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First time Fishing Florida Little Gasparilla looking for advise

The family is headed to Little Gasparilla Island the end of March We are renting a home with a dock toward the south end of the island just north of Bird Key. I'm looking for any insight about the fishing mostly from the dock but I might do some shore fishing and we are looking into renting a boat.

I want to build a small tackle box for the trip. What should be in it?

I know Eldrids has bait but should I try to catch my own on the island or just try artificial ?

What rods should I bring and what lbs. test line?

What species should I target for dinner?

I do fish some at home (Michigan) but assume I know nothing.

I have looked into the license and regulations

Thanks in advance for the fishing advise and any advise on the area in general.

Replies

  • whipachawwhipachaw Posts: 505 Officer
    I want to build a small tackle box for the trip. What should be in it?
    Small swivels, hooks ranging in size from #2 to 2/0 ( the smaller hooks for sheepshead, snapper and pompano, larger for trout, reds, snook), egg sinkers from 1/2 oz to 2 oz, variety of pompano jigs, some heavy spoons like kastmaster for Spanish mackerel and bluefish, 20 and 30 lb fluorocarbon leader material, maybe heavier if you will target snook a lot. If you want to shark fish from the beach at night, get some steel leaders, and maybe some larger weights too.
    I know Eldrids has bait but should I try to catch my own on the island or just try artificial ?
    If you can cast a net, bring one, free bait is a good thing. Sand rake for catching sand fleas in the surf is nice. Try and buy fresh shrimp over frozen, even if they just go into a Ziploc in your cooler, they will be way better than old frozen ones.
    What rods should I bring and what lbs. test line?
    I use a light set up for most back bay stuff. Usually 12 to 14 lb test, mono, if its braid ill go up to 24lb or so. Something a little bigger if you want to target snook around docks, but from flats or the beach you'll be fine. Something even bigger yet with lots of line for sharks from the beach.
    What species should I target for dinner?
    Sheepshead and snapper around dock pilings and rocks, even seawalls. Any structure and fish right up against it. Be quick on the hook set with small hooks and sinkers, baited with pieces of shrimp or sand fleas. From the beach you will have pompano, whiting, sugar trout and possible speckled trout, snook and pretty much anything wandering by. Sand fleas and shrimp on smallish hooks for the pompano, sugar trout and whiting. If you are getting larger fish you can upsize baits and hooks. Using the pompano jigs twitched along the bottom you may also pick up mackerel and bluefish as well as just about anything else. Try the spoons especially if you see birds and/or topwater action from schools of fish for macks and blues. Remember that the fish don't know what youre fishing for. In saltwater, you just never know what you might catch so I didn't list every single thing you may come across.
  • pretzelbpretzelb Posts: 120 Deckhand
    The family is headed to Little Gasparilla Island the end of March We are renting a home with a dock toward the south end of the island just north of Bird Key. I'm looking for any insight about the fishing mostly from the dock but I might do some shore fishing and we are looking into renting a boat.

    I want to build a small tackle box for the trip. What should be in it?

    I know Eldrids has bait but should I try to catch my own on the island or just try artificial ?

    What rods should I bring and what lbs. test line?

    What species should I target for dinner?

    I do fish some at home (Michigan) but assume I know nothing.

    I have looked into the license and regulations

    Thanks in advance for the fishing advise and any advise on the area in general.

    I sent you a private message..Give me a shout if you like.

    Brian
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