Catch the wind in your sails or a prized fish on our waters.

The fruitful waters of Charlotte Harbor at the confluence of the Myakka and Peace rivers form the second largest estuary in Florida. 

The waters fluctuate seasonally from fresh to brackish to salty. This makes for a system that supports a tremendous variety of marine life from its earliest stages through adulthood. 

Into this environment float fisher folk, sailors and power boaters eager to explore the amber-to-blue-green waters.

Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing

It’s a widely held notion that fishermen almost always exaggerate the size of their catch, weaving Bunyan-esque tall tales of —the one that got away.” 

Fisher folk who choose Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands for their angling excursions won’t have to make up tall tales. The braided channels of the Peace River and the waters of the Myakka River, the harbor itself and the Gulf of Mexico are fertile grounds for fresh- and saltwater catches.

Freshwater quarry include largemouth bass, crappie and bream. Some of the best saltwater fishing in the world is in the waters of Charlotte Harbor, and tarpon fishing originated here in the late 1800s as a sportfishing pastime for the very wealthy.

Snook, redfish and spotted seatrout are common. The best way to get the lay of the land, so to speak, is to go out with a local fishing guide, or join a charter fishing boat cruise.

Boating Excursions

Whether your goal is a tasty catch, a day wading in the shallows or an idyllic trip to a nearby island paradise, the protected waters of Charlotte Harbor are a boater’s dream. 

You can rent small pleasure boats for your party, take a cruise from a local marina or charter a sailboat – bare or with a captain. And if you brought your own sailboat, you’ll be glad to know that Charlotte Harbor is one of the top 10 places to sail in the U.S., according to SAIL Magazine.

Sunset and luncheon cruises abound; check with local charter companies for schedules.

Maritime Culture

You’ll notice as you traverse the lands enveloping Charlotte Harbor that its watery world has left its mark on the area’s history. The Charlotte County Historical Center in Charlotte Harbor, with its spectacular harbor view, features seafarers’ artifacts of fisher folk from pre-history to the more recent past.

The arts here have been similarly affected by the legacy of the sea. Art Around Town showcases sculptures that seek to capture on land what can be found undersea. All around landside are gentle reminders to spend your days on a boat or along the shore, a line in the water, currents of the past melding in a gentle ebb and flow with the present…