April Vacation in SW Florida- What do I bring?

I'm a native NJ fisherman, and coming to the Fort Myers/Cape Coral area in April.
My plan is to ship a rod or two and looking for advice on length and power, etc. to bring.

I'm looking to do some surf fishing around Sanibel Island or Ft. Myers beach. I'm also hoping I can find a local willing to have someone join them on the boat, so I assume whatever would be best for the Caloosahatchee, or Gulf coast boat fishing.

Some posters in another forum I belong to suggested light tackle for up to 3/4 lures, but that seems way to light for what I'm looking to do.

Most of the rods I have are 7ft M or MH, as well as a 9ft 3/4-3oz surf rod. My reels are SSV 4500 and 5500. 20/30lb Sufix 832 respectively.

Or is it more feasible to buy something when I get there?



  • CaptainBlyCaptainBly Posts: 1,888 Captain

    I think those should be about right. I use 8' MH with 4000-5000 size reels with 20 lb braid and then usually flouro leader for most things. Tarpon I upsize to a 6500 and 65 pound braid. I think you are pretty much right on point with those setups.

    I don't have anything as long as a 9' rod but don't do surf fishing either and that might be handy for that.

    Tight lines...and have a great trip.

    In Loving Memory of James Zielske, January 19, 1957-July 5, 2013
  • ScottaenglundScottaenglund Posts: 77 Greenhorn
    edited February 15 #3

    So many varieties of fishing. If your near shore, and fishing some of the public reefs, I’d bring your bluefish rods, same as if you were heading out to the ridge, off of LBI. If you are heading out further for grouper, you probably want conventional rods with 80lb braid, and 40 to 60lb mono leaders. Inshore you can go light, 4000 series reels and a good medium action 7footer. I don’t surf fish, so no experience in that area. I’m not sure what my April schedule is yet, but send me a PM and I am always looking for company. I’m not a guide, but I never come home empty handed.

    However there a ton of great guides in the area, who can give you a day to remember, take some time to check them out.

  • Hobbs28midsouthHobbs28midsouth Posts: 65 Greenhorn

    What are you looking to do? I am going to sanibel again in March. I have only fished from land so this is land based advice.

    3000 stradic on Medium light avid inshore with 10 pound sufix. 20# floro for beach snook if they are there. It will be early for that but I have caught them in the past. I will also use it to throw small paddle tails in Ding Darling and to catch baitfish. Caught snook up to 35 -38 inches off the beach without issues

    4000 stradic on Medium avid inshore with #20 sufix. 20 to 30 floro depending on the water clarity. I use this to fish the open water of blind pass and to fish cape coral yatch club fishing pier. Good for the passes if your not around structure. A big snook will have his way with you around structure on this outfit. I found this out first hand at the sanibel fishing pier.

    Lexa 400hd on a TI MH 2pc muskie rod. 65# sufix. I use this to throw big swimbaits and flairhawks around cover like the blind pass bridge and sanibel fishing pier. Just got this outfit last summer and have yet to catch anything on it but I think it will do its job.

    I am also bringing a BG5000 on a 8'6" TI MH spinning muskie rod. #40 j-braid (it will hold 500 yards). I will use this rod to throw out cut bait or if ever see any tarpon on the beach (I know its not going to happen but humor me). New outfit as well which i will leave down at the in-laws since its a one pc rod and a pain in in the butt to travel with.

    If I had to take two rods it would be the 4000 and the Lexa. It would be hard though I love that 3000 and am a light tackle guy by nature

    Pm me if you have any fishing questions. I am not an expert by any means but I can steer you away from some time wasted. I wish I had my first trip down there back. I spent 5 days running around not cathing anything.

  • NoreastSalt3295NoreastSalt3295 Posts: 508 Officer

    Surf fishing here is nothing like jersey, don't bring your 9 ft surf rod and cast as far as you can from the beach, you won't do nearly as well as using a 7ft medium action rod and focusing on the first 150 feet of water from shore. Bring a 4000 and a 7' medium rod for anything inshore, and an 8' h rod rigged with 50 lb braid for tarpon and such.

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