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Old 02-12-2009, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Gardner, Massachusetts
17 posts, read 42,926 times
Reputation: 17

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My wife and I purchased a home in Bradenton last March - we plan on retiring there full time as of my retirement in Feb. 2010.
I am looking for a boat (around a 25' center console) and plan on taking a Coast Guard course to get a better handle on boat operations in and around the Gulf....and for safety.
I'm from Massachusetts and have mostly experience with fresh water species here in New England...
Does anyone have any ideas as to where I could info - where I could talk to some others who have the knowledge and experience of salt water fishing in this area?
Like:
1. Kinds of fish
2. Where specifically to go
3. Bait
4. Methods
5. Pointers
6. Boat landings/access points

Any ideas or info would be appreciated.
My personal email is: rgv55@yahoo.com

Thanks

Rick
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:28 AM
 
127 posts, read 280,467 times
Reputation: 21
I too am an avid fisherman. I don't live in FL (yet ) but I have fished there once, so I'm no expert. We went fishing for Sheep Head in and around the pilings on the piers. We used fiddler crabs, no weight and just watched the fish and the line. Good fun and great eating.
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,938 posts, read 5,970,591 times
Reputation: 824
If you check out a Boaters World Store they have a great selection of books and maps on fish in the area. Most come with pictures and detailed information too. Usually the men working there have a pretty good knowledge on stuff like that.

Try looking into the Coast Guard Auxillary too-- My husband and I are members. You go through a whole training period that teaches you about navigation, and other things. It will also give you a great deal of information on the vessel laws in Florida. Just Google Coast Guard Auxillary Sarasota and it should pull up some info. From what I remember, it was free to be member, but you had to pay for certain things.. It was ALOT of fun
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
6,103 posts, read 14,257,031 times
Reputation: 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oobie119 View Post
If you check out a Boaters World Store they have a great selection of books and maps on fish in the area. Most come with pictures and detailed information too. Usually the men working there have a pretty good knowledge on stuff like that.

Try looking into the Coast Guard Auxillary too-- My husband and I are members. You go through a whole training period that teaches you about navigation, and other things. It will also give you a great deal of information on the vessel laws in Florida. Just Google Coast Guard Auxillary Sarasota and it should pull up some info. From what I remember, it was free to be member, but you had to pay for certain things.. It was ALOT of fun
Good suggestions Oobie!
The one thing you will never lack down here is advice on where and how to fish, or what to fish for. Just stop in and talk to anyone in any bait and tackle shop! Everyone you speak to is an expert, and has also - remarkably - caught the biggest fish of what ever species you're looking for. Really - Good Luck! There is a big variety of fish species here, and methods for fishing for them. If you really want good advice though, spend a few dollars - get a good recommended local guide and have him take you out for the day. It will be the best way to learn to fish and what to fish for here, and you will definitely learn some different techniquies.
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,683,948 times
Reputation: 2855
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickV1955 View Post
My wife and I purchased a home in Bradenton last March - we plan on retiring there full time as of my retirement in Feb. 2010.
I am looking for a boat (around a 25' center console) and plan on taking a Coast Guard course to get a better handle on boat operations in and around the Gulf....and for safety.
I'm from Massachusetts and have mostly experience with fresh water species here in New England...
Does anyone have any ideas as to where I could info - where I could talk to some others who have the knowledge and experience of salt water fishing in this area?
Like:
1. Kinds of fish
2. Where specifically to go
3. Bait
4. Methods
5. Pointers
6. Boat landings/access points

Any ideas or info would be appreciated.
My personal email is: rgv55@yahoo.com

Thanks

Rick
1. Kinds of fish-Snook, Redfish, Trout, Sheepshead, Grouper, Snapper, Flounder, Bluefish, Mackerel. May-July you can catch Tarpon but they are not good eating.
2. Where specifically to go--Your best inshore fishing is going to be around the docks, bridges and in the grass flats-Sheepshead, snook, and redfish love it here. Watch for where the birds/pelicans are. They like to eat the bait fish. Where there's bait fish there's bigger fish feeding on them.

