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Mr. Aquarium

april fishing in florida

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hey guys, headed down from MA to tampa and vero beach, maybe naples. my buddy and I are both hardcore anglers, we want to catch everything we could possibly catch both fresh and salt.  we need some advice for both freshwater and saltwater in these areas.  i have everything from small trout flies for cichilids and myans to big swimbaits and saltwater plugs for the surf.  we want snook, tarpon, redfish, sea trout, lady fish, jacks, goliath groupers, sheepsheads, cobias
exotic freshwater species, like myans, cichilids, snake heads, clownknifes PEACOCKS,  and GIANT LARGEMOUTH.  


any advice and locations please PM me, thank you

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Check out the spillway at the intersection of 43rd and 20th street in Vero Beach.

The end of Oslo road has some nice wading for trout and whatever else may be in the area.

There's also some nice structure off the beach, which you can reach at low tide north of the golf course. If you can find bait, there's definitely fun to be had in the surf.

 

Good luck and post some pics!

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Your gonna need to go south of Vero to catch peacocks. Lake Osborne or Lake Ida is in West Palm. There biting nice there now. Or travel south to the Miami area. 

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I'm headed down next week for four days to fish Okeechobee and the Everglades.  Thought about doing some inshore fishing or canals for peacocks but decided to focus exclusively on largemouth.  

 

How long are you there for?  Will you have access to a boat?  Planning to hire guides or charters?  Without a boat or guide/charter some of those species you named are going to be really tough or pretty much impossible.  Depending on the length of your stay and access to a boat I would consider narrowing down your list of target species quite a bit.  

 

Miami area is your best bet for the exotic freshwater species you mentioned.  Big largemouth can be caught throughout the state, but Okee, Glades, Kissimmee, or Istokpoga are probably your best shot at a true giant.  Stick Marsh is supposed to be awesome as well but on the wrong coast.  

 

Snook, redfish, tarpon, trout, bonefish, and various other species can be caught in the majority of shallow water bays/flats on the outer edges of the Everglades.  

 

Cobia is largely migratory in nature, but I think Florida may by the one state you can catch them pretty much year round, both gulf and Atlantic side.  Typically you're sight fishing them from a boat, they come up and sun themselves near the surface (often near buoys or channel markers) and you throw live eels at them and watch them eat em.  I've never fished for Cobia in Florida, but have caught many off of Virginia Beach and even a few in the Chesapeake bay.  They are a lot of fun to catch, similar to a very large striper, but they can and do get significantly bigger.  Goliath  Gropuer as far as I know are predominately in the gulf in deeper water and require very stout offshore gear to catch.  Similar gear to standup bluefin/yellowfin Tuna up here in New England. 

 

Hope this helps.. feel free to PM me if you want to talk more.  I'll let you know how my trip for Largemouth goes next week!  I'm super excited, hoping to break my PB. 

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thanks guys! fishing April 1st- 6th. we want as many fish species we can catch. mostly inshores
any snappers at the local bridges?  we will be fishing for exotics  april first down in  for lauderdale and miami area, spending the day down there hoping for some peacocks

made a huge list of all the spots, access and what fish to catch


is there peas in lake osborn or lake ida? 

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11 hours ago, Mr. Aquarium said:

thanks guys! fishing April 1st- 6th. we want as many fish species we can catch. mostly inshores
any snappers at the local bridges?  we will be fishing for exotics  april first down in  for lauderdale and miami area, spending the day down there hoping for some peacocks

made a huge list of all the spots, access and what fish to catch


is there peas in lake osborn or lake ida? 

What are you considering a giant? You won’t find those amazon giants in Florida. Trust me

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Try the sky way bridge pier.   One of the biggest fishing piers in the country and a chance to catch a lot of different types of fish.   Good luck!!!

