Saltwater Reports 941-371-1390

Sarasota Fishing Report, Sarasota Fishing Charters

 

10/18/2014

 

Fishing was decent this week, better earlier in the week before a front moved through. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, gag grouper, jack crevelle, mangrove snapper, flounder, black sea bass, ladyfish, and sharks were landed by clients using live pilchards and threadfins on the grass flats near Big Pass and Stephen’s Pt. Snook, jacks, and mangrove snapper hit the live bait near oyster bars in Robert’s Bay. Clients landed two small yellowtail snapper this week, a portent of things to come??

 

I started my week off on Sunday with a charter for Brad Bardon and his fiance Allison Ruggari, both from Morristown, NJ. I caught bait and we started off casting threadfins towards the edge of a grass flat near Bird Key. For a couple of hours, action was steady on Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, black sea bass, and flounder. Brad even caught a small yellowtail snapper; VERY unusual! We decided to finish up looking for snook and hit a canal in Robert’s Bay. The couple caught snapper, snook, and jack crevelle to finish up the trip.

 

Long time client and friend Chaz Boyter from New Jersey fished with me on Monday. We started off casting Rapala topwater plugs and X-Raps near the mouth of Phillippi Creek on the outgoing tide. Chaz had a couple of blow-ups and a small jack hit an X-Rap, but that was about it. I caught bait and Chaz had a bite on almost every cast for over an hour near Big Pass, mostly speckled trout but a few mackerel and other species, too. We finished up looking for snook and jacks, but only caught one of each. The weather was bad Tuesday and Wednesday, no fishing for me.

 

Stan Bell, his wife Ashley, and boys Blake (2) and Brent (5) from Oklahoma, joined me on Thursday. I started off with some live shrimp near the Radio Tower, with young Blake catching an 18″ speckled trout and the others pitching in with gag grouper, smaller trout, and sea bass. As expected, Blake did not last too long, he is only two years old after all, so I took him and Ashley back to the dock. With Brent and Stan aboard, I loaded up with bait and we sat near Big Pass, catching trout, grouper, snapper, jacks, and Spanish mackerel, getting a bite on nearly every cast. Stan wanted a shark, so I cut up a mackerel and Stan landed a nice 30 lb shark to finish up the trip!

 

Conditions were tough on Friday for Gina and Mike Kymer, from Michigan. We were greeted with classic post-friontal conditions, NE wind, blue-bird sky, and high pressure. The first few hours were VERY slow, but a run to the Ringling flats proved to be a good choice, as they finished up with good action on speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, a lot of jack crevelle, ladyfish, sea bass, and grouper.

DSCF4061

 

10/11/2014

 

I was on vacation for several weeks, it was fun, but nice to be back. Despite a bunch of rain, action was good throughout the area. The deep flats, the passes, and backwaters produced snook, speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, black sea bass, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, flounder, ladyfish, and a remora. Bass Assassin Sea Shad, olive Rapala X-Raps, and live pilchards produced fish on charters this week. Snook are moving back into the bays and are being caught near oyster bars along with jack crevelle and snapper. I had a bunch of bait left over one morning and hit a couple spots in Little Sarasota Bay on the way back in. The water was stained, but speckled trout, bluefish, and lasdyfish responded to the chum on bars that dropped off into deeper water.

 

On Monday Sarasota resident Bonnie Czepiel had a decent day, experiencing steady action on a variety of species. We started off in Big Pass, catching breaking ladyfish using Bass assassin 4″ Sea Shad jigs. I then caught bait and we hit several flats near Big Pass and up at Stephen’s Pt, with Bonnie landing speckled trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, sea bass, gag grouper, flounder, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, and remora.

 

Bucky Wells from Huntington, MD treated his son in law Paul and grandson Logan (8) to a charter on Tuesday. Action was steady, though it slowed down later in the morning. Ladyfish were once again thick in Big Pass, and after we got tired of catching them three at a time, we moved to the flats. Logan had the hot hand, landing the two largest trout and a nice Spanish mackerel.

 

Jacob Mirecki and his buddy Tom from Chicago, IL had a very good trip mid-week. We left from CB’s saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key and idled north. Along the way we ran across some breaking fish and stopped to take a look. Hand-sized jacks and a nice 17″ flounder fell prey to Bass Assassin jigs and Rapala X-Raps. The dolphin moved in and shut them down, so I proceeded to Big Pass. A few ladyfish hit jigs, then I caught some bait. The deep flats near Otter Key produced speckled trout, sea bass, gag grouper, ladyfish, and other species. Action slowed and I was making a move when I spotted a huge school of breaking ladyfish. We caught then two at a time until the boys had enough. We finished up in Robert’s Bay catching small snook, mangrove snapper, and jack crevelle to 3 pounds on pilchards.

 

I fished a two boat charter with Capt Roy on Saturday. I had David Johnson, Jeff Roche, and Steve Patterson, all from eastern Pennsylvania. I caught bait and we sat in one spot near Bird Key, catching Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, jacks, and snapper for an hour and a half. The tide was ebbing out and almost slack and the fish quit. I ran south to catch the tide still moving and we had good action at the mouth of a residential canal. Each of the boys caught a snook, along with decent sized jacks and snapper on live bait.

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9/18/2014

 

Fishing Continues to be good on the deep flats near the passes. Radio tower and Middlegrounds produced best for me this week. Cooling temps seem to have resulted in an increase in Spanish mackerel, the bite has been good along with mangrove snapper, trout, flounder, jacks, grouper, sharks, sea bass, bluefish, and ladyfish. Bait is still plentiful on the bars near both passes.

 

Trip of the week went to Billy Chasteen from Colorado and his twenty-something year old daughters Kim and Rachel, who fished with me on Thursday. The tide was dropping fast as we left Centennial park. Bait was a bit tough on the low tide, but I loaded up near Bird Key. a lot of it was small, with some decent pieces mixed in. I hit Marker #5, and fishing was fair. They caught a couple of Spanish mackerel, trout, ladyfish, and other species, but the bite was a bit slow and the cormorants were really a nuisance! So, i moved over to the radio Tower where action was better. Along with more macks and trout, mangrove snapper, jacks, sea bass, and gag grouper joined the list of species caught. Kim had the hot hand, catching the most and also hooking a shark that just about spooled her before it bit through the leader. The tide quit and so did the bite, so I eased over to New Pass where I saw some birds diving and re-loaded up on bait. One toss and i could barely get the net over the side. We finished up at the Middlegrounds as the tide turned to come in with an INSANE bite! It was three fish at a time at first, then settled into pretty much a bite on every cast until it was time to go home.

 

The Stearns family, Craig and Doug and their sons Corey and Zach had a very good trip to end my week. The tide was incoming for an hour, and they caught flounder, Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, and snapper in the Yacht Club channel. The tide quit and the bite slowed. I made a couple of moves; nothing much. We finished up at the Middlegrounds with very good action as the tide picked back up. Snapper to 12″, speckled trout to 20″, bluefish and Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, black sea bass, gag grouper, jacks, and ladyfish were landed. All of the fish hit live pilchards.

Sarasota mackerel

 

9/06/2014

 

Action continues to be outstanding on the deep grass flats in Sarasota Bay. Recent rains cooled the water off a tad, temperatures are in the low to mid 80s. Bait is thick on the beach and in the passes, catching a well full and chumming the fish up produced consistently this week, though we also caught fish on Bass assassin jigs in Big Pass. Mangrove snapper continue to led the way but there was a noted increase in Spanish mackerel this week. Snook, speckled trout, jack crevelle, flounder, black sea bass, gag grouper, bluefish, and ladyfish rounded out the list of species landed by clients this week. The Radio Tower, Marker #5, and the Bird Key flats all provided a lot of action. I hit a couple spots In Robert’s Bay with fair results, just a few snook, snapper and trout. It is probably still just a bit too warm.

 

I started my week off with Richard Nunn from the UK and Stuart Nunn (20) and Isla Murton (11). I caught bait and basically sat at the Radio tower all morning. The mangrove snapper bite was terrific, with over two dozen fat snappers being caught, along with ten Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, and ladyfish. Action was very steady with most baits producing a bite.

 

On Labor Day I took out buddies Darrell Rich from Johnson City, TN and John Wade from Lebanon, OH. We started off casting jigs on the flats and in Big Pass, hooking a handful of ladyfish. I caught bait and hit Marker #5, where action was virtually non-stop. Speckled trout, jack crevelle, mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, gag grouper, black sea bass, and ladyfish kept the boys busy. After the bite slowed, I hit a couple snook and red spots near Selby, but no luck. We finished up at the Radio Tower with more mixed-bag action before we called it a morning.

 

I had another very productive charter on Wednesday with Karen and Barry Hamm from Flemingsburg, KY. Bait was easy, I actually caught too much, then we basically fished 2 flats near Bird Key all morning. The tide was high first thing, then turned to go out. The fish came to the chum and Karen and Barry experienced steady action all morning. Speckled trout to 17′, Spanish mackerel to 2 1/2 pounds, bluefish to 3 pounds, mangrove snapper to 14″, flounder to 14″, gag grouper, sea bass, ladyfish, and catfish kept us busy.

 

I finished up my week with Phil Hughey from Nokomis, FL, his son Jackson, and friend Harold Morse. Fishing was VERY good! We started off drifting in Big Pass and vertically jigging Glow Bass assassin jigs, catching ladyfish and gag grouper. The tide was quite swift, so I moved to catch bait, then hit Marker #5. The snapper bite was decent but Spanish mackerel kind of stole the show with their vicious strikes and blistering runs. In all, they probably landed a couple dozen mackerel, another twenty snapper, along with speckled trout, ladyfish, grouper, and a bonnethead shark. We finished up the charter looking for snook and reds in Robert’s Bay, catching a small snook and losing a decent one.

 

Sarasota snapper

 

8/30/2014

 

Mangrove snapper fishing continues to be outstanding on the grass flats throughout the area.  The best action on charters this week continued to be over the deep grass flats near the passes.  Marker #5, marina Jacks, Bird Key, and the Radio Tower were the top spots for me.  Bait is plentiful and the water is cleaner and cooler.  Speckled trout to 26″, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, gag grouper, sea bass, sharks, ladyfish, and more came into the chum and hit free lined pilchards and threadfins.  The keys to success this time of year are a livewell full of bait and getting out there early.

 

I started my week off on Sunday with Carvel and Frank Gould from Atlanta, GA.  Bait was easy, two tosses and I was loaded up.  It took a couple of short moves, but we got them fired up at the Marina Jack flat.  For two hours it was a bite on every cast!  Speckled trout to 26″, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, sea bass, and ladyfish kept the rods bent.  It was very hot with no breeze, so when the bite slowed we called it a morning.

 

On Tuesday the Denise and Jamie Dietz from Canfield, OH had a VERY good charter with their sons James (14) and Luke (10).  None of them had fished very much, but they could all cast well enough, so after filling up with bait, I hit a deep flat in the Yacht Club Channel.  It was quite breezy, but we had some protection.  Action was steady, but slowed as the tide quit and then turned.  I moved to a flat near Selby Gardens and action was non-stop until it was time to go.  Speckled trout, bluefish, mackerel, grouper, snapper, sea bass, and ladyfish all came to the chum.

 

I finished off my week with a good charter with Aaron Edwards from Kansas City, MO, his mom and dad Marcia and Brian, and 5 year old son Mason.  Bait was easy in Big Pass despite a fairly stiff breeze.  A couple stops near Bird Key produced a few fish, but not what I was looking for, though Marcia caught a nice little bonnetthead shark.  A move to the Radio tower flat proved to be a good decision as we sat in one spot and caught fish for over two hours.  Action was steady on speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, sea bass, snapper, and catfish.  The mangrove snapper bite was very good, with twenty or so grovers to 14″ coming to the boat.

