Early April; no boat; western FL; suggestions?

MarylanderMarylander Posts: 1 Greenhorn
Hi there,

I'm going to be visiting the Tampa area in early April; possibly renting a car and driving up to Pensacola too. That covers a broad swathe of the Gulf Coast, I realize.

I'm from Maryland and am used to bank- and kayak-fishing for stripers, perch, and channel cats. I'm hoping to do some fishing on this trip and will be boat-less.

Just looking for some light tackle bank-fishing fun. Wondering what's hot that time of year and where you'd go. I know this kind of vague, but that's by design---I'm willing to go wherever if the fishing's good. Anywhere along I-75 or I-10?

Any advice---locations, tactics, etc---would be much appreciated. I don't know Florida at all. If I'm shore angling I gather the gators will leave me alone but I should probably wear boots in case of snakes? (This is probably such a newbie question---I apologize.)

Thanks in any case.


  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 452 Deckhand
    You will probably get some very good, and much more detailed info but since no one had responded, here is a copy of a post I made to this exact question on here some time ago regarding. I fish the Gulf Coast every year with good success and have a lot of fun. Good luck.

    LC, you will get some good and detailed info here but as your neighbor from KY I'll offer two bits for you. First, there are several threads here in the AOF forum answering your very same question detailing rods, reels, lures, etc. You will find them easily simply by a search or by scrolling down.

    My most important advice to you is to simplify and don't overthink this as far as tackle. I beach fish every year with bass tackle and have tremendous success. If you fish artificial, then a 7' medium action spinning rod, a 3000 size reel, 15' pound braid, and a 20 pound mono or fluoro leader is a great beginning point. Personally I use a 7' ML rod, a 2500 reel, 10 pound braid and 15 pound leader.. I fish almost exclusively with a 1/4 ounce jig head and soft plastic trailer or Gulp shrimp. YMMV so chose the lures and tackle in which you have confidence. I've used a VERY small backpack and a fly fishing vest, both with success and have gone strictly to the vest now for comfort and convenience.

    Many folks use live shrimp with great success but I'm too lazy to deal with all of that.

    Above all KISS and GLGF!

    Read more: http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?249738-Newbie-to-beach-fishing#ixzz518FWWz6s
  • jbdba01jbdba01 Posts: 143 Deckhand
    If you want to speed up the learning curve hire a guide - in Tampa there are kayak guides too that are pretty reasonable.
  • fishinbugfishinbug Posts: 293 Deckhand
    edited March 14 #4
    St. George Island State Park has a lot of wade fishing areas on the bay side.  Bone colored top water lures (One Knocker, Super Spook), gold spoon, and jig heads and gulp shrimp under a popping cork.

    The biggest concern I have while wade fishing is watching for sting rays on the bottom.  Shuffle your feet to avoid stepping on one if the water is not clear enough to see the bottom.
  • fordmag84fordmag84 Bradenton, Fl Posts: 89 Greenhorn
    Where in the Tampa Bay area? St. Pete, Bradenton, Anna Maria? If you're on saltwater, gators aren't much of an issue. They are an issue around fresh/ brackish water launch areas, people feed them, and they can get aggressive. 
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