Fishing and Hunting

Since the 1930s, visitors from around the world have journeyed to Martin County to fish our abundant offshore and inshore waters. The uniqueness of our geographical location at the southern edge of the temperate zone and the northern boundary of the subtropical zone, combined with the influence of the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River, contributes to the huge diversity of game fish found in our area.


From the adventure of a day of offshore fishing for marlin, dolphin, sailfish or Wahoo, to the spectacular bass fishing on Martin County’s western border of Lake Okeechobee, to the wide array of inshore fishing opportunities, there is literally something for every style of fishing enthusiast.

The Stuart Sailfish Club is one of the oldest sport fishing clubs in the U.S.. It promotes conservation of game fish and encourages visitors to fish in Martin County waters. The Club attracts visitors by sponsoring offshore fishing tournaments.


Numerous charter boats are located throughout Martin County which can provide full, half-day or custom charters. Whether you are a novice or experienced angler, the professional captains and mates will provide your every need and advice to insure a fabulous off-shore fishing experience. The months of November through mid-March are prime months for sailfish – spring and summer months see the return of dolphin, Wahoo and kingfish as well as marlin.


Nothing is quite as exciting as casting light tackle or fly fishing for snook, tarpon, redfish or trout along the flats of the Indian River Lagoon and the upper reaches of the St. Lucie River. Inshore fishing is great year round and there are many world class backcountry and flats guides operating in the Martin County area.

Deep Sea

Several “party boats” operate out of the Stuart area and are based at local marinas. These boats are equipped to take generally up to 40 people to local natural and artificial reefs for bottom fishing. All tackle and bait is provided. It is a great experience for the entire family. Catches may include grouper, snapper, cobia, sea bass and a variety of other specie


A boat is not a necessity to enjoy a great day of fishing in Martin County. Surf casting along our miles of ocean front beaches, as well as the many fishing piers, causeways, canals and bridges offer excellent angling opportunity. Fishers can surf cast anywhere on Hutchinson Island (A1A, whole island).

Where To Fish

  • King Fish Hole – Offshore
    5 miles south St. Lucie Inlet offshore of Pecks Lake
  • Artificial Tire Reef – Edgar Ernst Reef
    4 1/2 miles due east of lighted buoy from St. Lucie Inlet
  • Artificial Reef – Bill Donaldson Reef
    3 1/4 miles due east of House of Refuge
  • Artificial Reef – The Rankin
    66 miles due east of St. Lucie Inlet, 130′ water
  • Major Reef – 6 Mile Reef
    Just south of Inlet and 6 miles due east, 75′ deep
    8 Mile Reef
    just east of Inlet and 8 miles out north and south, 125′ deep
  • Gulfstream
    5-8 miles offshore due east of Inlet, it varies a little

Types of Fish Caught...

  • During Winter
    Sailfish abundant, Spanish mackerel, blue marlin, sea trout
  • During Spring
    Snook, sea trout, Spanish mackerel, blue marlin, snook, sea trout, tilefish, some sailfish
  • During Fall
    Bluefish, sea trout, snook, Spanish mackerel, snook
  • During Summer
    Barracuda, dolphin, grouper
  • All Year Round
    Amberjack, channel bass, fresh water bass, grafftop sail catfish, saltwater catfish, cobia, jack crevalle, croaker, drum, flounder, king mackerel, margate, moonfish, mullet, pompano, sand perch, sheepshead, snapper family, tarpon, triggerfish, wahoo, whiting

Productive Lakes, Rivers and Bays

  • Lake Okeechobee: Bass fish
  • Indian River: Sea trout
    St. Lucie River both north & south forks of the river: Snook and bass
  • Savannahs (Jensen Beach area): Bass
  • Fresh water: Reaches C-23, C-24, and St. Lucie Canal
  • Indian River: Also for wading in grass beds for fish

Fishable Bridges and Piers

  • Jensen Beach Causeway – Indian River
  • Stuart Bridges on A1A
  • Evans Crary Bridge
  • St. Lucie River/Ernie Lyons Bridge
  • Roosevelt Bridge – US 1 north of Stuart
  • Palm City Bridge – St. Lucie River on Martin Downs Blvd.

Fishing Regulations

Under Florida law, anglers must be licensed to fish from a boat in salt and brackish waters, as well as fresh water. are available at county tax collectors’ offices. In addition, you can buy them from subagents, such as sporting goods stores or other retailers that sell hunting or fishing equipment; on the Internet and by phone.

Residents over 65 and under 16 do not need a license for salt water fishing for sport. If an angler wishes to sell his catch, he must obtain a commercial salt water fishing license. It is recommended that anyone unsure about whether a license applies for sport fishing should contact the Tax Collector’s Office where all licenses are issued at 288-5400. Taking of all shellfish is prohibited in Martin County.

Upper waters of north and south forks of the St. Lucie river are designated fresh waters and a fresh water license is required to fish in them for both fresh water limits. The north fork is a wildlife refuge and netting is prohibited. No guns are permitted in boats.

Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing License and Regulations information.


Recreational licenses and permits for residents and nonresidents are available at county tax collectors’ offices. In addition, you can buy them from subagents, such as sporting goods stores or other retailers that sell hunting or fishing equipment; on the Internet and by phone. All license, permit and issuance fees are subject to change by the legislature.

Before purchasing a recreational license or permit, please make sure you understand what qualifies as Florida residency and that you’re read the exemptions to determine if you really need a license or permit. If hunting, make sure you have met the hunter safety requirement.

Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for information on Hunting Licenses and fees.

Doe Season is mid-October through mid-January. Check specific dates each year. Call Tax Collector’s office at 288-5400 for additional information.

Florida Hunting and Fresh Water fishing regulations should be consulted for bag and size limits on fresh water fish. Call the Marine Patrol or the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission for any information related to fishing, boating, diving and hunting regulations in Martin County and Florida.