From UK to Fishing Paradise: Fishing Road Trip Florida :)

MaxLondonMaxLondon Posts: 7 Greenhorn
 Hi fellow sport fishermen and women, tight lines to you all from sunny England  :)

Finally, I have been able to organise a fishing trip to Florida which has been in the pipeline for a few years and now it is finally here! Happy days ! 

I am a lifelong fisherman and will be joined by two friends, one fellow fisherman and one rookie who's just got the bug as we say here. The fishing bug is ultimately what keeps us all coming back. Growing up in the UK, you dream about the kind of fishing that can be enjoyed in Florida so I am super happy about the fast approaching fishing road trip Florida. 


The first fishing rule that my grandad taught me was to always get local information and learn from fishermen that have experience which is why I am here. This story hasn't been written yet so any fishing tips, location, bait and gear suggestions would be more than appreciated. The plan is to land in Orlando, be a tourist for a day then switch to fisherman mode, chart a course to Key West and stop at several top fishing spots suggested by you guys as knowledge is priceless. 


Suggestions and Recommendation 
 
 
  • Cool places to fish
  • known fish havens
  • Bait/Lure selection + Rigs
  • venues where locals would fish and hang out/eat


any other suggestions would be amazing :smile:

Many thanks

Max 






Replies

  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 19,940 AG
    Welcome Max...

    No trip would be complete without a trip to Sebastian inlet.....arguably " The fishiest " land based place in Florida. 

    http://www.sebastianinletdistrict.com
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,335 Captain
    I've been fortunate enough to have a few regular visits from UK anglers over the years - hope you have a great trip.  Different parts of my state fish completely differently so you're smart to ask a few questions.  One thing you can count on is that if you book a guide or a charter you won't have to worry about a fishing license since most of us have a license that covers all aboard...

    The area that I work in is Everglades National Park during daylight hours (the salt and brackish portions of the Park from Flamingo to Chokoloskee (the Ten Thousand Islands area...) - just nothing like it anywhere else.  If you want a brochure to review - just send an email request to [email protected] and you'll have one by return mail.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 19,940 AG
    I agree with Cap't Bob....the Glades really are a must see.....and there is no better person to show you.

    I was going with the assumption this was "self guided"...  If you need more info on the Sebastian area..let me know.  
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • tankardtankard Posts: 6,920 Admiral
    Keys have everything.
  • VikingViking Posts: 137 Deckhand
    We can give you some better advice if you can tell us what month you are going to be in Florida and how long you will be here.  If I could only fish two places in Florida it would be in the Everglades and the Keys.  I would suggest if you can afford it to get a guide for the Everglades.  The Everglades are unique and they are very hard to fish from the shore.  In the Keys you can catch a lot of different varieties from shores or rent kayaks at reasonable rates at some of the state parks.  If you can afford it a guide here is well worth your money but again if I had to choose between the two, spend your money in the Everglades.  A few years back I took a coach tour of England, Scotland and Wales with my family.  The tour director told me I was the first person in 30 years that had brought a fishing rod on the bus.  I was sure glad I brought my fly rod because I was able to enjoy some good trout fishing at some of the stops in Scotland.  Below is a video that I put together for traveling fishermen and at the 20 minute mark it talks about my top three lures for saltwater.  On my YouTube channel, if you are interested, you will find other videos on fishing in the Everglades, 10,000 Islands, Keys and many other places in Florida.  If you want to talk let me know and I can PM my number to you.  I am not a guide but will be happy to help you out with information.  Hope you and your friends have a great time on your trip!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w6Q3CpQEqY
  • DrKDrK Posts: 242 Deckhand
    When are you coming, how long are you staying, what type of fishing do you want, what's your budget?  You will have a blast with whatever you decide on. 
  • MaxLondonMaxLondon Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    Hey guys thanks for your replies its all much appreciated. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. The sun hasn't  come out today over here but luckily I am headed to the sunshine state to catch proper fish :) 

    duckmanJR
    Sebastian inlet has been fully penned into the rota heading south from Orlando which is the start point of the road trip, 
    Unfortunately, due to the tourist situation I have been roped into doing the tourist thing for a day but after that I have 9 days to catch some lovely fish. Sebastian inlet looks like a must. I like spinning and sight fishing, chasing fish up and down the beach. The trip will consist of self guided and proper guided creek and boat stuff but due to the alligator factor the guiding will be needed for some parts of the journey.  Here we consider deer as a hazard so FL bushcraft is a must ;) 


    Bob
    Thanks Bob I will send you an email mine is [email protected] (it was funny at the time  B)  
    I have been the Everglades on a university geography trip back in 2008 which was brilliant! A guide is a must when you want to fish properly and the Glades will need to be done properly. 