Bradenton has a ship wreak-the Regina or old sugar barge. The barge is about 100 yards off Bradenton Beach. It's easily located above the surface because you can see the metal post that sticks up out of the water. You can catch some really nice grouper there.
3. Bait- I always prefer live shrimp or live greenback shiners.
4. Methods-If you are looking for a general all purpose rod & reel I would suggest 12-15 pound test line, an open face spinning reel that will hold about 250-300 yards of 12/15 pound test line, and a 7' pole. I prefer Penn reels and Andy Tournament #12 line. St. Croix Premier is a good rod. This should run you about $200 or so. This set up will work well for snook, redfish, snapper, flounder and a few others. You'd have to use a bigger rig for some of the larger grouper. When fishing for grouper I always use a sliding egg sinker on the line.
5. Pointers-Make sure you adhere to size and amount limits on each fish. It would probably be a good idea to learn some of the basic fishing knots like the blood knot, uni knot, Bimini Twist and Spider Hitch. You might want to go out with some of the local fishermen/captains in the area as well. I was born in Bradenton and have lived and fished the waters of SW Florida for years. A few local captains that I would recommend are Capt. Sly Dixon , Capt Clive Burgess (http://www.fishinglongboatkey.com/logbook.html - broken link) , and Capt Scotty Moore (http://www.snookfoundation.org/index.php?src=directory&srctype=display&id=18&view =companies_detail - broken link). I've been fishing with all of them and they each have different styles and things they can teach you.
6. Boat landings/access points-Here's a list of boat ramps in the Bradenton area.

Good luck and happy fishing

Last edited by SoFLGal; 02-12-2009 at 07:28 PM..
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:52 AM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
6,103 posts, read 14,257,031 times
Reputation: 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFLGal View Post
1. Kinds of fish-Snook, Redfish, Trout, Sheepshead, Grouper, Snapper, Flounder, Bluefish, Mackerel. May-July you can catch Tarpon but they are not good eating.
2. Where specifically to go--Your best inshore fishing is going to be around the docks, bridges and in the grass flats-Sheepshead, snook, and redfish love it here. Watch for where the birds/pelicans are. They like to eat the bait fish. Where there's bait fish there's bigger fish feeding on them.

Bradenton has a ship wreak-the Regina or old sugar barge. The barge is about 100 yards off Bradenton Beach. It's easily located above the surface because you can see the metal post that sticks up out of the water. You can catch some really nice grouper there.
3. Bait- I always prefer live shrimp or live greenback shiners.
4. Methods-If you are looking for a general all purpose rod & reel I would suggest 12-15 pound test line, an open face spinning reel that will hold about 250-300 yards of 12/15 pound test line, and a 7' pole. I prefer Penn reels and Andy Tournament #12 line. St. Croix Premier is a good rod. This should run you about $200 or so. This set up will work well for snook, redfish, snapper, flounder and a few others. You'd have to use a bigger rig for some of the larger grouper. When fishing for grouper I always use a sliding egg sinker on the line.
5. Pointers-Make sure you adhere to size and amount limits on each fish. It would probably be a good idea to learn some of the basic fishing knots like the blood knot, uni knot, Bimini Twist and Spider Hitch. You might want to go out with some of the local fishermen/captains in the area as well. I was born in Bradenton and have lived and fished the waters of SW Florida for years. A few local captains that I would recommend are Capt. Sly Dixon , Capt Clive Burgess (http://www.fishinglongboatkey.com/logbook.html - broken link) , and Capt Scotty Moore (http://www.snookfoundation.org/index.php?src=directory&srctype=display&id=18&view =companies_detail - broken link). I've been fishing with all of them and they each have different styles and things they can teach you.
6. Boat landings/access points-Here's a list of boat ramps in the Bradenton area.

Good luck and happy fishing
Wow! I didn't know that you knew that much about fishing too! I just spent the afternoon rigging up some various strength leaders tied to #1, #2, #4, & #5 size hooks with swivels and slip sinkers on them. I like to have a large variety all prepared and labled in plastic zip lock bags so I can change up my rigs quickly - even though I have more poles than I can use! LOL I have some of the rod and reels that you mentioned too, as well as some heavy rods and reels for trolling for Tuna, Marlin, dolphin, shark, tarpon and some of the larger fish like grouper. I just haven't gone out into the gulf yet, but gotta go soon!

I've been fishing the harbor and the canals for mackrel, redfish, snook, snapper, and any other thing that wants to check out my dinner plate. LOL But, so far I haven't done too much or been to successful. I'm about to take my own advice and hire a real fishing guide.
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,683,948 times
Reputation: 2855
Funny you mention that course cause my parents made my brother and me take the course when we were about six or seven. We lived on a barrier island only accessible by boat and started boating at a very young age. The course was very worth while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oobie119 View Post
If you check out a Boaters World Store they have a great selection of books and maps on fish in the area. Most come with pictures and detailed information too. Usually the men working there have a pretty good knowledge on stuff like that.

