Weather was once again a factor this week as a pretty strong front moved through early in the week, impacting my Sarasota fishing report. The bite was strong on Sunday as we drifted the flats casting Bass Assassin jigs and catching a bunch of fish. Monday and Tuesday were nasty, and it was still breezy Wednesday but got better each day after that. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, and ladyfish hit jigs and free lined shrimp on the deeper flats. The areas north of New Pass had cleaner water and those spots were more productive., with Bishop's Pt. and Stephen's Pt. being best for me. I ran across a bucket while up on plane and saw a tripletail under it. A live shrimp cast toward it was instantly devoured! The passes and nearby docks are loaded up with sheepshead, if you want a few for dinner, fine, but please don't keep too many as they are easy to catch while schooled up to spawn. Redfish and snook hit live shrimp under docks south of Phillippi Creek.
Fishing was good this week, though on most trips we did have to work a bit for them. I would characterize the bite as "steady" this week for clients on fishing charters. We did a pretty even mix of drifting the flats and bottom fishing. Bass Assassin jigs and Gulp Shrimp produced decent bluefish, speckled trout to 21", and plenty of ladyfish at the Middlegrounds, Bishop's Pt., and Buttonwood. Rocks in Big Pass and docks near Bird Key and Siesta Key were quite productive, pleasing anglers with nice sheepshead, redfish, mangrove snapper, flounder, and gag grouper. Live and fresh dead shrimp fished on the bottom fooled them. Strong tides prohibited fishing the pass later in the week, but tides are more favorable this upcoming week.
I ran a variety of diverse fishing charters again this week. I had 4 trips in Sarasota Bay, with spin and fly anglers catching Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, bluefish, ladyfish and more. Spin anglers did well with Bass Assassin Sea Shad baits in glow/charteuse and New Penny along with Gulp! Shrimp. Fly casters fooled the same species using Clouser Minnow patterns. One day chartreuse/white worked well and on another trip a brighter red/yellow fly was more productive. Pretty much every grass flat in 6' to 10' of water held fish; Marina Jacks, Radio Tower, Middlegrounds (probably the top spot), Bishop's Pt., and Buttonwood all kept clients busy.
It looks like the sheepshead have moved into the passes and bays in large numbers. A charter towards the end of the week was extremely productive! Just about every shrimp that hit the bottom was inhaled by a sheepshead, snapper, or grouper. Submerged structure in both Big Pass and New Pass are holding a lot of fish, as are docks and bridges around Bird Key, Lido Key, and Siesta Key.
River fishing has slowed down, most likely due to the water temperature hitting nearly 80 degrees. A trip to the Myakka was very slow while another to the Manatee River produced a few small snook and a decent redfish.
Sarasota offers visitors a wide variety of angling opportunities, and this week was a good example of that. Some guides specialize in certain techniques, and that is fine, but I like to mix it up, that keeps it exciting for me as well. This week clients on fishing charters caught speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano, ladyfish, and a big whiting on the deep flats throughout the area, with the Middlegrounds being the top spot for me. Fly casters did well with a heavy chartreuse/white Clouser and spin fishers used Bass Assassin and Gulp products with success. Inshore bottom fishing trips to the nearshore reefs produced some nice sheepshead along with porgies, grouper, snapper, and flounder. River fishing is winding down early as it has been unseasonably warm. A recent trip to the Myakka did not produce a lot of fish, but Bob Blaylock from Plant City, FL caught his first ever snook on a Rapala Jointed BX Minnow, a real trophy!
Action exploded this week on the deepgrass flats in north Sarasota Bay where the water was cleaner. Water temperatures rose significantly, hitting 70 degrees in the afternoon. Speckled trout were numerous and clients caught good numbers casting Gulp Shrimp on a jig head. Buttonwood and Stephen's Pt were the top spots. Pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano, grouper, and ladyfish were landed as well. On breezy days we fished docks and structure near Big Sarasota Pass and caught sheepshead, snapper, and grouper using shrimp fished right on the bottom. Snook and jack crevelle were caught using Rapal plugs and soft plastic baits in creeks and canals. Plenty of action and variety on Siesta Key fishing charters this week!