    Can you shed some light on how the fishing licence and fishing regulations over there? Here, up until recently you had to get your yearly rod licence at the post office but now it can all be done online for inland freshwater fish and non migratory trout. Sea fishing is regulated in no way for sportsfishers


    Viking

    Fishing in Scotland can be like being a film and the salmon aren't bad either. They have some great pike fishing in Ireland where you can still get pissed for a tenner :)
    Back in 2008 I enjoyed a trip through the Everglades although I could not get much fishing done. I did some kayak fishing for snook and a few other species I couldn't make out, plus I did a bit of spinning near Tampa but was on the road with a group so had to stick with the program. However this is a proper fishing trip where freshwater and sea fishing will be done hence the importance of your contribution. I returned to Florida in late February 2016 for a family holiday where I couldn't get any fishing done so third time lucky eh ?:)

    The initial course charted thus far is land in Sanford, pick up the motor and head to Key West via the Glades & Miami, I would like to catch some tarpon off the shore if I can Spin/ fly bait whatever is neccessary. My friend has tied me some nice flies read to chuck some fluff about, The guys I'm with are going to be spinning and bait fishing with egg beaters however 

    We arrive Saturday September 15th and fly back out 10 days later so we have a touristy start followed by some days spent on the lovely roads you have over there. I have done some serious mileage across the UK and Europe over the years and I am one of those people that still love to drive so I am happy to go out of my way for good spots that come fully recommended, 
     

    I do a lot of fly fishing here for trout and salmon and sometimes pike but I don't have a 10 weight so will be picking one up during the tourist phase early on in the road trip. The Florida style fishing gear will be purchased at the earliest part of the trip to help us pack ready for the trip to Key West. As I said I would love to visit Tampa again because I remember seeing some big fish there !  Growing up in England we dream about catching tarpon and sharks and tunas and Florida fish, Here a 20lb cod is a good fish off a boat in the channel and a 20lb salmon is a fish of a lifetime, 

    Ideally we'd dive straight into the proper stuff but I am conscious that I have a rookie in tow so starting him off easy would be best. 


    DrK

    The type of fishing we want is something exciting with sporting fish from the shore, beach, rock, bridge, surf then once the UK boys are up to speed with the FL way we can hit the proper fishing. That will require guidance and local expertise given the gator issue given that we come from a land where squirrels are vermin, 

    But a baptism of fire can be good form them what type of fishing can be found around Orlando?







    Thanks for your contributions guys 

    Max :) 




     

  • JmacjjsJmacjjs Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    From Orlando you’re only an hour away from some great fishing at Mosquito Lagoon.  If you are looking for a guide or a place to stay I’d recommend http://www.mosquitolagoonfishcamp.com/fishing-charter/
  • dixiedaddixiedad Posts: 354 Deckhand
    While in Orlando you might want to visit the Bass Pro Shop off of International drive. This one store will have just about everything you need in the way of fishing gear. Good luck to you. 
  • dcrdcr Posts: 353 Deckhand
    As non-residents, fishing both salt and fresh water, you'll need a license for each, unless you're being guided.
    Check out this site for licenses and regulations:  http://myfwc.com/license/ 
    You're gonna have a ball.
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 429 Deckhand
    Also if you are staying on the West side of Orlando you are not that far from Tampa Bay
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 19,940 AG
    Max...You have a private message... 
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • MaxLondonMaxLondon Posts: 7 Greenhorn

    Thanks for your replies guys:)

    Jmacjjs It might be best to stick around central before heading south for some serious fishing. Whats a good package to go for at Mosquito Lagoon? We need to get all the gear before head to the first fishing spot. Ideally the first spot should be a place where the newbie can cut his teeth before we hit the proper stuff.
     