 

 

Sarasota speckled trout

 

8/23/2014

 

The only thing hotter than the weather in Sarasota this week was the fishing! The pattern has been to get out there at first light, load up on bait, and chum the deep grass flats near the passes where the water is cleaner and a bit cooler. The Radio Tower, Middlegrounds, and Marina Jack flats continue to be the best spots. Also, that is where the bait is congregating. Bait is also thick just off the beaches near the passes. This resulted in schools of breaking fish, which are easy targets, mostly ladyfish with mackerel and jacks mixed in. Clients experienced fast action using the 4″ Bass Assassin Sea Shad (any light color with a little flash will work fine) and #8 Rapala X-Raps. Highlight of the week was a 50 lb tarpon that hit a large threadfin in 5′ of water near Bird Key on a light spinning outfit. Cobia, Spanish mackerel, redfish, speckled trout, mangrove snapper (the snapper bite continues to be VERY strong), jack crevelle, gag grouper, black sea bass, ladyfish, and more were hooked this week on charters.

 

Mike and Amee Luttrell from Texas took out their teenage sons Jake and Lance on Sunday morning. Action was very good the first couple of hours as they landed Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, gag grouper, and a cobia fishing the deep flats near Big Pass. We headed in for a break, it was VERY hot, even for this family from the Dallas area, and the last hour or so was a bit slow. We went in a little early, they had caught a lot of fish and it was just too hot to sit out there.

 

On Monday Bill Wells and his son-in-law Steve Jackson has similar results. Plenty of action from grouper, snapper, trout, and ladyfish for the first two hours. We decided to try a spot in Robert’s Bay, where Steve had a nice redfish on which pulled the hook at the boat. We finished up at the Radio Tower with good action once again until it was time to head in. Tuesday was a boat and truck maintenance day.

 

Action was virtually non-stop all morning on Wednesday for Sarasota residents Doc Dojutrek and John Englander, both Chicago transplants. We started off drifting near Marker # 5 when I spotted some fish working near Bird Key. For 2 hours we caught fish on almost every cast using Bass Assassin Sea Shad jigs and Rapala X-Raps between Bird Key and the mouth of Big Pass. The boys finally had enough, so I caught some bait and hit a couple of spots. The tide had turned to go out and I had the fish chummed into a frenzy at the Radio Tower, just about every bait that hit the water got violently attacked! Spanish mackerel to 2 1/2 pounds, mangrove snapper to 13″, speckled trout to 18″, jacks, sea bass, and more ladyfish kept the rods bent until it was time to go home. We did not keep count, but I am sure the pair caught well over 100 fish! Great morning!

 

John Rellah from Morristown, NJ had an interesting charter with me at the end of the week. I started off by catching bait, which was easy with the incoming tide. A run to a flat near Bird Key produced a few fish before John hooked a fish that just slowly swam, away. Clearly, it was large, so I pulled the anchor and ran it down. I thought it was a shark, but it turned out to be a 50 lb tarpon; hooked on 10 lb spinning gear! We fought it for a while, then increased the pressure to try and land it and broke it off. We caught some ladyfish in Big Pass and finished up with Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, sea bass, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, and more near Marina Jack and the Radio Tower.

nice Sarasota cobia

 

8/16/2014

 

Fishing was steady once again this week on a variety of species.  Redfish, cobia, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, black sea bass, ladyfish, and more fell victim to pilchards, threadfins, and pinfish.  Bait is plentiful and easy to catch on the flats near both passes and out on the beach.  Marina Jacks, Radio Tower, and Middlegrounds were the best spots for me this week.

 

I started my week off on Monday with Donald button and his boys Jake and Nick.  Bait was easy and after loading the well we fished 2 spots near Bird Key, catching a half dozen Spanish mackerel (nice to see them back in Sarasota Bay), speckled trout, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, sea bass, ladyfish, and more.  Chumming with bait brought them up to the boat.  We finished up on a bar near Marina Jacks, where Jake caught a nice slot redfish.

 

Fishing was bit tougher on Tuesday for Lori and Jack McLaughlin from Bellica, MA.  The tide was slack for an hour mid morning, and it was difficult getting anything going.  We hit a bunch of spots, catching a few fish at each one.  Still, they caught speckled trout, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, ladyfish, sea bass, and a small cobia.

 

Action picked up later in the week for Michael Dannehy from North Haverhill, NH and his boys Keegan (7) and Andrew (9).  It was the boys first fishing trip, and they did great!  I caught bait, and hit Marina jacks and the Radio Tower where the boys landed mangrove snapper to 14″, speckled trout to 18″, bluefish, ladyfish, and big sailcats.  The tide quit and so did the bite, but I made a quick stop in New Pass to “re-load” with bait, and the tide turned to come back in.  I anchored up at the Middlegrounds, where they caught several more nice mangs and some Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds before we called it a morning.  The week ended with some unstable weather in the morning and a couple of days off for me!

Sarasota red

 

8/09/2014

 

Fishing varied between steady and very good this week, despite the heat.  The best bet is to get out there early (or late) and make the best of the morning bite.  Fortunately, bait has been thick just off the beach and in the passes, and that has been the key to success for clients on charters this week.  Margrove snapper and speckled trout fishing was VERY good, with mangs to 17″ and several speckled trout between 24″ and 27″ being caught and released.  I can not stress enough the importance of releasing those big trout unharmed, they are crucial to the continued great action that we have been experiencing.  Handle them carefully, take a quick picture, and revive them for a few moments.

 

Eric Naumburg, Chris Conery, and John Parry finished the last of four charters with me on Monday.  They had already caught a bunch of nice speckled trout and other species, so we decided to try Big Pass for snook.  Unfortunately, it was quite breezy and I just could not get them going.  We finished up with trout, bluefish, snapper, and ladyfish at the Middlegrounds.

 

On Tuesday morning, Tim Bowman and his 10 year old daughter Riley experienced steady action on the flats near Bird Key.  Free lining live bait resulted in speckled trout, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, jack crevelle, and for whatever reason, a bunch of catfish.  Riley had the best fish, landing a gorgeous 24″ speckled trout!  Wednesday was a “rain out”, with thunderstorms all around the passes.

 

I had a terrific charter on Thursday with Tom Marquardt and his daughter Haley (15) from Milwaukee, WI.  after catching bait, I hit several deep grass flats near Bird Key.  Tom caught (and released, gotta let those big girls go) a 25″ and 27″ speckled trout.  Both Tom and Haley caught slot trout, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, sea bass, and catfish.  Haley finished up the trip with a VERY nice 17″ mangrove snapper, great fish for the bay!

 

Keith Williams from the UK sent his boys Thomas and Joe out fishing, along with his father-in-law.  Fishing was very good, with non-stop action being found at the Marina Jack flat using pilchards.  Speckled trout, including a 27″ beauty, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, sea bass, and grouper kept the boys busy.  We tried for a shark for a bit near the end, no luck and it was brutally hot, so we called it a morning.

 

Fishing was not quite as good on Saturday for Kyle Drake and his teenage sons Conor and Eric, though it was still fairly steady.  The problem was the cormorants; they kept eating the chum and the baits!  Still, they probably caught 50 fish, including some nice mangrove snapper, speckled trout, ladyfish, sea bass, grouper, and bluefish.  Marker # 5 was the best spot.

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8/2/2014

 

The week started off a bit slow with slack tides and stiff breezes, but conditions improved and by the end of the week fishing was fantastic!  The speckled trout bite really turned on, complimenting the already good mangrove snapper fishing.  Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, sharks, jacks, flounder, grouper, sea bass, and ladyfish were also landed by clients on charters this week.  The key to fishing this time of year is the bait.  Fish are simple creatures and will be found near the “groceries”.  Find the bait and you will find the fish.  All of the flats near the passes are loaded with bait, as are the Ringling flats, Moorings, and Buttonwood flats.  The Marina Jack flats, Radio Tower, and the east side of Sarasota Bay north of the Ringling Mansion were the best spots for me this week.  Catching live bait and chumming the fish up resulted in constant action for clients this week.  Silver dollar sized pinfish under floats also produced some nice fish, especially early in the morning.

 

 

 

I started my week off on Sunday with Sarasota resident Laura Ritchie and her dad Bill who was visiting from Akron, OH.  Action was steady, mostly mangrove snapper but also speckled trout, flounder, grouper, and ladyfish.  We used live pilchards exclusively.  The fishing would have been better but the cormorants were really a nuisance, eating all of my chum!  Still, they put plenty of fish in the boat with some tasty mangs providing a nice meal.

 

 

 

On Monday Phil Lunn from Richmond, VA took his children Brenden (14) and Teagan (11) out on a charter.  Again, action was steady early before slowing down a bit later in the morning.  Mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, gag grouper, speckled trout, and sea bass were caught on live bait near Big Pass.  Teagan had the fish of the trip with a 22″ speckled trout.

 

 

 

On Tuesday I was part of a group trip with several families from Kansas.  Fishing was a bit tough as we were greeted with 15-20 knot winds.  But, we worked hard and put 8 fish, including keeper trout, mackerel, snapper, and sea bass on ice.  The Radio tower was the best spot.

 

 

 

Eric Naumburg, Chris Conery, and John Parry fished with me for 3 days this week.  On Wednesday we worked the Bird Key and Radio Tower flats and caught small trout, several nice snapper, a bluefish, and ladyfish using bait.  On Thursday we headed north from Centennial Park and did very well, catching four 20″ speckled trout, a bluefish, ladyfish, and 2 small blacktip sharks on Gulp! Shrimp under corks and live pinfish.  The action slowed and I netted up bait in New Pass and we finished up with steady action at the Radio Tower.  Friday morning was even better.  Once again, I ran up north near the Ringling Mansion at first light.  Live pinfish caught a few fish, but it was a bit slow.  Bait was everywhere, so I netted up a bunch of threadfins and the bite was insane!  In a couple of hours, the boys landed 20 or so slot trout to 23″, a half dozen mangrove snappers, two bluefish, and a bunch of ladyfish using the live bait.  Chris even caught several trout and ladyfish on fly.  The bite quit around 9:00, so I “reloaded”: with bait and headed to New Pass in search of snook.  The tide was running too fast, but i spotted fish breaking in the pass, so we motored over and they turned out to be big ladyfish.  We had fun with them for half an hour then called it a morning.

 

DSCF3956

 

7/26/2014

 

Fishing was VERY good early this week on the deep grass flats near Big Pass and New Pass.  Marina Jacks, Radio Tower, and Middlegrounds were the best spots.  One day it was big grouper, the next Spanish mackerel, with some of the best mangrove snapper action I have seen in over 20 years of guiding.  Speckled trout were steady, with mostly slot fish and a couple that were over 20″.  Live bait was the key, filling the well with bait was the first step, then chumming the fish up into a feeding frenzy made catching them pretty easy.  Action slowed a bit later in the week as the water temperature rose up close to 90 degrees; we need some rain to cool it back down.  But, action was still fairly steady, particularly early in the morning.

 

On Monday Shannon McLaughlin from Cincinnati and her son Nick (12) had a very good charter.  Bait was easy and we basically fished two spots all morning; Marina Jacks and the Yacht Club Channel.  Speckled trout, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, black sea bass, and ladyfish provided steady action.  All of the fish were caught using live pilchards and sardines.

 

Brad Watson, who just moved to Sarasota, and his buddy Josh Lansdale from TN fished with me on Tuesday.  Action was steady on a variety of species, including an almost-legal gag grouper that made the drag scream, mangrove snapper to 14″, Spanish mackerel, slot trout, ladyfish, sea bass, and more.

 

Anthony Keene from Pikeville, KY treated his girlfriend Erin Caudill and her daughter Kennedi Blair (8) to a charter on Wednesday.  The Spanish mackerel bite was on, along with some very nice mangrove snapper.  We basically fished one spot all morning near Marina Jack.  Kennedi did great on her first real fishing trip, catching some nice snapper and Spanish mackerel.  Anthony pitched in with a 15 1/2″ mang, nice fish for the bay!  Erin caught the most fish, putting a bunch of fat snapper in the cooler along with trout, grouper, mackerel, ladyfish, and jacks.  Fish fry tonight!!

