Suggestions, Recomendations, Help?

AnchorDropsAnchorDrops Posts: 32 Deckhand
Not sure if I am jumping the gun but a buddy and I have reservations to stay at Port of the Islands (Tamiami Trail) in two weeks, flying into St Pete/Clearwater. We had planned to target baby tarpon and snook on fly tackle in the canal. Sounds like the area is a complete mess, high stained water, power still out, fish kills, etc.

Now, not trying to be reactionary but given we have non-refundable flights we are certainly planning to be in Clearwater the evening of 10/4/2017 (barring another tropical system) and am seeking some advice/recommendations in case we need to shift our plans away from Tamiami Trail.

We plan to be shore bound/wading with 6wt-10wts in tow, as well as some backup light spinning tackle. Suggestions on areas that would afford some consistent opportunities for snook, jack, ladyfish, reds, trout, and even baby tarpon for a couple of experienced anglers (me being a native Floridian that grew up in Jupiter)? Willing to drive 3-4 hours from Tampa/St Pete area. Any waterfront "fish camp/resorts" that give us shots at fish off of docks or wading right on site? Any places that offer use of kayaks/canoes/boats with your stay? Doing this on a bit of a budget and trying to keep rooms under $150/night if possible. So far, looking at a place in Dunedin as well as one near Jupiter.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!!!

Replies

  • AnchorDropsAnchorDrops Posts: 32 Deckhand
    Hello, McFly?

    Anyway, going to give it a week or so to see if (1) POI gets power and full cell service back and (2) if the water quality improves.

    Was hoping there were some adventurous DIY'er types here that had suggestions for my little fishing trip.
  • mro1mro1 Posts: 77 Greenhorn
    Food for thought....
    I take it that you will have a car rental. You can pick up a kayak pretty cheep on craigslist and a easy to mount car "rack" should be available at RV places.
    Your chances of "catching" would go up....
  • AnchorDropsAnchorDrops Posts: 32 Deckhand
    mro1 wrote: »
    Food for thought....
    I take it that you will have a car rental. You can pick up a kayak pretty cheep on craigslist and a easy to mount car "rack" should be available at RV places.
    Your chances of "catching" would go up....
    Are you suggesting we buy used kayaks upon our arrival for 3 days of fishing? We definitely would consider renting them, for sure.
  • sunflowersunflower Posts: 431 Deckhand

    I fish in the Venice-Sarasota area, about an hour's drive away.
    Snook, jacks, and ladyfish should all be easy to target on the Gulf beaches, especially closer to passes.
    Night fishing for snook around dock lights and near bridge lights is epic. You can target some of the docks and bridge lights from Venice to Sarasota ("snook alley") from shore. It is extremely current dependent.
    There are some classic redfish and snook areas near Clearwater and Caladisi Island ... a local fly shop should help.
    The "Ringling Flats" near Sarasota, and "Long Bar" in Sarasota Bay are wadeable. You can find where both are easy with a Google search.
    Sea trout are in all these flats.
    Baby tarpon spots are priceless, and no one is going to give up those locations.
    Hope this gets you started.

    Mark

    grace finds goodness in everything ...



  • AnchorDropsAnchorDrops Posts: 32 Deckhand
    sunflower wrote: »

    I fish in the Venice-Sarasota area, about an hour's drive away.
    Snook, jacks, and ladyfish should all be easy to target on the Gulf beaches, especially closer to passes.
    Night fishing for snook around dock lights and near bridge lights is epic. You can target some of the docks and bridge lights from Venice to Sarasota ("snook alley") from shore. It is extremely current dependent.
    There are some classic redfish and snook areas near Clearwater and Caladisi Island ... a local fly shop should help.
    The "Ringling Flats" near Sarasota, and "Long Bar" in Sarasota Bay are wadeable. You can find where both are easy with a Google search.
    Sea trout are in all these flats.
    Baby tarpon spots are priceless, and no one is going to give up those locations.
    Hope this gets you started.

