Alligator Harbor FL is south of Tallahassee, Florida, and a straight shot down 319 to 98. Depending on the time of year the fishing can be amazing. There are Redfish, Trout, Mullet, Sailcats, and an occasional Tarpon in the Harbor. If you like catching sharks, Alligator Harbor, FL is the place for you. I usually try not to worry about sharks, but after being circled by a sizable dorsal fin while cast netting in the Harbor I’m a bit leery of swimming in deep holes. You will catch about one shark per three fish. Though I have hung some sizable ones, they usually fall with the 3’ zone.
The variety of action at Alligator Harbor is quite amazing, in addition to the above, my son caught a gar which was quite a surprise, I had never heard of gar in salt water, but the pics don’t lie. Oh and by the way, if you’re wondering where the harbor got its name, there are gators in it, sometimes BIG ones. I have a friend who makes a living dealing with nuisance gators that told me the gators that hang out in salt water tend to be a bit cantankerous as well. My cousin got the gator in the below pic not very far from Alligator Harbor. I know it sounds like I’m not painting a pretty picture for fishing there, but it adds to experience.
I usually use shrimp or baitfish for bait. Live fingerling mullet is absolutely the best, but pinfish work just fine. Most of the time I can catch enough of both with a cast net but if you don’t stop and pick up some shrimp on your way you can be sure there won’t be any bait fish to catch. Murphy’s Law always seems to apply if you don’t purchase a couple dozen shrimp. Just throw Murphy off if you want and pick up a dozen.
Yep that is a stingray in the pic, at the end of the table, I have been told all my life that a lot of times when you eat scallops at a restaurant you’re actually enjoying stingray wings that have been punched out by a tool that is similar to cookie cutter. Well I had to try it, and I can assure you it is delicious. I tried to fillet it which I don’t recommend unless you know how to fillet snot covered jellyfish. I have since fashioned my own cookie cutter made from a 1” pipe. Bring the stingrays on, I won’t throw them back anymore.
One last note and I know a lot of folks are going to call B.S. on this one, but I have discovered that sailcats are fine eating. Soak those fillets in buttermilk for a bit and fry them with some cornmeal and you won’t believe your taste buds.
Hope you will give Alligator Harbor FL a shot, good luck and happy fishing.