 

Sat Virdee from Dania, FL took his son and brother-in-law out on Thursday morning.  The skies were threatening, be we dodged the weather, caught bait, and did very well for the first hour and a half at Marina Jacks.  Speckled trout to 22″, mangrove snapper to 13″, bluefish, gag grouper, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, sea bass, and jacks kept the rods bent.  About 9:00 a.m., the wind quit, the sun came out, and the fishing slowed down.  We just kind of picked at them after that, but the cooler was full and they were happy.  Friday was a boat maintenance day.

 

I finished off my week on Saturday with Sarasota residents Kim Schoeffel, his teenage daughter Sarah, and Tony Ferretti.  Action was steady, though unspectacular, with snapper, Spanish mackerel, and speckled trout going on ice and catch and release action on ladyfish and gag grouper.  Tony caught the best fish, a 23″ speckled trout that we released.

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7/19/2014

 

Clients experienced very good action on charters this week using live baitfish.  Trips start with bait-catching, which has been easy, only taking ten or fifteen minutes, then anchoring up over the deep grass flats and chumming brought the fish right to the boat.  Speckled trout to 25″, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, cobia, ladyfish, sea bass, ladyfish, and more were landed this week.  Anglers also landed sharks on several trips using cut ladyfish.

 

I started my week off with an excellent charter with Clement O’Connor and Paul Leighton and their girlfriends Tess and Coquina.  Action was non-stop at the Marina Jack flat using live pilchards.  A half dozen slot trout, a bunch of mangrove snapper to 13″, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, gag grouper, and ladyfish kept the rods bent.  we caught a small cobia and had a big one eat a small trout, Clement fought it for a few minutes before it let go.  We finished up with a shark on cut ladyfish.

 

The good action continued on Monday for Sarasota resident Rob Mowers and his grandson Andrew Little who was in town from GA.  We started off casting Gulp! at the Radio Tower with Rob catching a bonnet head shark.  A move to Big Pass for bait, then chumming the nearby flats resulted in quite a few gag grouper, ladyfish, trout, snapper, and ladyfish.  Rob landed a nice 25″ trout.  We finished up with a blacktip shark and a 14″ snapper at Marker # 5.

 

Long time client Scott Stinson from MO had a very good trip on Tuesday.  I picked him up at Ken Thompson Park and idled into New Pass and loaded up on bait.  The flats near Marina Jack were very productive, yielding speckled trout to 20″, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish.  We finished up at the Radio Tower catching more trout.

 

Fishing was bit tough on Wednesday for the Wright family from South Carolina.  It was breezy and overcast, making the bait a bit more difficult to catch.  I hit several spots just kind of picking at them until we found better action on a deep flat near Bird Key.  We tried a little shark fishing but a fast approaching storm sent us scurrying for cover after only a couple of minutes.  Still, 7 year old Connor caught a bunch of fish with Uncle Caleb chipping in with the largest trout.

 

On Thursday morning it was blowing 20 knots with thunderstorms, so I bumped the trip to Friday for Boris Stoeber from Germany and his 8 year old daughter Joy.  It was a bit slow to start but then we had a couple of flurries using whitebait as chum to get them fired up.  Speckled trout, bluefish, ladyfish,. sea bass, mangrove snapper, and gag grouper hit baits at Marina Jacks, Bird Key, and the Radio Tower.  Joy caught most of the fish and “helped” with a blacktip shark.  We also had something spool one of my shark rods, I think it was a big ray.

 

The Schultz family from Ohio finished off my week with an excellent charter, although it was very hot and still.  I caught bait and spent the entire trip at the Radio Tower and Marina Jack flat, catching speckled trout to 20″, mangrove snapper to 14″, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, sea bass, ladyfish, and more.  Action was very steady with the boys catching close to 100 fish!

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7/12/2014

 

Fishing was steady this week on a variety of species, though we did not catch any really big trout.  Speckled trout to 21″, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, sea bass to 14″, mangrove snapper to 12″, gag grouper to 16″, flounder, jacks, silver trout, ladyfish, and more were caught using live baitfish on charters this week.  Bait was thick around both passes and a couple of casts with the net filled the well for the entire trip.  The deep grass flats near the passes produced the best action.  Sharks to 30 pounds hit cut ladyfish, mackerel, and pinfish near Big Pass.

 

I ran an afternoon charter on Monday.  Bait was easy but the fishing was tough, mornings are more consistent this time of year.  We did catch a few nice gag grouper and several sharks, but fishing was on the slow side.

 

Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek went out early in the week.  We started off casting topwater plugs along a mangrove shoreline, but had no interest.  A move to catch bait then fish the deep edges near Bird Key resulted in speckled trout to 21″, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, along with other species.  Doc finished up with 2 nice sharks, going 30 lbs and 25 lbs, great fun on light tackle!

 

Rob Gatton who lives in Orlando treated his dad Bob and son Aiden to a trip on Thursday.  Bait was easy and action was very steady on mackerel and loads on ladyfish near the Twin Bridges.  We moved to the Radio Tower in search of a few trout to keep and the boys landed several slot fish along with some mangrove snappers, sea bass to 14″, flounder, and more.  I ran a pontoon charter with capt Terry out of CB’s on Friday.  We caught a dozen or so fish in live shrimp, including a 14″ mangrove snapper.

 

Courtney and Allen McEvin from Louisville, KY took their two kids Kydwyn (5) and Hasten (8) out on their first “real” fishing trip on Saturday.  Once again, bait was easy and it did not take long to get fish popping in the chum.  We worked the deep grass flats near Bird Key and Marina Jacks and caught several trout in the slot to 18″, a half dozen Spanish mackerel to 2 1/2 pounds, mangrove snapper to 12″, ladyfish, and sea bass.  Hasten had the hot hand, catching more by himself than his mom and dad!  Nice going!!

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7/5/2014

 

Clients experienced another very good week of fishing on Siesta Key fishing charters this week!  Snook, sharks to 30 pounds, speckled trout to 22″, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, sea bass, mangrove snapper, flounder, jack crevelle, ladyfish and more were landed this week.  Most of the fish fell prey to live bait, both shrimp and bait fish, but jigs and Rapalas also fooled a few fish.  The water temperature is climbing and we could use a bit of rain to cool things down.  However, we have strong, incoming tides in the morning next week and fishing should remain very good.

 

I started off my week on Monday with Tim Mallik from the Cincinnatti area.  The mangrove snapper bite was on as the tide ebbed out.  Live shrimp free lined along the edges of deep grass beds produced a dozen nice keeper “mangs”.  As the tide turned to come in i netted bait and we caught speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, and more, then finished up with 3 sharks on cut ladyfish.

 

On Tuesday Rocky and Ron Richardson, along with Joshua Parnell went out on a charter.  We started off in Big Pass, catching a bunch of ladyfish on jigs and shrimp on the bottom of the outgoing tide.  As the tide switched, I netted bait and they landed speckled trout, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, and ladyfish.  Josh ended the trip with 3 sharks hooked and 2 landed, one of which was estimated at 30 pounds.

 

Frank Regnery and his grown sons Bill and Rob, all from CT, had a great charter on Wednesday!  We started off from Centennial Park at first light and ran across to the Radio Tower flat where there was a lot of surface activity, mostly bait but some fish popping.  For an hour or so action was steady on bluefish, trout, ladyfish, jacks, and a nice flounder using jigs and Rapalas.  The bite slowed so we switched to live bait and caught speckled trout to 18″, mangrove snapper, jacks, and ladyfish near Bird Key.  We finished up in Big Pass with a nice little snook bite, landing a dozen or so and finishing up the trip with a snook “triple-header” on the last cast.  Nice!!

 

The wind cranked up a bit on Thursday and Friday, blowing 15 knots or so out of the southwest, which made catching bait more difficult.  On Thursday Norm Shade and a couple of buddies experienced good action using jigs and live bait, with the Radio Tower flat being the most productive spot.  Speckled trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, bluefish, jack crevelle, sea bass, snapper, ladyfish, and more kept the boys fairly busy.  On Friday Ralph Primavera and his 17 year old son Chris had a good trip.  It was still breezy, but bait was easier and the speckled trout in particular were on the feed.  Chris caught a nice 22″ trout and several more slot fish came to the boat, along with snapper to 14″, bluefish, sea bass, and jacks.  Chris finished up the trip with a 3′ long shark.

 

The wind laid down on Saturday morning for Johnathan Olmo and his girlfriend Elizabeth Bissell from Nutley, NJ.  Bait was easy in Big Pass with a calm surface and the top of the incoming tide.  Action was steady, mostly on speckled trout with a few gag grouper and mangrove snapper mixed in.  Nothing huge, but a half dozen fat trout in the slot, up to 18″.  Liz finished off the trip with a bonnet head shark on a cut up grunt.

nice srasota shark

 

 

6/28/2014
Fishing was excellent this week on a variety of species in Sarasota Bay, with spotted sea trout once again being the high point as several fish over 24″ were landed.  Anglers on charters caught Speckled trout to 25″, mangrove snapper to 14″, gag grouper, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, sea bass, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and sharks were caught at Marker # 5, Bird Key, and the Radio Tower flats.  I only used live bait this week, once the bait shows up thick, using them to chum the fish behind the boat is extremely effective and easy for novice anglers.  I have been finishing up most trips with a little shark fishing.  Basically, I anchor up on the edge of a flat and drift out cut ladyfish under a float.  They are great sport on light tackle and everybody likes sharks!!
The week started off with an excellent trip with Doug Knoblett, his children Chase and Autumn, and her friend Calee Fulling, all from Palestine, IL.  We left Centennial Park at first light and I ran straight to the bait.  Two tosses of the net resulted in a full well.  After that, we sat in one spot for 2 1/2 hours, catching speckled trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, gag grouper, mangrove snapper to 14″, black sea bass, and ladyfish.  The action was very steady.  We decided to finish up trying for a shark, and Chase landed a nice 40″ blacktip on a chunk of cut ladyfish.
I had Bill Kippel and his son on the boat on Tuesday.  Action was steady on the deep flats, the Spanish mackerel were particularly aggressive, though none were larger than 1 1/2 pounds.  Trout, ladyfish, sea bass, snapper, and grouper were also caught.  For whatever reason, the bait was smaller that day, making fishing a bit more difficult.  We finished up with a shark near Big Pass.
The bait was better on Wednesday, and so was the fishing, for Lori and Fred Koppold from Noblesville, IN and their 19 year old son Seth.  The speckled trout bite was hot with the crew putting a couple of 16″ trout on ice and releasing several more up to 25″; gotta let those big ones go back!!  Gag grouper, mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and sea bass kept the rods bent.  The shark bite was also on; we hooked three and landed on in less than a half hour on cut ladyfish.
Kyle Moyer and his buddy Greg fished with me on Thursday.  Action was fairly steady though there wasn’t a lot of “quality” fish and the bait-stealers were more of a nuisance.  Still, they put two speckled trout, a mackerel, and a half dozen mangrove snapper on ice as well as catching gag grouper, ladyfish, sea bass, and other species.  Once again, the deep flats near Big Pass produced the action.  We finished up hooking a nice shark and having it eat through the 100 lb leader after a couple of blistering runs.
Action was very good on Friday for Bill McClain, Bruce Colon, and Bruce’s 13 year old son Hayden.  Bait was easy and decent and the flats near Big Pass and New Pass produced a bunch of mangrove snapper, sea bass, speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, gag grouper, and one ladyfish, but it was probably the biggest one I have ever seen.  Hayden had the hot hand, catching the big ladyfish and a pair of 25″ speckled trout.  All of the fish hit live pilchards and sardines.
I finished up the week with a good charter with buddies from Rhode Island Steve Jensen and Rob Fleming.  Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, sea bass, snapper, grouper and ladyfish came to the chum on the deep grass near Bird Key.  Rob caught and released a beautiful 24″ trout.  We finished up with a shark and another one that ran off and came unbuttoned.
Sarasota speckled trout

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
June 21, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Finally!! The bait has arrived! It is small, but getting better everyday. Most of my fish caught this week were the result of chumming a deep flat and catching fish on hooked pilchards, pinfish, and grunts, though clients also landed fish on shrimp and jigs. Speckled trout were one again the highlight, with trout to 25″, silver trout, Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, bluefish to 3 pounds, black sea bass to 14″, mangrove snapper to 12″, gag grouper, sharks, flounder to 15″, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and more caught by anglers on charters this week. Marker #5, Big Pass, Bird Key, and the Radio Tower were the most productive spots.

