RedGreen

Thinking of moving south

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I currently live in PA, about an hour west of Philly, and am unhappy with the distance I have to travel to fish saltwater, as well as the state of saltwater fisheries up in the northeast. The chesapeake bay is an option I am aware of but I simply refuse to fish for striped bass in their spawning grounds given the poor state of the population and the fishing pressure it sees. Next year will be the last year I fish for stripers or anything else in the NE (if I even follow through with the couple trips I have thought up), and am in search of a new place to fish in salt water from shore and from a small boat. Not interested in offshore fishing just yet.

 

From what I can tell, Florida is a better place to me. I'm very much a striper angler, and much enjoy fishing with artificials and flies in inlets, back bays and especially the outer beaches but am open to new things if it means serious pullage on my line. I've been reading articles, forum posts, and generally done as much research as I believe I can without getting out there myself. The possibility of snook and tarpon from the surf, especially at night (my favorite time to fish) has me very interested. But as I'm not a local I'm not in touch with the area like you guys are.

 

So, I'd like to ask: is it worth it to move 1100-1200 miles south to Florida for surf/inshore fishing? I am aware that red tides are a big problem but from what I can tell vicariously the fisheries down there are much healthier than they are up here. No stripers down there I am fully aware which is sad as it's my favorite fish but snook tarpon reds specs and jacks really have my attention.

 

I've been thinking of taking a solo trip to my families small condo in Cocoa Beach this winter, but am unsure if it's worth it to drive so far to fish for a week and be completely shorebound. My research I've done seems to indicate fishing can be very good but it can be hard to find fish. May not be much payback over only a week especially if winter weather will rearrange the structure like Noreasters do in my more familiar waters around cape cod, but I'm not even sure if that's a thing in Florida.

 

Obviously there are a lot of gaps in what I think I know, and I feel I'm at a point where it's not being obnoxious to ask questions on a public forum rather than figure it out myself.

 

What does everyone advise? I definitely can't stay where I am. Freshwater fishing just doesn't interest me like saltwater does. It never has. I have to get closer to the salt.

 

Thanks in advance for everyone's thoughts, suggestions and guidance.

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Red, come down and visit a few times. Get yourself a list together of what you are looking for in an area. We did a lot of traveling leading up to moving. We had our wish list and what we needed to have to satisfy our needs. Stick with that list, you’ll find the area you like. We spent time touring, looking and researching. I spent very little time fishing, that was the back burner if time allowed. 

 

Once you get south of Tampa and closer to Ft Myers on SW side the winters are warmer, less deep cold fronts but the summers are very warm and sticky. We are just now getting out of the extreme humid weather, it’s still warm at 90*. 

 

Visit, visit and visit, before you choose any one area. 

 

Yes we have red tide and we have had our extreme of it, some more is going on now and hopefully it’s short lived. The trade offs are the warmth year round. If I don’t fish we do other things, your time will be taken up by other items. 

 

Where we are is a tourist location all year long, during half of the year it’s crowded but you learn to get around that. Do errands early, dinner early if you want to go out, we tend to eat in more during our winters. 

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Good advice above, to visit several areas and see what you like. I've fished the Keys for tarpon, yellow snapper, mangrove snapper, grouper, tilefish, mahi mahi. Also fished Pine Island Sound between Pine Island and Captiva/Sanibel for redfish, ladyfish and another species that escapes me right now. All this with guides on boats. So while you can fish from the shore or bridges and have success, my best luck has come from boat fishing. Were I to move to Florida, I'd find an area with the fish I like, get a boat, and start exploring. Good luck! 

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I say it all the time- if my wife and I had jobs lined up as good or better than where we are now, I’d kiss this place (SE PA) goodbye.  I’ve spent some time in N FL from Jax to St Aug. You can fish blue water, surf, inter coastal, and bass ponds all in the same day. I’d run up here now and then for family, deer camp, skiing, etc. I would not miss this place one bit.  All the best to you if you go, I’ll be jealous. 

