Siesta Key Florida Fishing Charters

Siesta Key Florida fishing charters

Siesta Key is world famous for it’s terrific beaches. However, many anglers decide to go out on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters while in town. This area offers quire a few different species along with multiple techniques.

What is the best Siesta Key Florida fishing charter? Capt Jim Klopfer operates Adventure Charters. He has been guiding full time in the Sarasota area since 1991. Capt Jim takes clients of all ages and experience levels. One great thing about fishing Siesta Key is that it does not take great skill or a lot of experience to catch fish in Sarasota. Clients can expect to catch at least a half dozen different species on most fishing charters. Both live bait and artificial lures are used, depending on the species targeted and angler experience. Clients are welcome toi take a couple of fish home for a meal.

about fishing siesta key

Capt Jim uses a 22′ Stott Craft bay boat for his Siesta Key Florida fishing charters. It is stable, roomy, and comfortable with ample storage. Every boat is a compromise, but this boat performs well for clients that go out on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters.

What is included on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters?

Anglers are provided with just about everything they need when going out on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters. Fishing tackle, bait, lures, and fishing licenses are provided. There is also a cooler on board with waters and ice. Of course, boating safety gear is always on board and up to date.anglers only need to bring appropriate clothing, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and whatever snacks and drinks they would like.

Siesta Key Florida fishing charters

Capt. Jim provides his professional services as well. Visiting anglers will take advantage of his decades of experience fishing the Siesta Key area. He is very patient with novice anglers and children. Families are most welcome on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters!. While catch and release is encouraged, Capt. Jim will gladly  clean a few fish and put the fillets in a Ziploc baggie for clients who would like enough fresh fish for a meal.

Capt Jim has been a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida since 1991. Anglers who are interested in purchasing the equipment that he uses and writes about in his articles can do so HERE on the PRODUCTS page.

Where do clients fish on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters?

The vast majority of fishing on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters occurs in Sarasota Bay and the two passes. The deep grass flats in Sarasota Bay provide good action on a wide variety of species. Anglers can expect to catch speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, pompano, catfish, jacks, and other species on fishing charters. This type of fishing is productive and fairly easy. Drifting the deep grass flats is a technique used on many fishing charters.

Both Big Sarasota Pass and New Pass can provide great fishing action as well. Passes are just another word for inlets, they connect the Gulf of Mexico with Sarasota Bay. These are virtual fish highways that fish use to migrate in and out of the two large bodies of water. Pompano, ladyfish, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, snook, sheepshead, snapper, and other species are commonly caught in the passes by Siesta Key anglers.

Fishing in the inshore Gulf of Mexico can be fantastic when conditions are right! Easterly breezes will result in the water close to shore being calm and clear. This will result in huge schools of bait fish coming in close. This in turn will attract the game fish such as Spanish mackerel, false albacore, king mackerel, sharks, cobia, and more. This type of fishing is often visual as anglers cast to breaking schools of fish. It is very exciting!

What species are normally caught on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters?

One of the attractions of fishing in the Siesta Key area is the wide variety of species that are available. On Capt. Jim’s best trip, anglers landed 19 different species! Most Siesta Key Florida fishing charters produce at least five or six different species. Another advantage to fishing this area is that several different techniques can be employed on a four hour fishing charter. This increases the chances of catching more species.

Sarasota inshore fishing charters

Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, snook, redfish, jack crevalle, pompano, bluefish, sheepshead, black drum, flounder, grouper, snapper, ladyfish, sharks, whiting, sea bass, cobia, tarpon, false albacore, king mackerel, grunts, catfish, and other species are all available to anglers on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters.

The season, weather conditions, and current fishing situation will dictate the fishing methods, locations, and targeted species. One advantage that full-time professional charter boat captains have is that they are out on the water every day. This keeps them up-to-date with the current situations regarding bait, water conditions, and the hot bite.

Sarasota fishing charters

Where do clients meet Capt Jim on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters?