 

On Monday Lori Major took her son Jake and boyfriend Chris out on a charter. They experienced steady action on a wide variety of species. We started off casting Gulp! Shrimp on jig heads and under noisy corks at the Radio Tower, catching bluefish, ladyfish, silver and speckled trout, jacks, and catfish. A move to Big Pass resulted in a few ladyfish and a bluefish on CAL jigs. I netted up some bait and the fish came to the chum. Speckled trout to 17″, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, black sea bass, ladish, jacks, and snapper kept the rods bent.

 

Fishing was good for Ryan Slabaugh and his sons Grant (12) and Caleb (17) from Hartville, OH on Tuesday. We started off casting jigs at the Radio Tower, catching bluefish, trout, snapper, sea bass, and ladyfish. The bite slowed and I moved to Big Pass, where the ladyfish were plentiful. I netted up some bait and hit Marker #5 and Bird Key, both were a bit slow. We finished off with very good action at the radio Tower on jacks, ladyfish, trout, and Spanish mackerel. Caleb landed a very nice trout, around 25″.

 

Chuck Rakaczky and his son Chuckie (15) from Pittsburg, PA went out on a charter with me on Wednesday. Things started off a bit slow, as we cast jigs at Marina Jacks and in Big Pass, just a bluefish and a few ladyfish. I netted up some bait and hit the Radio Tower, where action was non-stop for an hour and a half on speckled trout to 21″, silver trout, bluefish, nice sea bass, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, and ladyfish.

 

Richard Brumley from Alpharetta, GA fished with me on Thursday. Richad wanted a few fish for dinner, so we worked the deep grass flats near Bird Key and the Radio Tower. Richard caught a nice flounder, a few short trout, a shark, ladyfish, and for whatever reason, a bunch of catfish on hand-picked shrimp. So, time to net bait and chum, and in short order the trout bite was on! A half dozen speckled trout between 16″ and 20″ came to the net, along with Spanish mackerel, short trout, ladyfish, and jacks. We finished up near the Twin Bridges, putting two mangrove snapper on ice.

 

I finished up my week with a very good trip with Bob Slayden, his son Scott, and grandson Porter (15) all from Atlanta, GA. I went right to my bait spot first thing, loaded up, and from then on the action was good. Free lining pilchards into the chum along deep grass edges produced several speckled trout over 20″, more in the slot, a half dozen Spanish mackerel, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, sea bass, ladyfish, jacks and a fun little 3′ bonnethead shark. Great trip with a fun family

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Capt. Jim Klopfer
June 14, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was kind of hit-and-miss this week. Clients had a couple of fair days, a decent day, and two very good trips. The deep grass flats near Big Pass and New Pass were the best spots, producing sharks, speckled trout to 27″, bluefish to 3 pounds, Spanish mackerel, snapper to 14″, gag grouper, jacks, and ladyfish. Live hand-picked shrimp under popping corks caught most of the fish. There were also some ladyfish and jacks in Big Pass.

 

On Sunday Matt Maranville from Uniontown, OH took his sons Jake (13) and Justin (19) out on a charter. Fishing was kind of tough early, we caught some small trout but that was about it. The bite turned on and they put 21″, 20″, and 18″ speckled trout in the boat using live shrimp. We finished up in Big Pass catching a few ladyfish on jigs and shrimp.

 

Patty Brodbeck from Roanoke, IN and her boys Ethan (11) and Garrett (15) had a very good trip on Monday. The speckled trout bit good at Marker # 5 early, then slowed as the wind died. The deep flats near Bird Key gave up a nice 20″ trout, along with a keeper flounder and some sea bass. We moved to Big pass and caught a few ladyfish for shark bait then hit a nearby flat looking for a shark. Surprisingly, Garrett caught a 27 1/2″ trout on a chunk of ladyfish! Several minutes later he finished up the trip with a 4′ blacktip.

 

On Wednesday the bite was pretty slow for the Derry family from the UK. We just picked at them all morning, catching a few fish at each spot. They landed speckled trout, mangrove snapper to 15″, ladyfish, and jacks at the flats near Big Pass. We did finish up with a shark that spooled us.

 

The trout bite was on Wednesday morning for Scott Boles and Joe Culloo. We hit Marker #6, Marina Jacks, and the Radio Tower and caught a bunch of trout, probably ten or so were legal, a nice 14″ mangrove snapper, a 2 lb bluefish, a 15″ gag grouper, jacks, and ladyfish casting hand-picked shrimp under popping corks. A severe line of thunderstorrms was approaching, so we called it a morning, a quite successful morning at that, and headed for home. n Thursday was a “maintenance” day and Friday was a rain-out.

 

I finished up my week with Dan Sawilichik and his father-in-law Mike, both from the Chicago area, on Saturday. Fishing ranged between fair and steady. We started at Marina Jacks using live shrimp and caught a keeper mangrove snapper, jacks, ladyfish, and a couple of small trout. I ran to Big Pass and saw a bunch of bait!! A most welcome sight! It was small, but useable, so I loaded the well. Chumming and fishing with the shiners resulted in a pair of Spanish mackerel, two nice bluefish, several trout, a bunch of ladyfish and jacks, and some hard-pulling catfish.

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Capt. Jim Klopfer
June 7, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was excellent on charters this week on a wide variety of species. The vast majority of fish were caught using large, live shrimp. Snook, speckled trout, sharks, bluefish, flounder, sea bass, red grouper, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, jack crevelle, ladyfish, sailcats, and more were landed by clients fishing with me. I also ran a tarpon trip off of Venice where we hooked 2 but did not land either one, but that’s tarpon fishing. Speckled trout on the deep flats in 6′-7′ of water continue to be very reliable for anglers fishing live shrimp under popping corks. The Middlegrounds, Radio Tower, and Marina Jack flats have all been quite productive, and the earlier the better! Big Pass is full of ladyfish for those looking to bend the rods. Structure in the pass is holding grouper and snapper, slack tides are the best time to fish for them.

 

I started the week off on Sunday with Dan Smart from Naples Maine, his buddy Dave Conway, and his son Carrey and daughter-inlaw Bette, both of whom live in Sarasota. We started off in Big Pass with good action on jack crevelle and ladyfish using DOA CAL jigs. We moved to the flats where action was slow on artificial baits, so I ran in and got some nice hand-picked shrimp. That resulted in several nice speckled trout between 18″ and 20″, along with several other slot trout and short trout at the Radio Tower and Middlegrounds. Ladyfish, small sharks, snapper, and other species were also landed.

 

Gregg Gast and his girlfriend Brittany, both from the Easter Shore in MD, had a good trip on Monday. They wanted a couple fish for dinner and in short order a 16″ and 18″ trout went on ice using live shrimp. A move to Big Pass resulted in a bunch of ladyfish. Brittany wanted to catch a shark, so we moved to a nearby flat and used some cut up ladyfish as bait. We had one dump the spool before it broke off, but that was it. We finished up near Bird Key catching trout, snapper and ladyfish. Brittany caught-and-released a pair of nice 20″ speckled trout to end the trip on a high note.

 

I ran a trip in a CB’s pontoon boat for Joe Culloo from Colorado on Tuesday, we do this occasionally with larger groups. They did not catch a lot of fish, but did get several nice ones. The Radio Tower and Marina Jacks were the best spots and they landed a 21″ and 20″ speckled trout, other smaller trout, a 2 lb bluefish, a very nice black sea bass, jacks, and ladyfish, using live shrimp.

 

Ralph Talerico from Pittsburg, PA had a productive charter on Wednesday, both in terms of action and variety. We left Centennial park and headed over to the Middlegrounds, where he caught a bunch of speckled trout, a couple of gag grouper, and a few ladyfish. Most of the trout were “shorts”, but he did land a beautiful 22″ fish. A move to an oyster bar resulted in a keeper flounder, jacks, snapper, and a snook. We finished up in Big Pass, working a steep drop-off. Red grouper to 17″, gag grouper, and mangrove snapper kept Ralph busy. Most of the fish hit live shrimp, though we did catch a few on Gulp! Shrimp.

 

I ran a tarpon charter on Thursday with Larry Hamacher from Harrisburg, PA. We found a pretty, laid up school at first light and got bit on a crab. Larry had it on for ten minutes and one jump before the hook pulled. We saw several more schools, but all were moving pretty fast. Late in the morning we found another bunch and after several attempts got in good position and hooked another. None to the boat, but he had two on with many other chances.

 

The Mazziotti family from Atlanta; dad Tom, his son Thomas (13) and daughters Caroline and Mary Elizabeth had a great trip on Friday morning! We left Ken Thompson at 6:30 and the speckled trout bite was hot. A couple dozen fish came in with quite a few in the slot, though we were not keeping them. Ladyfish, jack crevelle, snapper, sailcats, and a nice bluefish were also landed using live shrimp under corks. The tide turned to go out and we moved to Big Pass, where action was steady on ladyfish and jacks. We saved a few ladyfish for bait and finished up at a spot nearby that I have been doing well on sharks at. We missed 4 or 5 good bites, then Tom Sr stuck one and landed it, a nice 40″ black tip. Nice way to end the trip with a great family!

Sarasota trout

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
May 31, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was decent this week on the deep grass flats and in Big Pass. Speckled trout continue to be the most reliable species, with fish to 20″ being caught by clients this week. Live shrimp under a popping cork produced the best. Jack crevelle and ladyfish provided some catch-and-release fun. Gag grouper and mangrove snapper were caught near structure in Big Pass on shrimp. I took the last few days of the week off to get some work done on the house and boat.

 

On Sunday the Fernandez family from Miami, FL went out on a fishing charter. We kinda got a late start and the bite on the flats was slow, although we did land a 20″ speckled trout. A move to the deeper water of Big Pass proved a good idea as the gang landed a bunch of keeper mangrove snapper and several gag grouper on live shrimp. Good action and good eats!

 

Later in the week, Sarasota resident Nick Frederick had his son Nick Jr in town for a trip. Fishing was fair, though it should have been better with the strong, incoming tide. Still, they landed a pair of slot trout (and another nice one shook off) along with plenty of “shorts”, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and other species. Most of the fish hit live shrimp though we did catch several on jigs. The Middlegrounds was the best spot.

Sarasota speckled trout

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
May 24, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing in Sarasota Bay was decent this week, with Big Pass and the nearby flats being the most productive spots. We did not get big numbers of fish on Sarasota fishing charters, but clients did land some quality fish along with quite a bit of variety. One morning we found a large school of gag grouper with some mangrove snapper mixed in on a ledge in Big Pass. Speckled trout were the most reliable species, with snook, silver trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, sharks, jacks, and ladyfish also being caught this week. Live shrimp, jigs, Gulp! Shrimp, and topwater plugs all produced fish. Tarpon fishing was slow for me and for the other guides that I spoke to.

 

I started the week off with Ranjiv Saini from Charleston, SC, his girlfriend Jennifer Johnston, son Neal, and Neal’s buddy Zach Mills. They had very little fishing experience and this was a kind of lesson to see if they liked fishing. We started off at the Middlegrounds, catching ladyfish and a few small trout. A move to the Bird Key flats resulted in speckled trout to 20″, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, and mangrove snapper. All of the fish were caught on free lined live shrimp.

