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Hey guys noob here to the forum and SWFL. Recently moved to Cape Coral and bought a house with direct access, no locks, 30 min boat ride to river. I grew up in northern WV not far from Pittsburgh fishing for bass, trout, catfish etc. I've been to canoe boundary waters for smally fishing several times, but the salt water game is brand new. I've been catching some fish in my canal, mostly jacks. I'm in desperate need if recommendations for salt fishing gear.
Been using my bass gear and the salt is starting to wear on my quantum reel. I've been reading this and the fishing report forum daily trying to get a grip. Going to be doing 98% of my fishing from the bank. I need some pole and reel recs and anything else that is necessary getting started.
I plan on going to some bait shops to pick there brains and going to causeway and bridges to watch and meet others. Costco has a pole and reel combo for $80, not sure if its junk or not want I really need. Sounds like most like 7-7.5 stick, this one is 8 foot with fast action if you can't read it. Sorry so long but thanks in advance and great forum!


  • snook charmersnook charmer Posts: 337 Deckhand
    Welcome to the forum. I would suggest Lehrs economy tackle on Tamiami trl just north of Pondella in N Ft Myers if you want to pick the brains of a tackle shop. Fishing from the shore is a little tough around here but can be good. When I fish the causeway, I've got two 9ft rods with 4000 series reels that I'll rig with a double hook rig and live shrimp and will toss a lure while waiting for something to bite the rods sitting in the sand spikes. I mostly fish artificials and use a couple 7 or 7 1/2 ft medium rods with 3000 series reels, 15lb braid and 30 or 40 lb fluorocarbon leader. Live shrimp, pinfish or whitebait under a cork works. You can get a cast net and learn to throw it or tip a sabiki rig with shrimp and catch some bait. Blind Pass (the bridge between Sanibel and Captiva) can be good, the spillways along Burnt Store rd once the water starts to flow over them, the pier at the yacht club is hit or miss for me, the bridge in Matlacha is popular. I haven't fished it since it was rebuilt though. Since your on a canal, you may want to think about a kayak. The docks, especially ones with lights at night can hold some snook.

    I don't have any experience with the reel pictured, but it has decent reviews on bass pro shops website, you may want to look at something like the Penn Spinfisher SSV. The rod I believe is pretty much the bottom of the line for shimano. May want to look at an ugly stick if you want to keep the price down. This habit can get expensive really fast!
  • DarcyDarcy Posts: 1,711 Captain
    Good advice from snook charmer.
    penn has a combo for the battle. Mid range rod with a mid range reel. I would go with the battle 4000 with the 7' - 7.5' rod. Dont want to be casting a 6000 all day. Not a bad combo for the price. I think i saw them at west marine for 119. Just a thought.
    "No i'm NOT Darcizzle!":blowkiss
  • WVsoleWVsole Posts: 58 Deckhand
    Thank you snook charmer. I'm quickly learning that shore fishing is very limited and I need to get either a flats boat or a kayak to really get to fish or make friends with someone with a boat that I can help share expenses with. Are there any fishing clubs for inshore here? If I get a Kayak I could hit the freshwater canals and catch some bigmouths too, I like that idea. I too like artificial, never did a lot of live bait fishing except for the rare occasional shiner fishing for bass. I've mainly just been throwing spoons, stick baits, and some DOA shrimp that I've been bouncing on bottom of my canal, I need to go get some shrimp some night and see what happens. Do I basically want to match the hatch per-say down here when it comes to artificial? Soft baits any good for salt fish? I love throwing sankos and such for bass. Some of the salt water baits are wild looking, I'm assuming they are for offshore? But it seems like live or even cut bait are very popular here. I've started to notice people seem to be fishing from shore at Cape Coral Parkway bridge, should I be looking at fishing the bridges that go over the river also?

