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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey Fellas,

My wife recently got a job in Sarasota and she'll be moving there this fall. I am still active duty military (Marine Corps), so I'll be living separately for a bit, but we're eventually going to buy (unless you all recommend otherwise) a place near/around Sarasota, FL.

I know a bunch of you who hail from SW Florida have way more knowledge about the real estate market, lifestyle, etc, than I do - I've been to Sarasota just once for a boat show last year.

Curious about areas you recommend for young newlyweds to reside. Although we both have careers, we don't have the cash to afford one of those $1mil+ super nice homes on the water, but could probably afford some of the offerings that are on the back channels and creeks. Really more curious on what the "good neighborhoods/areas" are...and if you think a modest place on a creek with a lift would be worth it over an arguably nicer offering landlocked (I realize most of this is personal preference).

Also, it seems like everyone there has massive boats on their lifts with most boats averaging probably 2.5 engines at least. I prefer my 18' microskiff which I used incessantly for redfish and occasional tarpon fishing in South Carolina. Do you think this is still a suitable boat for the area? I'd find it hard to believe it wouldn't work, but again, I've never fished near Sarasota.

I'm definitely intrigued by the tarpon fishing there, but curious how guys attack it? I.e. is there substantial sight fishing for these silver kings, because I much prefer throwing a fly to drifting live bait. I'm specifically asking about within a 30 min ride or so from Sarasota - I realize that Homosassa and Boca Grande (both world renown tarpon fisheries) are within 1-2 hours, but I'm more curious about the greater Sarasota areas.

It's always weird picking up and leaving a life you've lived for the past 5 years, but if there's some excellent tarpon fly fishing to look forward to, I should have no problem with the major life adjustment, haha.

I appreciate any words of wisdom you all could offer, and once in place, I'll happily pole anyone around on my bow.
 

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I can't speak for the neighborhoods and areas to live but I did spend some time fishing lower Tampa Bay and the Sarasota area while living in Tampa. There's a good amount of boat ramps in the area so if you don't find a place on the water it won't be a major issue. That being said, I think your boat would be great for the area. You can easily fish for snook and redfish in the mangrove backwaters and flats as well as tarpon on the beach and passes.
 

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Look North towards Bradenton or South towards Venice, much more affordable than you will find in Sarasota. Check around the Phillipi Creek area and Gulf Gate estates, both of those neighborhoods will have some water access in SRQ with smaller patio homes.

Good luck
 

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The Bay is huge and the Carolina will do fine there... plenty of Redfish, Trout, and Tarpon fishing goes on there in the Bay, as well as Snook.

The outside is a different story, the Gulf is shallow and to fish the beaches on calm days you will be OK, but to get out its a long way to deep waters.

The all around ticket there is a Bay boat... and every year they seem to be getting bigger.

The M-in-law lives there, Bradenton area but has no boat. They are right on the bay in one of those house you say you can't afford off Conquistador and have a nice dock... last time ai was there they had half a dozen paddle-boards, a few kayaks, and a couple jet-skiis which all belong to the neighbor across the street...
There is a beautiful flat there that many many boats troll and pole around and fish pretty hard. I have seen big Reds and Snook from the dock, but at low low tide its dry or inches deep for a hundred yard out.

My son live sin Tampa and is looking at boats like the new Pathy 25, and Islamorada BW 26 with 350hp outboard and raised control platform... as a all around boat he can fish Tampa Bay and also get offshore in.
 

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Moved from Sarasota to the low country of SC 3 years ago for work. Best move ever. On the busiest day on the Broad River I think I have seen 6 boats, on a Monday in Sarasota bay there will be 600 tower boats/bay boats/skiffs/kayaks whatever. I would suggest looking farther south in the Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda area so you have Charlotte Harbor to fish and enjoy an area without so much traffic. It's about a 45 minute drive to Sarasota from there.Just my .02 cents but that area has become ridiculously overcrowded and expensive.
 

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I used to live in Bradenton, FL and my recommendation is to keep your boat on a trailer. There is much better snook and redfishing to be had to the north or south, although the beach tarpon fishing is pretty good if you can stand the boat traffic and jetskis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Guys - appreciate the solid feedback and the useful knowledge. Believe me, it's a relief to know that there's other genuine dudes with skiffs playing around the stomping grounds and not just high-roller weekend warriors with their 37' Contenders - or worse, 38' SeaRays - with three engines, each of which cost more than a decent skiff.

Thanks again for the inputs. Will definitely reach out again once we're established and have learned the waters a bit - l'll pole the skiff for ya'll anytime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quick follow-up here: how are the boat ramps in the Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte up to Sarasota area? Do they get absolutely slammed on weekends? Is it even possible to find parking if you can't be the first one there in the morning? I realize some of the neighborhoods seem to have "private" ramps...are these usually good?