 

Leon King from Parksbug, PA treated his children Elmer, Tommy, and Leona to a trip on Tuesday. Action was steady most of the morning, except for a little lull when the tide switched. Bluefish to 2 1/2 pounds, speckled trout to 18″, bonnethead sharks to 3′, and mangrove snapper hit shrimp under popping corks at Marker #5 and the Marina Jack flats. We finished up in Big Pass with a flurry on ladyfish and jack crevelle.

 

Chaz Boyter from New Jersey went out on a tarpon fishing charter on Wednesday. We saw a half dozen schools, but they were all moving fast and not showing well, we really never got a decent shot.

 

Jason Puckett and his buddy Justin went out on Friday. We left early and did a little topwater fishing near the Siesta Drive Bridge, landing a snook and a jack crevelle. A move to a nearby flat resulted in a keeper trout, a Spanish mackerel, and a few other smaller trout. With no wind at all, we decided to take a peek out in the Gulf and look for tarpon. After an hour an a half without spotting one, we came back inside and caught a nice 18″ trout, a bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, a shark, and short trout at the Middlegrounds and Moorings.

 

I had a VERY good charter on Saturday morning with Andy Schlick from Woodbury, MN and his friend Jason Exum from Ocala, FL. We left the ramp at 6:45 and minutes later had a 16″ and 18″ speckled trout in the box. The trout bite was steady, with the boys catching several more keepers to 23″ along with some ladyfish. As the tide waned, i moved into Big Pass where they caught a few ladyfish and then stumbled across a big school of gag grouper. For half an hour it was a bite on every drop, with the gags running between 14″ and 20″, great fun on light tackle! several mangrove snapper to 14″ also fell victim to the shrimp-tipped jigs.

nice Sarasota grouper

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
May 17, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

I only ran 2 charters this week as I took a little vacation to do some houseboating on the St Johns River. Speckled trout continue to be the most reliable species on the deeper flats in Sarasota Bay. Marina Jacks and the Yacht Club Channel were the best spots. Live shrimp was the top producer though clients also had success fly fishing. Spanish mackerel, redfish, snapper, jacks, and ladyfish were also landed on charters this week.

 

On Sunday Doug Griesel and his fiancee Becky Briber from Jay, Vermont went out on a charter. Doug fly fished the entire time while Becky used live shrimp. We started off at the Marina Jack flat and had steady action. Doug caught speckled trout and jacks on a chartreuse/white Clouser. Becky hooked trout, jacks, ladyfish, and a nice Spanish mackerel. The wind picked up and we moved behind Bird Key and caught more trout along with a mangrove snapper. Several were in the slot, but we were catch-and-release that day.

 

I was gone Monday through Friday, cruising on a houseboat on the St Johns River near Deland, FL. It was a lot of fun, though fishing was pretty slow, the water was quite muddy. Still, we managed enough bream and a small bass for a fish fry. Yes, we fishing guides also go fishing on our vacations!

 

Back at it on Saturday with buddies JerryAnderson and Tom Karas from Evergreen, CO. A pretty strong front had moved through the previous day, and conditions were classic “post cold front”; blue-bird skies and a northeast wind. The boys caught 5 keeper trout to 20″, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and snapper near Bird Key on live shrimp. We finished up with a 17″ redfish under a dock along Siesta Key. Fair action, but a lot of fun with great guys!

Sarasota mackerel

 

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
May 10, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

This week was similar to the last couple in that numbers were down, but the quality fish were there. Odd fish of the week was a barracuda that hit a topwater bait in a residential canal. Snook to 25″ (clients landed snook on four of my charters this week), speckled trout to 21″, black drum to 5 pounds, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, mangrove snapper, black sea bass, flounder, silver trout, and ladyfish hit Rapala plugs, Gulp! Shrimp, live shrimp, gold Johnson spoons, and DOA CAL jigs in Big Pass, the surrounding flats, and Robert’s Bay on charters this week. It pays to be versatile and use different baits and techniques.

 

I started the week off on Sunday with Todd Grandin, his dad Chuck and buddy Mike Jacobs. I expected the conditions to be tough as we had 6 inches of rain the previous two days, but the water looked pretty good. We hit the middlegrounds, Radio Tower, and Marina Jack flats and caught speckled trout of 21″, 20″, and 18″ along with a couple more in the slot, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish and more. Live shrimp and DOA CAL jigs were equally effective.

 

Fishing was a bit slower on Monday for Evan Lacey from Buffalo, NY and his girlfriend Kristin. Action was steady early, though nothing very large; trout, jacks, and ladyfish. Then, the tide and wind quit and action came to a halt. Oh well, that’s fishing.

 

The “catching” picked up on Tuesday for Kurt Smith from Chatham, IL and his 12 year old son Austin. Ladyfish kept the rods bent in Big Pass, then we moved to the nearby flats and landed speckled trout of 21″, 18″, and 16″, along with jacks, sea bass, and ladyfish. We finished up near selby Gardens where Austin caught a big whiting.

 

Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek fished a full day with me on Wednesday. He charters a full day every year on his birthday, Wednesday he turned 67. It was a day that illustrated how versatility can pay off. We caught fish on topwater plugs, weedless gold spoons, Gulp! Shrimp!, DOA CAL jigs, and live shrimp. We started off early, casting topwater baits, a Rapala Skitter-prop, along the mangroves. Doc missed a nice snook, caught a jack, then landed a nice snook along with a smaller one. Action slowed as the sun came up, so we changed to gold spoons and jigs. Snook, flounder, mangrove snapper, and jacks hit gold Johnson spoons and rootbeer Gulp! Shrimp in Robert’s Bay. A move to Big pass resulted in a nice bluefish on a jig, and the nearby flats yielded speckled trout to 20″, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, and ladyfish. We finished up working docks on Longboat Key, seeking a red for the “inshore slam”, but instead found a nice school of black drum. Great way to end the day. Happy birthday, Doc!

 

Repeat clients Laura Ritchie who lives in Sarasota and her dad Bill in town from Akron, OH, went out on Thursday. Fishing was fair, they did not catch a lot of fish, but did get some variety and a few “keepers”. Bill also caught his first snook. We started off in Big Pass, catching a few ladyfish and jacks before moving on to the flats. A long drift yielded a few fish, but anchoring up on an edge resulted in several nice mangrove snappers and a slot trout. The Radio Tower had some ladyfish, then we moved a to dock in New Pass where Bill caught his snook. We finished up at the New Pass Bridge with a couple of small snapper and a 2 lb Spanish mackerel.

 

Randy Dow and his son-in-law Kevin Knuteson, both from Wisconsin, fished with me on Friday. Like most of the week, they did not catch great numbers, but did land some quality fish, including a snook, speckled trout of 21″ and 18″, a nice bluefish, a Spanish mackerel, and some jacks and ladyfish. Kevin caught the snook on his second cast using a Rapala Skitter-prop and the rest of his fish on a Gulp! Shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jig head. Randy mostly used shrimp, and caught the largest trout. Marina Jacks and Country Club shores were the best spots.

 

My charter on Saturday started off well for Carl Maggard and his son Jeff. Carl caught his first ever snook on a Skitter-Prop and Jeff brought a nice snook alongside the boat, and landed, of all things, a 2′ barracuda! After a bit we moved to the deep grass where the action was pretty slow. We just picked at them, hitting all of my reliable spots, just not much action; it happens sometimes.

nice Sarasota snook

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
May 3, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

The wind returned this week, resulting in a little more “color” in the water as well as some challenging conditions. While clients on charters this week did not land a great amount in terms of numbers, a lot of quality fish were caught. Snook to 30″, speckled trout to 23″, black drum to 4 pounds, Spanish mackerel to 5 pounds, bluefish, jacks, gag grouper, sea bass, flounder, and ladyfish were caught this week. Big Pass, The Moorings, and mangrove shorelines in Robert’s Bay were the top spots. Live shrimp, Gulp! Shrimp, Rapalas, and DOA CAL jigs all caught nice fish this week.

 

On Monday Bill Jodice from South Windsor, CT took his son Kevin and Kevin’s girlfriend Allie out on a fishing charter. Action was steady in Big Pass and on the deep flats near Bird Key and along Longboat Key. Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, bluefish, jacks, gag grouper, flounder and a lot of ladyfish were caught. The boys used jigs and caught more numbers, but Allie caught the “quality” fish free lining a shrimp.

 

Scot Miller and his 11 year old son Aiden from Wauconda, IL fished with me on Tuesday. We started early in hopes of catching a snook. Scot caught a jack then had a BIG snook break him off. Action slowed so me moved to the deep grass and caught ladyfish, jacks, grouper, and sea bass. We finished up working an oyster car and caught a nice black drum and 2 flounder on Gulp! and Scot hooked a couple of snook on a Rapala Skitterprop.

 

Neil and Ryan Genco, from the Buffalo, NY had a pretty good trip on Wednesday. We started off in Big Pass, casting jigs and free-lining live shrimp. On the first drift, we caught a jack and then got “freight-trained” twice, one on a jig and the other on a shrimp. We landed one of them, which turned out to be a BIG Spanish mackerel. Action slowed and we moved to the flats, catching sea bass, speckled trout, jacks, and ladyfish. We ran up to the Moorings, where is was sporadic, but we did put two slot trout on ice using shrimp under popping corks.

 

Bruce Bottorff from Indiana and his daughter Beth Reis fished with me on Thursday. We did not catch a lot of fish, but did land some quality trout, including a nice 23″ fish that Beth caught on a free lined shrimp. Several others in the slot were caught, along with ladyfish, mackerel, jacks, and sea bass.

 

Sarasota residents Doc Dojutrek, Bill Kish, and John Englander ran a 6 hour charter on Friday. We caught a few fish at most spots in and near Big Pass and New Pass, mostly ladyfish but we did catch a 19″ speckled trout, all on jigs. Then we hit some mangrove shorelines where John was rewarded with a gorgeous 30″ snook that hit a white Gulp! with a chartreuse tail. Saturday was a rain-out.

nice Sarasota snook

Capt. Jim Klopfer
April 26, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Although fishing was fair this week, it does look like the big speckled trout are starting to move through. Fish to 25″ were caught this week, live hand-picked shrimp worked the best. It is VERY important to release these fish unharmed, they are the breeders we need to sustain the fishery. Also, some large Spanish mackerel were caught on the deep grass north of New Pass. Snook, jacks, bluefish, sea bass, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, sheepshead, ladyfish, and a blacktip shark were also landed on Sarasota fishing charters this week. The passes and surrounding deep grass flats were the top spots. Live shrimp and glow DOA CAL jigs fooled them.

 

On Sunday Frank Petruzzi from Staten Island, NY took out his boys Michael and Anthony. Fishing was steady with decent action. We started off in Big pass, catching sheepshead, snapper, and gag grouper on the bottom and ladyfish and Spanish mackerel free lining live shrimp. The nearby flats yielded speckled trout to 16″, jacks, sea bass, and ladyfish. We finished up at a dock along Siesta Key where Frank caught a snook and the boys landed a few more snapper.

 

On Tuesday Cass Wennlund from the Chicago area and his sons Colt, Luke, and Tommy had a good trip. Action was a bit slow at first as there was very little tidal flow or wind. We just kinda picked at them, catching ladyfish and jacks in Big Pass on jigs and shrimp. A move to the flats resulted in one nice 18″ speckled trout, smaller trout, and more jacks and ladyfish. The wind finally picked up a bit and we did well at the Middlegrounds and Moorings, catching a couple more nice trout to 20″ along with some shorts, bluefish, jacks, and ladyfish.

