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  Cedar Key, FL area input please.

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Author Topic:   Cedar Key, FL area input please.
macsfriended posted 10-24-2009 09:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for macsfriended   Send Email to macsfriended  
Looking at the subject area for the week between Christmas and New Years. (Just wife and I)

I've looked at the tourism web sites and looks like it lacks much of the Orlando area rush rush(a plus for this years trip.)

I'd consider dragging our BW 13 down with us if the area has "little boat" friendly launch ramps for several fresh and protected salt water exploring and fishing half day excursions.

Any input from other CW folks re their experiances, observations, and recommendations of small boat usefulness in that area.

Moose posted 10-25-2009 12:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moose  Send Email to Moose     
Mac,

We've spent our winter thaw out week in Cedar Key on four different occasions. Our most recent stop there was in 2007. You are correct, Cedar Key would not be mistaken for a Disney property.

I've never really considered towing my Outrage down there as we only have about an 8 day window, with really only 5 days in Cedary Key. With my overly cautious nature, I'd need far more local knowledge in order to feel comfortable boating (with my boat) within the backwater tidal areas. Massive chunks of the tidal areas are exposed at low tide, and then used at high speed by the commercial guys during the higher tides, them boys know what's going on!

There has always been a boat rental operation near the downtown ramps. We've rented an old beater 16 foot Carolina Skiff (with a huge 15 HP outboard!) quite a few times and goofed around in the back water area. The offshore Keys are also a good day trip destination. Atsena Otie Key has a public dock and some historic ruins. Seahorse Key has an old lighthouse. Both are easily reachable in your 13. Usually lots of Dolphins out in the those areas.

The island in the background is Seahorse Key, shot from Atsena Otie Key.

http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc159/Gritman99/Boating/ Key%20West%20-%20Cedar%20Key/DCP_0808.jpg

Atsena Otie Key with downtown Cedar Key in the background.

http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc159/Gritman99/Boating/ Key%20West%20-%20Cedar%20Key/DCP_1144.jpg

We've also rented canoes and checked out the islands to the northeast of town and the area north and west of the airport.

When we've been there (February)the parking area at the main ramp 'downtown' (corner of Dock and A Streets) seems very quiet and under utilized, no problem with parking. This ramp appears to be used mostly by fisherman headed out to the Gulf. There are a few other ramps on Florida 24 as you come into town that offer better access to the back country.

Back in '07 there were 2 or 3 retail seafood operations in town. Oysters, fish, etc., every night at VERY reasonable prices! There are/were a couple of nice restaurants too.

Hopefully some of the feet on the ground in Florida will post some more helpful info. We've enjoyed our trips there.

Feel free to email me if I can answer anything further.

lakeman posted 10-25-2009 12:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for lakeman  Send Email to lakeman     
I live near CK and my neighbor has a guide business there. It can be cold, and windy, water with the winter tides can be very thin. Fishing is mostly offshore, but can be fun in and around the islands or even the pier, if you know what your are doing. I think bringing the 13 would be OK, but keep in mind, that hiring a guide for a few days might be a better option. You can also go down to Crystal River, Homassassa, or Yankeetown and fish in the rivers or go snorkeling with the Manatee(if you like lots of dive shops do trips)
If you want to get on register for the Florida Big Bend Forum here is the link, sorry copy and paste. Lots of good people here who can give you advice. Mt.man(Chuck) is the local dock master for the city of CK. good guy for reliable information.
http://forums.floridasportsman.com/forum/florida-sportsman-forums/big-bend-general-info
Tohsgib posted 10-26-2009 11:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
13 would be fun. You can do as Lakeman suggests or go north to the Suwannee River as well. Weather is usally pretty nice that time of year but it can get cold, especialy at night. I have had New Years eve parties with people wearing shorts or huddling around a bonfire with coats on...gotta love Central FL.

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