Florida Inshore Fishing Coast-to-Coast Offers Exciting Light-Tackle Action; Catch the 'Slam'
Updated: May 9
By Ken Perrotte
Full Video showing three exciting Florida destinations: St. Augustine, Charlotte Harbor, Fort Myers-Sanibel.
Hooking a tarpon is one thing. Landing one is another. My experiences with big tarpon are less than laudatory. Never have I managed to keep a powerful, grown tarpon on the line for more than 30 seconds. The typical scenario sees the fish usually throwing the hook on the first leap and always by the second. But this tarpon, while having all the athletic abilities of its forefathers, was a youngster. It must not have yet mastered the full tarponesque, Houdini-worthy, hook-escaping technique. I'll take it. First tarpon on the board!
The last week of March 2021 saw two firsts for me: the tarpon and fishing both coasts of Florida during a single trip to the Sunshine State. The opportunity came when I decided to drive to a mid-year business meeting of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers executive board, of which I am a member. Our entire crew down for the meeting was able to fish out of Charlotte Harbor. Everyone had a fantastic day on the water. We thank our hosts in historic St. Augustine, Punta Gorda/Charlotte Harbor and Fort Myers-Sanibel for the incredible hospitality. Check out their links for the full rundown on all you can do down in these beautiful Florida destinations.
The video above shows all three inshore trips, but below are individual links for each segment. Check them out and be sure to sign up for my all-too-infrequent updates. Spamming friends isn't in my repertoire!
My full article about this adventure is in the April 8, 2021 Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star!
Get outdoors and enjoy yourself. Life is too short to not go fishing!
For lodging in the area, here are Outdoors Rambler best bets.
St. Augustine - lodging is tight anytime in the spring but I was lucky enough to get a room at the Sebastian, a Radisson property that used to be called Tryp and was part of the Wyndham chain. The room were spacious and comfortable and one side of the property faces the sound. It's just a couple minutes to any of St. Augustine's many attractions, including the historic old district near Castillo San Marco.
Punta Gorda - I've stayed at the Four Points, a Marriott property on multiple occasions. It is so close to everything in Punta Gorda with many restaurants, activities in walking distance. The views from the point and the Tiki Bar adjacent to the property are spectacular - live music and a vibrant scene characterize the area.
Fort Myers - the brand new Luminary Hotel is, in a word, incredible - sure to be a destination go-to for the exciting Fort Myers area. Located along the waterfront, most rooms offer beautiful views of the bridges and harbors. Step out the back of the hotel and you are immediately in the bricked-streets of old Fort Myers, a multi-block "River District" with fantastic restaurants, bars, repurposed historic buildings and more. And, if you want to get to the beaches or the nearby islands (Pine, Sanibel and Captiva), they're just a few minutes away by car.