Water temperature fluctuated between the upper 50's and low 60's this week as cold fronts continue to move through, and that is the primary factor. Action on the deeper grass flats was slow, with just a few ladyfish and trout being landed. Bottom fishing around rocky structure and under docks with live and frozen shrimp was more productive. Big Pass and the docks along Bird Key were the best spots as clients landed sheepshead, gag grouper, and snapper, nothing very large, but steady action. The best bite for clients on fishing charters this week was the back end of creeks and canals. The water was significantly warmer and we ran into schools of aggressive jack crevelle that hit Rapala plugs with gusto. A few snook were fooled as well. One trip to the Manatee River resulted in fair action, with a few snook and jacks hooked.
Several strong cold fronts have moved through since the holiday, resulting in fishing easing into normal winter patterns. The deep grass flats are often not quite as productive due to colder, stirred up water. Bottom fishing with shrimp was productive for sheepshead, snapper, and grouper; these species are less affected by the colder water temperatures. Snook and jack crevelle migrated up into area creeks, rivers and canals and clients casting jigs and plugs did well. I ran a couple of fishing charters in the Manatee River, having a very good afternoon on Thursday, prior to the front moving through. A dozen snook hit Rapala X-Raps along with several bass, redfish, and snapper. This "river" action should continue until it warms up in the spring.
Many of my clients that go out on Sarasota fishing charters over holidays such as Christmas and Easter include families with children and also novice anglers. My goal on these types of trips is pretty simple; action! Any fish that bends the rod is a good fish. Drifting the deep grass flats and passes is generally the best approach and this week was no different. Warm, sunny weather and light breezes made for ideal conditions and the fish responded. Speckled trout, pompano, cbia, sharks, bluefish, gag grouper, sailcats, jacks, and a bunch of ladyfish provided fast action in Big Pass, Marina Jacks, and the Middlegrounds. All but a few of the fish were caught using Bass Assassin jigs and Gulp! Shrimp. This will be my last report for 2017 and I want to thank all of my clients for a great year!
It is cool and breezy with some rain as I sit here writing my Sarasota fishing report this week. Prior to the front bluefish and ladyfish were schooled up in large numbers at the middlegrounds, with a some speckled trout and pompano mixed in. Bass Assassin jigs caught them. Big Sarasota Pass had a lot of ladyfish as well with some jack crevelle and bluefish working bait on the surface. This action should resume once the front clears through. Jack crevelle continue to provide great light tackle spin and fly action in the area rivers and this cold snal should get the snook moving up.
Angling opportunities are plentiful this time of year and my weekly Sarasota fishing report reflects that. Anglers caught many different species using multiple techniques in a variety of locations. Speckled trout, pompano, Spanish mackerel jack crevelle, bluefish, grouper, ladyfish, and more hit Bass Assassin jigs on the deep grass flats at the Middlegrounds and Country Club Shores. Ladyfish were thick on the bars in both Big Pass and New Pass and hit jigs and plugs. False albacore and Spanish mackerel were schooled up in the inshore Gulf of Mexico and hit Rapala X-Raps and Bass Assassin jigs. Finally, I am starting to run my river fishing charters, with clients landing snook, bass, and jacks in the Manatee River.
I was on vacation for a few days and returned back to Sarasota to find some quite breezy conditions. Winds were out of the east at 15-20 knots. However, the bite was steady with clients doing well casting jigs in 4' to 10' of water new New Pass. Pompano, bluefish, trout, jacks, grouper, ladyfish, and more were landed. Bait is pretty thick out on the beaches and catching it is not too difficult with the east wind. We have our first severe front coming through mid-week, this may scatter the bait but will hopefully jump start our fall beach fishing.
Fishing was very steady once again on the deep grass flats in Sarasota Bay. Clients on fishing charters did well on a variety of species, with the Middlegrounds and Marina Jacks being the top spots. We are transitioning into our fall patterns; bait was much harder to find so we switched over to casting jigs, plugs, and free lining live shrimp. Pompano were landed on every trip and anglers experienced fast action on breaking bluefish, jacks, and ladyfish along with mackerel and trout, as well as blind casting while drifting. Most of the fish hit Bass Assassin Sea Shad and Gulp baits on a 1/4 ounce jig head. White Rapala X-Raps also produced, especially in shallow water. A few fish were also caught using live shrimp.