    Dixiedad Bass Pro shop is going to be a must to pick up the gear we are going to need so that will be a definite stop. My UK gear wont be much good in the tropics so I will need to pick up a 10wt set up plus all 3 of us will need a good all round spinning set up because we are not bringing any gear over from the UK ( will be bringing some terminal tackle essentials, hooks, swimvels, plugs and soft plastics) 

    Cheers dcr we will be doing some guided and some self guided fishing so we will purchase a full fresh and saltwater license. I am very excited about the prospect of catching so many species. The newbie doesn't know whats gonna hit him 

    Losconch 
    we have decided to stick around Orlando for the first 2 days and head West before we start the journey south to the Keys via Miami. Can you suggest a fishing hot spot along that route? Sebastian inlet looks like a good spot :) cheers duckmanJR


    Max  







  • JmacjjsJmacjjs Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    MaxLondon said:

    Thanks for your replies guys:)

    Jmacjjs It might be best to stick around central before heading south for some serious fishing. Whats a good package to go for at Mosquito Lagoon? We need to get all the gear before head to the first fishing spot. Ideally the first spot should be a place where the newbie can cut his teeth before we hit the proper stuff.
     
    Dixiedad Bass Pro shop is going to be a must to pick up the gear we are going to need so that will be a definite stop. My UK gear wont be much good in the tropics so I will need to pick up a 10wt set up plus all 3 of us will need a good all round spinning set up because we are not bringing any gear over from the UK ( will be bringing some terminal tackle essentials, hooks, swimvels, plugs and soft plastics) 

    Cheers dcr we will be doing some guided and some self guided fishing so we will purchase a full fresh and saltwater license. I am very excited about the prospect of catching so many species. The newbie doesn't know whats gonna hit him 

    Losconch 
    we have decided to stick around Orlando for the first 2 days and head West before we start the journey south to the Keys via Miami. Can you suggest a fishing hot spot along that route? Sebastian inlet looks like a good spot :) cheers duckmanJR


    Max  

    When I fished the Lagoon it was with the guide I linked above.  Capt Brian will provide all the gear you need.  If you want to purchase your own I’d go with a 7ft Medium to Med light rod paired with a 2500 series reel.  Another great part of staying there is the restaurant just up the street will cook up your catch for you.






  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 429 Deckhand
    If you get to the gulf try Ft Desoto park. Lots of good wade fishing 
     There are potholes out there from am old bombing range just cast a live shrimp or a jig o yo them

  • GarysmoGarysmo Ft. Pierce, FloridaPosts: 817 Officer
    I was just in London and had a great visit I hope your trip to Florida goes as well.  You have gotten some good advice from everyone so I'm sure you'll have a great visit.  FYI, the only fishing I did in London was for some fish and chips...did pretty good at it.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 6,516 Admiral
    I hosted a guy from Turkey about 5 years ago. He was pretty much doing the same thing and shooting a Video. Set him up with all kinds of stuff and had him fish the Chokoloskee bridge at night with a couple Chum bags out.
    Lot's of lines broke off that night....
     I might be Famous in Turkey....winning..
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • MaxLondonMaxLondon Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    Lostconch said:
    If you get to the gulf try Ft Desoto park. Lots of good wade fishing 
     There are potholes out there from am old bombing range just cast a live shrimp or a jig o yo them


    Thanks Lostconch wading is a must for me as I love wading over here for trout in chalktreams or salmon in bigger Scottish rivers. Unfortunately, living in London I miss out on the wilderness fishing that I love most so wading estuaries, rivers, sand flats and things like this as a fisherman stuck in a big city. Also, it would be amazing to get some beach casting done if you know a cool place?  Shall definitely look out for hazards out there 


    Garysmo said:
    I was just in London and had a great visit I hope your trip to Florida goes as well.  You have gotten some good advice from everyone so I'm sure you'll have a great visit.  FYI, the only fishing I did in London was for some fish and chips...did pretty good at it.
    Fishing in London can be very good if you know the good spots. I grew up freshwater fishing as a child then moved onto sea fishing aged 12. Here you can catch carp, tench, trout, salmon, pike, perch, eels etc in freshwater but for proper fish and chips you need cod which is in decline here. I had fish and chips for late lunch today :) 




    I hosted a guy from Turkey about 5 years ago. He was pretty much doing the same thing and shooting a Video. Set him up with all kinds of stuff and had him fish the Chokoloskee bridge at night with a couple Chum bags out.
    Lot's of lines broke off that night....
     I might be Famous in Turkey....winning..