There are several spots that Capt. Jim likes to meet his clients when going out on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters. The spot that clients will meet Capt. Jim is based on the weather conditions, location that the guest is staying, and the spots that Capt. Jim is catching fish. These conditions change constantly. Therefore, Capt. Jim likes to touch base the afternoon before the charter to plan the meeting spot. This will optimize the chances of success on the trip!

The best spot to meet is the boat ramp in downtown Sarasota at Centennial Park. This ramp has plenty of parking and is ideally located. It gives Capt. Jim the options of going north to fish Sarasota Bay, South to fish those areas as well as the passes, or heading West to fish the inshore Gulf of Mexico. There are no “slow speed zones” that eat up fishing time. Both local area bait shops are close by as well.

The Nora Patterson Bay Island Park is another spot that Capt. Jim likes to meet his clients at. One advantage of this spot is that clients staying on Siesta Key do not need to leave the key. There is ample parking, a portable restroom, and it offers protection on a northwest wind. The park is also a pretty good spot to fish from as well. One negative is that on a low tide the drop from the seawall to the boat can be significant. This makes it less attractive for less agile anglers.

What is the best time of year to fish in Siesta Key?

Fishing can be good all year long in Florida. However, fish do respond to annual seasonal patterns. In the cooler months, sheepshead are a prime target. Snook and jacks are caught in creeks and residential canals. Spring and fall offer fishing for just about every available species using multiple techniques. Summer fishing can be fantastic, though anglers need to get out there early and quit before it gets to warm.

Winter fishing techniques

Fishing in the winter is often dictated by the weather. The best approach for visiting anglers is to be flexible and take advantage of windows in the weather. Severe fronts will move through and shut down the fishing as they bring strong winds. However, the winds will shift and it will warm up a day or two after the front. These can be prime times to fish. As the next of front approaches, the wind will turn and blowhard out of the South. This can be an excellent time to fish as activity levels are high.

Fishing Siesta Key

Cooler water temperatures result in fish moving to deeper water. Bottom fishing around docks and submerged structure is a prime technique for anglers fishing in the wintertime. Sheepshead are a prime target for anglers on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters. These are hard fighting fish that school up heavily around structure in the cooler months. Most sheepshead are caught by anglers bottom fishing with live or frozen shrimp. They are very good eating!

Bottom fishing is productive in winter

Anglers bottom fishing around docks and other structure will catch mangrove snapper, gag grouper, black drum, flounder, grunts, and other species. Game fish such as snook, redfish, and jacks will also intercept a live shrimp meant for bottom species. Experienced anglers will cast shallow diving plugs in Siesta Key residential canals in creeks in search of snook and jacks.

Fishing in Siesta Key

Fishing can be good on the deep grass flats as well. The water will clear up and warm up after a couple of nice days with light winds. Anglers drifting the deeper grass flats will catch a lot of ladyfish as well as some bluefish and speckled trout. Schools of ladyfish can be huge and result in nonstop action. The most productive technique is to drift over the grass while casting out jigs. However, live shrimp will produce plenty of fish as well.

Spring fishing on Siesta Key

Like most parts of the country, spring fishing can be outstanding! Warming water temperatures will bring fish out of the deeper winter hunts. They will scatter out over the flats and will be in a mood to feed. Anglers will have a wide variety of fishing options. These include fishing the deep flats, the shallow flats, the passes, and the inshore Gulf of Mexico.

Sarasota fishing charters

Action on the deep grass flats is very productive in the spring. Anglers will drift submerge grass beds and cast out artificial lures or free line live shrimp in search of a variety of species. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano, jacks, ladyfish, sharks, cobia, and other species will be available. This is a great option for anglers seeking both action and variety.

Big Sarasota Pass is a terrific place to fish in the spring time. Sheepshead will still be plentiful in the past and early spring. Migratory species such as Spanish mackerel will be showing up and will use the pass to travel back and forth from the Gulf of Mexico to Sarasota Bay. Hard fighting ladyfish are usually thick in the passes as well. Pompano, jacks, and bluefish will be caught along with the other species.

