Marc I: What would you say is the absolute best all around, year round saltwater (near shore) fishing area in Florida, besides the Keys? (*bigger fish being better, including sharks.)
This is a great question, but you are making it difficult for me to answer. I was ready to give the super quick answer of The Florida Keys, because it is the very best area in Florida to fish year round. When you ask about other areas, I have to say that I don't have as much experience in other areas as I do in the Keys. However, Rich and I did fish all over the great State of Florida when we did the Redfish Tournaments.
I really liked 2 areas that we visited often and see them both as great year round fisheries in Florida.
1. Mosquito Lagoon- The fishing here was sick and the first time we had a tournament here there was ice on the boat as we left the dock. The redfish didn't care and we had a blast catching them and finished 2nd place in our very first professional Redfish Tournament. That definitely left a good taste in my mouth for the area, but I have been back many times at various times of the year and it has not let me down. I love Mosquito Lagoon.
2. Punta Gorda/Ft Myers- This area is on the West Coast of Florida and is home to a wide variety of species. Redfish and Snook will keep alot of anglers busy but there is much more to offer. Boca Grande Pass draws 100,000's tarpon to the area and you can fish in the circus of the pass or find some other amazing fishing inside and outside of the pass. Permit, Pompano, Jacks, Goliaths, Groupers, Snappers and virtually every fish found in the Keys can be caught in this area. With an offshore boat you are also in range of the Fort Jefferson, Marquesas and the entire Gulf of Mexico. With a skiff you can go south to Chockoluskee and the Everglades.
Outside of the Keys, these two areas would be my top choice based upon my experience.
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