'Tooning in SW Florida?
I have a new Scadden Renegade and am looking forward to taking it to Florida during one of our upcoming trips. Starting thinking about safety--meaning things that live in the water.
I don't fish many places in Fla.:
1. 10,000 islands, out of 'Glade City. I think that's out. We've been bumped by a Hammerhead more than once in the flats boat.
2. In the Gulf off of Marco
3. Around Naples in the channels between Marco and Naples, and outside when the Wx is calm.
4. Up north, the Gulf off Destin, the bays around Crab Island, and Amelia Island area.
I have to assume any freshwater lake fishing in Florida from a 'toon is not a good idea :rolleyes:
Any one with comments on these areas and safety along with good access points and anything, wow thanks so much.
Re: 'Tooning in SW Florida?
Hey John, sharks are going to be an issue everywhere on the coast, but if you think about the percentage of divers with bloody fish on stringers that get attacked, its pretty low. Your feet in the water MAY be an attractant, but I used to do a lot of wading in waters with sharks and I've only been bumped once, when I was swimming at a beach when I was young. My father has been wading alligator-infested waters for years. While it scared my mom and we've both hooked into gators while fishing, these are just possible statistics-makers you have to run through your head. There will be some sort of apex predator in whatever water you are in in FL, and I mean this in the most positive way possible (as in, they are always there, and the issues are pretty low).
I am originally from Sarasota on the West Coast, so I can't give you specifics but I can give you some general ideas. If you can find oyster beds, specifically with rays cruising them, you will find redfish. If you find grass flats, you will find trout and redfish, along with other species which can give you some tight lines. Target the mangroves, as well as illuminated docks at night, for snook. These are just the basics.
Just as an interesting aside, one of the most productive shark fishers in our area used to fish out of an inner-tube. I haven't heard of any veteran fishermen in the area dying from shark attack lately so I'm sure he's still kicking around out there (literally). So you should be fine in a pontoon :p
Re: 'Tooning in SW Florida?
Sharks, gators, Moccasins, etc are the least of your problems unless you hang bloody fish over the side for a chum line.:eek: The oyster bars, sharp debris, etc is a big problem but one that can be overcome by using a bit of common sense. Don't drag your toon! Stay out of shallow water and get on and off in a foot of water or so, not on the shoreline. Carry Duct Tape for quick emergency patch and a real patch kit in the car. Watch sharp toothed, spined or gill plated fish close to your boat when landing them. If you use a gaff watch that also. In short--common sense!! Be aware of tides and wind as they both can play havoc with you especially tide and a shallow flat going dry!
All that said, I used a pontoon boat for years in Florida and they work great but usually are not geared for the salt so a very thorough fresh water washing is in order each time used, especially zipper tags, etc. Good luck with your trip.
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