15 best Places To Fish In Salt Water In Florida

Filed in Gather Travel Essential by on June 21, 2006 0 Comments

15 best Places To Fish In Salt Water In Florida

 

Everyone has their own favorite places to fish. Some you do not share except with best friends or close family members but most you will share. This listing is comprised of my all-time favorite places where I have consistently caught fish over the years, where the locals are friendly & helpful & where I will no doubt go again and again to wet a line. If you are from Florida, frequently go to Florida & know of others, good for you! These are my favorites! They are not listed in any sort of order or in sort of ranking.

 

1. Nassau River Mouth & Nassau Sound Bridge

Located on the NE coast of Florida this is an excellent area for inshore Atlantic coast fishing. The more prevalent catches are for black drum, sheephead, flounder, spotted sea trout & red fish. Favorite baits include shrimp (live & frozen), squid, shiners & fiddler crabs.

 

2. Anastasia State Recreation Area

This state facility is located just south of St. Augustine. The surf fishing here is superb. From the beach, especially at night, you will catch whiting, bluefish, pompano, Spanish mackerel & even some sea bass. On the inland waterway side of the area you will catch the usual Florida inshore types such as red fish, flounder, sea trout, sheephead & small jacks. Favorite baits include shrimp (live & frozen), squid, shiners & fiddler crabs.

 

3. Ponce De Leon Inlet

Located just south of Daytona this is an excellent place to catch the inshore action of red fish, sea trout, whiting, sheephead, mangrove snapper & black drum. Favorite baits include shrimp (live & frozen), squid, shiners & fiddler crabs.

 

4. Chassahowitzka River Mouth

Located south of Homosassa Springs this is an excellent place to fish for sheephead, sea trout, whiting, red fish, mangrove snapper & in the hotter months cobia. The waters here are shallow, the bottom rock strew with large limestone outcroppings making boating somewhat hazardous.  Tarpon abound in summer for those so inclined. Favorite baits include shrimp (live & frozen), squid, shiners & fiddler crabs also a number of jigs, spoons, rattler baits & ribbon baits are used in the artificial variety.

 

5. Bayport Park

This delightful park is located about 16 miles north of New Port Richey. It is an excellent location to kickback, relax & enjoy a day of angling. Large catches of red fish, spotted sea trout, flounder & red fish are common. Sheephead abound here as well. Off shore within 5-8 miles you can find & catch red grouper, pompano, permit, cobia & Spanish mackerel. When the water temps dip into the mid-60's the king mackerel abound here as well. Favorite baits include shrimp (live & frozen), squid, shiners & fiddler crabs. Artificial baits include spoons, jigs, ribbon baits, rattler baits & streamer baits.

 

6. Anclote River Mouth

The small Greek city of Tarpon Springs is situated on this river in West Central Florida's Gulf coast. The fishing is great, the people are better & the food is superb! Whether you fish or not be sure to eat while you are there in one of the Greek restaurants. Inshore favorites include red fish, flounder, spotted sea trout, whiting, pompano, snook & mangrove snapper. Favorite baits include shrimp (live & frozen), squid, shiners & fiddler crabs. Artificial baits include spoons, jigs, ribbon baits, rattler baits & streamer baits. In the cooler months the king mackerel make periodic runs along the beach and can be caught from the surfline.

 

7. Redington Beach Long-Pier

Located between Clearwater & St. Petersburg Beach this 1000 foot+ pier is world famous. The habitués of this pier are a gregarious group who will readily assist a newbie angler. Nighttime fishing is what this pier is all about! Buy your bait on the pier. Use live or frozen baits, cut baits, artificial baits or go along side the pier on the beech & dig up your own sandfleas. You will catch red fish, spotted sea trout, pompano, snook, mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, small black-tip sharks, small bonnet sharks, sheephead & in cooler weather the odd king mackerel.

 

8. Ft. De Soto Park

Whether you fish from the beach from one of the 2 piers or from the surfline on the beach you will enjoy this park's angling. The usual denizens of the inshore crowd abide here, spotted sea trout, whiting, red fish, pompano, snook, mangrove snapper & sheephead. Spanish mackerel also pass by as do the king mackerel in the cooler months. Cobia (Ling cod) are frequently caught as they run between the deeper holes located between the park & the Egmont Key park just across the south channel of Tampa Roads.

