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Best Florida Saltwater Fishing

author
Ava Flores
• Sunday, 22 November, 2020
• 7 min read

Captain Billy Henderson of Deep South Outfitters favors the inshore fishing on the Gulf Coast around his home waters in the Crystal River area, but he also highly ranks other parts of the state that offer excellent fishing for tarpon, speckled sea trout, redfish, shook and cobra. Henderson lists the following areas on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts as great destinations for inshore saltwater action.

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(Source: www.saltstrong.com)

Contents

The shallow waters of the Banana River Lagoon around Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach provide plenty of seagrass flats for harboring sea trout. Large numbers of sea trout are caught annually in the Ten A Thousand Islands area of the Everglades.

Henderson lists the Chokoloskee area as a prime destination for catching redfish, shook, trout and cobra. Henderson claims the Big Bend area from Cedar Key to Homosassa has always been known for its high concentration of redfish that prefer the shelves and limestone bottom of these coastal waters.

Tarpon caught in the Crystal River area have set fly-fishing world records. The veteran guide suggests anglers can catch 100 redfish a day in September while anchoring at the bridge across the Apalachicola Bay.

Some will also offer the opportunity to slide a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddle board into the water, but all include plenty of space to fish from shore, or wade into coastal shallows. The prominent paved jetty pier on the north side, complete with safety rails offers a safe, spacious platform for reaching the surf zone or the deeper water of the inlet.

Incoming tides always bring a push of activity, but when the fall mullet run piles an enormous biomass in and around the inlet, anglers have a field day with bull redfish, giants nook, tarpon and the occasional cuber snapper. Mangrove snapper, jacks, sleepyhead and black drum add to the mix; while the shallower end, along with the smaller south jetty may yield pompano, whiting and craters.

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(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Species mix includes trout, weakfish, redfish, black drum, flounder and sleepyhead with the occasional striped bass. Several pull off spots provide casting access to the St. Johns River, or you can take one of the interior roads through the campground to fish the Fort George Inlet on the north side.

The mix here includes flounder, redfish, black drum, pompano, whiting, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and sharks. Deploying live baits off the deep end often yields king mackerel, tarpon, sharks and barracuda.

Tarpon often run this area anglers soaking live baits or sight casting big swim baits might put one in the air. From the metered parking area to the pier is a bit of a hike, but it’s a straight shot down the walking promenade running along the cut.

Both provide spacious access to a wide range of Keys favorites like snapper (mangrove, lane, mutton and yellowtail), tarpon, grouper, yellow jack, shook and porgies. 1) Fort DeSoto Park in south St. Petersburg leads the list on Florida ’s left coast.

The gem of Pinellas County, this 1,136-acre park comprises Madeleine, St. Jean, St. Christopher, Bone Fortune and Mullet keys and complements an impressive angling menu with campgrounds, picnic shelters, bathroom/shower facilities, concessions, bait shop, dog park and historical significance. Expect a good mix of shook, trout, redfish and flounder, along with mackerel, cobra, pompano, sharks and mangrove snapper at the piers.

fishing florida saltwater bait shrimp bobber fun wintertime fin starting forrest fisher hang cast
(Source: www.sharetheoutdoors.com)

Boardwalks over the protected dunes offer access to the redfish, flounder and trout waters on the marsh side, but surf fishing is the big attraction. From whiting, pompano, bluefish and mackerel; to sharks, cobra and bull reds, this is one of Western Florida ’s premier shore fisheries.

The main causeway bridge and the smaller one right before the island offer sleepyhead, black drum, shook and snapper opportunities. The piers light attract bait fish, so expect everything from shook, to trout and the occasional bluefish to stake out these feeding spots.

With beach shallows, the coastal Gulf and deep channel waters within easy reach, anglers find a steady mix of the inshore regulars, along with passing tarpon, king fish and sharks. Summer is prime time for big shook staging for their spawn; while fall sees voluminous bait fish schools exiting the inner bays, with several predators in pursuit.

Empty lots and bridge pull-offs may be convenient and cost-efficient, but a cursory scan for questionable types who clearly not fishing might offer a safety/vehicle security clue. Tip: Local businesses rarely budge on the “restrooms are for customers only” thing (many have signs posted), so don’t expect any mercy, no matter how much you grimace and squeeze your knees together.

