Sunday, October 4, 2009

October On Cayo Costa

There are a lot of places that have been called "Florida's Best Kept Secret" but for my money it Cayo Costa State Park. During this time of year it's actually possible to have this island, with nine miles of beaches, entirely to yourself. There are twelve cabins that rent for only $40 per night. They're very basic but comfortable, especially now that the nights have cooled off considerably. In addition to the great swimming and shell collecting, the beaches are loaded with fish. It's common to see schools of snook, sheepshead, and black drum right in the surf with their backs literally coming out of the water.

I hooked a huge snook near the ranger station and the 22 inch trout pictured above was caught a few miles to the east in Pine Island Sound. You'll also have access to the great redfish flats inside Pelican Bay. Even if you don't have a boat Cayo Costa is easily accessable from the ferry at the Pineland Marina. Weekdays are the best time to head to the island this month, other than the rangers you'll rarely see other people out there.