    Hey TRT I did a lot of fishing around Turkey and Greece the fishing there is great but the scenery is biblical. Can you suggest any seaside spots where our rookie friend can cut his teeth because as you say lots of lines break off, he needs some practice on hooking, fighting and landing bigger fish as its only his 3rd fishing trip. The other fella has been a fishermen for years. We all love fish and chips so some catch and release and some catch clean and cook. 





    Where can I find up to date, live information on hurricane Florence? I really hope it loses energy over the sea and doesn't make it to land. Fingers crossed for everyone  

    Max


  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 429 Deckhand
    Flhurricane.com
    You can also beach fish at Ft Desoto. There is also a fishing pier as a 3rd choice
  • VikingViking Posts: 137 Deckhand
    Max, Hurricane Florence should not affect inshore fishing in Florida because it is supposed to hit to the north in the Carolina's.  If you were going offshore fishing it may affect the seas with bigger swells.  You guys are used to the North Sea so this should be no biggie for you. 

    We have gotten a lot of rain in Florida this year so freshwater fishing in lakes and rivers is a little more of a challenge now because the fish are more spread out and you have faster currents to deal with.  If I was you I would spend most of my time in salt water.  One exception to fishing in fresh water would be to fish for peacock bass.  There are lots of canals and small lakes that hold them pretty much anyplace south of Ft. Lauderdale on the east coast of Florida.  You can catch them on fly or spinning tackle.  In these same canals you will find a lot of other exotic fish from South America and other places around the world.

    I saw that you were planning to get a 10wt fly rod I believe for tarpon.  Most of your opportunities for tarpon would come from staking out in a boat along channels next to flats in the keys or fishing from a boat in the Everglades.  In both cases you would probably have a guide and they would have the appropriate type of equipment so you would not have to bring your own.  If it was me for going after most inshore species in salt water I would use a 7 to a 9 wt fly rod with an 8 wt being the best all around.  If I could only choose 3 flies they would be a red and white Lefty's Deceiver, a white and chartreuse Lefty's Deceiver and a black Clouser Minnow.  If you are going after bone fish by wading the flats in the keys you can not beat a Crazy Charlie.  All of this can be bought at Bass Pro or down in the keys at most good tackle shops.

    For spinning tackle if you are not going to take it back to the UK I would suggest getting the Penn Battle II 2500 spinning reel and 7' medium rod combo at Bass Pro for around $100.  Put on a braided line between 10 and 15 pounds (I use 10 lb) and get some mono or fluorocarbon leader in both 15 and 30 lb spools.  For the areas you said you were going to fish if I could only choose one lure it would be a white plastic paddle-tail in 3 or 4 inch length hooked on a chartreuse 1/4 or 1/8 jig head.  On this one lure I have caught tarpon, bone fish, snook and lots of others. 

    Just my opinion based on when you are going to be here I would suggest: 
    1.  Get a guide for Mosquito Lagoon
    2.   Fish the north jetty of Sebastian Inlet for snook
    3.  Fish for Peacock Bass around Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.  Check with local tackle shops on locations where you can fish from the banks.
    4.  Get a guide to fish the Everglades out of Flamingo
    5.  I will PM you some spots where you can wade fish in the Keys for tarpon and bone fish.  If your budget allows get a guide in Islamorada or Marathon.  A low cost alternative is to rent a kayak in either of these two places or at many commercial locations in the keys.  Anchor on the edge of a flat and throw your artificial lure or a live shrimp and hang on.  Next to the highway that takes you to Key West there are many fishing piers (old highway that was converted) you can fish from.  Fresh dead mullet or shrimp will work great here for a variety of fish.  This is a tourist place but be sure to stop at Robbies, Mile marker 77.5, you can feed tarpon here, can be very entertaining.
    6.  Once you leave the keys I would head to the west coast of Florida to a place called Everglades City.  There is a lot to see along the road US-41.  You and your friends might even want to take an air boat tour.  If you are interested in seeing a lot of gators and birds take the side road off of US 41 known as the Loop road.  There are lots of places you can fish on your own around Everglades City and Cokoloskee.  Just down the road from Everglades City is a place called Port of the Islands.  They have hotel rooms and you can also rent boats.  If you rent a boat you can go out into the 10,000 islands.  The channel is well marked and the fishing is great.
    7.  Normally I would tell you to go to Naples, Ft. Myers or Sanibel Island but this area has been hit by the red tide and is still recovering.  If you get a guide in these areas they will get you to fish but if it was my money I would spend more time in the keys.
    8.  To fill time on your way back to Orlando you could stop at Oscar Scherer State Park.  Here you can rent kayaks or canoes.  I was here 3 weeks ago and caught a lot of snook within 2 miles of the kayak launch.  Another stop that you can take is to go to Tarpon Springs which is a little north of Tampa where you would catch I-4 to go back to Sanford.  Tarpon Springs has some excellent fishing plus an excellent Greek cultural experience.

