Pensacola fishing tours will add more to your time at Pensacola Beach than you can even imagine!  Visualize breathing in the fresh air while droplets of salty water splash on your face. Feel the breeze blowing your hair. You are gliding through the waves in the glaring rays of sun on a Saturday afternoon. You feel their warmth on your skin. Your captain notes: “It’s hot today.” and you nod coincidently. Your surroundings are quiet, the sound of the engine is the only thing you hear. In 10 minutes you arrive at your spot. After some time and preparation your lines are in the water and you are waiting patiently. You let your thoughts wander. Then all of a sudden – pulling you back to reality – your reel starts running and your rod bends. Your heart rate increases and your energy is boosted as an effect of the adrenaline rush. You quickly jump to your rod and pick it up to begin the fight – fish against human. Don’t expect an easy win though, the catch is fighting for its life. Every time you reel in some line it pulls twice the length. Your opponent shows itself every now and then: a beautiful Mahi Mahi is on the other end of your line. It is a vigorous and relentless fighter. After half an hour the fight is finally over, and the fish is on board – you are the winner. Your muscles are pumped and in pain, full of lactic acid, your heart’s beating fast and all your energy is depleted. You feel very happy, proud and satisfied. These are the feelings you love so much and you keep coming for every weekend.

If you have a desire for memories like that, you are at the right place! Keep reading and by the end of the article you will learn everything you need to know about Pensacola Fishing Tours.

Table of Contents

Pensacola Fishing Tours

What are Fishing Tours?

In short, a fishing tour is an excursion service organized by professional fishers or boat owners. During the course of a Pensacola fishing tour, they bring their guests out to open water, not too far from land yet deep enough, where a wide variety of fish is present. The crew sets up everything for a memorable trip and helps guests catch the fish of their dreams.

Why Fish in Pensacola?

Pensacola is – and has been for decades – a dream destination for many. If you visit Pensacola you can be sure that your vacation will be loaded with tons of fun. There’s always something to do here, the only limit is your imagination. You can visit the famous sugary sand beaches, dive deep in Pensacola’s history (or emerald waters), go snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, eat out and more. In short, everything about this gem of the Florida Panhandle is set up with activities connected to water in mind. In terms of fishing, Pensacola is known as the Red Snapper Capital of the World. Sounds like you can expect awesome fishing memories and delicious meals.

Who can go on a Fishing Tour in Pensacola Beach?

Most charter organizers welcome people regardless of age. Toddlers to seniors and anyone in between can take part in fishing charters. People with disabilities are also welcome. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a professional fisherman to participate, in fact you can even book a fishing tour in Pensacola if you never tried fishing before.

Why Should I go on a Fishing Tour?

Fishing is relaxing

Our daily lives are busy and stressful. We are human beings, not tiredless cyborgs (yet) so it’s important to take some time off every now and then. This way we can relax and lower our stress levels. Fishing is usually quiet and relaxing, therefore can be a good opportunity to recharge our batteries.

It’s fun for the whole family

Whether you go fishing alone or with your loved ones, you can expect a great time. While going on a fishing tour alone has its own advantages, taking a fishing trip with your family is a great way to spend some quality time with them. The kids can enjoy riding a boat, being on water, sunbathing (if none of these work, they can still watch TV as most boats have one), and fishing of course.

To collect memories

A Pensacola fishing tour is truly an amazing and remarkable activity. It involves exploring new waters, spending quality time with your family or buddies, and encountering many different species of fish (including some you have probably never seen). And who knows, you may cut your record or your children can catch their first fish.

It’s a boss-level way of catching dinner

While catching fish itself is an experience and a great way to relax, cooking some delicious food from your prey is a whole new level of fun. It’s the perfect time to organize a garden party, invite your friends or relatives, enjoy yourselves in the company of a cold beer and eat some fish. Make sure you tell everyone what a wonderful day you had!

Recreation and joy

Whether you are a complete newbie or an experienced fisherman, having professionals help you out is always a good idea. In their presence, you can focus on fishing and recreation, while making sure everything goes as it should.