 

Variety was the name of the game for John Carroll, his grand daughter Jonalyn Burt, her boyfriend Bruce, and John’s friend Ken Rayner. Speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, jack crevelle, ladyfish, catfish, sea bass, and a nice blacktip shark hit jigs and free lined shrimp in and around Big Pass.

 

Gary Johns from Union, KY took out his son and three grandsons on Friday. Action was sporadic though they did catch some quality fish. Gary caught speckled trout of 25″ and 22″, and Gary and the boys caught several big Spanish mackerel between 3 and 4 pounds. They also landed jacks, smaller trout, ladyfish, gag grouper, and sea bass. Live shrimp fished under corks and free lined along the west side of the bay did the trick.

 

I ended the week fishing with Tony and Eileen Mettes from British Columbia, their daughter Ashley and her husband Tony. We caught fish at every spot but action was sporadic; a fish here and a fish there. They ended up catching speckled trout, bluefish, sea bass, grouper, a nice Spanish mackerel that pulled the hook beside the boat, jacks, and ladyfish in Big Pass, the Radio tower, Middlegrounds, and Marina Jack flats. Jigs caught more fish than shrimp on this trip.

Big Sarasota trout

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
April 19, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

I ran charters every day this week, and despite breezy conditions, charters were fairly successful, including quite a few decent trout. The wind and “dirty” water (caused by the wind churning up the sand) made for more challenging conditions than we normally experience in mid-April. Still, anglers landed speckled trout to 25″, bluefish and Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, jack crevelle to 5 pounds, sheepshead, mangrove and lane snapper, red and gag grouper, sea bass, flounder, and ladyfish. Most of the fish fell for live shrimp though DOA and Cotee jigs caught a few, too. Big Pass, Stephen’s Pt., and the flats north of New Pass were the best spots.

 

I started the week off on Sunday with Sarasota resident Paul Brunelle and his son Jay, the trip was a birthday present for Jay. They have their own boat and wanted to see some spots and techniques. We started off bottom fishing in Big Pass, catching sheepshead, snapper, and grouper. Then, we drifted the pass and caught ladyfish, Spanish mackerel, and jacks. A move up north resulted in speckled trout to 20″, mackerel, and a lot of ladyfish at the Middlegrounds, Country Club Shores, Mooring, Bishop’s Pt. , and Stephen’s Pt using jigs and live shrimp.

 

On Monday Buddies Tom Brundz and Tim Gekas took their sons Zach Brudz (11) and Justin Gekas (14) out on a charter. A drift in Big Pass resulted in very little but a move to the Yacht Club Channel produced speckled trout, gag grouper, sea bass, Spanish mackerel, and loads of ladyfish using jigs and free lined live shrimp. I hit a couple of Bird Key docks looking for sheepshead but the pinfish were so thick we could not get a bait past them. We finished up at Marker # 5 with Zach landing a nice Spanish and Justin catching a big ladyfish.

 

The Bucko family from Wisconsin fought the wind on Tuesday morning. We basically picked at them, catching fish (sheepshead, ladyfish, snapper, trout, and a mackerel) in Big Pass, the Yacht Club Channel, and Radio Tower casting jigs and free lining shrimp. We finished up with a little better fishing at Country Club Shores, catching bluefish, trout, and ladyfish.

 

Chris Hardwick from Darien, CT took his two boys and dad out on Wednesday. It was cool and breezy following the front that had moved through the night before. Action was sporadic at first, they caught a few ladyfish in Robert’s Bay and some sheepshead, mangrove snapper, and a flounder at the Siesta Drive Bridge. We did finish up with some decent action on bluefish, slot-sized speckled trout, and Spanish mackerel at Stephen’s Pt, mostly on glow CAL jigs.

 

Keith Williams from the UK took two of his sons, Toby (5) and Thomas (13) out on Thursday. It was Toby’s first fishing trip. They caught quite a variety of species. With a slack tide, I worked the structure along the north side of Siesta Key in Big Pass and the nearby deep grass flats with live shrimp once the tide picked up. Sheepshead, mangrove snapper, red grouper, lane snapper, gag grouper, speckled trout to 18″, flounder, jacks, and ladyfish were caught on shrimp.

 

I had the best charter of the week on Friday with Ron Beech from Miamisburg, OH and his two sons Nathan (13) and Chris (16). They caught a bunch of species, including speckled trout to 25″, Spanish mackerel, silver trout, jack crevelle to 5 pounds, gag grouper, sheepshead, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, sea bass, and more. Big Pass started off slow then the bite turned on as the tidal flow increased. Nathan caught a big jack and they all caught snapper and sheepshead. The current became too strong to fish so we moved to the deep flats where they caught mackerel, ladyfish, and trout. Chris had the hot hand with the speckled trout, landing two fat beauties of 21″ and 25″ on large live shrimp.

 

Dick Wahba and his 12 year old son Charlie from New York City finished off my week. Conditions were difficult, NW winds at 15-20 knots with dirty water, but we worked at it and wound up with a decent bag of fish. A couple of slot speckled trout along with several smaller ones, a decent silver trout, 2 12″ mangrove snappers, jack crevelle, and a couple of very large ladyfish hit free lined live shrimp near ird Key.

Sarasota trout

 

Sarasota Fishing Report Capt Jim Klopfer 4/12/2014

Capt. Jim Klopfer
April 12, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

I had quite a diverse week of charters, a couple of family trips in Sarasota Bay, a fly fishing charter, and a freshwater bass fishing charter. Weather continued to be an issue this past week as another severe front moved through the area. Monday was breezy, Tuesday a rain-out. Fishing was steady before and after the front. Sheepshead are still biting in the area and the speckled trout bite was good on Saturday on the west side of the bay using live shrimp and Gulp! Specks to 20″ were caught and released. Largemouth bass to 5 pounds hit Rapala SkitterProps and white spinnerbaits in Lake Manatee.

 

On Monday Shawn Hawthorne from Hastings, MI went out on a charter with his buddy Rob Case and children Leah (15) and Collin (13). Strong winds were predicted by mid-morning, so I started off hitting the deep flats before it became too breezy. Spanish mackerel, trout, jacks, sea bass, and ladyfish hit jigs and shrimp. As was forecast, the wind picked up out of the south and we “hid” in Big Pass along the north end of siesta Key. Bottom fishing over submerged structure resulted in non-stop action on sheepshead, mangrove snapper, and gag grouper. Most of the fish were small, but they put enough on ice for dinner. Tuesday was breezy with a line of rain and thunderstorms moving through, Wednesday VERY windy, no fishing for me.

 

On Thursday Dave Noble from Hampstead, NC spend the morning fly fishing. Fishing was fair following the front, the water coming in from the Gulf of Mexico was filthy. Still, using Clouser patterns, Dave caught slot speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, silver trout, ladyfish, snapper, and jack crevelle.

 

Tom Medved and his brother Bob from Minneapolis, MN were in St Petersburg this weekend and wanted to go bass fishing. This is not something I do everyday, but is a nice change of pace. We met at Lake Manatee around 6:45 and as we headed out fish were popping near the bridge. Bob hooked an average bass, then lost a nice one, and landed a channel catfish on a topwater plug in 15′ of water! Tom landed a nice pair of bass that were pushing 5 pounds. The Rapala Skitterprop in gold worked best. Bob got hot later in the morning with a white spinnerbait. They caught around a dozen fish with steady action, a fun morning with excellent anglers!

 

The Zordich family from Youngstown, OH, Steve and Kathy along with their boys Steven (11) and Alex (08) had a productive trip on Saturday morning with great weather. The water near the passes was dirty, so we started at the middlegrounds, catching a nice bluefish along with several small trout and ladyfish. A move to Country Club Shores produced more ladyfish and trout, then a bump up to the Moorings resulted in a lot of speckled trout, several pushing 20″. Most of the fish hit live shrimp though Steve caught several using Gulp!

Sarasota trout

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
April 5, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

The sheepshead bite continues to be fantastic throughout the area! Docks, bridges, and rocky ledges are holding good numbers of these tasty saltwater panfish. Clients have also been catching a lot of small mangrove snapper, with the occasional nice one mixed in. A live or fresh shrimp fished on the bottom is all it takes. Speckled trout to 20″, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, bluefish, jack crevelle, gag grouper, black sea bass, and ladyfish hit gold D.O.A. CAL jigs, white Rapala X-Raps, and live shrimp in Big Pass and the nearby deep grass flats.

 

On Monday Jack Grumet from the Hudson Valley area of New York went out on a 6 hour charter. We hit the mouth of Phillippi Creek first thing; no bites. I then headed into Big Pass where the sheepshead bite was on. We caught a bunch to 3 pounds, along with some mangrove snapper using live shrimp. A move to the nearby deep flats resulted in slot trout, ladyfish, and jacks on jigs. Things slowed late morning and we just picked at them for the last two hours.

 

Todd Bruce, his girlfriend Nicole, and daughters Hazel (8) and Ruby (11) from Minnesota experienced fast fishing on Tuesday. Once again the sheepshead bite was hot, and even though they were not keeping any, they are still great fun to catch. The girls caught a bunch, then the tide became a bit too strong, so we moved to the Bird Key flats and caught speckled trout, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, and sea bass on jigs and free lined live shrimp. All told, they caught around 60 fish, a fun morning!

 

On Wednesday Blake MacKenkie and his son Mason from Chicago had a good trip with steady action. The sheepshead bit very well, and after putting a few in the box we moved on. Spanish mackerel, bluefish, sea bass, jack crevelle, and ladyfish hit jigs and live shrimp in Big Pass and the flats near Bird Key.

 

Lisa and Steve Schreck took their 2 boys Aiden (11) and Quin (12) out on Thursday. We got out a bit late and the tide was running too strong to fish for sheepshead in the pass, so we started off drifting live shrimp and casting jigs. Several ladyfish, a jack, and a Spanish mackerel were caught. We moved on to the flats and caught a few trout and more ladyfish, but the bite was kind of slow. The wind picked up out of the south, so I headed back to Big Pass for a little protection from the wind. We finished up trolling Rapala X-Raps and catching 8 mackerel and a nice bluefish.

 

The sheepshead bite was crazy for Candra and Ray Kurzer and their grown son Cody, all from Sebewaing, MI. We left Centennial park at 7:15 and headed for Big Pass. At 9:00 we had probably landed 50 sheepshead and mangrove snapper, putting enough in the box for a meal. Every shrimp that hit the bottom got eaten almost immediately. They also caught (and released) speckled trout of 20″, 18″, and 17″, a couple of mackerel, ladyfish, and sea bass on jigs and shrimp on the nearby grass flats. The wind cranked up so we headed in, great morning!

nice Sarasota sheepshead

 

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
March 29, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Sheepshead were definitely the savior on my charters this week. We have had quite a bit of unsettled weather with wind and rain of late. This results in “dirty” water, which means the wind has the sand all stirred up. Most fish do not like this, but the sheepies don’t care. In fact, sometimes it even improves the fishing as they become less shy of leaders and terminal tackle. Whatever the reason, under these conditions I target them and this week clients had great success putting these tasty saltwater panfish in the boat. They are fun to catch, fight hard, are interesting looking, and taste great! This has been a VERY good year for sheepshead! They can be caught using shrimp (live, fresh, or frozen) fishing on the bottom near structure. Both Big Pass and New Pass have been quite productive. Clients also landed speckled trout, pompano, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, jack crevelle, and ladyfish.

 

I started the week fishing with Bill and Judy Whisler from Long Grove, IL and their children Karen and David. To say the sheepshead bite was on would be an understatement; it was perhaps the best I have ever seen! We were anchored up on a ledge in Big Pass and every bit that entered the water got crushed. After filling the box we were still releasing 2-3 lb sheepshead two at a time. They also caught several nice mangrove snappers, a pompano, and a Spanish mackerel. We left them biting, as much to catch our breath as anything, and moved to the Bird Key flats where they landed ladyfish, speckled trout, and another mackerel. A fantastic morning of fishing!

