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camping/fishing advice

Hi neighbors to the south.... I spent a few days fishing down here in Sept-Oct and my lady wants to finally come along with me and do a overnight camp now that the weather is cooling down. Where would you guys recommend we go? Looking to have a nice beach or chickee with good fishing nearby, and wont leave my boat high and dry on a low tide. Prefer to avoid the crowds, as that's why we trailer away from our crowded tourist filled waters to the north.

BTW- Anyone catching reds with consistency? This time of the year is my favorite time for them but they have been hit or miss in my experience. Last Saturday we fished storterbay/oysterbay/chevalier bay and they eluded us all day. Managed to catch some cookie cutter snook, nice trout, and some flounder. But we left scratching our heads thinking we should have at least gotten one red out of all the ground we covered.


  • whiguitawhiguita Posts: 8 Greenhorn
    I was just down in Marco wednesday fishing with a buddy of mine and right by the dome houses there is a little beach that had one tent up and i thought to myself "what a cool little spot to camp out in" but obviously everyone will probably be out there on the weekends unless you go on a week day. My other suggestion is go on google maps and look around to see if you can find a little beach, as for the reds we saw a ton of them out on the flats and we threw everything but the kitchen sink and them and could not get one of them to bite. Ive only fished the 1k islands area a hand full of times so maybe a more experienced angler there can help you out with those.
  • TarpoonTarpoon Posts: 61 Deckhand
    Chickees are all down in the park - you can find them on any map, you'll need to reserve it and get a permit. Not being high and dry at low tide down there is another question and someone with more knowledge than I would have to jump in on. If you aren't familiar with the area be very very careful unless you have a flats boat - you'll get stuck.

    As whiguita said - Cape Romano is a great place. Any of the outside beaches along Kice Island would be great. The beach at Blind Pass (Kice Island) would keep your boat wet but there is going to be at least boat traffic there at Romano and anywhere on Kice Island. Panther Key, Hog Key and Whitehorse all have very nice campable beaches if you want to go further south.

    Redfishing was consistent up until this front blew through. It was strong enough that I would say all bets are off. We could return to fall pattern or it may turn to a winter pattern. If water temps stay down the Reds will start moving inside. If they come back up look for hard bottom and oyster bars on outside points. If you start catching trout in numbers - it means winter pattern and you will need to look inside for Reds.
  • mtbrider85mtbrider85 Posts: 341 Deckhand
    Thanks for the advice, I was hoping to camp inside the park though. Although not having to check in with the ranger station seems like its less of hassle. Im sure there are tons of great areas, just would like to find one that wont dry out on a low tide, has a good scenery, and I can make a few cast in the evening/early morning :cool:
  • BobberBobber Posts: 943 Officer
    Ranger station EVC is self-checkin via a log book up until about T-day, no fee either. Great spot inside is Plate Creek Chickee or Lostmans5 (ground site). Always 2' minimum at their docks, lots of productive spots within trolling motor distance from these sites. No fires allowed inside, but I'll pass on the Kumbaya moments for a secure dock.
  • mtbrider85mtbrider85 Posts: 341 Deckhand
    Thanks Bobber! I did a little research today and called the station, and found out till the 16th its free, and you can self check in. That will be nice since I was hoping to be on the water at first light. Hopefully the no-seeums are manageable. I am contemplating Rodgers River chickee, Highland Beach(looks to be bad on a low tide though), and New Turkey. plate creek looks interesting as well. Im just trying to decide if I want to put my fishing effort in on the outside or the interior.... tough to say with last weeks cold front. I'm also unsure if the mouth of Rodgers river is passable on a low tide this weekend. looks skinny... Im thinking if I do Rodgers river chickee I will have to run up the broad, then through "the cutoff" back into Rodgers river into the bay, then to the chickee.
  • BobberBobber Posts: 943 Officer
    Noseeums are also called sand gnats for a reason. If you are camping this coming weekend I'd recommend an inside spot as the winds look to be all over the compass. Mouth of Lostmans is an easy run from Plate, should be going off in the AM when that big riser kicks in.
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