Skip to main content
Home Fly Fishing

Intro and request

skagittariusskagittarius Posts: 7 Deckhand
Hi.  I didn't see a new members thread so I'll just introduce myself.  I'm Joe.  I'm in my early 50s and reside outside Seattle.  I will likely be looking to purchase a winter place in south florida soon, perhaps as soon as this summer and am looking for some location recommendations.   My budget is in the $300-350K range (will be a cash purchase), so I'm not going to be able to afford a place in the keys or an ocean front property and I'm fine with that.   Don't want a condo as I'll have a 24' center console that I'd keep on the property.   I'd expect that 90% of the fishing I'd be doing would be with a fly rod on my boat in saltwater.  I'm having a hard time choosing between the east coast (likely around Stuart) and the west coast (Ft.  Myers).  I've been to the keys and both coasts of south and central florida several times.  I like the idea of taking my boat offshore to fish for blackfin (I do a lot of albacore tuna fishing here in the summer), mahi-mahi, etc, but I'm also intrigued by the local in-shore / bay opportunities on the west coast (tarpon, sea-trout, snook).  Are the winter fisheries / opportunities better on one-side or the other?  I have a retired friend with a place in the mid keys who's an avid gear fisherman so I'll likely be trailering the boat down there a couple times a year for a visit.  Thanks 


  • gogittumgogittum Nature CoastPosts: 3,369 Captain
    No help to your question, but it's irresistible.......I fished with Cap'n Shane on the Lady Dee out of Westport for Albacore several times....and caught them, too.  If you know Shane, tell him I'm the pilot whose rod 'n reel he threw over the side - my precious TLD 10
    .  He knows me.  😁😁  We did make up after that incident, but it was tetchy for a bit.
  • skagittariusskagittarius Posts: 7 Deckhand
    Don't know him, but I do fish out of Westport and lost a rod over the side last year! 

  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 297 Deckhand
    East Coast...I started conventional in the 70ies left in the 80ies southwest coast naples south and it's dirty water and thin water out to 100 miles.  East coast and Keys more accessible starting out east coast as for south as you can get ...keep looking upper middle keys might stumble on a fix up fishing shack within your price range..however, with any paper/note on the "shack" lender will want water/'cane insurance and that's painful.  More fishing options on the east coast...
  • skagittariusskagittarius Posts: 7 Deckhand
    Thanks for the reply.  My friend's primary residence is in Ocala (his wife is a veterinarian and still working) but his family has owned a place in the keys since the 70s.  I love the keys and am amazed at the diversity of the fishing opportunities there.   But I also enjoy playing golf so that's going to factor into the decision as well.  
  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,682 Captain
    On the east coast you'll find better inshore/lagoon water quality from Sebastian on south than farther north plus a much shorter run to blue water and 95 straight south to the keys.
  • skagittariusskagittarius Posts: 7 Deckhand
    Thanks saltybum.  Blue water proximity is another big advantage on the east side for sure.   It's great having access to that so close.  It's one of the things that's great about fishing out here.  On a good day we can be in blue water 90 minutes out of Westport and it's amazing to see how that upwelling impacts the marine life.   
  • limitlesslimitless Posts: 707 Officer
    Joe, if you want offshore and blue water you'll want the east coast.  If you want to fly fish then you want the snook, tarpon, etc. on the west and probably a flats boat or skinny bay boat.   West coast is also less crowded and less expensive.  You could probably get a house on a canal off the bay in Bokeelia on Pine Island for $350k and bee 6 1/2 miles for Boca Grande

    The Snook & Gamefish Foundation is now the Angler Action Program:  Dedicated to Conservation and Education.  Please check us out.

    Angler Action Program: IAngler app trip log on your phone

  • avmechavmech Jupiter, FLPosts: 1,380 Officer
    Just my 2 cents worth, you cannot go wrong with the Stuart area.  We are right down the road in Jupiter.  Lot of inshore and offshore, all within easy reach.
    Joined: Oct 7 2002
    Member #10822
  • skagittariusskagittarius Posts: 7 Deckhand
    Thanks for the feedback guys.  I'm leaning towards the east coast.  It seems like phosphate mining and red tide issues may have a bigger issue on the west coast?  That noted, on my last visit to FL we fished the Crystal River estuary in  kayaks and thought it looked really heathy.  The oyster beds rivaled anything we have out here.  
  • GeneakersGeneakers West Palm BeachPosts: 285 Deckhand
    edited April 2021 #11
    Have fished both and lived on both coasts,  I like the E coast for the water depth and relative close Gulf Stream, although the water seems to be rougher on the E coast.  I would shy away from anything much S of Stuart / Jupiter area...  heavily overfished, lots of weekend warriors, younger crowd, cost of living exponentially gets higher the farther S you go, and a full out rat race, home owners insurance is much higher here as well.

    The thing to keep in mind, is that as you move S from the Stuart area, the population is compressed into an area of only about 15 miles off the coast.  East of that is Everglades and Big Cypress Reserve.  So you have a much higher density / mile than you do on the W coast.  The housing prices and traffic directly reflect that.  

    Another thing  to consider is the people.  Again, have lived / worked on both coasts, and West coast is MUCH more laid back, easy going, a lot of southern seniors, and much more of the typical southern hospitalities / friendliness.  Whereas on the E coast, you have a high number of NJ, NY, CN, PA migrates, with the more "intense" lifestyle.  Alot more of the Cuban, Hatian, Dominican Republican, Jamaican, and Bohemian influence / population on the East coast as well..  not being a racists in the slightest, so please don't start that accusation / debate, just giving information to understand the culture, and mindset of some of the population.  Kindness on the E coast almost seems to be viewed as a weakness or being part of a "scam".  I say please / thank you, hold the door for people, use Sir, and Ma'am, smile, wave to people when driving, and am always asked "your not from here are you?"

    Traffic is much worse on  the E coast, and car insurance rates will reflect that as well.  Miami is known to be one of the worst cities to drive in.  Traffic will be moving at 85 and there always has to be that azzhat who's time is more important and is whipping through 5 lines of traffic doing 95-100; and I am not exaggerating,, ask anyone who drives in the tricounty area.

    Since you can pull from coast to coast (E to W) in a couple of hours, you can always trailer your boat to fish what the other coast has to offer, and not necessarily live on that coast.
  • skagittariusskagittarius Posts: 7 Deckhand
    Great feedback Geneakers. Thanks.  I'm originally from outside Philly.  Grew up on the east coast and spent my summers at my grandparent's shore place in Cape May.  Moved to Seattle in 1998 for work (yes, software), and was happy to leave Philly but I miss living in a neighborhood with folks that are genuinely interested in their neighbor as  there's little sense of community here.   
  • BooBooBooBoo Vero Beach Fl and Ft. Lupton ColoradoPosts: 220 Deckhand
    Skaggitarius.....check your pms.
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,422 Captain
    Great feedback Geneakers. Thanks.  I'm originally from outside Philly.  Grew up on the east coast and spent my summers at my grandparent's shore place in Cape May.  Moved to Seattle in 1998 for work (yes, software), and was happy to leave Philly but I miss living in a neighborhood with folks that are genuinely interested in their neighbor as  there's little sense of community here.   
          I'm originally from South Philly, and I've lived in Chicago, NYC and Athens Ga. I've been everywhere and never felt the same sense of community that I had in Philadelphia.  Culturally, Florida is a vacuum. Prepare yourself for life in a town with 41 mediocre bbq restaurants and no Indian food.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.


Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now