Will Fish for Food: Catch ‘n’ Cook on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

Group of fishers posing with their native caught fish

Here, you can reel in everything from snook and sea trout to mackerel and redfish, whether you set off on a fishing charter with family and friends, or take your own vessel out to sea.

But while casting off in the Gulf is a rewarding experience for many, cooking up your catch can be quite a daunting task. Luckily, you’ll find plenty of restaurants on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel that will turn your fish into a fine seafood dinner.

We call it catch ‘n’ cook, which lets you reap the rewards of good bait and a lot of patience without lifting a finger in the kitchen.

How to Catch:

Paradise Charters | Fort Myers Beach
As one of the highest-rated and most well-known charters in the area, Paradise Charters takes visitors out for scenic fishing expeditions. They target trout, snapper and snook while sailing close to the shores of Fort Myers Beach, even wandering the waters of nearby islands. You can book a half day or full day for anywhere from one to six people. Pricing includes fishing license, bait, fish cleaning and ice for your fresh fish.

Hey Mon Sanibel
For a trip with laid-back island flair, hop onboard Hey Mon and bring up to six of your friends. Captain Peter has you covered with rods, reels and bait. He’ll even clean your catch and put it all on ice to make for easy transport. With osprey overhead and dolphins and manatees swimming alongside, you’ll truly take in all Sanibel’s open waters have to offer.

Santiva Salt Water Fishing Team | Captiva
Led by Florida natives, anglers of all ages can embark on a private, guided fishing trip. A maximum of four people can hit the water with bait, tackle and license included. All you have to bring is food, drinks and an appetite for adventure. You can set off on a two-hour trip in the afternoon, or enjoy the Gulf for a half or full day if you’re ready to catch more than you can carry.

Where to Cook:

SS Hookers Waterfront Restaurant | Fort Myers
Here, a bit of Southern flare meets a longtime love for local fishing history. One of the most beloved restaurants in the area, SS Hookers takes your fillets and makes them fantastic. Have your snapper sautéed and served over rice, or cut into a tender white redfish fillet that’s been panko-fried or lightly blackened to your preference.

The Nauti Mermaid | Cape Coral
Come by land or by sea to this casual dockside restaurant, where you can step off your boat and pull up a seat to feast on your catch of the day. Whether you like it boiled, grilled, baked or seared to perfection, Nauti Mermaid does it like no other.

The Fish House | Fort Myers, Sanibel & Bonita Springs
Drop off your redfish, snapper or trout and leave the rest to the experts – who have been cooking up their creations for more than 21 years. This restaurant’s colorful, family-friendly atmosphere makes it easy to relax after a couple hours with your line cast. Plus, you can wind down with a few cocktails, craft beers or other happy hour specials.

The Fish Monger | Fort Myers Beach
This spot’s signature Jamaican jerk may be the best way to prepare your fresh fish. But while you wait for the main course to cook, chow down on some house-made “Monger Bread” and check out more than 60 feet of fish tanks.

Parrot Key Caribbean Grill | Fort Myers Beach
After a long day out, reap your “Angler’s Reward” at Parrot Key, where your fish is cooked with Caribbean flair by chefs skilled in the art. And with a frozen drink in hand, plus live entertainment on the waterfront, there’s no better way to finish a day on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.

Before you cast a line, read up on local fishing tips to make the most of your time on the water. If you’re already reelin’ to go, check out our other fishing charters here!

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