Diving and Fishing in Palm Beach
and South Florida
With 47 miles of coastline, many additional miles of river frontage and Intracoastal Waterway, and Lake Okeechobee and other freshwater lakes and canal systems, Palm Beach County is a water sports enthusiast’s heaven. Easy access to the ocean is provided via the many public and private marinas and boat ramps located throughout the county.
Florida offers some of the best sport fishing in the world and Palm Beach County is no exception. Avid anglers may charter deep sea fishing boats and head out to the warm Gulfstream current in search of swordfish, tuna, or marlin. Lake Okeechobee, the second largest fresh water lake in the United States, and other fresh water lakes and canals provide outstanding Big Bass opportunities as well as catfish, shellcracker and bluegill. Loxahatchee Recreation Area is also a great location for fishing.
Palm Beach County Fish Finder Kit
Local info on artificial reefs, boat ramps, marinas, fish camps, charters, tournament schedules, tides and much more is included. Send a $10 check or money order payable to the West Palm Beach Fishing Club.
c/o Fish Finder
P.O. Box 468
West Palm Beach, FL 33402
(Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery)
The Florida Sports Foundation publishes guides on golfing, fishing and boating, and baseball spring training. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission provides information on the facilities in the county, events and sports calendars, membership info, plus much more.
Both saltwater and freshwater fisherman are required to purchase a license prior to casting their line, although there are exceptions. All Florida boats with motors must be titled and registered. For information on fishing rules, regulations and licenses, and boating registrations, contacts are listed on the Florida Access to Government site.
South Florida offers some of the very best diving, snorkeling and swimming opportunities in the world. In 1995, the Palm Beaches were chosen by readers of Scuba Diving magazine as having the best drift dives in the United States. In drift diving, the Gulfstream’s steady north current eliminates the long and often tiresome swim back to the boat at the end of each dive. The Princess Ann ship wreck, located off the coast of Palm Beach, was also rated as one of the 5 best wreck dives in the world. More than 20 coast guard certified dive boats operate in the area, making the Palm Beaches an easily accessible playground to all divers. If you’re looking for a competitive water skiing course, Okeeheelee Park has it. Here is where the United States National Water skiing championships are held in August.
South Florida offers some of the very best diving, snorkeling and swimming opportunities in the world. In 1995, the Palm Beaches were chosen by readers of Scuba Diving magazine as having the best drift dives in the United States. In drift diving, the Gulfstream’s steady north current eliminates the long and often tiresome swim back to the boat at the end of each dive. Divers drift effortlessly with the current along the reefs and wrecks until the boat arrives for pickup at the end of each dive. Water temperatures are comfortable all year round, ranging from 78º to 84ºF in the summer and from 70º to 79ºF in the winter.
Moderate conditions and an abundance of sea life make this area popular year-round. More and more hard corals appear as divers move south in Florida, and this area is unique in having the greatest occurrence of patch reefs in Palm Beach County. The waters offer adventure with brilliantly colored hard and soft corals, five species of large sea turtles, moray eels, sting rays, and nurse sharks. Wrecks placed offshore as part of the state’s Artificial Reef Program act as magnets to sea life and divers alike, and ships like the Budweiser Barge offer excitement to divers as well as challenges for advanced divers. Another favorite is the Princess Ann ship wreck, a 400-ft. cargo ferry sunk in the 1980’s which remains intact. Located off the coast of Palm Beach, it was also rated as one of the 5 best wreck dives in the world.
The Jupiter Inlet is the gateway to Northern Palm Beach County’s diving, featuring many colorful sites teeming with fish. Dive sites range in depth from 60 to 150 ft. of water with a variety of fish. Game fish include Atlantic spadefish, grouper and amberjack which roam the area. Shark dives are popular from Jupiter Inlet south to North Palm Beach. Reefs and wrecks abound with eels, tropicals, barracuda and lobster.
More than 20 coast guard certified dive boats operate in the area, making the Palm Beaches an easily accessible playground to all divers. Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve’s site showcases parks featuring shipwrecks and other historic sites. The area’s waters offer fantastic snorkeling and award-winning scuba diving, brightly colored reefs with exotic tropical fish, and plenty of room for picnicking, motor boating or just enjoying the sunshine.
South Florida Boating, Fishing & Diving
Water sports are year round activities in Palm Beach County. The ocean, intracoastal waterway and many lakes and canals in the county provide a variety of venues for boating. Florida offers some of the best sport fishing in the world and Palm Beach County is no exception. Avid anglers may charter deep sea fishing boats and head out to the warm Gulfstream current in search of swordfish, tuna, or marlin.
If fishing is your line, then southern Palm Beach County is an irresistible lure. With the Gulf Stream less than 3 miles offshore, there is excellent salt-water fishing among its length. Deep-sea anglers travel here from miles around to try their luck with marlin, pompano, kingfish and more. Endless opportunities abound in the intracoastal waterway and our many lakes, inland canals and waterways. See our Water Sports and Fishing section for more information – and send for your PBC fish finder kit.
The Boynton Beach Inlet is the entrance point to southern Palm Beach County’s dive sites. A continuation of the reef system, which stretches down Florida’s coastline, these reefs range from 25 to 100 ft. deep, with a variety of sites for divers of any experience level. The area has the Western Hemisphere’s widest variety of tropicals and game fish, crowding the reefs and wrecks, and benefiting from the Gulf Stream’s nutritional flow. Unique because it straddles the northern temperate zone, divers see the two types of sea life together only in this area. Divers will run out of time before they run out of things to see.