Spanish mackerel

Back water fishing options

More experienced anglers may choose to target snook, redfish, and jacks in the backwater areas. Plugs, jigs, and spoons are cast towards mangrove shorelines, oyster bars, and docks in search of a trophy game fish. This type of fishing will produce fewer fish, but they will almost always be larger. Anglers can always choose to mix it up and do a little bit of this type of fishing along with other options which provide more action.

Sarasota bonita fishing

The inshore Gulf of Mexico can provide memorable fishing in the spring when conditions are right. The sight of Spanish mackerel and false albacore feeding ferociously on the surface will excite even the most experienced angler. Just about any shiny lure that is cast into the mix will draw a strike. Plugs, jigs, and spoons are the top lures. Trolling with heavier tackle will result in anglers catching larger king mackerel.

Summertime fishing strategies

Anglers fishing in the summer need to be out at first light, late afternoon, or at night. It is simply two hot to fish in the middle of the day. However, the good news is that fishing can be fantastic in the summer time. The key to the excellent action is the abundance of live bait fish that flood the flats this time of year. This bait attracts many different species of game fish.

Live bait chumming it is an extremely effective technique that Capt. Jim uses on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters. Using his cast net, he loads the bait well with several hundred to inch to 3 inch live baits. He then anchors the boat and tosses out handfuls of live bait behind the boat. This will normally quickly attract game fish right up behind the boat. This results in very easy fishing is anglers only need to make a short 15 foot caster so. The action can be frantic when the fish get going! Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, bluefish, snapper, grouper, and sharks are the predominant species caught.

Snook will school up around structure and both passes and summer. This is an excellent time for anglers to catch a trophy snook as a are concentrated in a fairly small area. Live bait is generally the best choice in this situation. Anglers will fish with a large live shrimp, live pilchard, pin fish, or grunt near submerged rocks, seawalls, and docks. Some truly large snook are landed fishing in these locations in the summer time.

Siesta Key snook fishing

Siesta Key fall fishing

Fall is a great time to be on Siesta Key. The weather is stable and the temperature slowly dropping in the tourist crowds are gone. This results in light angling pressure as well as uncrowded restaurants! Fish are transitioning from their summer patterns and moving to their fall locations. Moderate weather results in anglers being able to fish throughout the day.

Action on the flats will once again be very productive. This is similar to spring fishing and drifting the deep grass flats is the most productive technique. The shallow grass flats and backwater areas are prime spots to target snook, redfish, and jacks as they migrate into these areas after the summer spawn. Action and the inshore Gulf of Mexico can once again be fantastic. High pressure systems tend to dominate the weather in the fall. This results in more days with east winds and more reliable conditions for fishing the inshore Gulf of Mexico.

Siesta Key fishing report

What type of tackle is used on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters?

Light spinning tackle is used on the vast majority of fishing charters. This type of tackle is very versatile and is easy for anglers with little experience to learn to use quickly. These lighter rods are easy to cast and manage over a four hour fishing charter. Lighter tackle also allows anglers to enjoy the fight of smaller and medium-sized fish, while still having the ability to land a larger trophy.

Some advanced anglers will opt for bait casting or fly fishing tackle. Capt. Jim can provide this as well.this is another reason that it is a good idea to chat the afternoon before the fishing charter, so that Capt. Jim can have everything on board that will meet his anglers expectations. Clients are certainly welcome to bring along their favorite outfits. This can be discussed the afternoon before as well.

What do we do in case of bad weather?

Safety is always the first concern. Capt. Jim will never take anglers out in marginal whether if safety is a factor. In fact, Capt. Jim is a bit of a “fair weather fisherman”. He understands that part of the enjoyment of fishing is being out on a pretty day. However, fishing can always be done in perfect weather. Capt. Jim will discuss with his clients the type of people going on the trip, angler experience and expectations.

In the event that the trip will need to be canceled due to weather, the client will not pay anything. This is just part of fishing and sometimes weather intercedes. If it all possible, Capt. Jim will try to reschedule the trip and will even recommend another good guide if he is unable to do so.

In conclusion, this article on Siesta Key Florida fishing charters will help visiting anglers understand the options that are available to them.

Please follow and like us:

You may also like...