 

Windy and rainy on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday morning was cold with winds at 25 knots, so we bumped the trip back to 1:00. Being flexible this time of year is advantageous. Tom Stark, his wife Cindy, and son Michael met me at Ken Thompson Park. The water was stirred up and it was still breezy, so I ran to Marina Jack seeking a little shelter from the wind. We made several drifts and caught some ladyfish using jigs. A move to Robert’s Bay resulted in a couple of jacks, a Spanish mackerel, and more ladyfish. We finished up in Big Pass catching several sheepshead and snapper. Fair fishing, but considering the conditions, it was a pretty good trip. They were from Iowa and just happy to be out on a boat in the Florida sunshine!

 

Henry DeYoung and Rich Ruis fished with me on Thursday morning. This is the 5th year in a row they have been out, and every trip has been different. They wanted a few fish for dinner, so we targeted sheepshead under docks in Big Pass. The bite was steady and we put a half dozen keepers in the box in an hour along with catching some snappers and small grouper. A move to the deep grass flats resulted in speckled trout to 17″, pompano, jacks, and ladyfish using free lined live shrimp.

 

Siesta key resident and long-time client Carl Guse took his son John and grandson Tommy out on a charter at the end of the week. We fished in a light drizzle for most of the trip, but the bite was steady. With dirty water and an outgoing tide, we caught sheepshead and mangrove snapper in Big Pass using fresh and live shrimp.

Sarasota Bay sheepshead

Capt. Jim Klopfer
March 22, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Sheepshead continued to bite well this week on live and frozen shrimp, providing action and dinners for clients. Plenty of ladyfish were landed on the deep flats at the Radio Tower, Marker # 5, and Bird Key flats using jigs and shrimp. Clients did not catch very many Spanish mackerel, but did land a couple very nice ones at Stephen’s Pt. Weekly fronts have kept the water in the inshore Gulf of Mexico cool and stirred up. A week of east winds should clean things up and get the action out on the beach fired up.

 

Lou Marcy took out his family for a trip on Sunday. A severe front was approaching and we did well the first couple of hours, catching Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, and ladyfish on the deep flats and several sheepshead under docks. Then, it started to blow. With winds at 20 knots + out of the south, the fishing was tough. We headed in with a nice mess of fish for dinner. I did not get out Monday or Tuesday due to bad weather.

 

I ran two trips on Wednesday. David Johnson, his daughter Linda and her husband Jim Kreider had a good trip in the morning. They caught Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and a gag grouper first thing as the tide was falling. Heavy fog moved in, keeping it a bit cool. Fishing picked up with the incoming tide. Speckled trout to 18″, jacks, ladyfish, and more hit free lined shrimp on the deep flats near Big Pass. The afternoon was a bit slower as the tide brought in a bunch of stained water from the Gulf. Ladyfish bit good in Robert’s Bay and we caught a couple of sheepies near Bird Key. we finished up trolling in Phillippi Creek, hooking a nice jack and losing it on a channel marker.

 

I ran two trips again on Thursday, with similar results. Sheepshead bit VERY well under the docks in Big Pass. Nothing huge, but plenty of keepers, making for some tasty fish dinners! Clients also caught ladyfish, trout, a pompano, and a huge Spanish mackerel using live shrimp and jigs.

 

John Englander, Bill Kish, and Doc Dojutrek fished with me on Friday. We started off hitting the docks and putting several sheepshead and snapper in the box. I then moved to Big Pass in search of pompano, but they caught more sheepshead and snapper along with ladyfish and jacks on shrimp-tipped jigs. A move to the flats at Marker #5 and Marina Jack resulted in more jacks and ladyfish. I ran up to Stephen’s Pt. where the action was not great, but several quality fish were landed, including a 3lb and 4 lb Spanish mackerel and a nice 23″ speckled trout.

 

The bite was a bit off on Saturday for JoEllen and Shaun Fahey from Stone Lake, WI. Slack tides may have been the cause, but for whatever reason we worked hard, but did catch a nice 18″ speckled trout, a 2 pound Spanish mackerel, and some jacks and ladyfish.

 

Sarasota mackerel

Capt. Jim Klopfer
March 15, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Clients caught a wide variety of species on Sarasota fishing charters this week. The two techniques we used were fishing live shrimp under docks and casting jigs and live shrimp over the deep grass flats. Speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, gag grouper, black sea bass, mangrove and lane snapper, flounder, black drum, sheepshead, and ladyfish were all caught this week. The docks in Big Pass, Robert’s Bay, and the Bird Key flats were the best spots.

 

I started the week off on Sunday afternoon with Steve Cook from Quebec, his 17 year old son Andrew, and his buddy Phil. They wanted a few fish for dinner, so a stop at a good dock quickly resulted in a half dozen sheepshead in the box. We moved to the deep flats in the Yacht Club channel and caught speckled trout to 20″, jacks and ladyfish on jigs and shrimp. We finished up at some docks in Robert’s Bay, landing black drum to 20″, flounder to 18″, and a big sheepshead.

 

On Monday Harry Corey was down from New Jersey visiting his brother-in-law Jim. Again, fish was on the menu and the docks did not disappoint. Sheepshead have been very reliable this year! They also caught speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and jacks on glow CAL jigs and free-lined shrimp.

 

I ran two trips on Tuesday as the front was approaching. Longboat Key resident Jim Mitchell and Charlie Beard did well on a variety of species. Sheepshead, keeper mangrove snapper, gag grouper hit live shrimp under docks in Big Pass and pompano, Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, sea bass, jacks, and ladyfish hit jigs and shrimp on the nearby deep flats. In the afternoon John Lorenz and his twin boys had a similar trip. They put a half dozen fat sheepshead in the box fishing docks and caught ladyfish, trout, and bluefish using jigs near Country Club Shores.

 

I was off Wednesday and Thursday due to weather. Mike Adkinson and Ricky Steele caught a nice variety on Friday. Free lining shrimp on the edges of grass flats and under docks produced speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, silver trout, flounder to 18″, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, blue runners, lane snapper, and ladyfish.

 

Lauren Biszewski from Chicago, IL and her children Sophia and Buck, who were both in town from college, went out on a fishing trip. We started off anchored up on the edge of a flat and action was very steady on Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, and ladyfish. We moved to nearby docks and caught sheepshead to 3 pounds and gag grouper. We finished up fishing deep edges again, this time landing an 18″, and a 20″ speckled trout along with a pair of flounder, one of which went 18″. They ended up with a nice bag of fillets for dinner! All of the fish were caught using live and frozen shrimp.

nice Sarasota flounder

Capt. Jim Klopfer
March 8, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

I started off the week with a productive Myakka River fishing charter with Mike White from Illinois. We boated 3 nice snook in the 25″ range, a small fish and mike landed a gorgeous 33″ fish! That’s why we fish the river; there is an opportunity to land a trophy fish on every trip. All of the fish hit a #10 gold Rapala X-Rap Slashbait.

 

On Tuesday Jeff Bishop from Cleveland, OH went out with me. The tide was still falling as we idled north, so we worked the edges of the Intracoastal Waterway. Jeff caught a huge jack crevelle on a white X-Rap. Spanish mackerel and ladyfish hit jigs and live shrimp in Big Pass and the surrounding flats. He also caught some sheepshead under docks along Bird Key.

 

I had a very productive trip with Doc Dojutrek and John Englander, both transplants from the Chicago area. They caught Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, speckled trout to 20″, black sea bass, jack crevelle, and loads of ladyfish using jigs, plugs, and live shrimp at the Marina Jack, Bird Key, and Ringling deep grass flats. We hit a couple of docks and caught a couple of sheepshead at the first one, then hit the “mother load” at the second! In 45 minutes we limited out on big mangrove snapper, every one was between 12″ and 14″.

 

Thursday I launched the boat, but bad weather forced us to cancel as severe storms were rapidly advancing. Friday it was blowing 25 + out of the northwest, no fishing!

 

On Saturday I ran a 4 boat trip out of CB’s. I had John Miliziano, George Keough, and Chuck Toner aboard. Action was steady on the flats near Big Pass, despite cloudy water from the recent blow. Speckled trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, jack crevelle, sailcats, and ladyfish hit shrimp and jigs. We moved to docks and caught sheepshead and finished up with a snook.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
March 1, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

I had another diverse week of fishing on my charters this week, both in Sarasota Bay and in the Myakka River. Spanish mackerel and sheepshead continued to lead the way with some nice mangrove snapper, red and gag grouper, black drum, speckled trout, ladyfish, and bluefish. Snook, bass, gar, and catfish ate Rapala plugs in the Myakka River.

 

On Monday Bill Thiel and Gary Grube had a nice mixed-bag charter. We started off hitting some docks and catching several shepshead, red and gag grouper, and mangrove snapper to 14″ using live shrimp. We moved to Big Pass where the Spanish mackerel bite was on! Drifting live shrimp produced a dozen macks. We finished up on the nearby deep flats, landing more mackerel, speckled trout, and a bunch of ladyfish.

 

Renee and Shane Cassidy from Downers Grove, IL took out their children Rive` (7) and Creed (6) on Tuesday morning. Grouper and sheepshead hit shrimp at the docks in Big Pass, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish were caught in Big Pass and the nearby flats, black drum were caught under docks in Robert’s Bay and mangrove snapper were biting in Phillippi Creek.

 

The fish bit well for Jeff Manby from Brookfield, WI and his dad Bill. Spanish mackerel and bluefish hit trolled white #8 Rapala X-Raps. We then moved to the docks and landed sheepshead and gag grouper using live shrimp. We finished up at Marker # 5 catching some ladyfish as the wind was cranking up. Thursday was breezy and cool, so we rescheduled.

 

I was in the Myakka River on Friday with Jeff Bishop from Cleveland, OH. We ran in the afternoon as it was quite cool early. The snook bit well, we landed a half dozen or more to 28″, missed several more, and lost a BIG fish right at the end. We also caught a gar and had on a large catfish. Rapala X-Raps in gold and Jointed BX Minnows in Firetiger caught them.

 

Back in the river Saturday morning with Chris Patrick and his buddy Lanny. Things started out great with mist covering the water and a pair of snook hitting Rapalas. Then, the sun came out and it got tough, no wind, bright sun, less than optimum conditions. Chris did end the trip on a high note with a fat 4 1/2 pound largemouth bass.

Sarasota snook

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
February 22, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

I had another diverse week of fishing charters, 2 in Sarasota Bay, 1 in Nokomis, and 3 Myakka River trips. Sheepshead, big mangrove snapper, and nice-sized Spanish mackerel pleased anglers this week on saltwater charters, Marina Jacks, middlegrounds, and docks in both passes were the most productive spots. The bite in the river is slowing down, the water may be getting too warm, though clients landed bass and snook on all of the trips.

 

Bill Thiel from Naperville, IL treated hish daughter Julie, grand daughter Grace, and son-in-law Tom to a Sarasota fishing charter on Monday. We started off in the channel near the Siesta Drive bridge where Grace caught a big ladyfish on her first cast! With the skunk out of the boat, we hit the docks in search of fillets. An hour later the box had 7 nice sheepies cooling their heels, destined for a fish fry. We then drifted the deep flats at the Radio Tower and Marina Jacks. Grace added a slot trout to the box and several more released along with a lot of ladyfish. Bill finished off the trip with a nice Spanish mackerel

 

I had Myakka River trips on Tuesday and Wednesday, with similar results. There was very little cloud cover or wind and bright sun, resulting in an early bite. Snook to 25″ and bass to 2 1/2 pounds were landed, and a huge snook wrecked a Rapala right near the boat, made a run, and tossed the bait. Action slowed mid-morning; it was just “too nice”, but made for gorgeous mornings with great scenery and company.

