course for the water of Pensacola Bay. On our way out, we went under Pensacola's "famous" Graffiti Bridge. (It has quite the cult following and is a sight to see.)
Benefits of a Chartered Trip
Some of the advantages about booking a fishing charter with Captain Dave are 1) that you don't have to go to a tackle shop and guess what bait or lures to purchase, 2) you are covered under his fishing license and you don't have to go purchase one, 3) he makes it fun and you'll have a good time.
Captain Dave started off by preparing the live bait (shrimp) on our fishing rods and casting them for those of us who are fishing novices. (The man has the patience of Job.)
We had a great time catching spotted seatrout (speckled trout) using shrimp.
When we ran out of shrimp, we started fishing with various lures and then moved to deeper water to try our hands at catching bigger fish.
I think that fish knew that we were coming and they were on to us. We would get some big bites and start the fight and then the fish would swim among the rocks at the bottom to get away.
We had a great time, though, winding in the big ones and seeing who could catch the largest fish. (Don't worry - these fish were treated well and released back into their natural habitat.)
There's no better way than fishing with someone who knows this area so well, not just as an angler but also as a lifelong resident of Pensacola who has fished his whole life here. That was really cool since we were visiting from out-of-towners looking for a day on the water!
Booking with Captain Dave
If you are interested in learning more about deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, check out Captain Dave's website. If you are staying in the Pensacola, Fort Walton, Destin, Gulf Shores or Orange Beach areas, you will only be a couple of hours away from some of the best fishing in the Pensacola Beach area.
Chartered Fishing Trip Cost
When you get ready to go, be sure to read all of Captain Dave's fishing trip tips. Inshore fishing trips start at $400 for four hours for 1-2 anglers. Nearshore fishing trips start at $700 for a full day (6 hours) of fishing fun.
While in the Florida Panhandle, be sure to check out nearby Panama City, where there are more fun things to do and good places to eat, like g. Foley's and Bayou Joe's. If heading to the Florida theme parks is your jam, check out the DoubleTree Resort in Orlando post and Orlando in October.
I’ve never been saltwater fishing in Pensacola although I’ve been to their beaches many times. Adding a fishing charter to my bucket list!
Diane Minks says
Nice article! I'm a new follower. Capt Dave's one of the very best for a safe and fun fishing charter. I highly recommend him.
Isn't he just the nicest person. I would definitely book a trip with him again.
Rex McMahon says
Been saltwater fishing the Texas coast for over 50 years. Always heard about the great fishing in Florida. Planning on making an extended trip just to see for myself. Thanks for the great information on the Pensacola area. I think it might have to be one of the stops on my tour.
If you are in Pensacola, you will have a great time with Captain Dave. (On a side note, if you are looking for some good seafood, I recommend Peg Leg Pete's.)
Golden Undertones says
This looks like an incredible time! I have never been salt water fishing, but would love to try it some day:)
This sounds like so much fun! I have never visited Pensacola, but my boyfriend loves fishing and fishing in Florida, so I'm definitely sharing this with him!
Wow! Seems like a fun adventure. I’ve never been deep sea fishing. If Captain Dave puts the bait on my hook and removes the fish, thereafter, then I am game!! LOL! Did you keep and eat any of them?
We did not. I am so grateful that he did all of that work because otherwise, this girl would have only been a spectator!
A fishing tour in Pensacola looks like so much fun!