Try looking into the Coast Guard Auxillary too-- My husband and I are members. You go through a whole training period that teaches you about navigation, and other things. It will also give you a great deal of information on the vessel laws in Florida. Just Google Coast Guard Auxillary Sarasota and it should pull up some info. From what I remember, it was free to be member, but you had to pay for certain things.. It was ALOT of fun
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,683,948 times
Reputation: 2855
BigHouse, If you're thinking of hooking up with a guide you need to call Sly Dixon. He knows Charlotte Harbor like the back of his hand. I went out with he and his brother Andy one time (in the early 80's) and we caught 52 redfish (before the limit laws were in effect). Even got the pic in a photo album to prove it. Sly's family owns Eldred's Marina right before the Boca Grande causeway. He's a good ole boy and has been fishin' these waters for years

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big House View Post
Wow! I didn't know that you knew that much about fishing too! I just spent the afternoon rigging up some various strength leaders tied to #1, #2, #4, & #5 size hooks with swivels and slip sinkers on them. I like to have a large variety all prepared and labled in plastic zip lock bags so I can change up my rigs quickly - even though I have more poles than I can use! LOL I have some of the rod and reels that you mentioned too, as well as some heavy rods and reels for trolling for Tuna, Marlin, dolphin, shark, tarpon and some of the larger fish like grouper. I just haven't gone out into the gulf yet, but gotta go soon!

I've been fishing the harbor and the canals for mackrel, redfish, snook, snapper, and any other thing that wants to check out my dinner plate. LOL But, so far I haven't done too much or been to successful. I'm about to take my own advice and hire a real fishing guide.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Venice Florida
1,380 posts, read 5,628,289 times
Reputation: 877
I fish the area from Sarasota bay south to Pine Island sound.

Much of the really good inshore fishing may require a shallow draft boat. Most bay boats will float in about 12 inches. A jack plate can help you run in shallow water. A good bay boat will allow you the pleasure of fishing in sheltered waters when the wind is up (most of the cool season) and off shore when the seas lay down.

Learning to throw a cast net will help you acquire the bait that will make your days on the water more successful. You may want to look at owning 2 nets one for "white bait" and one for threads. The white bait needs a smaller weave so you don't gill net the bait, and the treads require a net that falls faster so a larger weave is needed. I throw a 11' radius net with 1.5 lb /ft weights and 1/2" weave for threads, and an 8' radius net 1.2 lb/ft weights and 1/4" weave for white bait.

Lady fish can be caught on **** and spoons and used as bait, both live and cut.

Snook is one of my favorite fish, I fish around docks, bridges and mangroves in the cooler months. I select deeper holes near the structures. They tend to eat better at night and on a moving tide. I fish the passes and just along the beach during the summer months. The summer is strictly catch and release. Actually I rarely keep a snook. The area just north of Venice inlet is known as snook alley, and you can watch snook in the lights.

Tarpon is my passion. here's where the threads and ladies come in, although I also use hard heads and sail cats if I catch them small enough, otherwise I just use the tails. Tarpon are around all year but the big guys come in great numbers starting the end of april and many hang around until the first cold front moves through. You can find tarpon in Boca Grande pass. But I prefer to fish Charlotte harbor and the Peace river. You can also fish just off of the shore anywhere between boca grande and Tampa bay.

Good luck and tight lines.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
6,103 posts, read 14,257,031 times
Reputation: 1242
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFLGal View Post
BigHouse, If you're thinking of hooking up with a guide you need to call Sly Dixon. He knows Charlotte Harbor like the back of his hand. I went out with he and his brother Andy one time (in the early 80's) and we caught 52 redfish (before the limit laws were in effect). Even got the pic in a photo album to prove it. Sly's family owns Eldred's Marina right before the Boca Grande causeway. He's a good ole boy and has been fishin' these waters for years

Thanks, I when I get ready to schedule something I will look him up! I've learned that you really need to work with a local fisherman if you want to know how to fish the area you are in. Each area / tributory fishes differently and the techniques of one area don't hold in a different area.

In MD you fish for Rockfish by trolling, and using planer boards which makes the pattern of your rigs wider, Planner boards allow the baits to trail equal distance from the back of the boat, and allow the baits to swim 100 feet out on each side of your boat essentially making your boat 200 + feet wide. Reef fishing, wreck fishing, and mangrove fishing are all different, and the styles are different as well!
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