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Anyone have some advice/tips for surf fishing in SW Fla summertime? Loaded down with a pair of prissies, 5'2" 105 wife and equally unathletic 10yr-old girl, I'm lucky to get away for a couple of night-fishing boat trips.....Anybody had good success on the beaches? Already have plenty of gear that translates to surf-fishing the Gulf...
To add tOSU flavor--just ordered some OSU board shorts for the trip, and ready to debate anyone on Urbs and SEC oversigning. I promise to be an obnoxious ambassador for tOSU for anybody who takes my "I'm a Buckeye" bait...
When and where are you going?
Ft Myers Beach, July....(have a tax practice, so can't get down there except for summer break for the little-un)....
Caught 2 groupers and an est. 300# goliath off a night headboat last July, but would be satisfied with some action off the beaches, far North end, specifically...Thanks
You sound like a great rep for TOSU!
By the way surf fishing is for red neck douche bags. Stick to the boat and catch a real fish without attracting sharks close to kids swimming.
Keep the kids in the pool, and fish away.
I am a CPA on the other side of FL on Merritt Island. My parents live in Ft. Myers. Lots of interesting places around Ft. Myers Beach. Also, I found a Buckeye Bar on Summerlin by the Publics store (FL grocery store.) Great sunsets also.
Husker and Stoyboy are on it. FL is unfair fishing. Drum, trout, snook, tarpon, ladyfish, sharks, +. I'd personally go with jigging a gulp or using a simple carolina rig with live bait. (minnow or shrimp). Float rigs like Storyboy suggested are prime as well. A Red will kill dead cut squid, mullet, or shrimp if they find it...but so will the sharks. Throwing a silver/gold spoon with a fast retrieve will attrack Spanish Mackeral if they are schooled up.
If you go the charter route, which is expensive ha, you're damn near guarunteed to be put on fish.
Also, don't hesitate to rent a fishing kayak and play around with that if the fishing is slow...helluva time if you get into a school of Reds.
A side note, if you catch a Jack or a sting ray, no matter how big, throw them out on a carolina rig. Kill the ray first and cut off the tail. Goliaths love them. Make sure you have enough rod, and at least 80 lb. braid with a hell of a leader. Either 200 lb. Fluoro or steel. We catch them at night this way by the phosphate docks of Boca Grande. Get ready for a battle with a 200-700 lb. fish!
Do not throw that rig directly near the cover. They will simply put you around a piling. Throw the rig 150-200 yards from structure, and pray that you can stop them before they get there. They will patrol away from structure at night.
Throw it back!! Best bait...10w30 . 3-eyed fish don't make it to my table...... Don't believe the BP bullshit about it being all cleaned-up.
Goliaths, Snook, and Tarpon are all throw backs. No worries.
You can keep a snook during the right time of year and they are slotted so it has to be te right side. Arguably the best tasting dish you will ever eat. Or throw it in the cooler and cover it with ice and pray like hell. You will go to jail if you get caught but its sooooo good its almost worth it! Just kidding......
Rent a kayak from Port Sanibel Marina and fish Shell Creek. Great for kids, lots of reds and snapper.
I have eaten snook, and it is truly delicious. I am never in Florida in the fall/winter when you can keep any. Always the summer.
Bru's Room in Coral Springs is a good Buckeye bar owned by a Buckeye great!
Disagree. You can't be an a-hole about it, you've gotta use some judgement. Don't go casting on even semi populated beaches. But if you're vacationing you probably don't have a boat, and you'll have access to the beach early morning and evening when there's practically no one there. There are also lots of places like tidal rivers at the ends of barrier islands where no should or does swim because the current is extremely dangerous. Plus piers, groins, and other places people don't swim.
As for sharks, fishing for bonnetheads in the surf is a blast. You can also hook redfish. Use a fish finder rig: sinker slide on your line with a heavey enough pyramid sinker to just keep your bait in place, maybe two, three or in really heavy surf four ounce. Attatch about three or four feet of clear 125 pound test leader with a big circle hook, like a number five, attatched with a perfection loop, on the end. A good tackle shop will be happy to help you rig up to sell you the gear. The best bait are small live crabs. You may be able to buy them, but if I'd invest in a decent cast net for a couple of reasons. You will catch crabs, and you'll catch other fish you can use as bait, cut or whole, with this or different rigs (same basic setup smaller hooks for other fish and small sharks). And throwing the cast net is entertainment in itself, just takes a little practice if you don't know how. You'll sometimes catch foot long mullet, finger mullet, all kinds of stuff. And you can do that on a crowded beach. My kids and their Ohio cousins built many a "marine park" in the sand with captured fish.
Circle hooks are good for this application. The shark will pretty much hook itself, and in the corner of the mouth. Makes catch and release less traumatic, for you and the shark. I use bait runner reels, a separate light drag that the fish can take and run with without feeling much resistance. Hook the crab through the side of the carapice. If it's big, crack it in half.
There's all kinds of surf fishing you can do, but trust me, this is a memorable experience for kids from the midwest, and you. I'd take a couple of reels and rig one smaller as well, for smaller fish and sharks, probably with a J-hook. Bonnetheads cruise up and down the beach, looking for crabs. They're harmless, and you'll often see them tailing in shallow surf. When you hook one, you'll know it. They're typically three to four feet long.
I live in South Carolina, but I'm sure it applies in Fla. Good luck, wish I was staying in a beach house for a week! My in laws and relatives come down every couple of years and we rent a place on Isle of Palms. We always have a great time casting and surf fishing. The little kids have fun running around with hand nets in tidal pools trying to catch fish.
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