What about the locks? Big pain in the ass if you live in a neighborhood with a lock? Imagine those get backed up pretty severely on the weekends...

Thanks, fellas!
 

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Hey man.

I just recently started to fish the Sarasota area. I mostly fish more north or st pete. There is a lot of reds and snook to be found on the flats. If you have a skiff it will be perfect for sight casting. This area has a lot of bigger boats and bay boats that cannot get where the reds and snook are.

I am founding them in a less the 2ft of water. The fish are aggressive since they do not get pressured as much. I have been there three times in the past month. Have a total around 45 reds and 25 snook caught. Unfortunately, struck out yesterday. Just north Anna Maria sound is good. As well as Terra Ceia (lots of snook) and Miguels Bay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good deal, man! Thanks for the info. How are the boat launches? Is it a disaster trying to launch on a weekend and find parking?

Hope you're enjoying your new Mosquito - how do you like it for that area?
 

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I have friends who used to put in at Centennial park just north of Van Wezel pretty easily, but you just have to avoid the local junkies/homeless/FLtrash that frequents the park/ramp area. Somehow my friends and I always rented homes on the water, just "lucky" for us the market was in the crapper.
 

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Centennial park and ramp in Sarasota is very nice. I have not had a issue with parking. There is also kingfisher and palma sola ramp in Anna Maria. There are not as nice. Palma sola is steep and scrapes most trailers.

The mosquito is awesome bro. I would not want another skiff. Poles effortlessly, goes super shallow water. Runs shallow and deals with heavy chop very well. It is a nice and dry ride. I was in some nasty stuff yesterday in Sarasota Sound. Everyone I have on it loves the large casting deck and the large poling platform.
 

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Centennial park and ramp in Sarasota is very nice. I have not had a issue with parking. There is also kingfisher and palma sola ramp in Anna Maria. There are not as nice. Palma sola is steep and scrapes most trailers.
ALSO - the Filamentous Algae / Seaweed issue at Kingfisher is also a total pain. Spinning truck tires, gunk everywhere, etc.

To the T/S - the 59th Street Ramp gives terrific access to several of the areas discussed, above. It's popular, so get there early.

You'll love Sarasota. It's a great area.
 

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There is Placida Park. I would not recommend. It is over crowded and nowhere to dock your boat. The small amount of dock space is always taken by guides. Little area to maneuver your skiff around with 10 other boats on the water. Use Eldreds Marina ramp that is close by. It cost like 5-8 bucks. Still a lot of boat traffic around the ramp but there is tons of docks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There is Placida Park. I would not recommend. It is over crowded and nowhere to dock your boat. The small amount of dock space is always taken by guides. Little area to maneuver your skiff around with 10 other boats on the water. Use Eldreds Marina ramp that is close by. It cost like 5-8 bucks. Still a lot of boat traffic around the ramp but there is tons of docks.
Awesome, man - thanks for the heads up!
 

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Sarasota is a good place, but getting busier every day. Hard to find peace and quiet on the water anymore. But don't let that discourage you. Boat ramps have filled up before, but rare. As far as locks - do you mean like locks to raise/lower levels to get out on the water? I don't know of any around here.

Your boat will do fine. The bay can whip up a pretty good chop on a North wind, but nothing dangerous. Just a little wet. However, if you want to clear the passes to fish for tarpon, it can get a little sporty. Constantly changing sandbars and its always choppy, especially coming out big pass.

If I had the right budget, I'd buy a piece of property east of 75 with a few acres, and trailer my boat. Maybe even pay for a membership to one of the private clubs with their own boat ramp if the budget allowed... would definitely make weekend boating a little easier.

Any other questions, holler. I have lived here my whole life and have no plans to leave. Another thing to consider is that if you don't mind driving, Sarasota is pretty centrally located... in 2 hours, I could be in charlotte harbor, anywhere in tampa bay, 10,000 islands, Okeechobee, and any number of the other big bass lakes on the kissimmee or winter haven chain.
 

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Just found this thread but thought I could offer some insight as I've lived in the area my entire life. It all depends on what lifestyle you prefer but Sarasota is very crowded and also considerably more expensive house wise than close by areas. If you want a more small town feel with more affordable housing AND world class fishing take a look at Englewood. There is a multitude of boat ramps and even in high season I've never had an issue finding space. You are literally down the street from Boca Grande, and it is not overrated. You are more than well equipped with your current set up, I'm tentatively searching for a 14' skiff that I will feel plenty comfortable trolling the various flats and mangrove lagoons as well as cruising the ICW to the sand bars. On a nice day it's no big deal to shoot out Stump Pass or Boca Pass for a few miles.
 
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