No need to bring equipment

Most fishing charters are fully equipped with everything you need for a perfect day of fishing. You don’t need to worry about equipment, sonars, radars, licenses and more.  Check out our full list of things you can bring.

You can learn secret tricks

Imagine going behind the scenes with Robert De Niro or Oprah. You can ask them anything you want and they are willing to help and teach you. Sounds unreal, right? This is the case with fishing crew members as well. They can and will let you know anything they know about fishing, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if they sound dumb!

When is the Best Time of Year to Go Fishing In Pensacola?

Most people visit Pensacola during the summer. At this time the city is flourishing and is crowded by tourists. Thousands of beachgoers and hundreds of boats out on the water. Don’t worry, you can visit Pensacola in any season, as there are lots of things to do all year round. If you feel like spending your holiday in Pensacola but are not sure what activities to try, check out our other articles for some great ideas.

In general, it doesn’t matter what time of year you go on a fishing tour in Pensacola. You can catch a variety of fish any season.

Fishing Pensacola in Spring

In spring, many species migrate along the Gulf Coast, including Pompano, Spanish Mackerel, and Cobia. If you are lucky, you can even catch Triggerfish during their brief open season.

Fishing Pensacola in Summer

Summer is not only busy on land but also in the water. Inshore Sheepshead, Tarpon, Ladyfish, Trout, King Mackerel, Bluefish and more fill the bays. Offshore you can expect big game species such as Tuna, Sailfish, Marlin, and Mahi Mahi. Many visit Pensacola in June and July, during the Red Snapper season.

Fishing Pensacola in Fall

The Fall favorites are species that move inshore as the water cools. Bull Redfish is the most popular and common. You can also expect Amberjack, which has a short autumn harvest season.

Fishing Pensacola in Winter

Winter visitors usually hunt for Grouper. As temperatures decrease, less and less food is present in the water. Combine this with fewer anglers and your chances increase dramatically. The fish will not hesitate to devour anything that’s present.

What Equipment do I Need to go Fishing in Pensacola Beach?


To be prepared for your Pensacola fishing tour, It’s good to be prepared and bring many layers of clothing if you would like to go out on the open water. Even when it’s hot on the beach, temperatures can be much colder offshore. If you plan leaving the dock early in the morning, don’t rely on the sun to keep you warm. On the other hand, it can get very hot out there, so it’s good if you can take off outer layers if required. Don’t expect to have a lot of shade either so make sure you are protected.

Light colored clothing – This is important as white has the least absorbance, meaning it reflects the rays of sun and can keep you cool in hot weather.

Light weight shirt – By wearing a light weight shirt you can make sure that you have full range of motion while your body is also protected from sunburn. It’s even better if it’s a long sleeve as this way your full arms are covered.

Shorts or trousers – Shorts are a good choice if it’s hot, otherwise we recommend a pair of trousers as these protect you from sunburn and injury.

Jacket – This will protect you from water and keep you warm in the morning.

Waterproof jacket and rain pants – The weather can change in a blink of an eye out there, so these are highly recommended.

Gloves – These have multiple functions, they will keep your hands protected from line cuts, sunburn, and harsh weather.

Shoes – You will need comfortable, non-slip closed in shoes, which hold your ankles. Sneakers are perfect to wear on a boat, high heels or flip flops are not.

Weather Protection

Make sure to bring the essentials because this way you can get the best out of your Pensacola fishing tour. Leave these home and experience your dream fishing tour turning into a nightmare. You don’t want to get sunburnt nor want to spend the whole day sitting in the cabin.

Sunscreen – It’s important to get one that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. By using one you can prevent sunburn and prevent some unwanted conditions.

Wide brimmed hat – This will provide some shade and reduce the chance of sun stroke.

Polarized sunglasses – These will protect your eyes from harmful rays and give you a better view of your target fish.

Over-the-Counter Medication

It is also good to bring any prescription or over the counter medications you think could be useful. If you have headaches every now and then, a painful migraine that comes unexpected and lasts for hours can ruin your whole day. Be prepared and don’t let that happen. If you have any chronic disorders such as high blood pressure, diabetes, seizures or asthma, make sure to inform your captain and bring your medications with you (in their original prescription bottle).

