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Jackson, Gadsden, Calhoun, Gulf, Liberty, and Franklin counties


The Apalachicola River runs from Lake Seminole, on the Florida-Georgia border at Chattahoochee, 106 miles south through the Panhandle to the Gulf of Mexico, at the town of Apalachicola. In terms of volume of water discharged, it is Florida's largest river. While there are many areas of good fishing along the Apalachicola River, the best areas are the upper river, which is influenced by discharge from Lake Seminole, and the lower river, which is influenced by Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

The upper Apalachicola River has good shore access from Jim Woodruff Dam to Race Shoal (0.9 miles) on the east bank, and from the dam to Hwy. 90 (0.6 miles) on the west bank. Access above Hwy 90 is on Corps of Engineers (COE) property and includes a fishing catwalk adjacent to the powerhouse at the dam. Boat landings are also located at Chattahoochee, Sneads, Aspalaga (Navigation Mile 98.9), and Ocheesee (NM93.9).

The lower Apalachicola River consists of the main river channel and the distributaries which form the delta: the St. Marks River, Little St. Marks River, and East River. Shoreline access is available only from the public docks on the waterfront in Apalachicola and at the City Dock (Ten-foot Hole) under the Hwy. 98 Bridge. Public boating access include the City Dock, Gardner Landing on East River, Cash Creek off of Hwy. 65, Magnolia Bluff on the east end of the Hwy 98 Bridge in East Point, and at the end of Bluff Road within Box-R WMA. Private launching facilities can be found at several marinas in Apalachicola, in East Point, and Howard's Creek off the Brother's River, and on Searcy Creek (Intracoastal Waterway) in White City. FWC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service annually stock striped bass and sunshine bass in the lower river.

For more information contact Riverview Bait & Tackle (850-663-2462) in Chattahoochee, Bay City Marina (850-653-9294) or Scipio Creek Marina (850-653-8030) in Apalachicola, and Fisherman's Choice (850-670-8808) in Eastpoint.

UPPER APALACHICOLA RIVER (Jackson, Gadsden, Calhoun, Liberty, Franklin, and Gulf counties):

Striped bass and hybrid striped bass fishing in the river should be good, with peak fishing beginning in mid-March. Striped Bass and hybrid striped bass that were discharged from the Jim Woodruff Dam into the river throughout the year will now be roaming the river and feeding voraciously on gizzard and threadfin shad. Striped bass and hybrid striped bass are often found aggregating below the Jim Woodruff Dam and along the sand and gravel bars downstream. Use a Carolina rig with a ½ to 1-ounce weight (use a heavier weight during times with heavy current) with shad or herring. Downstream, both species should school along the deeper sandbars, especially during early morning hours or at dusk. White bass will begin moving up the Apalachicola River to spawn in March. Fish the sand and gravel bars using grass shrimp, small crayfish, or small jigs. The daily bag limit for striped bass is 3 and they must be greater than 18 inches in total length. There is no minimum length limit for hybrids or white bass and the daily combined bag limit of hybrids, white bass, and striped bass is 20 fish per day (no more than 3 of which can be striped bass).

LOWER APALACHICOLA RIVER (Gulf, Liberty, and Franklin counties):

Late winter and spring are some of the best times for largemouth bass fishing in the lower river. Dipping live shrimp along the steeper, grass-lined banks of the St. Marks and East Rivers and the smaller sloughs, such as Montgomery Slough and Saltwater Creek, is one of the more popular methods. Spinnerbaits fished along the banks and weed lines of the larger channels and in Lake Wimico are also productive. As the water warms during the months of February and March, move to warm back water areas, and try fishing with plastic stick baits, light Texas-rigged worms, and topwater frogs. Winter is also a great time to fish for Spotted Seatrout, Redfish, and Sheepshead in the lower Apalachicola River because these species will move up into the river during the coldest part of the winter. Try using live shrimp or artificial shrimp baits around deep bends in creeks and bayous that are near the mouth of the river. Make sure to fish slowly and try to find the warmest water usually around spring runs.

Popular Species

Popular Sport Fish Species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

More species information is available for:

Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfish, Sunshine bassStriped bass

FWC Trophy Catch Logo

TrophyCatch Tracker

TrophyCatch is FWC's citizen-science program that rewards anglers for documenting and releasing trophy bass 8 pounds or larger. The following TrophyCatch bass have been submitted from the Apalachicola River:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 1