When people think of a Florida vacation, they often think of Disney World, Miami or even Tampa Bay. These are all wonderful places for sure. However, another area of Florida that one should consider if venturing to the Sunshine State is the beautiful Gulf Coast. The Florida Gulf Coast is known for its beautiful scenery, untouched coastline and of course, the fishing.

In fact, fisheries in the Gulf are some of the most productive in the world, providing more fish, shrimp and oysters than anywhere else. Fishermen gather these delicacies in a number of ways, including by casting nets, trawling, diving, and the time-tested tradition of casting a hook and sinker. The Gulf Coast is home to hundreds of piers and docks from which oyster boats, shrimping boats and hired fishing charters set sail.

One thing that makes this region such a special place is that, unlike many other areas of the Florida coastline, many sections of the Gulf Coast remain undeveloped and in their natural state as they were decades ago. The Florida Gulf Coast features many ecological treasures such as marshlands, estuaries, and ancient trees, grasses and shrubs. These sanctuaries serve as nurseries to countless marine species and provide homes for many types of unique birds.

Many visitors to the Gulf Coast seek a truly unique fishing experience, and they are rarely disappointed. Anyone with a fishing license, which is easily obtained, can fish off the shore or hire a charter to explore the waters off the coast. The fish, shrimp and oysters are plentiful and the serene tranquility of the skyline alone is worth the trip. The Florida Panhandle coast along Apalachicola is known for its oysters, considered to be the best America has to offer.

Near Port St. Joe, many tourists visit the Dead Lakes State Recreation Area, which offers amazing bass fishing, bird watching and lovely kayaking. Many local companies offer boat rides around the waterscape.

The Gulf Coast is also home to offshore barrier islands that offer locals and visitors the opportunity to fish, swim, shell and relax. These islands often are uninhabited and are filled with beautiful sand dunes, native plants, flowers and sea grasses.

For those who love to snorkel and dive, St. Joseph Bay is the place to go as it is the home to countless types of fish, turtles, dolphins and rays. And during the summer months, locals and visitors from all over the world head to the bay to harvest scallops – which some say are the best on the planet.

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