    Thanks, this was very helpful info if our original plans fall through. I was already looking at a place in Venice to stay at if we needed to change plans. What size bait is along the beaches right now?
  • idlerickidlerick Posts: 215 Deckhand
    Have you thought about heading north? Real estate is pretty pricey to host fish camps between Tampa and Naples, and below Naples was hit pretty hard, like POI and Everglades City were. Still no power there, I'm hearing.
    I can't give you specific businesses, but up around Crystal River there's some fantastic fishing, and I don't think they suffered much damage, certainly not like Naples did. Plenty of motels, guides, boat rentals. The Plantation has great rooms and food, and the guides will pick you up at their dock. Dan Clymer (sp?) up there does both inshore and offshore trips, not sure about ff-ing. Google the area and see what comes up.
    I'd drop POI as even a possibility, frankly. That place changes hands more often than most people do their skivvies, and food service wasn't their strong suit last I heard. If E.C. is on generators, you might have to drive to Naples for a burger.
    Good luck!
    :)
  • AnchorDropsAnchorDrops Posts: 32 Deckhand
    idlerick wrote: »
    Have you thought about heading north? Real estate is pretty pricey to host fish camps between Tampa and Naples, and below Naples was hit pretty hard, like POI and Everglades City were. Still no power there, I'm hearing.
    I can't give you specific businesses, but up around Crystal River there's some fantastic fishing, and I don't think they suffered much damage, certainly not like Naples did. Plenty of motels, guides, boat rentals. The Plantation has great rooms and food, and the guides will pick you up at their dock. Dan Clymer (sp?) up there does both inshore and offshore trips, not sure about ff-ing. Google the area and see what comes up.
    I'd drop POI as even a possibility, frankly. That place changes hands more often than most people do their skivvies, and food service wasn't their strong suit last I heard. If E.C. is on generators, you might have to drive to Naples for a burger.
    Good luck!
    Thanks for the suggestion. I did put Cedar Key on my radar as accommodations are reasonable and boat/kayak rentals readily available. Redfish and Spanish mackerel should be easy to find there now, I imagine?

    I went to school in Gainesville and tried Crystal River and Ozello several times with marginal success. I'll do some additional research to see if it fits our budget and interests.

    POI has been under the ownership of Sunstream Resorts for several years now and apparently is doing much better. I know a guy that lives close and he didn't discourage me from staying there. If the power isn't back on by the end of the weekend I'll be cancelling my reservation there. I'm also getting regular updates on the water quality down there, which as of yesterday is high, dirty, and dark.
  • AnchorDropsAnchorDrops Posts: 32 Deckhand
    Looks like power was restored at POI so hopefully they will reopen soon and the water levels drop a bit.
  • AnchorDropsAnchorDrops Posts: 32 Deckhand
    Reports from POI is that the hotel is supposed to open tomorrow but a guy I know down there went around in his boat over the weekend and said its an absolute mess, high dirty water, debris, and dead fish.

    We booked a waterfront place in Ruskin instead, should be able to find a fish or two there I imagine, plus we save on driving time.
  • Sage ManSage Man Posts: 195 Officer
    "but up around Crystal River there's some fantastic fishing, and I don't think they suffered much damage, certainly not like Naples did. Plenty of motels, guides, boat rentals. The Plantation"

    I have fished with a guide named Kyle Messier at Crystal River and he's awesome. We actually offered to have him and his family come stay with us in Alabama...he's that kind of guy. I touched base with him after the storm and all is well with him.

    You might consider touching base with Kyle.
  • AnchorDropsAnchorDrops Posts: 32 Deckhand
    Sage Man wrote: »
    "but up around Crystal River there's some fantastic fishing, and I don't think they suffered much damage, certainly not like Naples did. Plenty of motels, guides, boat rentals. The Plantation"

    I have fished with a guide named Kyle Messier at Crystal River and he's awesome. We actually offered to have him and his family come stay with us in Alabama...he's that kind of guy. I touched base with him after the storm and all is well with him.

    You might consider touching base with Kyle.
    Thanks, as mentioned above we found a place on the south side of Tampa Bay with cheap off-season rates and plenty of shoreline access as well as rental kayaks if we care to expand our reach. Plus its a quick shot to Bradenton/Sarasota, Venice, or St Pete in the car if we decide to explore more.

    Appreciate the suggestions.

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