 

 

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On 3/16/2018 at 5:05 PM, Mr. Aquarium said:

thanks guys! fishing April 1st- 6th. we want as many fish species we can catch. mostly inshores
any snappers at the local bridges?  we will be fishing for exotics  april first down in  for lauderdale and miami area, spending the day down there hoping for some peacocks

made a huge list of all the spots, access and what fish to catch


is there peas in lake osborn or lake ida? 

There are, along with largemouth and clownknife fish.  

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On 3/17/2018 at 4:33 AM, Robert Bagnall Jr said:

What are you considering a giant? You won’t find those amazon giants in Florida. Trust me

for peas never caught one so i have no idea and i just want to cross it off my list
bass im looking for anything over 8lbs

On 3/17/2018 at 1:14 PM, Deeare said:

Try the sky way bridge pier.   One of the biggest fishing piers in the country and a chance to catch a lot of different types of fish.   Good luck!!!

 

 

yes we will be fishing down there for a bit! 

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In Pompano (next to Ft Lauderdale) around the Hillsborough canal, can get some SnakeHeads.  Can be found in some lakes in some the parks also.

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How did your vacation go, where you able to catch all the fish on your list or ar least most of them? The fishing has been very good this month so I am sure you did well.

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i got a snook, sea trout, a snapper, missed a few lady fish, a sailfin cat handfed a tarpon, stuck a remora to my leg.  caught spotted tilapia, a blue tilapia, a gar, a pleco
fishing was a little bit tougher then i thought but it was an amazing adventure. 

trying to take another trip for the fall mullet run

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Sounds like you had a good time! Yes fishing in Florida is a lot harder than what most non Floridians think it is,especially for bass over 8 pounds and fishing for many of the saltwater species you mentioned. I have caught everything you mentioned in your list but it took me a while and it would be very difficult to catch all those species you mentioned in only 1 to 3 days of fishing. You don't need a boat to catch goliath grouper and you can catch them in the keys bridges, some places on the west coast,etc. Make sure to bring gear that can handle these fish since most gear cannot handle these fish. Another species of fish worth targeting is permit and you can catch them in the keys bridges as well. 

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next time i want a red, big snook and a tarpon. i wish we did more inshore fishing. last day we got on some good inshore fishing. fish were on bait in shallow water along docks, thats when i got the sea trout and the 2nd snook.  
i think next time instead of going for many species, i want to target a few species. and only fish for those species.
going down there is making me want to leave MA and live there. it was amazing!! 

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You can definitely catch a snook, tarpon, and redfish in the same day if you wanted to, especially on the west coast and some parts of South Florida. If you have a couple days to fish it will increase your chances of catching all these fish even more. 

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I grew up in Tampa, no better saltwater gamefish than big snook imo. 

 

Freeline pinfish around mangroves and hold on. We use to fish around TECO powerplant. Some reason they grow bigger around there haha

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we never went to tampa, we stayed in stuart for the week. im itching to get back there. we saw MONSTER snook at night, a lot of them to. but unfortunately we didnt hook any of them. we need to go back with a different approach 

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The biggest bass in the world  is no match for a big snook so you should upgrade your gear if your goal is to catch a big snook ( any snook that is 40" and up). You need a rod with a solid backbone to pull the snook away from structure and a reel with a powerful,smooth drag to handle the abuse a big snook will give your gear. Make sure to use at least a 50-60 pound mono leader when targeting snook over 40" since big snook have a sharp gillplate that can easily cut mono of smaller size. Many snook fishermen use 80 to +100 pound mono leader when targeting big snook so 50-60 pound mono leader is not as heavy as you think. Yes you can get lucky and land a +40" on light leader ( have caught snook over 40" with only 30 pound test mono leader)  but you will most likely get cut off by the gillplate or the snook will get you stuck in the mangroves, concrete pillings,etc. 

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ohh  d**n.  i was certainly under gunned with my 10-20lb braid and 20lb floro leader.  
but ive caught 30lb salmon on 4-10lb line.

 

man  i need a  big snook, tarpon, redfish and jack. those fish are my main mission next florida trip. they are high up on the list with a blue fin tuna

 

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