Pensacola Fishing – Where to Fish in Pensacola

Where to Fish in Pensacola, FL
Looking to the West from a shore at Pensacola Pass

Pensacola Fishing – Where to fish in Pensacola. Anglers love fishing in Pensacola!  The Pensacola Bay area offers numerous bodies of water to choose from, saltwater and freshwater, and diverse species to target. Although not an exhaustive list, here’s a few ideas of where to fish in Pensacola

Where to Fish in Pensacola – Bodies of Water

When you decide to go fishing in Pensacola, where do you start? Pensacola has lots of bodies of water to choose from.  If you launch your boat in Pensacola Bay, it’s just a few miles to other bodies of water such as Escambia Bay, Escambia River, East Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, Santa Rosa Sound, Perdido Bay, Bayou Texar, Bayou Chico, and Bayou Grande.

Where to Fish in Pensacola – Shoreline, Bridges and Piers

Fishing from Shorelines in Pensacola

If you don’t have a boat or kayak, you can always fish from shore. Whether you fish from Johnson’s Beach, Pensacola Beach, Gulf Islands National Seashores, or one of many other sections of shoreline on the many bodies of water in the Pensacola bay area, you’ll find many species to target depending on the time of year.

Fishing from Bridges and Piers in Pensacola

There’s also numerous bridges and piers to choose from.  For example, the Pensacola Beach Pier stretches 1470 feet past two sand bars at Pensacola Beach, and almost every imaginable Northern Gulf of Mexico fishing species has been caught there at some point.

For bridges, there’s the Bob Sikes bridge going from Gulf Breeze to Pensacola Beach.

There’s the Pensacola Bay Fishing Bridge located beside  Three Mile Bridge, often called 3mb, which crosses Pensacola Bay from Pensacola to Gulf Breeze. There’s a lot of rubble on the bottom of the bay near the Pensacola Three mile bridge. Much of it is parts of the old bridge which was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan. Small fish use this rubble like a reef as it gives them protection, and those fish attract bigger fish. That makes it great fishing all year long, day and night. But be careful, it’s also a great way to get your line hung up! Here’s the county website link about the Pensacola Bay Fishing Bridge

Let’s not forget the smaller public fishing piers like the “T-Pier” at the base of Pensacola Bay Bridge on the Gulf Breeze side and the “Hexagon” on the Gulf Breeze side of Bob Sikes Bridge.

In addition, the Pensacola Bay area has numerous boat launches / boat ramps for you to get out on the water, and some of these also have dedicated fishing piers.

Where to Fish in Pensacola – Pensacola Pass

If you have a boat, you will eventually want to fish Pensacola Pass. All the water that comes and goes daily into the Pensacola Bay Area comes through the Pensacola Pass.  The Pensacola pass is a giant funnel with extremely strong tides and deep water up to 60ft deep. In addition, any species of fish that migrates from the bays or rivers to the ocean must come through the Pensacola Pass. All of these factors combine to make the Pensacola Pass a very popular fishing spot at most times of the year.

Where to Fish in Pensacola – The Gulf of Mexico

Although the Gulf of Mexico is not exclusive to Pensacola, we would be doing a disservice not to mention it. There is an astounding number of ways to fish the Gulf of Mexico. There’s thousands of species to target. And there’s a huge range of depths to choose from. In addition, there’s an assortment of bottom features such as rocks, ledges, and gravel, and thousands of man-made reefs and shipwrecks. To the west of Pensacola, you can find numerous oil rigs, creating some of the most amazing artificial reefs you can imagine. From the smallest bait fish to the large predator, millions of fish school around these objects, looking for either shelter, or dinner!

Whether you are looking for Cobia, Amberjack, Red Snapper, Sharks, Blackfin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Swordfish, or Blue Marlin, you can find it and more in the Gulf of Mexico. Pensacola has quick  access to the Gulf of Mexico through Pensacola Pass, making Pensacola a great place to launch from  if you want to fish the Gulf of Mexico.

If you want to fish the Gulf of Mexico fishing reefs and wrecks, you’ll need some GPS coordinates, or “GPS numbers”. For a page with a large list of fishing reef GPS coordinates from various sources, check this page. If you have any questions, try asking the members of our fishing forum

Fishing Regulations for Fishing in Pensacola

Before you go fishing in Pensacola Bay or any other body of water in the Pensacola Bay area, take a trip over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission website ( FWC ) via this page and make sure you download a copy of the latest fishing regulations. What’s in season, what the bag limit is, how long it must be to keep, etc. These are things that change very frequently, and it’s up to you to be within regulations.

In addition, you’ll need to be able to identify correct, what it is you caught. Some fish can be difficult to identify because they look a lot like similar species. However, two related species often have different regulations governing them. It’s a good idea to pick up a fish identification book. These are often sold at bait ant tackle shops. You can also get one on line. Here’s a link to a few different ones on Amazon.

If you think you won’t get caught with illegal fish, or without a license, think again. The FWC is constantly checking boats and sometimes piers and bridges. It’s not worth a heavy fine or jail time to keep illegal fish. Just pay the tax and make sure you know what you are keeping. With a clear conscious, you can enjoy a spectacular day of Pensacola fishing.

Now Go Fishing

Now you know where to go fishing in Pensacola. So stop by one of the local bait and tackle shops for some gear and bait, and grab a few bottles of Gatorade or water to keep hydrated. You may or may not need a fishing license depending on where you are going fishing. If you need a license, they sell them, and if you don’t need a license, they’ll let you know. They typically have their thumb on the pulse of the Pensacola fishing scene. Don’t hesitate to ask what’s biting, what’s in season, and what bait to use. If you have any questions, you can always leave a message on the gcfc  fishing forum. Make sure to take lots of pictures and then post a fishing report on the gcfc fishing forum.