02-28-2006, 10:51 AM
I am going down to Englewood Fl in mid March. I have never fished the ocean or been to FL before. Is their any tips on what to bring and what to fish for? I will be either wading into the water from shore or renting a small skiff or kayak. I have a 9wt St.Croix avid? will this work. I would also like to try some back country fishing for snook and small tarpon?
The wify is not going to let me spend big bucks on a guide no matter how much I beg. It would be nice if I could hook up with someone that can show me the ropes. I could buy lunch and beer?
I was hoping some more knowledgible Floridians would reply to your question before I put in my two cents, but here goes:
I fished out of Englewood Beach last April (end of month) and had a great time, although the locals said things were way below par due to a recent, devastating red tide. Nevertheless, we caught snook, redfish, weakfish and ladyfish in entertaining, if not great, numbers. We saw no tarpon. We were told they were still up the creeks.
We stayed at a resort at the south end of the Englewood Beach road, just before you get to the park, that rented both skiffs and dock space. Rates were reasonable and the place was clean and handy to the fishing.
I would say you need a boat if you are going to really exploit the fishing in the area. There is some fishing along the beach near the pass, but I'd hate to be confined to that.
We had good snook fishing by throwing large, weedless white flies back into the mangrove roots as the tide was coming in. We poled the skiff along the edge of the mangroves, about fifty or so feet out, and cast back into the pockets. We had our best luck from mid flood to high tide and shortly after the turn.
Redfish we found out along the mussel beds, which were easiest to locate at low tide. The redfish we encountered were very spooky, and we honestly didn't do that well with them. I'd like to go back and give them a more serious, focused try.
The best fishing we had was at night, snook fishing both at the pass and under the dock lights. I thought the dock light thing an absolute blast and really look forward to doing it again. One problem we had with the dock lights was that blue fish were hanging around under those docks along with the snook and, lacking appropriate shock tippets, we lost a lot of flies to said bluefish.
We found some really large snook in the side canals along the Intercoastal Waterway. These side canals were like creeks, with mangroves crowding overhead and forming dense tangles underwater. Interesting fishing, to say the least.
Hope this helps. Let us know how you do.