My latest Sarasota fishing report; Fishing remains steady in Sarasota, with once again the best action being on the submerged grass flats in 6' to 10' of water. Clients on fishing charters cast Bass Assassin jigs and used live pilchards and shrimp to land Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, bluefish, gag grouper, pompano, mangrove snapper, jack crevelle, sharks, and ladyfish. We experienced some very high tides with the full moon and Tropical Storm Nate, and the best bite was in the mornings on the beginning of the flood tide. Snook are still in the passes but are moving into Robert's Bay, which is also holding quite a few jacks and a few redfish. Action should improve as the weather cools off a bit.
My current Siesta Key fishing report; Fishing in Sarasota Bay was very good this week, despite the water still being fairly stained. The influx of fresh water from Irma has not kept the fishing from biting. Clients on fishing charters out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters landed quite a few different species using both live and artificial baits. Fred Swank from Ohio had a good trip on Wednesday, catching an "inshore slam", snook, trout, and redfish using live bait around mangrove shorelines and over deep grass flats. Chumming the deep flats at Stephen's Pt produced trout, Spanish mackerel, jacks, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish. Some fun surface action was found at the mouth of Big Pass, with breaking jacks and ladyfish hitting Rapala X-Raps on every cast.
A tropical disturbance came through this part of Florida, bringing wind and rain, which resulted in dirty water, especially near the passes. The key when this occurs is to find the cleanest water possible, which this week was on the west side of Sarasota Bay near Buttonwood Harbor. Despite the water isues, fishing was quite good at the end of the week! Clients using Bass Assassin jigs and live baitfish landed speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, snapper, grouper, sharks, ladyfish and more. The bite should keep improving as the water continues to clear up.
Fishing was good once again this week as water temperatures are finally dropping a bit. Yesterday it was 84 degrees in the morning, which was down from close to 90. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, snapper, jacks, grouper, ladyfish and more hit live bait fish on the deep grass flats. Chumming brought them into range. Snook and jack crevelle hit bait and shallow diving plugs in Roberts Bay and the south end on Longboat Key.
Fishing continued to be very productive on the grass flats near both Big Sarasota Pass and New Pass. Bait was thick and easy to catch with most of them being perfect sized threadfin herring. Clients on fishing charters out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters landed speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, jack crevelle, gag grouper, small sharks, and ladyfish at Marker #5, Marina Jacks, Radio Tower, and Middlegrounds. It really is as easy as loading up on bait fish then anchoring up-tide and up-wind (if there is any) of a large grass flat in 6' to 8' of water and using handfuls of live bait to chum the game fish up behind the boat. It has been VERY warm and it has been an early bite; getting out there early has been important as the best action was from daylight to 9:00 a.m. or so.
I had a couple of local, regular clients on Thursday who are a bit more experienced. We started off casting Rapala plugs in Robert's Bay, fooling jacks, sennett, snapper, and ladyfish. We switched to live bait and did well at Marina Jacks, then finished up catching trout on jigs up at Bishop's Pt.
Weather was an issue as Tropical Storm Erin breezed through. Thankfully, it moved very quickly and I was back out on the water on Tuesday to find conditions surprisingly favorable. Mangrove snapper were definitely the "fish of the week" for clients on fishing charters out of CB's saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key. These feisty and great-eating saltwater panfish are plentiful throughout the area. Chumming the deep grass flats near Big Pass produced a lot of mangs, as did fishing bridges and docks with live threadfins. Along with the mangs, many speckled trout were landed, with jacks, gag grouper, Spanish mackerel, and ladyfish mixed in. Mackerel numbers were down from last week, probably due to the water being a bit stirred up, but that action should pick up this week.
Fishing was outstanding again this week for clients on fishing charters with me. I never wandered far from the passes as that is where the bait was and the nearby grass flats held plenty of fish. Marker #5, Marina Jacks, Radio Tower, and Middlegrounds all produced well. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, jack crevelle, flounder, and ladyfish hit free lined live baitfish cast into my chum of live bait. Each dat was different, with speckled trout being numerous early in the week and Spanish mackerel coming on strong towards the end of the week. On Saturday I had long time client Tommy Hyser from Pasadena, MD on the boat. We ran into something unusual; schools of mangrove snapper and gag grouper busting baits on the surface in 12' of water. There were also mackerel, jacks, and juvenile tarpon mixed in, very cool!
