Deep Sea Fishing Cape Canaveral: 45 Mins from Orlando

Last Updated on July 9, 2024 by Eric

If you’re itching to get away from the theme park circus in Orlando, and craving something genuinely exhilarating, you ought to consider a trip out to Port Canaveral. It’s just a straight shot over from Orlando—about 45 minutes east on the 528. You can’t miss it—just drive until you see the big cruise ships.

Instead of dodging strollers and lining up for rides, you’re out there on the open ocean, rod in hand, going toe-to-fin with some of the biggest fish in the Atlantic. (We’re talking marlin, tuna, sailfish, big game sharks—you name it.)

You feel that tug on your line, and it’s game on—could be you’re in for a fight that lasts hours.

Ready to explore the untamed waters of the open Atlantic? Let’s take a look at what makes the waters off the coast of Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach so perfect for deep sea fishing.

Port Canaveral: The Closest Deep Sea Fishing to Orlando

Port Canaveral is conveniently located, especially if you’re coming from Orlando. It’s just about a 45-minute drive straight east on State Road 528.

Basically, you hop on the Beachline Expressway and keep going until you can smell the salt air and see the cruise ships. Super easy drive, and you get to leave the theme park lines and tourist traps for the adventure of the open ocean.

But here’s the real “catch”—the port isn’t just the nearest offshore fishing spot—it offers some of the best fishing grounds you can find off the Florida coast, thanks to the Gulf Stream, as well as numerous local reefs and wrecks.

The waters off Cape Canaveral are packed with so many different game fish, it’s an unbeatable spot in the area for those looking to reel in anything from marlin to grouper.

Once you’re out on the water, you’ve got a few different fishing styles to choose from depending on what you’re after:

Offshore Fishing Charters

If you want to go after the big game fish, Gulf Stream fishing is your best bet. You’re heading out to where the deep waters flow and the big boys like marlin, sailfish, and huge sharks hang out.

The higher temperature currents that run up the east coast of Florida and out into the Atlantic Ocean make these waters just perfect for targeting larger fish species.

It’s a bit of a ride—about 60 miles offshore—but the payoff can be huge.

Note: Not all deep sea fishing off the coast of Cape Canaveral is in the Gulf Stream, though it’s a popular spot for those looking to catch bigger game fish. Cape Canaveral is well-situated for access to the Gulf Stream, but it’s also close to other productive fishing grounds. For instance you can fish the reefs and wrecks closer to shore for species like snapper, grouper, and cobia. There’s also the option to target pelagic species closer in, beyond the surf but not as far out as the Gulf Stream.

When we talk about fishing the Gulf Stream, we’re not messing around with regular gear. We’re talking heavy tackle, sturdy rods, and reels that can take a beating because these fish? They don’t give up without a fight. Hooking something like a marlin is just the beginning. You could be in for a battle that lasts hours.

The variety of fish you can catch out here is something else. Aside from the marlin and sailfish, there’s tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi. Each one’s a different kind of thrill. They all fight different, and you’ve got to adjust your technique for each one if you want a good chance of hauling them in.

Now don’t think it’s all just about tossing lines and waiting. You’ve got to be on your toes. Out there, the sea can turn on you fast—weather changes, currents shift. Safety’s a big deal, which means good prep, a solid boat, and a sharp crew are must-haves. (And keeping an eye on the marine forecast? Non-negotiable.)

There’s something about being out in the middle of the open ocean, wrestling with a titan of the deep, that gets your adrenaline pumping. And if you’re lucky enough to land one of those trophies, well, it’s something you’ll be talking about for years.

Species like red snapper, grouper, amberjack, cobia, and kingfish are out there, waiting for you to challenge them. Are you up for it?

Reef & Wreck Fishing

For offshore fishing adventures a little closer to shore, there’s reef and wreck fishing. This is where you get to drop your line over some of the natural or man-made structures that attract a whole ecosystem of fish.

It’s great for targeting species like grouper, cobia, and jack. You get a lot of action, and it’s a little less of a trek out to sea.

Bottom Fishing

Then there’s bottom fishing. It’s exactly what it sounds like—you drop your bait down to the sea floor and wait for the bite.

This style is perfect for catching snapper, grouper, and other bottom-dwelling fish.

It’s a test of patience and skill, but pulling up a huge red snapper is worth the wait.

Nearshore Fishing Charters

Whether you’re jigging, bottom-fishing, or trolling, nearshore fishing charters also provide plenty of opportunities to reel in fish after fish. Not to mention soaking in those beautiful coastal views of the Cape.

One thing to keep straight is the difference between nearshore and inshore fishing—the names make them sound similar, but they’re really different ball games.  Inshore means right along the coastline or in the bays and estuaries—places where the water might literally only be a few feet deep. You can even do it from a small skiff or even a kayak, and you’re basically always within sight of land.

Nearshore fishing, despite the name, takes you a bit further out from the shoreline. We’re talking about the waters that are just off the beaches but still within a few miles of the coastline. This isn’t quite “offshore” territory, but it’s definitely not the backwaters either!

Here, you’re typically dealing with slightly deeper ocean waters, anywhere from 20 to 50 feet, and targeting species that are bigger and bolder than what you’d find inshore.

Calm Seas: Despite the potential to catch some big “deep sea” species out here, the waters are generally calmer than you find further out in the Atlantic. In deeper waters, currents and wind can stir up bigger waves as there’s a lot of open water for winds to whip across. But in the shallower nearshore waters, the ocean floor is closer to the surface, which helps in damping down the wave energy—waves break earlier and lose some of their power before they can build up too much. Also, you’re closer to the coast, which means landmasses can act as natural barriers, reducing the impact of strong winds and waves that build up further out in the open ocean. The land basically acts like a shield.

Nearshore fishing is perfect for all ages and skill levels, so nobody has to miss out on the fun.

The Annual Mullet Run

The seasonal Mullet Run. Each year, like clockwork, these mullets swarm our waters, and it’s a feast for Snook and Tarpon.

Every year when this happens, our charters are geared up to give you a front-row seat to one of nature’s seasonal best fishing spots near Orlando, right here in Port Canaveral.

Bottom Line

The sheer variety of fish off Port Canaveral is legitimately impressive. You’ve got your fast king mackerel that strike hard and fight harder, massive tuna that test your strength and stamina, and cobia that might just surprise you as they blend into the ocean depths.

And that’s just scratching the surface. You might hook into a marlin, a powerful amberjack or find yourself battling a sailfish—the acrobat of the Atlantic.

Each fishing trip out of Port Canaveral is new and different—you cast your line into the vast blue unknown, and what comes up on the other end could be the catch of a lifetime.

That unpredictability is part of the fun—the ocean’s mood shifts with the tides, and no two days on the water are ever the same. It’s this ever-changing challenge that makes sea fishing an exhilarating experience every time.

Offshore/Deep Sea Fishing Charters with Canaveral Kings

If you’re in Orlando and looking for a day to remember, consider making the short drive out here to Port Canaveral. It’s an escape from the busy theme parks, the traffic, and the usual tourist spots—a chance to engage with Florida’s wilder side.

So grab a rod—and your spirit of adventure—and hit the water. The Atlantic is calling… it’s time to see what’s biting out there!

Ready to book a deep sea fishing adventure? Give us a call at (321) 543-5109—or use our online reservations system to reserve your charter now!