    I wasn't too impressed with that combo from Costco, I mean for $80 its not terrible, but my freshwater poles are mostly St. Croix and Loomis with shimano and quantum reels. Definitely could tell that it was lower end for sure. I'm not opposed to spending money to get stuff that lasts and wont fail me. Very expensive habit indeed. Penn seems to be very popular here, I need to get myself acquainted with there products. Again, thanks for the tips much appreciated. Grateful you replied, I thought for sure more people would have posted there opinions to help out.
  • WVsoleWVsole Posts: 58 Deckhand
    Thanks Darcy Ill check it out. I was thinking the same thing, throwing that 6000 all day would tire a person out. Would that combo from Costco be ok to put live or cut bait and throw out and get smaller to throw artificial while that soaks? Because I thought about getting a couple of those combos just for that and getting better stuff to throw all day.

    Bass pro is selling that reel from the Combo at Costco for $70 by itself.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,905 AG
    Go to Lehr's and talk to Dave Westra. Tell him where you live and what you would like to do. He will set you up. Join CCA. and read the reports here. Listen to Real Talk Radio w/ Moodys on Saturday mornings.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • WVsoleWVsole Posts: 58 Deckhand
    Awesome Gary, thanks!! Love all the tips. I've been reading this and the fishing reports forum daily for the last 2-3 weeks trying to familiarize myself with this salt fishing, brand new world to me. I'm very grateful for any and all info. CCA is Coastal Conservation Association? Reel talk on a local radio station? I can't seem to find anything on it through the interwebz.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,905 AG
    CCA is Coastal Conservation Association.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • WVsoleWVsole Posts: 58 Deckhand
    Thanks again Gary!
  • snook charmersnook charmer Posts: 337 Deckhand
    Soft baits work well, something with a paddle tail on a 1/4 ounce jig head, soft jerk bait rigged weedless pitched up under the mangroves. I haven't tried the CC parkway bridge, I've caught a few snook along the rocks at the park/boat ramp at the midpoint bridge. The pier at the other side of the midpoint/eco park isn't worth your time, never caught anything there. A lot of the retention ponds and canals have some bass, usually smaller ones though.

    Keep and eye on the posts for the next forum members meeting to meet some of the local guys. I haven't been able to make on yet due to work. There are a few places that rent kayaks for the day if you want to get off the shore.
  • WVsoleWVsole Posts: 58 Deckhand
    Good stuff snook charmer. Thanks
  • TimGleasonTimGleason Posts: 289 Deckhand
    Welcome to SWFLA

    If only one world of advice - get a sit on top kayak and something to transport it with. Look on Craig's list. Yo can get a deal if budget is an issue. Or support your local Kayak shop Like Florida Paddle Sports in Matlacha. If you get one you can stand on even cooler. You'll be catching all; kinds of fish and seeing some awesome places.

    Regarding Gear - can never go too wrong with Shimano. I've never owned a Socorro (my guess is it won't stand up for more than a season due to prove point) but I have a brace of Saharas, Stradics and Saros spinning reels. You should be good with 3000 and 4000 size reels unless you are tarpon fishing. Rods between 7 - 7'6". I've been really liking Falcon Bucoo Micro rods lately. Super sensitive. Love them. Old Piune Island Marina in Saint James City has a great well stocked store as well if you feel like taking a trip out to Pine Island.

    If you like artificials, you just need a few standbys. Soft Jerkbaits, Gulp shrimp, Weighted worm hooks, Gold spoon, Topwater (Zara spook or Bomber Bdonkadonk)

    Get some
  • BeastieBeastie Bokeelia, FLPosts: 872 Officer
    Lehrs is great also check Cape Tool and Tackle on Pine Island Road in Cape Coral
  • WVsoleWVsole Posts: 58 Deckhand
    Thanks Tim, great info. I was wondering about if they made kayaks to stand on, I think that would be ideal for flipping into mangroves and such. I will check out the marina in St. James, I love exploring that just gives me an excuse to go out.

    Anyone have any experience with the Snook Hut on CC parkway? good, bad, neutral?

    Beastie, thanks I have seen that place, they have a flats boat there for sale I want. :) I need to stop and check it out.

    Keep it coming guys, great contributions so far.
  • TimGleasonTimGleason Posts: 289 Deckhand
    Lots of Kayaks to stand on. I have a Jackson Cuda. Super Stable / Super Comfy seat. Downside. Heavy and Slow as sin. Not much fun to paddle if you have to core serious distance.
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