Commercially produced aluminum pier/bridge carts with wide wheels will easily transport your rods, tackle bag, cooler and live bait well over pavement, rocks or sand; but for casual duties, a garden utility cart (some models fold) will suffice. Waiting until you feel that cool downdraft can leave you and your gear exposed and out of options; so know where the nearest shelter lies and have a bug-out plan just in case.

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(Source: www.saltstrong.com)

It starts with respectful spacing, so if you approach an area where others are fishing, take note of where their lines are set (short, long) and allow reasonable buffers. BC Performance Long Sleeve Shirt The Coca Coast AC-Tech™ Moisture Wicking Performance Long Sleeve T-shirt for men is designed to out-perform and protect against all the sun can dish out, while keeping you cool and dry.

This ultra lightweight shirt is ideal for all types of outdoor activities like fishing, sailing, swimming, hiking, surfing and any of your favorite sports where you need to keep cool and shield your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Our 100% Microfiber Polyester fabric provides UPF 50+ Solar UV Protection, the best and highest rating in the industry.

This also includes Anti-microbial technology, which is highly stained resistant and helps keep the shirt odor free. If you’re looking for a high quality performance long sleeve t-shirt for a day on the water, we’ve got you covered.

Water clarity in the backcountry estuary environments is at a peak during the cooler months of the year, making it easier to locate sea trout on the grass flats near sandy potholes. One of the best rigs for winter trout fishing is a soft plastic shrimp lure on 15 to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader beneath a popping cork.

Target winter redfish along mangrove shorelines up in brackish spring-fed rivers, around bends or deep holes, where the water temperature tends to stay more constant following a cold front. You can use a soft plastic shrimp, or try the Ned rig, which is most commonly used for winter bass fishing, but works equally well for targeting redfish during the cooler months of the year.

saltwater florida fishing chancey know snook anglers saltstrong capt ben must complete putting massive guy young
(Source: www.saltstrong.com)

Black drum can be targeted in bays or estuaries around rocks, deeper holes, and pilings as well as offshore around structure near mud, sand or she'll bottom. Found nearshore and offshore from central to south Florida triple tail are most often spotted around channel markers and crab trap buoys.

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. All you have to do is decide whether to go on an offshore fishing adventure or experience the fun of sight-casting on the flat grassy areas.

Drive an hour northeast of Orlando to Mosquito Lagoon for the opportunity to see the red drum and spotted sea trout being poured in the apartments. Approximately 21,000 acres of Mosquito Lagoon are part of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, so the waters are pristine and offer some of the best inshore fishing in Florida.

Grouper, red snapper, amber jack, king mackerel, and shark are just a few of the species you can catch with heavy-duty saltwater fishing gear depending on the type of trip and season. If you’ve visited many of the freshwater fishing spots in Orlando, consider a family saltwater excursion to Port Canaveral.

Another option for a day trip saltwater fishing in Orlando is the hour and a half drive to Tampa Bay. Because of the longer drive, it is a good idea to take a shore excursion for tarpon, shook, spotted sea trout, or red drum.

florida fishing saltwater east poll saltstrong areas salt coast sportfishing deeks peter central tv
(Source: saltstrong.com)

All you have to do is decide whether to go on an offshore fishing adventure or experience the fun of sight-casting on the flat grassy areas. Drive an hour northeast of Orlando to Mosquito Lagoon for the opportunity to see the red drum and spotted sea trout being poured in the apartments.

Approximately 21,000 acres of Mosquito Lagoon are part of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, so the waters are pristine and offer some of the best inshore fishing in Florida. Grouper, red snapper, amber jack, king mackerel, and shark are just a few of the species you can catch with heavy-duty saltwater fishing gear depending on the type of trip and season.

If you’ve visited many of the freshwater fishing spots in Orlando, consider a family saltwater excursion to Port Canaveral. Another option for a day trip saltwater fishing in Orlando is the hour and a half drive to Tampa Bay.

Because of the longer drive, it is a good idea to take a shore excursion for tarpon, shook, spotted sea trout, or red drum.

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Sources
1 myfwc.com - https://myfwc.com/fishing/freshwater/sites-forecasts/
2 myfwc.com - https://myfwc.com/fishing/freshwater/sites-forecasts/s/
3 www.cyberangler.com - https://www.cyberangler.com/fishing-reports/florida/
4 preweather.com - https://preweather.com/fishing-forecast/united-states/new-smyrna-beach/
5 tides4fishing.com - https://tides4fishing.com/us/florida-gulf-coast/st-petersburg/forecast/fishing