Fishing was outstanding once again this week, though we did have to deal with some thunderstorms in the morning. Strong incoming tides made bait easy to catch and had the gamefish in a mood to feed. I used live threadfins on all of my charters this week. I never strayed far from either pass, as that is where the bait congregated. Speckled trout were the most numerous species landed by clients on Siesta Key fishing charters this week, though jack crevelle, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, snapper, grouper, and ladyfish also provided great light tackle sport. Snook are still relatively plentiful in structure out on the beach and in the passes, live bait worked best.
Fishing was outstanding this week for clients taking fishing charters out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters! Sarasota Bay is loaded with baitfish and just about every grass flat in 5' to 8' of water has bait and gamefish on it. There were a lot of fish breaking on the surface, especially early in the morning, and clients did well casting glow/chartreuse Bass Assassin jigs. Middlegrounds and Buttonwood were the top spots. When the jig bite slowed, a switch to chumming with live threadfins got them going in short order. Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds made an appearance this week, probably due in part to the drop in water temperature, it was down to 83 on Saturday. Along with the macks, anglers landed speckled trout to 20", bluefish to 3 pounds, jack crevelle, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish. Live bait produced best on the flats near Big Pass.
Fishing was very good once again this week, though it was quite warm towards the end of the week. The pattern for clients on fishing charters has been to get out early and cast Bass Assassin jigs while drifting flats in 6' to 8' of water. There were schools of "breaking" fish most morning, which made for exciting fishing! When the bite on jigs slowed later in the morning, I changed gears, caught bait (which is EVERYWHERE, though on the small side), and chummed the gamefish into a feeding mood. Speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, and a lot of ladyfish were landed by happy clients. Snook fishing is also good in both passes and out on the beach, though this is something that requires the right type and number of anglers as well as the right conditions.
Fishing really took off this week as the weather settled and the water cleared up! All of the grass flats that I fished in 6' to 8' of water held fish for clients on charters. Marker #5, Middlegrounds, Bishop's Pt., and Buttonwood were all productive and they seemed to be the hordes of small baitfish that were over the flats. Speckled trout, pompano, bluefish, flounder, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, jack crevelle, and loads of ladyfish were landed. Bass Assassin Sea Shad baits did very well, especially later in the week when there was a lot of fishing breaking on the surface. Live bait, both shrimp and threadfins, also produced a lot of fish. I did cast net bait this week and do some chumming, and though the bait was still on the small side, it was still very effective.
Fishing was steady this week for clients on charters this week. The weather has settled down into the normal summer pattern. Both Big Sarasota Pass and New Pass are holding decent numbers of snook, live bait produced best. Small fry baitfish were plentiful on several flats, especially the Middlegrounds, and this in turn attracted the gamefish. Speckled trout to 22", gag grouper, snapper, jacks, bluefish, and ladyfish were landed this week.
On Friday I fished with long-time client Doc Dojutrek. Doc likes to fish with artificial lures, as do I. We started off catching several nice mangrove snapper to 14" and snook ro 22" on Rapala X-Raps n Roberts Bay. Jigging in Big Pass produced some ladyfish. Casting Bass Assassin jigs over grass flats near Bird Key and Middlegrounds resulted in steady action on trout, grouper, bluefish, and ladyfish. We finished up near Buttonwood, where we ran across a school of 3 pound jack crevelle busting on the surface. Several "double-headers" accurred each time they popped up in casting range.
Mother Nature threw us a curve ball this week as a tropical system moved through the area, bringing rain and the wind and shutting things down for several days. I was able to get out on Friday and Saturday, and as is the case after a storm, the key was to move around and find clean water and feeding fish.
Clients on charters did well both days. It took a bit of prospecting, but on Friday we found a good trout bite near Selby Gardens along with a bluefish, mangrove snapper, and some ladyfish using jigs and live shrimp. The bite was better Saturday as the water cleared a bit.
Clients landed 11 different species free lining live shrimp, including trout, snapper, grouper, jack crevalle, a 20 lb bonnet head shark, ladyfish and more in Big Sarasota Pass and the surrounding flats. Conditions should improve as the water clears and we get off the full moon.
