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About kroc

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  1. I'll chime in on the east coast/west coast discussion. From a surf perspective, there is no comparison east coast hands down. I live on the gulf coast and I can say you're most likely never going to hook a blacktip or tarpon on a popper in the surf. Snook can be caught from the beaches but not consistently and reds are a rare sight. If kayak fishing or wading flats is your thing, the gulf coast is the place to be. The opportunities are endless but the red tide has been a persistent thorn in the side the last few years. There are also some very productive piers gulf side. PS Zcoker: Going to attempt another mullet run trip late sept early oct. Batten down the hatches. Lol
  2. In the Pinellas County area there have been some outbreaks of algae bloom. Not nearly as widespread as last years red tide but definitely affecting select areas. Hasn't been getting a lot of press, but did see an article in the Tampa Bay Times about it last week. In my opinion this area is still hasn't fully recovered from the red tide outbreak and this recent algae bloom isn't helping matters. Also been hearing about an influx of seaweed on the east coast but again some areas are affected and others aren't.
  3. I've never used circle hooks for most of my fishing years. After moving to SW FL 5 years ago I began fishing for trout, snook, and redfish. Snook and redfish were no problem but I lost count of how many small speckled trout swallowed the J hook. I had no choice and switched to circles. Both have the pros and cons. I like to be able to control the hook set with the J hook but I have to say once hooked it is much harder for a fish to shake a circle hook although you will miss some hookups because of the inability to set the hook.
  4. The gulf coast just can't catch a break. Was fishing at one of the local passes today and everything seemed fine. Doesn't seem to be affecting the gulf beaches but if I were a business owner I'd be a little nervous. People visit this area for various reasons but if I were coming from out of state just for vacation purposes, no doubt I'd be heading to the east coast of FL.
  5. Called the FWC today about some questionable water in the Boca Ciega Bay. They informed me it is a blue green algae bloom which originated in Sarasota. Its affecting mostly bay/intercoastal waterways. Appearance is not blue green however, it is more of a dark brown floating muck. It is not like red tide that affects your breathing and I didn't notice any fish kills, but still nasty
  6. Experienced something similar recently in the Boca Ciega Bay (Pinellas County), which is no where near where you are. It looked like some kind of floating muck. Something just aint right with the intercoastal waters of the gulf coast. However, the gulf beaches in Pinellas look pretty good from my observations. Could they be dumping sewage again like they did a few years back?
  7. From my limited observations, this was definitely necessary. All three of these species have been scarce this spring in the waters I fish. Must be tough on charter captains though. A client pays 300-400 bucks or whatever and can't even bring his inshore slam home. Oh well, hopefully most see the value in catch and release.
  8. Given your limited time, your best bet to get it on some action is by fishing live shrimp on a popping cork. Get yourself a Cajun thunder popping cork, some live shrimp and find a fishy looking spot to wade fish. This method often attracts trash fish like catfish and ladyfish but with a little luck you'll get into some redfish or speckled trout.
  9. You really want to be on the east coast of FL to target big Jacks. In my experience the gulf coast jacks are usually pretty small.
  10. Water temps were mentioned in several posts. As of right now (3/27) water temps on the gulf coast are below average. They have been in the 65-69 degree range. That could change in a blink but right now I wouldn't recommend fishing the gulf beaches for snook. I would concentrate on rivers, creeks etc... Again that could change quickly with a week of 80 degree temps but the air temp in Pinellas county right now is 61. That's crazy cool for late March.
  11. Yeah I imagine the traffic can be a deal breaker for some. I will say this about central/southern FL in general: If the year round warm weather is not important to you, this is not the place to live. I believe there are better options if you don't mind dealing with cold weather. For me, being able to fish 12 months a year as opposed to 6 or 7 is a big deal. It definitely makes the many other shortcomings of this state more tolerable.
  12. Probably should have mentioned surf fishing and fishing in general is drastically different than east coast. In my opinion the bays that feed into the gulf are the most productive areas as well as the many passes along the gulf. "Soaking bait" is not a method I put a lot of time into down here as the beaches are mostly flat and lack structure. Snook do often run the first trough along the beach but this is not always a productive or reliable occurrence. Nonetheless, there are enough fishing options within proximity to the gulf to keep most anglers happy
  13. You mentioned Tampa in your original post so I'll comment on that area. Moved 5 years ago to Tampa/St. Pete area. Lets start with the weather. The summers are extremely hot but assuming you don't work outdoors I find them manageable. In July and August I'll hit the beach at 6AM for fishing till 11AM at the latest. In these months you can't fight the midday sun but again you make adjustments. Evenings are still hot but after 7PM it can be at least bearable. It's futile to try to do anything outside from 12-6 at least for a 3 month period. If there is one thing that will drive you out of this area it is the traffic. For me it is way more bothersome than the heat. The roads are completely inadequate for all the year round residents let alone the snowbirds and tourists. It is just something you have to deal with. Strip that away and the area really is a paradise with beautiful gulf beaches, major sports teams and two trendy downtown areas if that is your thing. Waterfront real estate is getting very pricey but if you can afford it it's the way to go. The quality of living increases drastically as you near the water. A few miles away is sketchy neighborhoods, high crime, homelessness, transients etc.... Hope this helps some.
  14. As far as red tide goes the latest FWC map (Feb 15th) shows no red tide anywhere in Florida. The question now is how does the tens of thousands of fish that died impact the fishery going forward.
  15. That's really scary. Dolphins are among the smartest fish in the sea, if they can't avoid the red tide what chance do the other species have.