Hot bite in Sarasota late in the week!

Fishing was tough early this week due to unsettled weather from Tropical Storm Cindy, though it did improve a bit later in the week.  A heavy surf resulted in muddy water in the Gulf, which then worked into the bays.  The key in that situation was to find "clean" water.  We also had steady winds out of the southeast at 15 to 20 knots early in the week, further complicating things.  Persistent clients out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key landed speckled trout to 20", bluefish, jack crevelle, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish.  Most of the fish were caught using live shrimp though a few hit jigs.  The Middlegrounds and Buttonwood were the best spots for me this week.

By Saturday the wind let up and water had cleared and the bite was hot for Kim and Ryan Brower from Melbourne, FL and Beth Reis.  The action was virtually non-stop as every shrimp that hit the water got devoured.  After a frantic hour and a half, the gang tallied around 40 fish, including speckled trout to 17", gag grouper to 21", mangrove snapper to 14", ladyfish, and more!

Sarasota fishing

Weather and fishing falling into summer patterns

The weather has finally settled into the normal summer pattern of east winds early then thunderstorms in the afternoon.  Action was steady throughout the area.  Structure in both passes held snook and snapper while ladyfish were plentiful in the middle of Big Pass.  Grass flats near both passes produced speckled trout to 22", gag grouper, mangrove snapper, bluefish, jacks, and ladyfish.  The key was finding flats with bait peppered up on the surface.  Bass Assassin jigs, Rapala X-Raps, and live shrimp all produced for clients on charters this week.

Fishing Sarasota

Decent fishing in Sarasota after tropical weather moved through

Mother Nature threw us a curve ball this week as a tropical system moved through the area, bringing rain and 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 crevelle, a 20 lb bonnett 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.

Siesta Key fishing report

Good fishing action in Sarasota for spin and fly anglers!

Fishing was good this week on the grass flats this week, with Middlegrounds being the top spot.  Marker #5 and Buttonwood also produced as well.  Speckled trout to 19", Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, pompano, bluefish, jack crevelle, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish were landed by clients on fishing charters this week.  Spin anglers did well using Bass Assassin jigs and live shrimp.  I had a couple of fly fishermen and they both had success with Clouser Minnow patters on sinking lines.  Big Sarasota Pass was full of ladyfish, providing some fun action fishing.  Christina Potter had a big surprise as a 100 lb tarpon ate a ladyfish right at the boat!

Sarasota fishing report

Strong storm disrupts fishing in Sarasota, but action rebounds.

The weather has been strange in 2017, and this week was no exception.  A very strong front moved through on Tuesday afternoon, shutting things down for a couple of days.  The bite was good on Monday and Tuesday morning, though it was quite breezy on Tuesday.  I got back out on Friday to find the water pretty dirty, no surprise, but despite that action was decent.  There are still a lot of ladyfish in Big Pass and they hit both jigs and live shrimp.  The deep grass at the Middlegrounds, Marker #5, and Bishop's Pt. produced speckled trout to 20", bluefish to 3 pounds, jack crevelle, and plenty of ladyfish.  Grass edges that dropped off into deeper water along Siesta Key produced mangrove snapper to 12", flounder, trout to 18", pompano, and ladyfish on shallow diving plugs and live shrimp.

fishing Sarasota

Steady fishing in Sarasota, though wind continued to be an issue

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 sennet 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.

Sarasota fishing charters

Solid action on Sarasota fishing charters

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.  Saturday was forecast to be breezy, so we decided to reschedule.
Sarasota fishing charters

Decent fishing in Sarasota, though wind was an issue

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 jids caught most of the fish and Bishop's Pt. and Buttonwood were the best spots.

fishing in Sarasota

Fishing in Sarasota bounced back after front

Sunday was nice and the fishing was good, but then a front moved through, shutting things down for a couple of days.  Action resumed on Thursday, with my client catching snook, snapper, jacks, and ladyfish in Robert's Bay using shallow diving plugs as well as trout, bluefish, and ladyfish in Big Sarasota Pass and the Middlegrounds.  Big Pass was good all week, providing steady action for clients on fishing charters.  Mackerel, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, grouper, and sailcats hit Bass Assassin jigs and live shrimp.  The Middlegrounds had cleaner water and gave up ladyfish, blues, trout, and other species.  It continues to be a breezy spring, hopefully it will let up a bit.

fishing charters in Sarasota

Good fishing action in Sarasota on the flats and in Big Pass

Once again clients on fishing charters spent most of the fishing time focusing on action and variety.  This type of fishing is best for novice anglers and children.  Casting Bass Assassin 4" Sea Shad baits and drifting live shrimp over submerged grass beds in 6' to 10' of water resulted in many bent rods and a lot of happy clients.  Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, bluefish, jack crevelle, gag grouper, and a bunch of ladyfish were landed, with the Middlegrounds being the top spot.  Big Sarasota Pass was slow early in the week but then really hot hot towards the end, with action being fast on ladyfish with a few blues and mackerel mixed in.  We did do a little snook fishing in Robert's Bay with fair results, landing a few small ones on shrimp.

Sarasota fishing charters