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SuskyDude

Need Some Advice For Florida Inshore Fishing

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Going down to Florida this weekend. Will be camping on the beach of Virginia Key for two weeks. I will have my kayak. So whats around and what type of tackle do I need for an all around spinning set up? I'd like to target snook, tarpon, and bonefish if they are around, but will be happy to fish for anything (speckled trout? pompano? cudas? you tell me.)

 

My only saltwater experience is fishing the surf and tidal creeks of Pawleys Island, S.C., and I already know that Florida is a compleltely different ballgame.

 

I've been told that that there should be plenty of shrimp around, and they should be the go to live bait for most species. Any rigging tips?

 

How about artificials? Gonna bring some topwater and jerkbaits, but wouldn't mind some reccomendations.

 

I've trolled the internet and heard about some of the good spots around Virginia Key (Bear Cut) and Key Biscayne (the flats on the north end I hear are good.) Anyone one willing to give up a hotspot thats within kayaking distance of Virginia Key? I've got a gps if you've got a waypoint.

 

Any advice, specific or general, would be appreciated.

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I have a penn fierce 5000. Match it with a 7' or 7'6" rod and it will do you well. I've fought 100+ lb tarpon out of a kayak with that setup and use it as my daily rod when walking the beach so it's very versatile. Mirrolures are my go to for that type of fishing. Bring some gold spoons as well. Do a google search for rigging live shrimp, I'm terrible at it and always lose the fish when using shrimp because I get a poor hookset. If the conditions are right, you may be able to go offshore as well. Do a search for some bottom spots and bring a couple chicken rigs and flatline out a sardine or ballyhoo on a second rod.

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I don't know what you have in the way of spinning I would suggest a reel with line capacity, I'm also not a kayker but I have caught every fish that you mentioned.  In my area I'd suggest going bass fishing, there isn't much going on here, but in the keys you should do ok.  I'd use live shrimp or crabs for bonefish and permit, braided line mono or f/c leader, alberto knot with a circle hook.  Long casts are important, they are very skittish fish, and can strip a mile of line out.  For snook, trout and tarpon, fluke on a jig head, bucktail jigs, hard lures and spoons, of all the tarpon I've caught I never got one on a spoon, don't know why.  Top waters can be fun too, I don't think you need much else.

I would be aware of this taken off the FWC site

  • People will be allowed to temporarily possess a tarpon for photography, measurement of length and girth and scientific sampling, with the stipulation that tarpon more than 40 inches must remain in the water.

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Thanks guys! So is using a fluro leader pretty standard for most fishing down there? What pound and what length would you guys reccomend? I plan on bringing a 7' M with a 3000(ish) spooled w/ 220 yd of 10# braid, and  a 7'6" with a 4000 w/ 265 of 15# braid.

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Thanks guys! So is using a fluro leader pretty standard for most fishing down there? What pound and what length would you guys reccomend? I plan on bringing a 7' M with a 3000(ish) spooled w/ 220 yd of 10# braid, and  a 7'6" with a 4000 w/ 265 of 15# braid.

I personally do not use F/C leaders anymore, but many people do.  With the tackle you are bringing snook, bonefish, redfish, triple tail, trout and juvenile tarpon are good fish to target, some shark too.  I don't think there is enough rod and reel for a 100+ tarpon, be fun to hook one but the chances of getting it boatside IMO are slim.  With a tarpon you need that hook buried, their jaw is rock hard, most tarpon are lost within a few jumps.  I've had tarpon on that I believe may have been about 75# with a 4000 spinner, the fish wins almost everytime.

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I typically use a short 1'-3' mono leader 20-40 lbs depending on targeted species. For tarpon, find the birds and long line a bait out in front of the feeding frenzy.

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I typically use a short 1'-3' mono leader 20-40 lbs depending on targeted species. For tarpon, find the birds and long line a bait out in front of the feeding frenzy.

10000% agree.

Always look for the "signs", birds working, bait busting and fins swimming, then sight sight cast, as noted above in front of the bait.  Sometimes you don't see bait busting but you may see what we call "nervous water" which is usually bait subsurface making the water ripple.

If you fish the backcountry, water is usually extremely clear and 3-5' deep.  I'm envious just thinking about it.

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If you want to catch cuda's, just put the most expensive lure you have on the line and they will take it from you!!!!! They also like red and green tubes :)

Also if you can find a bait shop everything loves live shrimp!!!!!

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This is a cuda tube, I make them up myself, yellow, green and black seem to work the best.  We gave some to the L.I. striper guys and the stripers were on them real good as we were told.  You won't get too many under 35" with a tube.

3dSVRG7.jpg

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