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Fort Myers or Miami Florida Surf Fishing

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Hey guys, so me and a friend are going down to Fort Myers the weekend of April 17th-19th, just for a getaway type thing. All she wants to do is lay on the beach, and of course I'd rather be in the water fishing! Does anyone have any info on previous trips there? How's the fishing? Are there regulations on where you can and cannot fish? Are there any cheap charters in the area? We're staying at the Hampton, which is a couple miles from the beach.

Edit: Decided we might do Miami too, anyone have any input on that? Same general questions/ideas, different city.

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There is good fishing to be had year-round, but the species you chase will change. We had good luck with pompano and spanish mackerel just back earlier this month with a guide out of Sanibel Island where my grandparents spend the winter.

Beach fishing can be hit and miss with # of fish caught, usually slow but fun and relaxing. It's also my favorite way to spend a warm sunny day. Nothing like taking a nap waiting to hear that bait clicker.

I can't recommend any specific charters out of ft. myers as I've never fished that area specifically. Florida regs. are a little tough for me to track down, but usually you can fish just about any public beach land.

My suggestion is hit up a bait shop and ask questions. Likely they can point you towards an affordable guide to go out in a boat, and if you're so inclined can get you set up fishing from shore for whatever happens to be biting that week.

At that time in April you might very well be able to catch some good early season snook and/or redfish fishing(two of my favorite saltwater species), if the water temps behave. I've even heard of decent luck with early tarpon season mid-late april.

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I fished out of Clearwater Beach in Feb. with a Charter called Two C's. We caught lots of fish. It's a bit of a drive from Ft. Meyers, but it was reasonable and a great time.

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Hiya -

Shore fishing around Ft Meyers/Sanibel I. can be fantastic. You can fish sea trout right off the causeway islands on the bridge over to Sanibel, or head to the beaches on Sanibel (and on the mainland I imagine) and catch sea trout, ladyfish (they jump about 4' in the air and when you get into a school of them you can catch them one after the other), jack crevalle, spanish mackerel, and possibly snook or redfish depending on where you go. Snook should be showing up on the beaches on Sanibel I. about that time if the water temps are warm enough. Or you can fish the backwaters in the Ding Darling NWR too.

Most of the shore anglers you see will be soaking shrimp, but all they seem to catch were whiting and hardhead catfish - not my cup of tea. I used jigs and twistertails (chartreuse or white), small gold spoons, and jerkbaits like X-Raps or Yozuri Crystal Minnows and caught all sorts of stuff. Early morning and late evening were the best times.

If you really want an experience, head to Bowman's Beach on Sanibel around sunset, take some cut bait (a chunk of Ladyfish works great) and a 4/0 circle hook with a leader, bomb it out into the surf, and wait for a bite... Lemon sharks, black tip reef sharks, and maybe even a big bull shark. Last year down there at this time I averaged 3-4 sharks an evening, anywhere from 2 to 6 feet long. Tell you what - they really run. I mean *really* run. Freaks out the swimmers though smile Bonus for the gal is the sunsets from Bowman's are SPECTACULAR. Or so my wife says. I think I was hooked up with a shark at sunset every night last year and missed all of them...but oh well smile

All the fishing I did down there I did with a Med-Heavy spinning rod and #30 braid with a #30 fluorocarbon leader. Make sure you have a long nose hook out tool, and some fish handling gloves aren't a bad idea either. Everything down there has teeth, spines, or both. When you get down there, head over to Sanibel to the Bait Box tackle shop (or call them) and they'll fill you in on what's happening. Great guys, and they can gear you up with whatever you don't have. You can also check their website for the latest fishing reports. (google Bait Box Sanibel)

If you want to hire a charter, call Capt. Rob Modys - Soul Mate Charters (google Soul Mate Charters and you'll find his website.) Great guy to fish with and he knows his stuff. I took my wife out w/him and we had a blast. Might be a little early for Tarpon, but Pine Island Sound should be great for redfish, snook and sea trout right now.

