All About the Canaveral Locks
The largest navigation lock in Florida, the Canaveral Lock has been a means of safe passage for vessels from the Banana River to Port Canaveral and the Atlantic Ocean since 1965. Located at GPS coordinates N 28 24.5814, W 80 38.2900, the lock operates 7 days a week, 6:00am-9:30pm, and monitors Marine VHF radio channel 13. There is no charge for lockage of any vessel with a draft up to 12 feet. When entering the lock, be sure to pay attention to the stop light, and the whistle or verbal cues from the attendant. Contact the Canaveral Lock at (321) 783-5421.
Port Canaveral and Florida Flats-Fishing: Get the best of both worlds!
Love Port Canaveral, but could use an escape from the hustle and bustle of cruise ships and other boating traffic out near the ocean? Just west of the Canaveral Lock rests a prime flats-fishing destination, the Banana River, a part of the Indian River Lagoon system. Experienced and inexperienced anglers alike flock to these diverse shallow-water grass flats.
Enjoy a fun, more relaxing boating experience with plenty of action fishing for redfish, sea trout, snook, ladyfish, tarpon, catfish, black drum, jack crevalle, pompano, spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, bluefish, juvenile grouper, and flounder to name a few. Just be sure to stay out of the well-enforced No Motor Zone north of the Canaveral Lock.
Offshore Fishing in Port Canaveral
Many folks enjoy Port Canaveral as an offshore fishing destination due to the nice structure of its bottom, and wide variety of game fish species. Anglers come here from all over the country looking for snapper and grouper, as well as other popular sport fish. If this is your first time fishing offshore at Port Canaveral, it could be worth it to hire one of the local fishing charter captains for the day to kick off your trip. They may not give you all of their “secret numbers”, but you’ll pick up more local tips in one day with them than you would on your own in years.
It’s also a good idea to pick up an East Florida Offshore map by Top Spot, which marks reefs, GPS coordinates, and lots of other useful information. Another no-brainer tool for offshore fishing anywhere is a good fish finder. If you don’t already have one, check out this handy Fish Finder Comparison.
Know Your Federal Laws
Since September 11, 2001, many traditional fishing areas around Port Canaveral were closed for national security purposes, mainly to protect the Kennedy Space Center and Port Canaveral from terrorist attacks. Some of these include the Kennedy Space Center Security Zone, north of Port Canaveral, and the Banana River No-Motor Zone, located in the waters east of the channel markers inside the Banana River Manatee Sanctuary. When inside the port, always obey signs marking restricted areas, and stay at least 25 feet from all docks, 100 feet from any berthed ship, and 200 feet from naval berth.
Docking and Dining at Port Canaveral Restaurants
Many of Port Canaveral’s restaurants, such as Rusty’s Seafood and Oyster Bar and Fishlips, will let you dock your boat right on site. Docking near Port Canaveral restaurants is also available at neighboring marinas; pull right into Harbortown Marina, and check out The Island Dockside Bar & Grill at Harbortown Marina. Additionally, several local bait shops and our marina store really go out of their way to accommodate boaters, and will even run your order out to your boat if you call ahead. Now that’s service!If you find yourself cruising near the Barge Canal between the Indian and Banana River, stop by Harbortown Marina and say hello! We offer Ethanol-free Gas and Diesel – Sign up for our Harbortown Rewards E-mail Club to receive a coupon for an extra 5 cents off per gallon (look for Harbortown Rewards at the bottom of this page).