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Coming to SWFL in April - what tackle to bring/use?

I'm a northeastern fisherman, and my trip to the Fort Myers/Cape Coral area is set for early April!!  

This is my second time there so I realized everything I used in New Jersey (and brought with me for my first trip) was too big and overkill for gulf fishing. 

So what do you guys suggest I bring, or buy while I'm there?

I will have a 7' M Penn Squadron II with a Daiwa BG 3000 with 20lb braid.

Thanks!!!

Replies

  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 3,232 Captain
    What are you going to be fishing for?
    From boat or shore?
    Live bait or artificials?
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    Captain Keith - Crooked Rod Charters
  • bigfinn35bigfinn35 Sarasota/VenicePosts: 652 Officer
    Like kmagnuss said, the type of fish you plan on targeting is going to widely change which tackle you buy/use. However, your setup sounds like a good all-rounder one for inshore fishing in SWFL. Get some 20lb and 30lb fluorocarbon leader and some light wire and that will cover most applications. Can give more info on what tackle, baits, and lures to use if you know what you'll be fishing for. Some 1/4 oz and 3/8 oz jigheads and DOA CAL plastic tails will hardly ever serve you wrong, though.
    Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.
  • JerseyBlue732JerseyBlue732 Posts: 15 Greenhorn
    kmagnuss said:
    What are you going to be fishing for?
    From boat or shore?
    Live bait or artificials?
    bigfinn35 said:
    Like kmagnuss said, the type of fish you plan on targeting is going to widely change which tackle you buy/use. However, your setup sounds like a good all-rounder one for inshore fishing in SWFL. Get some 20lb and 30lb fluorocarbon leader and some light wire and that will cover most applications. Can give more info on what tackle, baits, and lures to use if you know what you'll be fishing for. Some 1/4 oz and 3/8 oz jigheads and DOA CAL plastic tails will hardly ever serve you wrong, though.
    Thanks KMagnuss and BigFinn

    I'm kinda going in blind in terms of WHAT I plan to catch, but so far, I plan to fish at the Bookelia pier, Fort Myers Beach (pier and shore), possibly Sanibel shore, and if I am adventurous for the drive, the Skyway Bridge pier in Tampa. 

    I already have some DOA shrimp pre-rigged/weighted) from last year that I'll be bringing, and might get a popping cork rig for them.

    If I could hook up with someone who has a boat and I could chip in for gas, bait, etc., that would be optimal but I'm not holding my breath.
  • bigfinn35bigfinn35 Sarasota/VenicePosts: 652 Officer
    kmagnuss said:
    What are you going to be fishing for?
    From boat or shore?
    Live bait or artificials?
    bigfinn35 said:
    Like kmagnuss said, the type of fish you plan on targeting is going to widely change which tackle you buy/use. However, your setup sounds like a good all-rounder one for inshore fishing in SWFL. Get some 20lb and 30lb fluorocarbon leader and some light wire and that will cover most applications. Can give more info on what tackle, baits, and lures to use if you know what you'll be fishing for. Some 1/4 oz and 3/8 oz jigheads and DOA CAL plastic tails will hardly ever serve you wrong, though.
    Thanks KMagnuss and BigFinn

    I'm kinda going in blind in terms of WHAT I plan to catch, but so far, I plan to fish at the Bookelia pier, Fort Myers Beach (pier and shore), possibly Sanibel shore, and if I am adventurous for the drive, the Skyway Bridge pier in Tampa. 

    I already have some DOA shrimp pre-rigged/weighted) from last year that I'll be bringing, and might get a popping cork rig for them.

    If I could hook up with someone who has a boat and I could chip in for gas, bait, etc., that would be optimal but I'm not holding my breath.
    Good to know. I don't do a ton of pier fishing so maybe consider posting in the Angler on Foot section of this forum for that, but I fish a lot of bridges from shore. Spring could be a good time for night fishing big structures like bridges/piers for snook, particularly if there are lights shining into the water to attract bait. Drifting a suspending plug or DOA shrimp through those lights or past points of structure that provide shelter from the current is always a good tactic, even better if you can buy or net some live bait. If the weather is unseasonably cold then live shrimp may work fine, but otherwise live pinfish/pilchards/threadfins are better. 

    Buying a couple of Gotcha plugs is always a good idea for pier fishing IMO, one of the best baits for spanish mackerel or anything else that is feeding on bait schools around a pier. But really, any flashy lure that can be cast a long ways can work well. Just be sure to work it very fast if you're casting into a school of bait. If you happen to get any bigger tackle, putting a bigger dead bait on bottom out past the pier with a heavy breakaway sinker (like a chunk of cinderblock, so that you aren't dumping lead onto the bottom) with a heavy wire leader is a good way to find some sharks. Keep in mind that all of my advice is what has worked for me in the Venice/Englewood area, which is a decent ways north of where you'll be. There are people much better suited than me for giving you advice on the Sanibel area. Hopefully there's some usable info for you here though.
    Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.
  • bluewater00bluewater00 Posts: 83 Deckhand
    Live shrimp fished on a knocker rig does most of the damage for me around venice/sarasota/englewood/nokomis
    Most bridges hold fish and if there is bait along the beach, there will be fish there to eat it
    Light to med spinning tackle, 12-15 flouro leader a must 15 lb braid so you can cast far
    good luck and pray the red tide monster stays away
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