When we asked our in-house experts at Fly Fishing in Salt Waters, Marlin and Sport Fishing to come clean on their secret spots to cast a line for our Best of Gulf Fishing series, it was no surprise that most of them protested (a bit too loudly) that they don’t have any … really. Fortunately, a few brave souls were willing to share their insider tips.
CHRIS WOODWARD, Editor, Sport Fishing: I’d have to say my favorite fishing hole — in general — is Pine Island Sound off southwest Florida. Even though it’s near a population hub like Fort Myers, it’s set off the mainland between two barrier islands. The tidal waters and flats feature lush seagrass beds and long stretches of protected state park and national wildlife refuge beaches. Tarpon, snook and redfish are easy targets.
DAVE FERRELL, Editor, Marlin: The area known as the “Bar” just outside of Florida’s Destin Inlet can hold a wide variety of species, from sailfish to cobia to giant kings. While a lot of boats travel up and down the coast to get a bite out of a cobia, the fellows with smaller boats will sit right on the bar and wait for the cobia to come to them!
JOHN FRAZIER, Editor, Fly Fishing in Salt Waters: I personally have a soft spot for Port Sulphur, Louisiana, which is probably because some of my most productive days of fly-fishing for redfish have taken place there. Many people drive right through it on their way to Venice (which also has outstanding fishing). But that’s kind of the beauty of it — there’s less pressure.
MIKE MAZUR, Senior Editor, Sport Fishing: I don’t think it’s much of a secret anymore, but Steinhatchee in the Big Bend area of Florida is a pretty nice place. Lots of good fishing opportunities and it still maintains that “Old Florida” feel — not overpopulated and very pristine.