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Naples or Sarasota for fishing in retirement?

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Naples or Sarasota for fishing in retirement?

Old 06-29-2018, 04:46 PM
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Default Naples or Sarasota for fishing in retirement?

It has come down pretty much down to Naples or Sarasota as potential places to retire. From those two, which one would you recommend from a fishing perspective (I may or may not own a boat - don't know yet)? Naples is closer to the Keys. Also I think there are some flats there - I did not realize how much I enjoy flats fishing until I did it in Key West a few years back and caught a bunch of AJs on light tackle. I also like blue water fishing.
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Old 06-29-2018, 05:38 PM
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There are no flats to speak of in naples, yes plenty of inshore fishing but no true flats. Great off shore too but not blue water as in Pelagic fish unless you run 100 plus miles.
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Old 06-30-2018, 03:44 AM
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Without a boat it's hard to say but Sarasota would be my guess. With a boat it depends on the type of fishing. Give more info and we will be better able to respond.
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Old 07-01-2018, 02:24 PM
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Check out Charlotte Harbor
portcharlotte
placida
englewood
boca grande
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:14 PM
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I would prefer Naples. Depending on your budget. Closer to the Tortugas, great offshore all around it. You have the Ten Thousand Islands to go slam snook and reds in as well. Plenty of guides around as well.
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:29 PM
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I’d look long and hard at the New Jersey Coast line.... or perhaps the Canadian Maritimes.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:46 PM
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Lot's of people retire here? It's a bit crazy, but it's beautiful, always summer, and the mountains are pretty. Oh and the fishing is pretty good too!
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by raysmith View Post
Check out Charlotte Harbor
portcharlotte
placida
englewood
boca grande
No, no,no...to much red tide, the fish kill is crazy.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:23 AM
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I heard there are roving bands of robots in Florida and they use old people’s medicine for fuel. Sounds scary.
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Old 07-02-2018, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by vulcan View Post
No, no,no...to much red tide, the fish kill is crazy.
Really? That often? First I ever hear of this. Port Charlotte/Fort Myers area is where I've been considering
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:13 PM
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First off you did not catch amberjack on the flats...

bay fishing in Sarasota is mediocre at best..

Bradenton, Palma sola st Pete much better,, mainly because of Tampa bay and live bait availability

sarasota is a great city, but getting crowded and almost as expensive as Naples


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Old 07-02-2018, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by gumpire View Post
First off you did not catch amberjack on the flats...
I saw that also
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:36 PM
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I went to HS and College in Fort Myers, and now live near Tampa. I'm not sure if half of these guys answers are sarcastic because the areas are already too crowded and they don't want more fisherman in the area (good luck with that fellas). Anyway, I'll give you as much as I know for certain.

There is flats fishing available in Collier County, so at least one guy is nuts. A quick drive up to the Estero Bay (drop in around Lover's key or Imperial river) and its tributaries will give you all the flats fishing you want. Then there's always the Ten-Thousand Islands.

The idea of being "closer" to the Keys is kind of a half truth. If you have a boat big enough to make the trip in a short enough time to make it enjoyable, its too big a boat to do half of the best fishing in the keys (Bonefish anyone?). Which means its still a long drive, or a ferry ride (Key West Express leaves from Fort Myers Beach, and Marco Island). If all you want to do is take your big ass boat from Naples to Key West and get drunk for the weekend, or fish offshore, then yeah, Naples is better, but you could do the same thing from Sarasota and it would just be a couple hours longer.

Sarasota has the benefit of being a short drive away from Tampa Bay, and a short drive from Boca Grande. Both of which have AWESOME flats fishing. The offshore fishing from Charlotte county, all the way up to the Nature Coast is fantastic, no matter where you leave from. Naples has plenty of decent offshore fishing spots too, but you're a lot further from the inlets of Tampa Bay, Charlotte Harbor, and those in between.

Red tide is a thing, some years its almost non-existent, some years its ridiculous. This year, we have some crazy blue-green algae bloom coming out of Okeechobee that no one really knows what to expect. When it hits the Atlantic, it will probably just wash away, but on the Gulf side (coming out of the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers) who knows what might happen. Red tide has wrecked the Snook and Redfish populations in the past, but FWC has managed it well enough that we're still fishing for them. The idea that it has a lesser impact on the fishing in Naples isn't unheard of, but its probably a reach. If the flats fishing is hurt by a red tide or other issue, you go south to the Ten-Thousand Islands or the keys to get away from it. If you're in Sarasota, you go north to Tampa Bay (which is a lot shorter of a drive.

Naples is more expensive, and has a lot more insanely rich people. Sarasota is catching up for the average joe, but is not even close if you want the type of house seen on MTV Cribs. People that live in those houses with their Yellowfin's and Grady White's tend to be dicks to me in my little skiff, so I'd take Sarasota, but you really can't go wrong with either choice. Just budget and plan for a few extended weekends down in the Keys each year, because if you can't live there, and you really love to fish, you're going to want to spend as much time down there as you can. I know I wish I could get down there more often.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by vulcan View Post
No, no,no...to much red tide, the fish kill is crazy.
Red tide is unpredictable. It can pretty much hit anywhere and is generally common up and down the gulf coast.

x2 on everything Nsbohn already said
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:43 PM
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There are more retired yanks in naples than Sarasota...if that is you, then there you go. Also Naples has you at the door steps of the best inshore fishing the state has to offer.
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:48 AM
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Fishing is terrible in Sarasota, Venice and Englewood. Stay where you are. ;-)
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:49 AM
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They're terrible ineffective. Plenty of Old People still here.
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:20 AM
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As far as fishing I would say Naples because you are close to 10,000 islands & the Glades, you can jump on the alley and be to the east coast in less than 2 hours if you want to bluewater fish. Depending on the boat you have you can run across Florida bay to the keys if you really want. Only downside I see to Naples is it can be pretty pricey and stuck-up so to speak . As far as the city itself goes my vote is for Sarasota, I think Sarasota is a neater (is that a word?) town in general. A little more artsy and there always seems to be something interesting going on if your not out on the water. Inshore fishing in Sarasota leaves something to be desired IMO offshore is a good run to get into anything decent.
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:48 AM
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Another vote for Sarasota. ICW is less crowded and generally you have more access to the gulf. Less hurricane hits. And tropics like water at siesta/point of rocks and Egmont. Near and far, fishing options are superb. You can get to Marlin territory in the same amount of mileage as a run to Naples. Tampa bay does have some wicked flats, St. Pete has the largest kingfish tournament in the world, and in general the town still tolerates boaters well.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:36 AM
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Either will be great! After all the threads about how much better FL is in the winter, I am planning on doing the same with all my Yankee neighbors.
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