    Have a great trip!
  • DrKDrK Posts: 242 Deckhand
    Not gonna add anything else to the suggestions.  Later part of September is for me one of the best time to fish Florida.  Perfect timing.  Good luck and have a blast!
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 6,516 Admiral
    Be about the right time for the Coastal Mullet run as well...Don't tell him about that or he'll never go back to London...
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • DrKDrK Posts: 242 Deckhand
    Exactly TRT.  Late September/ Oct it seems every puddle of water in Florida comes alive with fish.  From your roadside canal, backyard ponds, to the intracoastal, to the beach, to 100 yards off the beach, to half a mile off the beach all the way to deep water will have it's different kind of fishing.  All you have to do is decide what you want to fish for.
  • MaxLondonMaxLondon Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    Thanks again :) Your priceless knowledge will make a London fisherman very happy. 

    Viking thanks so much for your suggestions they will be going on my map for sure! Thanks for taking the time out to help me plan the road trip, you're a legend for that as we'd say over here. Much appreciated :)

    I am glad that the hurricane will miss Florida but am sad and worried for the people living in the path of this huge natural hazard. In England the weather is actually not that bad and this summer has been the best on record here. 
    I suppose Florida is a much more unspoilt extreme wilderness compared to London complete with extreme fishing and extreme weather. 

    As you say Viking, the North Sea is a choppy one so a slight wave will be easy. Good shout on the sea fishing call because I love sea fishing most. I love freshwater also because I cut my teeth on tench, carp, roach, pike, trout but the sea was a treat growing up in London, 85 miles from Dover. As soon as I got my driving licence I was off the sea! 

    I've always wanted to go to Tarpon Springs btw so that will be penned into the map. A guide is a must for the proper stuff such as the Everglades and Mosquito lagoon. Sebastian Inlet is penned into the map. Can you suggest a good place for peacock bass? Maybe we can do a bit of that so my newbie friend can learn to use the reel and stuff. 

    Shopping for fishing gear over there is much more cost effective so I plan to return to England with a spin and fly set up. Plus a lot of other small bits of tackle need to be picked up for the random stops along the way when you see fish jumping. Whats the rules around stopping/parking to fish places? I have a rugby injury which I should try not to aggravate however I cant rule out fishing off the rocks :) Any rock fishing to be done? I have seen some videos of big grouper caught off a jetty with drop nets and stuff. 

    A trip to Florida cant be done without some big sea fishing I believe Islamorada is the top place for game fishing for pelagics? Id love to catch tuna and sailfish. I shall contact you about this thanks for the fly suggestions too I will get my mate to tie me a selection of those.


    Thanks DkR I am so excited and so is my other fisherman friend. The rookie is in for a treat. I just hope this current bad weather blows out and is replaced by the sun. 





    Be about the right time for the Coastal Mullet run as well...Don't tell him about that or he'll never go back to London...

    I love catching mullet. Grew up fishing the Mediterranean so you had them swimming around the marinas. You could catch them on bread, bait or fly. I believe you guys have a different kind of mullet there ?

    I've seen some videos of mullet shoals with tarpon crashing into them! Can we spin for those fish ? That mullet behavior does not happen here 
     
    So looking forward to this trip :)


  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 6,516 Admiral
    Bring a cast net and catch 50 Mullet every throw...
    It's Tarpon , Snook ,Sharks...about every fish that eats Mullet is what your looking for...the heck with catching Mullet
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Belfast BillBelfast Bill Posts: 56 Greenhorn
    Looking forward to reading your post,I am over staying in Cape coral 12-22-12-29 for a week I have a villa and a 23ft Boat booked for that week then a week on the Banana river just south of the 1'000 Islands on the A1A North Of Patrick.
    Worried about the Red tide for my first week though.
    Have a great trip.
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