Best Saltwater Fishing Day Trips From Orlando

By Debbie Hanson

Sep 06, 2017

Learn about best saltwater fishing Orlando spots within a short drive. Areas close to Orlando offer inshore, offshore saltwater fishing for the family

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Sure, Orlando may be right smack dab in the middle of the Sunshine State, but if you have plans to visit Central Florida, you can still find day trip information by searching for "saltwater fishing Orlando." You'll just have to think about whether you would rather go on an offshore fishing adventure or experience the fun of sight casting on the shallow grass flats. 

While Orlando saltwater fishing means making a short drive, you're likely to find that the opportunities are well worth the trip.

Learn more about three of the best saltwater day trips you can take from the Orlando-area. Don't limit yourself to just freshwater Orlando fishing when you can fish a few of the best saltwater spots in the state too!

1. Mosquito Lagoon

Drive an hour Northeast from Orlando to Mosquito Lagoon for the opportunity to sight cast to trophy red drum and spotted seatrout on the flats. Approximately 21,000 acres of Mosquito Lagoon is part of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge so the waters are pristine and offer some of the best inshore fishing in Florida. This is the perfect place to get more experience using saltwater fishing lures like topwater plugs or gold spoons.

2. Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral is one of the best spots near Orlando for a true deep sea fishing Florida experience. Grouper, red snapper, amberjack, king mackerel, and shark are just a few of the species you can catch using heavy duty saltwater fishing gear depending on the type of trip and time of year. If you've already visited many of the freshwater fishing spots in Orlando, consider a family saltwater trip to Port Canaveral. You can be at the docks in just under an hour if you're staying near downtown Orlando.

3. Tampa Bay

Another Orlando saltwater fishing day trip option is the hour and a half drive over to Tampa Bay. Due to the longer drive, it's a good idea to stick with an inshore trip for tarpon, snook, spotted sea trout or red drum. Offshore trips generally require that you head out about 30 miles for grouper, blackfin tuna, and amberjack. Between the drive and boat ride out to the Tampa deep sea fishing spots, an offshore trip is likely to be too much of a time crunch for a single day trip.

Now that you know about the saltwater fishing Orlando day trips you can take, just decide which one sounds like the best fit for your family. All you have to do from there is check the Florida saltwater fishing regulations and find out if you need to buy a saltwater fishing license online. Some saltwater captains or guides may have a charter license that covers you, but always double check to be certain.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.