Florida Cast and Blast

 In Hunting Stories

by Ed H Edwards, Lansing Chapter Member, avid hunter, and fisherman   

Successful Fishing and Hunting in the Sunshine State!

Standing in the Ponce Inlet surf I yelled to the guy fishing next to me “This might be a shark!”

An opportunity to travel out of Michigan in March to a warmer climate is always welcome and if it includes reading by a pool, beach walking, fishing, and hunting I’m all in! The Florida Central Atlantic Coast has been a favorite area for beach-going and pier fishing for many years and excellent hog hunting is available within a two-hour drive.

Beach walking and hog hunting have been enjoyed in recent years but all of the local piers were destroyed by hurricanes so my only option this year was to try surf fishing with no expectations.

My rod bent double and something with shoulders peeled the line and made the reels drag sing. Whatever it was headed towards Ft, Lauderdale, holding the rod tip high I ran the beach in the same direction as fast as I could trying to keep up with the mystery hookup. The fight settled in and I gained line, then lost line, whatever it was hooked was not giving up easily. An audience gathered on the beach as the fight continued and I started to gain the upper hand.  Landing a large fish in the surf can be a challenge since the waves push the fish in and out resulting in a moment of slackline and the hook losing purchase.

A fellow angler told me back up and he would help land it once it was in shallow water. The catch was a big bluefish of at least 15# and was released after a quick photo. Everyone who saw the fish agreed it was the largest bluefish they had ever witnessed, a blessed catch for sure!

The following day I had a hog hunt booked with West Shore Outfitters near Ft Mc Coy. They requested I arrive at 6:30 which required leaving at 4:30. Checking the weather forecast before leaving I got the bad news a surprise cold front had moved in and the temperature had dropped to 45 F. during the night and I did not pack suitable clothing. I improved by putting on all four t-shirts I had brought combined with a fleece pullover and my travel vest and hoping it would be a little warmer inland but I was not happy when the car temperature reading was 37 F upon arrival. Meeting up with Cody my guide we discussed the conditions. A cold snap shuts down the hog movement and the plan was to drive me to a blind and I would send a text if I had something down or was ready to try using dogs to find and bay up a hog.

I’m a patient stand hunter but after the better part of three hours of not seeing anything I sent a text that it was time to let the dogs out! Ten minutes later Cody pulled up in his side-by-side with a seasoned bay dog and a six-month-old pup in training. At his command, the dogs bailed out with noses to the ground. Within minutes they were barking and chasing a hog. Soon the barking became more intense as the dogs bayed up the hog. Pushing our way through the thick vegetation we decided to call off the dogs and try for a larger one. We drove away about a quarter mile to prevent the dogs from going after the released hog and sent them out again. Soon they picked up the scent of another hog and the chase lasted a bit longer. This hog bayed up under a large deadfall and was just visible enough to know it was a good one. As I tried to get into position for a clear shot it spooked and the chase started over. This time it bayed up at the edge of a marsh in water up to its knees. Retrieving it out of the cold water without proper footwear was out of the question so I rested my rifle against a tree and waited for the hog to make the next move. 

It must have decided the water was too cold and headed for the shore. As soon as his hooves reached dry land, I double lunged him with a .270 Federal 136 grain Terminal Ascent and he piled up after a 25-yard death run.

In my opinion, Florida is an overlooked state as a hunting destination. You can do a one-day guided hog hunt as I did for not much more than going to a theme park for a day. Other animals including gator and turkey hunts are easily arranged and a hog can be added to either for a reasonable fee with most guide services.

The guide service I have used in recent years:


Phone: 352-572-6924

Check out the variety of hunting and fishing adventures they offer!

They also offer meat processing and do a fast turnaround and vacuum pack.

We enjoy eating my harvested game meat and always bring home a Yeti Hopper 20 full of whole hog sausage.


Safari Club International is the leading voice in the fight to protect the freedom to hunt, both in the United States and internationally. The SCI Departments of Legal Advocacy Resources and International Affairs and Government Relations are headquartered in Washington, D.C., advocating on behalf of SCI members and non-members alike. From staff dedicated to legislation and policy to a team of litigators, SCI hunter advocacy is at the forefront of protecting the hunting heritage. SCI and the SCI Foundation provide the voice of the hunter in treaties that affect hunting and wildlife conservation worldwide. This is where SCI and SCI Foundation go beyond what other hunter organizations do and why their work in this arena is critical to preserving the right to hunt.  Plus, we have lots of fun and events like this one!

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