If you've never fished saltwater, you're in for an experience. Amazingly powerful fish - even the little ones. A 6 pound crevalle will make you think you snagged a semi.

Man - writing all this... I wanna go now... *sniff*. Next year...

Have fun, and let us know how you do!


Rob Kimm

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I was down in Ft. Meyers a couple years ago, Brad Hurd was the fellow that took us out about 30 miles into the Gulf, he was out of Bonita Springs just south of Ft Meyers Beach. Didn't catch big fish but there were a lot of fish, mostly panfish sized snapper, small grouper and some other oddball fish and such, he tried to get us on some Kings but nothing was biting. It was fun for my first time ocean fishing but next time I think I will look for something closer in unless a person goes to the Keys.


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Well guys two problems. Not so much problems I guess, but obstacles. One: We're strapped for cash, so a charter is all but out of the question. Two: I'm 19 years old, so it'll probably be walking, or taxis for the whole weekend (unless I can convince my mom to rent a car under her name, lol!). So I'm guessing I'll be limited to strictly beach fishing. We're looking at hotels on the beach or near it, but I'm not sure which beach it's at. I know it's not Sannibel (sp?) Island (I've stayed there once before, for two nights) though. That shark fishing DOES sound like a lot of fun though, similar to bait fishing for muskies/catfish in set up. I have tons of poles, I was thinking of bringing down my 8' MH fiberglass cat pole, and pair it with a 6500C3 Abu Garcia. But I also have a few different regular 7' MH graphite spinning set-ups. Maybe use the fiberglass one just for live bait fishing, and artificials on the spinning combo? Oh, and what's the line limit for Florida, anyone know?

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grab a reg book when you get a license. I forget but I think it was called "rent a wreck" in Naples Rented to me, I was 20. I had debit card and insurance on my own vehicle in MN that is all I wanted. Other than that I have had the guy from the other side of the high bridge pick me up at the condo and bring me to his vice and versa to rent some scooters, that was fun. what do you want to spend per night for lodging, expensive and busy down there right now. Fish the bridge near lovers key (south side of Island) Sanibel had many (well, some) good fishing spots. If strapped for cash don't plan to spend a time on sanibel other than the toll. Have Fun Stay Safe Be Smart Have Fun

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Right now we're thinking at La Quinta? I found it for $80 a night and like two dozen customer reviews averaged a 3-4/5. It looks like it's right near the beach too. Depending on our reward points for Holiday Inn, we might stay there too (the one at Fort Myers, not Sanibel.

Was Rent A Wreck just a boat rental agency? That'd be fun, do some fishing, and I'm sure she'd love it. Also, if we stay at a hotel that's not beachfront, does anyone have any info on the shuttle services offered by the hotels? I saw that some do, but no times or anything.

P.S. Just decided we MIGHT (haven't decided yet, both are still open) go to Miami instead, any input on that city?

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trolley on Island should be all you need. not sure off hand where la quinta is. Rent a wreck was car rental, good rates, rented to me at age 20. we took rental car a few times from ft. myers through the everglades and the keys to Key West. If you did that you would want to stay some where in the southern keys overnight. there is also a high speed ferry from FMB to Key west. It all depends on what you want to do; I usually sit at the condo most of the days near the beach and ocean (gulf). Go out for dinner at one of the many places; find a band at a bar, have a few. Go home and try it again. 1 or 2 days we'll do something "unique". Sanibel/ Captiva; Everglades; Keys; Thomas Edisons house; Golf; etc... You also mentioned boat rental; There are a few places; I would reccomend taking trolley to south end of Island toward lovers key. Get off, walk across bridge and hotel onleft (only hotel) has rental place on the beach. I thought they were priced best. they had jet skis and jet boats, we rented jet boat and cruised the lagoons, and fished the mangroves. lots of dolphin and other wildlife. Any other questions???

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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