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7 hours ago, RedGreen said:

Freshwater fishing just doesn't interest me like saltwater does. It never has. I have to get closer to the salt.

2 hours west of you, but raised on the salt NE-NY, I can fully understand.. I've been wondering about S. Carolina, 

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On 10/6/2019 at 3:04 PM, saltfisherman said:

Red, come down and visit a few times. Get yourself a list together of what you are looking for in an area. We did a lot of traveling leading up to moving. We had our wish list and what we needed to have to satisfy our needs. Stick with that list, you’ll find the area you like. We spent time touring, looking and researching. I spent very little time fishing, that was the back burner if time allowed.

Exactly what I was looking for.

 

I have spent some time around the cocoa beach area but not as intimately as my waters in the NE. That sounds like good advice, will have to make several trips down south and figure out how I like it.

 

Currently I am in school studying as a multidisciplinary engineer, and had the notion in mind of moving south and enrolling for my masters in environmental engineering. But I believe a better option would be to stay where I am for my degree, and in the meantime take trips and explore the area to see how I like it.

 

On 10/6/2019 at 9:20 PM, Good2Go said:

Good advice above, to visit several areas and see what you like. I've fished the Keys for tarpon, yellow snapper, mangrove snapper, grouper, tilefish, mahi mahi. Also fished Pine Island Sound between Pine Island and Captiva/Sanibel for redfish, ladyfish and another species that escapes me right now. All this with guides on boats. So while you can fish from the shore or bridges and have success, my best luck has come from boat fishing. Were I to move to Florida, I'd find an area with the fish I like, get a boat, and start exploring. Good luck! 

I am personally not too keen on boats in the more traditional sense if I can help if but if it's what I have to do to get into good fishing then I'm more than willing to get a boat. I am already planning on getting a pedal kayak for the future for greater flexibility in mobility on the water, which will be almost exclusively saltwater as freshwater as I know it just doesn't interest me. Freshwater bass don't get me excited. Peacocks maybe, haven't seen one in person before.

 

Thanks everyone for your advice. Still listening if anyone else wants to give their two cents, but as of now I am thinking the smartest plan for the next year or two would be to finish up my BS degree, get my masters in PA, while getting the masters take trips to explore FL in key areas, and apply to jobs where I want to live if I choose to head to FL and not somewhere else. Certainly can't stay in PA.

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Red, the boat idea is simple here. We have two boat club rental places by us. Join by the year, reserve a boat and us. You can use a different one each time out. 

 

 

Also, based on your final work field and income. Research the pay by the area you choose to live in. I know here the incomes are less than other locations for the same position. Im a superintendent for a electrical contractor and my pay is significant less than other states. It’s part of living here. If you get lucky work in one place and get picked up let’s say here with a greater income through relocation by the company you work for. 

 

Some other info., 

elec Bill is similar to NJ

water Bill is similar 

no oil heat cost

home taxes can be cheaper, based on area you’d live

housing prices are more expensive closer to water. 

vehicle ins is similar if not a little more in cost here

no state income tax

 

 

 

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Every year snowbird season tends to start a bit earlier. This year already we have some around, it’s early but they are in town. 

 

They become a love hate thing. It’s nice the season comes in because of the added events that go on during the winter months. By February you want them out of here, you’ve had enough and just want the roads and restaurants back. 

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I live in NJ but my parents have had a place in florida for the last 30 years so I do a fair amount of fishing down there each year.  Once you figure out some of the bites down there you'll forget all about striper fishing.  Bass get alot of glory and renown up here because theyre pretty much all we have as far as a consistent inshore sport fish. But lets be honest, bass really arent that great of fighters, they fight like wet rags unless you hook a decent one in big current; they make 1, maybe 2 half hearted runs that can be stopped in their tracks with sufficient gear.  Most fish of similar size in florida would drag a NE striped bass backwards. 