 

9. Gandy Bridge

Located across Tampa Bay between Tamp & St. Petersburg this is an excellent place to fish. Bait shops abound on either end of the bridge. On the causeway at both ends are free public boat ramps & plenty of shore fishing places as well. The fishing catwalk on the "closed to auto-traffic" old bridge is open to fishing and the adjacent in use "traffic-carrying" bridge is a favorite for big fish to shelter under. Inshore favorites include red fish, flounder, spotted sea trout, whiting, pompano & mangrove snapper. You will also catch bull sharks in varying sizes, small black tip sharks, stingrays & snook. On the St. Petersburg side of the bridge across a 300 yard-wide channel is a power generating plant that ahs an excellent warm water discharge where in winter you can catch anything & everything as well as watch the manatees that abound there. The usual baits apply here.

 

10. Rod & Reel Pier & Anna Maria City Piers

As the names imply these are fishing piers! These 2 piers are adjacent to each other separated by about 800 feet of open water. The R&R Pier is 250 feet long jutting out into the Gulf of Mexico. The City Pier is 750 feet long also jutting out into the Gulf of Mexico. Buy your baits there or bring them. The usual baits for Gulf coast fishing apply. Sheephead, red fish, spotted sea trout, whiting, mangrove snapper, pompano, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel in season & small black tip shark abound here. Nighttime is better fishing than daylight hours here.

 

11. Coquina Beach Pass

A pass between Coquina Beach & Long Boat Key this is an excellent area to fish in the inland waterway or the Gulf. The usual baits for Gulf coast fishing apply. Sheephead, red fish, spotted sea trout, whiting, mangrove snapper, pompano, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel in season & small black tip shark abound here. Fishing here is a done from the piers, seawall, wading in the shallows or from boats. You will see the occasional manatee in the winter months.

 

12. Boca Grande Pass

Rated as one the best fishing spots in the world by numerous magazines, professional fishing guides & sportsmen this is a great place to fish! Snook, red fish, sea trout, whiting, pompano, mangrove snapper, sheephead, shark, sting ray & of course tarpon are all plentiful here.  Favorite baits include shrimp (live & frozen), squid, greenbacks, threadfins, shiners & fiddler crabs. Artificial baits include spoons, jigs, ribbon baits, rattler baits & streamer baits. In the cooler months the king mackerel make periodic runs along the beach and can be caught from the surfline.

 

13. Long Key Sate Recreation Area

Located in the upper Florida keys this is an excellent location to catch such tackle busters as bonefish, lady fish, small barracuda, spotted sea trout, whiting, sheephead, Spanish mackerel, pompano & mangrove snapper. Favorite baits include shrimp (live & frozen), squid, greenbacks, threadfins, shiners & fiddler crabs. Artificial baits include spoons, jigs, ribbon baits, rattler baits & streamer baits.

 

 

14. Cudjoe Key

Located in the lower Florida Keys this is a great place to fish for yellow tail snapper, mangrove snapper, red fish, bone fish, lady fish, Spanish mackerel, sheephead, red fish, pompano & black drum. Favorite baits include shrimp (live & frozen), squid, greenbacks, threadfins, shiners & fiddler crabs. Artificial baits include spoons, jigs, ribbon baits, rattler baits & streamer baits. There is a free boat ramp for those with boats.

 

15. Alafia River Mouth

Located on Us Highway 41 at Gibsonton this a place for great fishing. On the south side of the river mouth mangrove banks abound & on the north side is the largest phosphate production in the world with a lot of seawall as well as pilings for the sheephead. Red fish, spotted sea trout, small black tip shark, Spanish mackerel & others fish swarm these waters year round. Baits include cut baits, squid, live shrimp, frozen shrimp, greenback minnows, shiners, threadfins, small pin fish, fiddler crabs & sand fleas. The usual range of artificial baits are used here. There is a free boat ramp on the north side of the US Hwy. 41 Bridge.

 

 

-

© Donald R. Houston, PhD, 2006 

About the Author ()

Viet Nam vet with the usual baggage but mine is now packed away. Public health specialist & medical anthropologist have worked all over the globe, most recent work since 1988 in the former Soviet Union (now the CIS/NIS) & based out of Flo

Leave a Reply