Having the time and money to fish Florida’s East Coast from Jacksonville to Miami would be a dream come true for most any angler.
A close second in terms of enjoyment, and far more affordable, is reading Fishing Secrets from Florida’s East Coast by Ron Presley, a former Florida guide and boat captain.
It’s a great read for those cold winter days in the Midwest and Northeast.
But it’s also a wonderful travel guide and angling road map for those who actually want to fish any or all of the 350-mile coast. Even if you are a Florida resident who already thinks that he knows all he needs to about fishing these coastal waters, I’m confident that you’ll learn something new and helpful from this book.
The book is organized geographically, starting with “Florida’s First Coast,” from Jacksonville to Daytona and New Smyrna Beach. The Space Coast, Treasure Coast, and Gold Coast follow.
Presley provides a little history about each stop that you make with him along the way south, as well as general information about the fishery. Then he delves into specific locations, techniques, and species for that location. You’ll learn to catch everything from flounder and seatrout to swordfish and tarpon. And, along with helpful information about more traditional techniques, you’ll learn how to take redfish and snook on the fly and wahoo under a kite.
Finally, Presley includes specifics on area hotpsots, as well as lodging, restaurant, and tackle shop recommendations.
As an ardent conservationist myself, his occasional “Fishing Lessons for Life” are among my favorite parts of the book. They include insights into fishing with kids, caring for fish, and respect for the resource.