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I am planning a vacation this year for my 40th bday. I will probably take 10 to 14 days. Plan on hooking the boat and exploring florida. I live in pcola so i am going to head east and from there i am not 100% sure...

Possibly Aug to Oct. Time frame.

All salt water fishing. I have a 16ft bay boat 19 gallons so i can handle bays, the gulf to a point, depending on weather of course. I have been 15 miles out here before.

Whats your top 4 fishing spots, staying on the gulf coast side?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Since you asked, I would go to St. Joe Bay/Indian pass and tarpon fish my ass off. Maybe have a rod ready for tripletail.
 
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Why limit your self to the Gulf Coast side. If I was going to take two weeks to travel and fish Florida Id do it in October.

First stop would be Crystal River. From there Id shoot across to Sebastian and fish the inlet and up in the rivers for tarpon and snook. If the mullet run is on and its calm enough Id poke out the inlet and fish the mullet for big tarpon and snook.

Head south and fish the canals for peacocks and snakeheads in the Miami area. From there hit the keys and then back up and hit Tampa and then home.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Why limit your self to the Gulf Coast side. If I was going to take two weeks to travel and fish Florida Id do it in October.

First stop would be Crystal River. From there Id shoot across to Sebastian and fish the inlet and up in the rivers for tarpon and snook. If the mullet run is on and its calm enough Id poke out the inlet and fish the mullet for big tarpon and snook.

Head south and fish the canals for peacocks and snakeheads in the Miami area. From there hit the keys and then back up and hit Tampa and then home.
I want to have 2 maybe 3 days per location thats up in the air. But this is why i am asking just to start mapping some plans. Figured staying on the coast would be easiest. I want to make it to the keys.
 

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Well, personally, I would go to my camp in St. Joe and spend 2 weeks in heaven. But, given that you want to travel I'd definitely venture over to the east coast some too.
 

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In Geographical order based on Pensacola departure.

Ceder Key - Spring and Fall
Hommasassa - Summer
Cockroach Bay - Summer Fall
Sanibel Island - Fall
Everglades National Park - Fall Winter
Tamiami Trail - Late Fall Winter


All of those are "Don't Miss locations".
 

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10-14 days...id find the fish in Pensacola and fish non stop in a familiar area...especially with a smaller boat...
 

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I like Crystal River in the fall- but that is mainly because we've been there a few times and are getting pretty familiar with the area now. If planning to head farther south.... depending on what you would like to target, my idea inshore trip would be Chokoloskee, a stop near the Big Pine or Marathon keys area, and then somewhere along the Space Coast- Indian River Area.
But, some advice from anglers who have been in the areas you think you want to fish, and have experience there will be a huge asset to making it a truly successful trip.
Good luck- sounds like a great plan!
 

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Do not miss Cedar Key. What a fun place but be aware that it is shallow.
You will have to plan your launchings. The ramp and marina can be mud at low tide.
I think September is prime time for redfish down there but we caught a bunch in July.
 

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I've lived and chartered out of Crystal River since 1975 so--

I'd fish around Yankeetown then go up to Carrabelle then over to Pass Christian then over to Venice, La.--If I had my 'druthers.

When it is good around YT, it can be mighty good. IM me and I'll give you a little leg up.

It is always on at Venice, La and I can help you a little there too. I go pretty often.
 
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