Seasickness medication – If you never tried fishing from a boat or went on a boat trip, it’s better to bring some seasickness medications with you. Don’t forget though, that most of these should be taken some hours prior to the trip.

Small first aid kit – Come equipped with band aids and antiseptic cream. Small injuries do happen and these can come in handy.

Hand sanitizer and wet wipes – I’m sure you don’t want to touch your food when your hands are full of dirt (hopefully from fish slime).


Bag – You will need this for packing the essentials.

Cooler – This will keep any food and drink you want to take on board with you fresh and cool. It’s also recommended to bring a bigger cooler for bringing home your catch.

Drinking bottle – Staying hydrated is very important, especially in extreme heat. Keeping water or an energy drink in a bottle will do the job.

Food container – The day is long and you will need something to eat. Even though you have breakfast at home, it won’t last for too long.

Waterproof bag – It’s a good idea to bring a small waterproof zip lock bag for your electronics and important documents such as your ID card and fishing license.

Other Essentials

Camera or smartphone – Once you catch your dream fish, you will want to keep that memory forever. Make sure to bring a camera or a smartphone with you to capture the moment.

Hand towel – You don’t want to spend the whole day covered in fish slime and dirt.

Best Places to go fishing in Pensacola?

Basically you have two options: from shore or on water. On water you can choose between using a surf and booking a charter. Fishing from the shore is the cheapest but it’s the most limited as well. Good news, that you can rent any equipment you need as there are many fishing pole rental services on Pensacola beach. There are many places you can reach even by walk, such as the 1500 feet long Pensacola Beach Pier, Fort Pickens Fishing Pier, Pensacola Bay Fishing Bridge, Escambia Bay, different beaches and so on. These are some of the best fishing spots in Pensacola.

Pensacola Fishing FAQs

Do I need a fishing license?

Most Pensacola fishing tours organizers have licenses to cover everyone on board. However, having a license is always good.

When and how can I go on a fishing tour in Pensacola?

It depends on the organizer. Take a look at the Pensacola Fishing Tours Directory to find the perfect match and feel free to contact them. They will tell you everything you need to know.

How much does it cost?

Pensacola fishing tours will range between $375-650 for 4 anglers. It is possible to bring additional passengers, at an extra price of $50-100. Most charter organizers welcome tips as well (usually 15-20%) because their day starts way before the tour begins and they also have some extra work after it is finished.

How long does it take?

Most fishing tours in Pensacola take between 2-6 hours but longer periods can also be booked.

What species of fish can I encounter?

On your Pensacola fishing tours, You can expect Red Snapper, Spotted Sea Trout, Redfish, Flounder, Bull Red Fish, Cobia, Kingfish, Spanish Mackerel, Sheepshead, Jack Crevalle, Amberjack, Pompano, Triggerfish, Tarpon, Ladyfish, Tuna, Marlin, Mahi Mahi, Grouper and more.

Is it required to book a trip in advance?

Yes, it is required to book at least 1-2 days prior to the planned tour.

What should I bring for my trip?

Check out the  full list of things you can bring.

How early should I arrive for my trip?

Usually it is good to arrive fifteen to twenty minutes before the scheduled time.

May I bring my wife and kids with me?

Of course! Pensacola fishing tours are family friendly. Most organizers have families and taught their own kids to fish as well.

How many people can go on a charter?

Most charters can accommodate up to 6 passengers but tours with larger groups can also be organized.

Can I keep the fish I catch?

Yes, most of the time. When the fish is the proper size, in season, and within the daily catch limit, it’s OK to keep them. Some fish you catch can be out of season or protected, so you have to release them. Regardless of which company you choose, all captains are knowledgeable of current fishing regulations and will let you know.

Pensacola Beach Fishing Tours Directory

These directory links are not paid links. A site’s inclusion on this directory should not be considered an endorsement of their service.  All users should carry out their own due diligence before paying for any services offered.  If we missed including a local business in this directory, please contact us!


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