 

Honestly if you like striped bass fishing you'll LOVE snook once you figure them out.  Id describe snook fishing as a striper/largemouth hybrid.  You can jig and inlet with ripping current or flip weedless baits into mangroves in stagnant backwaters for them.  Add to that you can hook into just about everything else snook fishing: tarpon, jacks, redfish, trout, snapper, barracuda.  Whats our bycatch up here? Pretty much just bluefish and the occasional weakie (good luck finding those).  This is all without discussing the "offshore" fishery which is usually no more than a mile or so off the beach.  I think the first sailfish I ever landed was less than a mile from the Boca Raton inlet.  You want pelagics in the NE and youre more than likely running no less than 50 miles.

 

If you're moving for fishing and can handle the heat, Florida is the place to go.

 

 

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Good stuff everyone, despite my infrequent posting I am reading and I really appreciate everything you've mentioned here. 

 

On the snowbirds I'd probably figure out the places they don't go and make them my commonplace. I'm not anti-social but I am asocial and when I'm fishing or just doing my thing I usually like people to just leave me be and I like to be far from them if I can. One reason I like night fishing so much. Usually you're all on your own. 

 

On 10/9/2019 at 10:28 AM, bbfish said:

If you're moving for fishing and can handle the heat, Florida is the place to go.

Heat is no problem, I've been down many times before and loved it. I get really down when the weather gets cold and leaves fall anyways so south seems like a better fit just for living purposes.

 

I agree the bass get a lot of attention and are very prized but that's kind of the only major gamefish they have up north. Lose stripers and you've got flounder and tog most of the year, maybe blues though their numbers are down it seems and of course inshore pelagics in fall. Not much choice there. 

 

What you say about snook has me really intrigued because I really do enjoy striper fishing a lot. From what I can tell snook behave similarly around the mullet run, staging in current waiting for it to bring food to them. I don't know if this is the case at other times of the year or during the day except winter where I know they go into the mangroves and shallow warmer waters. But the fact that I can use my striper gear and techniques in some ways has me a little pumped. Add to that the fact they fight harder and im getting pretty itchy to take a ride south. Do they like rougher waters too? Not like the turbulence we get up north but does any sort of whitewater/wave action get them going? My favorite place to fish up north are the outer beaches, when there's nothing but clouds overhead, wind in my face and a healthy rolling surf. Even just a bit of that in Florida (if it gets the fish going) would make me really happy. 

 

Unfortunately it is far so trips won't be terribly often. It's an 1100 mile drive to get to Cocoa Beach from where I am, so I'd have to plan for probably a week or two of free time. But in the next year I would like to see if I can visit say 5-10 locations along the east coast and see what happens. I am not adverse to the gulf side either, but from what I can tell there are more red tides there and it's also more peaceful type weather. Not quite my cup of tea. But I could be wrong. That's the purpose of the thread, figure out what I think I know and what I actually do know, and gather the rest of the information I need. 

 

Thanks again everyone, much appreciated replies. 

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I moved in June.

1. Pay is less than half of northeast

2. Food espically meat is 3x more in suoermarkets. Dontbget fooled by BOGO deals. They raise prices first

3. My allstate car insurance in NY was 100 dollars a month. Same policy here was 350 a month. I went with Geico 135 a month witb a lot less coverage. It sucks.

4. Electric is more for smaller place here.

5. Water same as up north.

6. If you can sell your place and profit. Good you can buy really nice for 200 to 300k.  Low taxes.

7. Stay far away from HOA s.

8. No heating oil is a plus.

9 Crime and drug use is rampant. Only thing gated HOA s are good for.

10. Its freekin really hot and humid all summer. Doesnt bother me.

11. Make sure you can live on the income you will have.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Have you visited in August and September?

It's a different level of heat, humidity, and bugs. People never figure bugs into the equation. But when it's a 105 heat index and you are being swarmed it can make you question life choices.

 

Edit: this is coming from a life long resident of Southwest Georgia.

Edited by mwhitt80

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