Museum of the Islands

Preserving the past for the future on Pine Island, Florida

Matlacha Bridge-”The Fishingest Bridge in the World”

The Matlacha Bridge (pronounced “Mat-La-Shay”) is a small single-leaf drawbridge located in Matlacha, Florida. It carries State Road 78 (Pine Island Road) over Matlacha Pass, connecting Pine Island with the mainland in Cape Coral.

The first bridge spanning Matlacha Pass was a small wooden swing bridge. That bridge was replaced with a concrete bascule bridge in 1968. The bridge became a very popular fishing spot for local residents, and was nicknamed “The fishingest bridge in the world”. The current bascule bridge opened on November 18, 2012. The current span is 9 feet tall, similar to its predecessor.

After its demolition, the previous bridge (the one built in 1968) will be made into an artificial reef at Novak’s reef, which is about 3 miles off the coast of Charlotte County.  Credit Wikipedia

For an excellent account this story see Betsey Zeiss’ book The Other Side Of The River.  Also see The Matlacha Bridge That Never Was.

Matlacha Bridge

Credit this Photo Museum of the Islands

Another picture of “the fishiingest bridge in the world”.


Credit this Photo Museum of the Islands

A picture of a shack at the end of the bridge leading into Matlacha.

Shack at the end of the Matlacha Bridge

Credit Credit Joanne Miller

A different angle of the bridge.


Credit Fort Myers News Press via Joanne Miller

This Chapter Pine Island 20s/30s/40s
This Section Matlacha 20s/30s/40s
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