The weather was stable this week in Siesta Key and that resulted in fishing being stewady and predictable. The deep grass flats at the Middlegrounds, Marina Jack, and Buttonwood produced decent catches of speckled trout, pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, snapper, jacks, and ladyfish for clients on fishing charters. Jigs and live shrimp worked well, and fly anglers also experienced success casting Clouser minnow patterns. Big Sarasota Pass held good numbers of hard-fighting ladyfish.
Fishing was steady this week, though things were shut down in the middle of the week due to a strong late-season front. The water is quite stirred up after all the wind, but the fish still bit pretty good. Ladyfish were plentiful in Big Pass and the surrounding flats. The deep grass at Middlegrounds and Bishop's Pt. produced decent speckled trout, bluefish, jacks, gag grouper, and ladyfish for clients casting Bass Assassin jigs and live shrimp. Shallow grass in Robert's Bay held pompano, mangrove snapper, trout, jacks, and ladyfish.
I was up in north Georgia for several days on a little vacation before the summer fishing season. I did get in one trip on Friday, after I returned home. I took out locals Doc Dojutrek, Bill Kish, and John Englander, and they had a solid charter. Bill started off hot with a 16" mangrove snapper on the first cast, then landed a decent snook a few moments later. Doc pitched in with several more snook. We were casting Rapala plugs along shorelines in Robert's Bay. The bite slowed when the sun came up, so we moved to Big Pass and caught ladyfish, jacks, and a decent Spanish mackerel using chartreuse pompano jigs. I picked up some live shrimp and we did well on speckled trout to 20", bluefish, jacks, and ladyfish at the Middlegrounds and Buttonwood.
Fishing was decent this week for anglers on fishing charters with me in Big Pass, Robert's Bay, and Sarasota Bay. The first-light bite continued to be productive for clients casting small shallow diving plugs around schools of glass minnows. Snook, snapper, speckled trout, jacks, ladyfish, and sennett were landed first thing in the morning. Big Sarasota Pass povided good action on ladyfish, jigs bounced along the bottom worked best. The grass flats at the middlegrounds, Buttonwood, and Marina Jacks were good for speckled trout and ladyfish. Live shrimp and Bass Assassin jigs both produced well.
Clients on fishing charters did pretty well this week, despite breezy conditions. There were a couple of days that were too windy to fish. The early morning snook bite remains good in Robert's Bay for anglers casting shallow diving plugs. Big Sarasota Pass provided fast action on ladyfish with a few bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and jack crevelle mixed in. Small pompano jigs and Silly Willy jigs worked best in the strong tides. The deep grass flats were steady, though we had to move around a bit. Bass Assassin jigs caught most of the fish and Bishop's Pt. and Buttonwood were the best spots.
Wind was an issue on fishing charters, both early and then again late in the week. I fished Sunday, and the bite was good in Big Pass and on the nearby flats. A front moved through and I did no go back out until Thursday. Despite some churned up water, action was steady. Snook, snapper, jacks, and ladyfish hit plugs fished near schools of glass minnows in Robert's Bay. Big Pass provided steady action for clients using Bass assassin jigs, chartreuse pompano jigs, and live shrimp. Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, grouper and loads of ladyfish were landed. Deep grass flats at Marina Jacks, Radio Tower, and Middlegrounds was decent, mostly ladyfish wth speckled trout, whiting, bluefish, and mackerel mixed in, though Saturday was quite breezy and the bite a bit tough.
Clients on fishing charters with Capt Jim had good action this week, landing snook, redfish, jack crevelle, flounder, mangrove snapper, speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and loads of ladyfish! As is the case during the Easter and Spring Break holiday, many of the trips involved children and novice anglers. Big Pass provided fast action for anglers drifting live shrimp and casting jigs. Ladyfish were plentiful along with bluefish and the occasional Spanish mackerel. The deep grass flats at Marina Jack, Robert's Bay, and Middlegrounds were productive as well, with speckled trout, bluefish, mackerel, snapper, and ladyfish hitting Bass Assassin jigs, plugs, and live shrimp. I also had a couple of trips with more experienced anglers, and we spent some time targeting snook, with pretty good success.
