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July Florida trip...

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Will be down mid July for a 9 day getaway...Our desire is to hang on the southwest coast (thinking Venice but may consider further south) for about 4 days, take a 'day off' from the vacation for travel, then spend the final few days either the southeast coast or the keys. This will more or less be a family vacation with my wife and daughter, but I will be given ample opportunity to fish early and late most days.

 

First my personal fishing goals...Specific for west coast: find snook, reds, spanish macs, ladyfish, or whatever light tackle sport fish I can find from shore (may or may not try for shark at night - depends on how much time I put into these other species). I'd probably be switching back and forth between a flyrod and a light spinning rod.

 

Once I hit the either the east coast or keys, I'd like to include either tarpon, bones and barracudas. Also, if I stay more so in the Lauderdale/Miami area, I'd like to take my daughter on a half day snapper/grouper trip, basically just helping her catch fish, but have a 'flat line' out for either a stray king or albie (you call them bonita down there).

 

So that brings me to the 'questions'....biggrin.gif

 

1) first, are the species I mention available in each of these areas during July?

 

2) How long is the drive from either Venice (or other points south, including Naples) over to the east coast and maybe even the keys?

 

3) My daughter wants to take a ride on an Everglades airboat. Do you guys recommend those in general and if so, any company better than the next?

 

4) I've driven along the Tamiami Trail heading from Miami to Naples in the past and noticed a creek (yeah, we saw some alligators in therecwm13.gif )...is there any reason to stop to wet a line there for a short while? Is there either peacock bass, baby tarpon or some other decent game in that?

 

We just put this into the planning stage and I'm not sure if some of this may be too much to fit into a week + 2 day vacation. That's why I'm hoping some of your answers will either cement these plans or go the other way and redirect our focus to a more specific location.

 

We'll either fly into Sarasota or Ft Myers and leave out of either Miami or Ft Lauderdale. One of the best things I heard my daughter say was that she didn't want to do the Disney thing, but would prefer to 'discover' the 'real Florida' - that was music to my earsbiggrin.gif

 

Btw, I'm currently looking at keeping this as a DIY trip - although I haven't completely ruled out a guide. If I did go for a charter, it would only happen if we were to stay in Southeast FL and forego the keys - I'd go on a flyfishing trip out on the reef to catch kings, dolphin and albies. I don't think I'd book a trip to catch bonefish on the fly and after my last experience tarpon fishing in the keys, I don't think I'd do that again - the guide (originally from Boston, moved to Grassy Key) guaranteed a 'jump'. Well when one single tarpon picked up our chunk of mullet, jumped and spit the hook in a matter of a second, the 'guarantee had been fulfilled and I was out of luckkooky.gif That was 14 years ago this past June, on my honeymoon.

 

Anyway, thanks for listening - we do have some time since I'm also in school (pursuing a nursing degree) and I'll have to wait to see what the summer schedule is before I start booking. There will be a two week slot in July, I just don't know the exact weeks yet, except in general, it'll probably be later in the month.

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The drive from Miami to Naples is about 2.5 hours with no traffic., If you're coming into Miami you should expect traffic though so make it 3.

 

From what I hear July is good for tarpon, bones, permit inside biscayne bay. Smaller tarpon in the bay and larger in the ocean that time of year. Should find snook too. It seems the winter is slower here and fishing heats up when the weather does. I am definitly no expert though, I just moved here. I'll let you know when july comes for sure wink.gifcwm27.gif I'm sure someone more knowledgable will chime in though.

 

 

Oh and as for fishing the creek alongside the highway while crossing the state, I think they call it Alligator Alley for a reason! Gators aint worth messin with. If you want some peacocks they can be had in the canals all around Miami and FLD.

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I'll do all your west coast questions:

 

Yes all the species are available in July.

 

Venice to Miami looking at 4 hours / Naples to Miami 3 hours (this would be with no accidents or other major road restrictions).

 

Skip the airboat, you get wind blasted, and getting hit by BIG bugs at 30+ miles an hour hurts. Unless you are looking for the I did that once thing, than go for it.

 

The canal along 75 Aligator Alley holds peacock bass, not sure about 41 Tamiami Trail.

 

If you want to DIY then stay in Fort Myers, Pine Island is some of the best Snook, redfish,trout fishing in the State. You would have to rent a boat but if you know what you're doing you will have a blast.

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Check ou ta trip kayak fishing in the everglades. Out of everglades city/chokoloskee. You fish, the wife and daughter hunt for great shells. took my wife and four boys on a one day trip with Charlie Wright. Fantastic stuff right there. PM if you have further questions. Or google everglades kayak fishing. he also does wild orchid trips, hiking and biking trip through the swamp area. Bug, bugs, bugs, bugs...there will be bugs!!! Except on the water. Scott

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