Red tide situation improved
Red tide relenting in Sarasota
After a couple weeks of severe red tide, the red tide situation improved of late. We did experience some fish kills, but many of them were small bait fish and mullet. The water has cleared up in many spots along Siesta Key, Lido Key, and in Sarasota Bay.
Red tide strategies
The key to achieving success when red tide is present is to find unaffected water. This can be difficult as it changes daily with wind and tide. Early in the week the water was good south of Siesta Drive in Robert's Bay and south. Clients experienced good action on snook, jack crevelle, and mangrove snapper casting Rapala X-Raps. We caught the tide just right, as it was bottoming out mid-morning. The mouth of Phillippi Creek was very good, as was the creek itself up to the 41 bridge. On the incoming tide, the grass flat edges in Robert's Bay produced speckled trout and mangrove snapper.
The most productive lure was the Rapala X-Rap Slashbait in the #08 size. Ghost (white) was the best color. These lures have proven to be very effective for me as a charter boat captain. They closely mimic the small finger mullet and other bait fish that are found in our waters. They catch many different species.
Mangrove snapper were plentiful on the edges of the Intracostal Waterway channel near the mouth of Phillippi Creek. Live and frozen shrimp fished on the bottom will catch these tasty saltwater panfish. Speaking of panfish, I did a little freshwater fishing this week. Sme nice crappie and bluegill hit black Beetlespins and chartreuse Road Runner jigs in local lakes. Bluegill fishing will slow down, but crappie fishing will only get better as it cools off. Myakka, Manatee, Ward, and Benderson Lakes are the top spots in Sarasota and Bradenton for bream and specks.
I will be off all of September, heading up to New Hampshire and Maine to cool off and catch some different fish species. Look for my next report the first week of October.