Clients on fishing charters this week did pretty well despite breezy conditions. Winds were up around 20 knots early in the week before a strong front moved through on Thursday, shutting down the fishing for a couple of days. Big Sarasota Pass offered some protection from the wind and provided decent action on ladyfish, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel, and snapper. Schools of bait moved into the bay and netting some and fishing docks and mangrove shorelines in Robert's Bay on the Siesta Key side produced snook, jack crevelle, and snapper. By the weekend the pass was once again full of ladyfish while fishing the flats on the east side of the bay resulted in sporadic action on trout and ladyfish. East winds are forecast all week and action should resume back in the Gulf of Mexico.Sarasota fishing report.
Clients on fishing charters with me did well this week, and action and variety was the theme once again. Big Pass produced a bunch of ladyfish for anglers casting Bass Assassin jigs and Clouser Minnow flies. The sheepshead bite did slow a bit towards the end of the week. Deep grass flats on the west side of Sarasota Bay from New Pass north to Buttonwood held Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, bluefish, pompano, and plenty of ladyfish. Bass Assassin jigs produced most of the fish though free lined shrimp also fooled a few. Clients casting live shrimp under docks in Robert's Bay landed snook and mangrove snapper. The bite was good in the inshore Gulf of Mexico for a few days, with fly and spin anglers experiencing non-stop action using Clousers and small plugs. This type of fishing is very "condition dependant", and strong winds will shut it down for a bit. But, when conditions are right, it is world-class angling!
Fishing was very good once again this week in a variety of locations throughout the area. Big Sarasota Pass was full of fish! Anglers caught sheepshead, snapper, and grouper fishing shrimp around structure and docks. The pass itself held a ton of ladyfish with a few Spanish mackerel mixed in and hit Bass Assassin jigs. Drifting the grass flats at Marina Jacks, Middlegrounds, and Stephen's Pt. and casting jigs was also quite productive, with clients landing Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, bluefish, and loads of ladyfish. Fishing live shrimp around docks in Robert's Bay resulted in snook and jack crevelle.
Mother Nature effected fishing this week in Siesta Key and Sarasota, Florida. We had a good trip on Monday morning, catching trout, ladyfish, mackerel, and more on jigs in Big Pass and the flats at Marina Jacks and Middlegrounds. A strong front moved through Monday afternoon, shutting down fishing for a couple of days. I got back out of Thursday afternoon and found the fishing tough. However, it bounced right back on Friday morning with an excellent charter, with the fellas experiencing non-stop action in Big Pass on the north side of Siesta Key. Bottom fishing produced a bunch of sheepshead along with snapper and a grouper. Drifting the pass produced loads of ladyfish and a nice mackerel using jigs and shrimp. The upcoming weather looks good and the bite should be good in the passes and on the flats.
Fishing continued to be very productive in Sarasota and Siesta Key, though we did experience nearly a week of quite breezy conditions. Sheepshead were plentiful in Big Pass, holding in the ample structure on the north side of Siesta Key. Clients on fishing charters caught sheepshead, snapper, gag grouper, and pompano bottom fishing with shrimp. The pass itself was full of ladyfish with a few mackerel, bluefish, and pompano mixed in. The grass flats nearby were productive, but the better flats fishing was futher north near Buttonwooh Harbor, where jigs and flies produced speckled trout, pompano, bluefish, ladyfish, and mackerel. We are hoping to see the schools of Spanish mackerel show up in the inshore gulf of Mexico.
Sheepshead fishing continues to be very good in Sarasota near Siesta Key. Structure in Big Sarasota Pass and along both Bird Key and Siesta Key is holding good numbers of sheepshead along with mangrove snapper, gag grouper, and Key West grunts. Live shrimp fished on the bottom worked best. The deep grass flats, particularly up in the north bay where the water is cleaner, have been producing trout, bluefish, pompano, and ladyfish for clients casting Bass Assassin jigs.
The sheepshead spawning run is in full swing and the sheepies are thick in the passes and area docks and bridges. Virtually every structure is holding these tasty saltwater panfish. The technique is pretty basic; simply fish a shrimp, fresh or frozen, on the bottom or cast near a piling and wait for the tell-tale "tap". Sheepshead often times bite very lightly, other times more aggressively, especially is current flow is present. The structure in Big Sarasota Pass along the north side of Siesta Key has been the top spot for clients on charters. Action on the deep grass flats has been very good as well, due in part to the unseasonably warm winter we are experiencing. Red/gold shiner Bass Assassin jigs are producing speckled trout, pompano, bluefish, and loads of ladyfish over grass in 6' to 8' of water.
