JerseyMike609

Florida Fishing Tips

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Every year I go down to Florida after the Holidays to visit family in the Tampa/Clearwater area and have a hard time finding fish in the Salt so I end up mostly Fishing Freshwater.Im just not sure what fish are active in early January down there or what type of water I should be fishing. If anyone could give me a pointer or two thatd be great even the littlest advice would be very helpful.Thanks!

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I only went once in December. I was warned a storm had just blown through and ruined the fishing, but I caught a few wherever I went. Didn't get around to trying for pompano, but there were various jacks, snapper, and grouper all around. Last fish was a bonnethead that ate whatever I was feeling in, made for some fun. If I remember correctly, every fish I caught was a different species, which was pretty cool.

 

I just Carolina rigged shrimp, targeted rocky shorelines and piers.

 

This was on the Gulf side, so even more unhelpful. That said, I just walked into a tackle shop and asked what bait and terminal tackle I should buy for whatever was biting. That rarely fails anywhere I fish.

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Thanks,I'm going to the west coast so that was helpful.I always do well freshwater fishing but being on foot kind of limits me and I feel like a fish out of water fishing saltwater down there.

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Ft Desoto state park (wade fishing)

North end of Skyway bridge (pier and wade fishing)

North end of Anna Maria Island both gulf side and beach side.

 

Have fished all with some success in the past but have not fished these areas recently.

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11 mins ago, Mangomania said:

Ft Desoto state park (wade fishing)

North end of Skyway bridge (pier and wade fishing)

North end of Anna Maria Island both gulf side and beach side.

 

Have fished all with some success in the past but have not fished these areas recently.

Awesome that is going to be extremely helpful,I'll post a pick if I catch anything worthy of a photo!Thanks alot...

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2 hours ago, JerseyMike609 said:

Thanks,I'm going to the west coast so that was helpful.I always do well freshwater fishing but being on foot kind of limits me and I feel like a fish out of water fishing saltwater down there.

Oh, I was thinking of Tampa as being north of Miami for some reason. I was in the Marco Island area. I'd expect a word or two with some locals and you should be able to keep busy enough,

 

There are online calendars that are pretty good for a general idea of what might be up.

 

 

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20 mins ago, ermghoti said:

Oh, I was thinking of Tampa as being north of Miami for some reason. I was in the Marco Island area. I'd expect a word or two with some locals and you should be able to keep busy enough,

 

There are online calendars that are pretty good for a general idea of what might be up.

 

 

I will deffinatly look into those,Thanks!

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Mike, I live future south than where you’d be visiting but it all holds the same. This time of the year is sheepshead, black drum. Fish any style of structure, bridges and docks. If you find an old section of dock and is only sticks at this point, fish it and cover all the posts from all sides. Fish mangroves and do a bit of cast and run idea. Don’t spend too much time in one, keep moving. Look for indents in the edge, could be a little deeper pocket that goes back a foot. Cast right next the mangrove just like you’ll going to get snagged in them. The closer the better. To far away for them and you’d get into catfish. 

 

Rent a kayak if you can, buy 50 live shrimp and a bait bucket. Use 1/8 oz egg sinker or split shot and size 1 hook. You don’t need circle hooks for inshore. Don’t buy frozen shrimp, it’s a waste of money. They don’t hold up well. Even if a live shrimp is dead use it too. If you find the sheepshead and they do school up, it’s like fishing tog they are bait stealers. Use a half shrimp, they will still eat them. 

 

Small jigs, 1/8 oz and small rubber tails. You can use these same jigs tipped with shrimp. 

 

Line wise, I use 10-15 lb braid with a 20 lb leader of couple foot and tied with FG knot. 

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1 hour ago, Stonesipher said:

I am going to be down there (same area)  last 3 weeks in Jan, thinking I might want a head boat or 6 pack partner. PM me if interested.

Stone, any of the headboats limit the size of fish being they do short range, short hour length trips. There is one boat out of St Pete’s. You’d be better off on a 6 pack and do longer range trip. It’s tough to get on a 6 pack as a single. 

 

If you want to get on a boat come down to Ft Myers. Look up Seatrek. They do Dry Tortoga trips. I’m on them Jan 17th. You get on board fri morning and return sun early am. They do have bunks per person, mates are good, they will put you on fish and not sit long on non-productive. 

 

I dont sleep too much. Leave dock at 10, about 12 I’ll hit the bunk, up 5-6 hours later. From there you need to be at the rail. Snapper bite good at night. In between moves I’ll catch an hour or less as time allows. Expect to be up 24-26 hours. 

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10 hours ago, saltfisherman said:

Mike, I live future south than where you’d be visiting but it all holds the same. This time of the year is sheepshead, black drum. Fish any style of structure, bridges and docks. If you find an old section of dock and is only sticks at this point, fish it and cover all the posts from all sides. Fish mangroves and do a bit of cast and run idea. Don’t spend too much time in one, keep moving. Look for indents in the edge, could be a little deeper pocket that goes back a foot. Cast right next the mangrove just like you’ll going to get snagged in them. The closer the better. To far away for them and you’d get into catfish. 

 

Rent a kayak if you can, buy 50 live shrimp and a bait bucket. Use 1/8 oz egg sinker or split shot and size 1 hook. You don’t need circle hooks for inshore. Don’t buy frozen shrimp, it’s a waste of money. They don’t hold up well. Even if a live shrimp is dead use it too. If you find the sheepshead and they do school up, it’s like fishing tog they are bait stealers. Use a half shrimp, they will still eat them. 

 

Small jigs, 1/8 oz and small rubber tails. You can use these same jigs tipped with shrimp. 

 

Line wise, I use 10-15 lb braid with a 20 lb leader of couple foot and tied with FG knot. 

Thanks,Shrimp should be the only bait needed? Mabye a mirror lure and a paddle tail for artificials?

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3 hours ago, Stonesipher said:

I am going to be down there (same area)  last 3 weeks in Jan, thinking I might want a head boat or 6 pack partner. PM me if interested.

I went out on a party boat last year but the only thing in season localy was grunt a smaller boat would be nice.Thanks 

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