Hopefully this will show as my first post in the FS Forums. I looked for a new member introduction discussion to no avail so I'm taking the liberty of posting here.
My wife and I live on Merritt Island (right next to Doc's Baithouse and Ms. Apple's Crab Shack, literally). I am in my early 60s and have started fishing again after not having fished in any way, shape, or form since my mid teens. But I took the grandkids out one time and they got excited and then I got excited. And now I find myself addicted. Where we live I can watch the evening news and then take the elevator downstairs and have a lure in the water (Indian River) in under two minutes. I can walk five minutes in either direction to expand the variety of areas I can fish.
My big problem is that I have no idea what I am doing. My early fishing was in California streams for rainbow trout stocked by the Forestry Service. The only thing you had to know was how to put salmon eggs on a small hook and drift them into promising spots. I am finding myself with information overload here in Florida with a bazillion varieties of fish, equipment, strategies, and opinions. But I am also finding that I absolutely love just casting and retrieving watching the sunset over Cocoa across the river. So I am trying to figure things out and have been buttonholing everyone and anyone who seems to know more than I do about Florida fishing, which is pretty much anyone over the age of three I encounter down by the river.
My addiction coincided with Sports Authority going out of business and I find myself with enough inventory to open my own small bait and tackle shop but with a stunningly ignorant variety of mismatched stuff and equipment of dubious quality. I am slowly but surely starting to normalize my equipment by improving stuff when my original purchases were trashy and trying to learn how to use the stuff that is OK.
Finally, I belong to a number of forums in different fields and am looking forward to getting advice on how to do things here in Florida. And should it ever happen that I offer advice to anyone I want to encourage you in advance to ignore it, at least for the next couple of years.
Larry on Merritt Island
Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!
I would say there are a couple things to "up your game" quickly.
First, Join the local fishing club...( FSFA Florida sport fishing assoc) I believe they have split meetings into North and south since Brevard is so long.
Second...Do you own some type of watercraft? ...knowing this will help in giving you tips. It need not be motorized...since the tips will be pointed toward what you have to use.
Third...Do not pigeon hole yourself to your dock...chances are it is not the secret spot of spots :wink
Right now we are in the start of the mullet "run"...if you want to start reeling in fish...You should arrive at the beach 45 minutes before sunrise....and be heading home by 8-8:30 ish unless you are on a hot bite. Do whatever you chose during the day...and return to the beach about an hour till sunset...fish till it's dark...go home. Watch what others are doing...and if they are catching...copy them as best you can...no need to re-invent the wheel.
Also, I don't know if you are a pauper...or a millionair.... but the surest way to shorten the learning curve if you have 'the means" ....Is to hire a guide who specializes in what you want to do... and do that every few months your first year...since patters will change thru our seasons ( Yes..we have them...Hot..then brutally hot...and then Dantes holy heck I'm melting....plus 1 week a year of " Man, It's cold" :grin )
Also, look at the top of the page in East central ( your "region" ) ...there are guys looking for "crew" to share expenses and "work"...You can learn a lot by fishing with a lot of different folks.
Hope this helps...
Many things to do.
Knots to be unraveled
'fore the darkness falls on you
This is great advice.
All I have to add is buy and learn to throw a castnet. Live bait works a lot better typically and especially will for you because you are a beginner. Good luck out there.
One odd thing about my fishing so far is that I find I am much more interested in fishing than in actually catching fish and convenience is a really big factor for me. But, I like to learn how to do things and knowing if you are fishing correctly is only validated by catching fish. Go figure. This means for now that sticking with artificial lures is my plan (don't have to catch, store, transport them alive). Low set-up and recovery time are priorities.
Duckman, I definitely want to try the beach fishing. My wife LOVES the beach while I'm usually bored to tears. I bought a set-up for surf cast and retrieve fishing so I'd have something to do at the beach. So far my only attempt to use them was during a seaweed run so I was reeling in globs of kelp or something but I can see spousal brownie points in my future if I start suggesting taking her to the beach more often.
Duckman again, I LOVED your season list. I find myself looking out the condo window for how much breeze there is (trees blowing). If it is still I know I'll get eaten up by No-See-Ums and swelter and stay home. But a nice breeze means head for the water.