The sheepshead migration is in full swing as we are just coming off of the full moon. Good numbers of these tasty saltwater panfish are moving into Big Pass, New Pass, and surrounding docks, bridges, and oyster bars. Live or frozen shrimp fished on the bottom will provide good action. Some decent mangrove snapper and juvenile gag grouper are also mixed in.
The bite on the deep grass flats has also been good throughout the area. Speckled trout, bluefish, pompano, and ladyfish hit Bass Assassin jigs from Long Bar south to Robert's Bay. Snook are still around as it has not been cold enough to push them up in the creeks and canals.
Another front moved through early in the week, bringing strong winds and cooler temperatures. THe water near the passes was quite murky, so we concentrated on the cleaner water in Robert's Bay. Clients experienced good action on ladyfish, casting Bass Assassin jigs and Clouser Minnow flies. We also did some bottom fishing in Big Pass and it looks like the sheepshead numbers are on the rise. Most of the fish we landed were legal-sized that were fat and full of roe, a sure sighn that the spawning run has started. This action should continue for 6 weeks or so.
Weather was the big story this week as we experienced strong fronts moving through early and late in the week. I was able to fish Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, with clients enjoying decent action on pompano, speckled trout, bluefish, jacks, flounder, and ladyfish. Bass Assassin jigs worked well for sin fishers while fly anglers scored using Clouser Minnows. Finding clean water was crucial and we found that in Robert's Bay on on the west side of Sarasota bay near Buttonwood.
Anglers going out on fishing charters did well on the deep grass flats this week. Once again, Bass Assassin jigs produced most of the fish, including a nice pompano and some very good speckled trout action in the north bay near Buttonwood Harbor. Bluefish were also numerous, and ladyfish were plentiful. Structure in Big Sarasota Pass producced sheepshead and snapper for anglers bottom fishing with live shrimp.
Fishing rebounded quickly after the recent cold front moved through the area. The water was still a tad murky early in the week, but the bite was still very steady, with Sarasota Bay clearing up nicely by the end of the week. Anglers did well on the deep flats all throught the area, from Robert's Bay up to Stephen's Pt. Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, flounder, speckled and silver trout, and loads of ladyfish hit brightly colored jigs. We also landed a few using live shrimp. Sheepshead are beginning to show up and clients caught a few along with mangrove snapper under docks in Big Sarasota Pass using live shrimp. With this fantastic weather forecast to continue, fishing should remain strong!
Good fishing continued this week along with the good weather. Water temperatures were in the upper 60s and the bite was good on the deep grass flats near Big Sarasota Pass and near Skiers Island in Robert's Bay. Bass Assassin jigs caught most of the fish. Big bluefish were the top catch along with loads of hard-fishting ladyfish. Clients also caught some mangrove snapper and gag grouper while bottom fishing with live shrimp around structure at the north end of Siesta Key. Our first real winter front moved throught Saturday, which may start the transition to our normal winter fishing patterns.
Fishing was good over the Christmas Holiday with the weather being fantastic. Temperatures were in the low 80s with light winds making for excellent fishing conditions. This time of year we get a lot of families which means action is a priority. Ladyfish were plentiful, keeping rods bent and anglers smiling. Bluefish to 4 pounds added a little quality to most charters along with several pompano which were a nice surprise. Most of the fish were caught by clients casting Bass Assassin Sea Shad baits on a 1/4 ounce jig head. Big Pass, the nearby flats, and Robert's Bay were the top spots. Bottom fishing with shrimp in Big Pass produced snapper and grouper.A cold front is moving through today which should push some snook up into the creeks and canals.
The weather has been unseasonably warm, unlike the rest of the country. The water temperature is still hovering around seventy degrees and baitfish are still on the flats. The deeper grass flats up to ten feet deep are holding several different species including bluefish, speckled trout, pompano, Spanish mackerel, and loads of ladyfish. Most of the fish of late are being caught by anglers casting Bass Assassin jigs. The fish are actively feeding and willing to chase an artificial lure. Snook and jack crevelle are being caught in area creeks and canals on both live pilchards and artificial baits. Some red tide still persists and is making the flats close to the passes unproductive.