 

Bill Kish and his friends Dana and Kelly had a very good trip in Sarasota Bay on Thursday. They wanted some fish for dinner, so I hit some of my productive docks in Big Pass. The first two held spot-tails, the third put 5 sheepshead and 8 nice mangrove snapper (all between 12″ and 15″) in the box. Live shrimp was the ticket. We then caught several Spanish mackerel in Big Pass casting jigs and trolling Rapalas, most of which were keepers, but on the small side. The Marina Jack flat had a bunch of ladyfish, Radio Tower was slow, and the Middlegrounds produced more mackerel to 3 pounds, bluefish, speckled trout, and ladyfish on jigs and free lined live shrimp. At the end of the day we had a cooler full of fish and decent action.

 

Dr. Larry Rose from Houston, TX fished the Myakka River with me on Friday. It was a bit slow, at first light we had no wind or current, and the sun came up quickly with no cloud cover. Then, the wind cranked up. We caught several chunky bass and a small snook before we called it a morning a bit early.

 

I had a great trip on Saturday morning with two surgeons from North Georgia; Ed Artwell and Scott Daniel. Scott has a place in Nokomis and wanted to learn a few spots and techniques, so I met them at the Albee Rd boat ramp and headed north. I saw a mackerel jump, stopped, and for two hours we caught Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, ladyfish and jacks free lining shrimp in the channel. Boat traffic picked up, so we trolled X-Raps on the flats and caught jacks and ladyfish. We finished up at the Albee Rd Bridge, landing several sheepshead and a nice mang. Great trip, great guys, and plenty of fillets for dinner!

nice Sarasota mackerel

Capt. Jim Klopfer
February 15, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Well, our winter “pattern” returned on charters this week. Gorgeous weather early, then a severe front moved through mid-week shutting things down. Before the front, action was steady both on the deep grass flats and around docks near both Big Sarasota Pass and New Pass. Spanish mackerel were plentiful, hitting jigs, white Rapala X-Raps, and live shrimp at Marina Jacks, Radio Tower, and Middlegrounds. Speckled trout, bluefish, grouper, flounder, and ladyfish were also caught. Docks in both passes are holding good numbers of fat sheepshead. These tasty saltwater panfish prefer a live shrimp fished near the bottom. Snook were caught both in Robert’s Bay and in the Myakka River.

 

Long time client Bill LaPiere from Massachusetts ran a 6 hour charter with me on Monday. Six hours is a nice trip; it gives us the chance to do several different things. We started off at Marker #5 and Marina Jacks, just picking at them. There was very little wind and we did not drift much at all. We caught a few Spanish mackerel and ladyfish casting jigs. The Radio Tower was a bit better, though mostly ladyfish. A move to the middlegrounds resulted in more mackerel trolling white (08) Rapala X-Raps. We ran to New Pass and made a drift; no luck. But, mackerel were flipping on the surface and we caught a half dozen trolling. I hit a deep grass edge near Bird Key and Bill caught several trout and a keeper flounder free lining live shrimp. A quick stop at a dock along Bird Key resulted in a couple nice sheepshead on live shrimp. We finished up at a dock in Robert’s Bay where Bill landed a couple of snook on shrimp.

 

Patti and Ken Wanous from Aitkin, MN fished with me on Tuesday. They wanted a few fish to eat so I went right to a reliable dock in Big Pass and in short order 5 fat sheepies went in the box. We then caught ladyfish, trout, mackerel, and grouper in the Yacht Club channel, Radio Tower, and Marina Jack flat free lining shrimp and trolling Rapalas.

 

Ray Moreland from the Chicago area fished with me on Wednesday and Thirsday. On Wednesday we fished Sarasota Bay with his father-in-law Deke and his brother-in-law Richard. We started off at the Middlegrounds and Radio Tower catching Spanish mackerel, trout, and ladyfish using jigs and live shrimp. We moved to nearby docks and caught several sheepshead, then, it started to blow. A severe front was approaching. We trolled white Rapals X-Raps in the Grand Canal on Siesta Key and in Hudson Bayou and caught several jack crevelle to 5 pounds and a mackerel.

 

On Thursday Ray fished the Myakka River. With winds at 25 + knots out of the northwest, I was probably one of the very few guides to fish that day. The river offers protection from the wind, but it was still breezy. Fishing was fair, Ray landed a decent snook early then we caught a small snook, a gar, and lost a “mystery fish” that we never saw.

nice Sarasota snook

Capt. Jim Klopfer
February 8, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

I had a nice mix of charters this week, three in Sarasota Bay and three in the Myakka River. As is usually the case, the bay provided great action while the river gave up the trophy fish. The deep grass flats at Marina Jack, the Yacht Club Channel, and Radio Tower all had Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, bluefish, and loads of ladyfish. Jigs produced the best, but fish were also caught using Rapalas and live shrimp. Docks in the same area held sheepshead to 4 pounds, mangrove snapper to 14″, gag grouper, and jack crevelle, live shrimp was the ticket. The water in the Myakka River got a bit warm, up in the low 70′s. Fishing was decent with a couple big fish being hooked casting Firetiger Rapala Jointed BX Minnow plugs. Anglers also landed largemouth bass to 3 pounds and gar.

 

I started the week off with a Myakka River charter with Trevor Grant and his son-in-law Alden, both from Ontario. The tide was a bit slack and the water murky from recent rains. They did not get a lot of bites, but Alden landed a fat 3 pound bass and a nice 14 pound snook using Rapala Jointed BX Minnow plugs.

 

On Monday Jay Lalley and his buddy John, both from Chicago, had a productive Sarasota Bay charter. The tide was still falling as we left CBs and headed north. I made several drifts in the Intracoastal Waterway just south of Siesta Drive Bridge, where the boys caught ladyfish, a pair of Spanish mackerel, and a nice mangrove snapper. The tide quit and we moved the the flats. The Radio Tower and Yacht Club Channel gave up more macks to 3 pounds, bluefish, trout, flounder, and ladyfish. We finished up with a jack in Phillippi Creek. Most of the fish hit live shrimp.

 

I was back in the Myakka River on Tuesday and Thursday. Mike Porter had a tough day on Tuesday, it just wasn’t happening. No cloud cover or wind, bad tides, it happens. Thursday’s trip was much better for Jim Mitchell and his brother John. They each landed several snook to 25″ and Jim had a nice fish, estimated at around ten pounds, right up to the boat when it leaped and threw the plug.

 

Richard Fletcher from Minnesota and his brother Tom who lives in Riverview, FL got together for their annual fishing charter. We started off with good action at the Radio Tower, catching a mackerel, a bluefish, several small trout, and loads of ladyfish using DOA CAL jigs and live shrimp. The tide quit and so did the bite, and Richard likes sheepshead, so we hit some docks. We did not catch a lot of fish, but they put 5 fat sheepies in the box and released some gag grouper.

 

On Friday Shari and Jeff Mock and Beth Reis, all from Lakeland, went out fishing. They wanted a bag of fish to take to Clayton’s for dinner. We started off catching three Spanish mackerel and a bunch of ladyfish trolling white Rapala X-Raps at the Radio tower. We then moved to nearby docks and caught sheepshead to 4 pounds, mangrove snapper to 14″, gag grouper, several of which broke us off, and jack crevelle using live shrimp.

Sarasota snook

Capt. Jim Klopfer
February 1, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

I sound like a broken record; good fishing early in the week, then a severe front moves through mid-week shutting things down. Monday and Tuesday were gorgeous! The Spanish mackerel bite has been surprisingly good on the deep grass, especially given the cold water. Trout, bluefish, and ladyfish also provided plenty of action, the Radio Tower and Middlegrounds were the best spots. Sheepshead to 3 pounds, mangrove snapper to 12″, and gag grouper were caught under docks along Bird Key using shrimp. Then, the front moved through. Wednesday was windy, Thursday cold and rainy, and rain on Friday. But, the upcoming week looks fantastic, and the fishing should be very good both in Sarasota Bay and in the Myakka River.
I started the week out with a good trip on Sunday afternoon with friends Brett Moore, Len Hoffman, and Kevin Miller, all from the Chicago area. The tide was slack and there was very little wind, so I decided to try the docks in Big Pass. Good move! Sheepshead to 3 pounds, mangrove snapper to 14″, a nice jack, and small gag grouper kept the boys busy. We also got broke off several times by what I assume were big grouper. With dinner in the box we moved to the nearby deep grass flats in search of action. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, and a flounder hit gold and glow DOA CAL jigs.

 

I had another good Sarasota fishing charter on Tuesday, just before the front moved through. Jim Wiener took his wife Deanna, father Bob, and sister Lori out fishing. They wanted enough for dinner for 10 people. Fortunately, the Spanish mackerel were very co-operative, a bit unusual in 55 degree water. We idled out of the Ken Thompson ramp and mackerel were flipping on the surface, but at first we could not get them to bite. Then, the breeze picked up and so did the fishing. We did equally well drifting live shrimp, casting jigs, and trolling white Rapala X-Raps in the (08) size. Small speckled trout, a bluefish, and ladyfish were also landed. We finished up at the Middlegrounds catching more Spanish mackerel, trout, and ladyfish.

 

The slightly warmer temperatures and rain should result in continued good fishing in the Myakka River for snook, though bass, gar, juvenile tarpon and other species occasionally crash the party.

Sarasota sheepshead

Sarasota fishing report, Sarasota fishing charters

Capt. Jim Klopfer
January 18, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

 

Once again, weather was the story this week. I was only able to get out twice this week as a couple of fronts moved through bringing wind and cold with them. The best action is still on the deep flats in 6 to 10 feet of water using jigs. The Middlegrounds, Radio Tower, and the Moorings were the best spots for me this week.

 

I had a decent trip on Friday with Doc Dojutrek, John Englander, and Bill Kish. We left 10th street at 10:00 a.m. to let it warm up a bit. The first stop was the Radio Tower and I was surprised to see Spanish mackerel working on the surface. We caught a couple and a few ladyfish using DOA CAL jigs and Gulp! Shrimp. A move to the Marina Jack flat resulted in some speckled trout and a few ladyfish. We then hit some docks along Bird Key in search of sheepshead. We had a couple on that shook off and caught a few mangrove snapper and grouper, but it really wasn’t going on. The water coming in the pass was pretty dirty. My buddy Capt Rick Grassett called and said he was doing pretty good on bluefish and mackerel at the Moorings, so I ran up there. The water was very clean and we caught a few bluefish and ladyfish. Thanks Rick! We finished up at the north end of the Middlegrounds with a pretty steady bite over the last two hours. Ladyfish, trout, and decent Spanish mackerel provided steady action.

 

The water temperature was in the mid 50′s. Once the water cleans up and warms up a bit, action should continue to be good on all of the deep grass flats throughout the area. I did not get out to the Myakka River this week, but the cold should only improve the fishing

Sarasota mackerel

Sarasota Fishing Report Capt Jim Klopfer (941) 371-1390

Capt. Jim Klopfer
January 11, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Well, after several mild years, it looks like we are going to have a “real” Florida winter this time. There was a small window Monday morning before the wind cranked up. A variety of species hit jigs on the deep grass flats with the Middlegrounds being the best spot. Tuesday and Wednesday were cold and breezy, Thursday was overcast with some rain. I fished the Myakka River on Friday and we landed a 34″ snook and lost another big one. This is a unique trip that very few guides in the area offer. Clients get to see the “real Florida” and every trip provides the opportunity to catch a trophy snook along with largemouth bass, juvenile tarpon, and gar.

 

I fished with Ed Devries and Matt Kalhemegan, both from Indiana, on Monday. A severe front was moving through and we had a small window to fish. It was foggy first thing, then cleared up. They cast gold and glow DOA jigs on the deep flats at the Radio Tower, Middlegrounds, and Marker # 5. They also caught a few fish on trolled Rapala X-Raps. Bluefish to 3 pounds, speckled trout, jack crevelle, flounder, and loads of ladyfish were landed. Just as the trip was ending, the front moved through, the temperature dropped ten degrees and the wind cranked up to 25 knots. Time to go! Tuesday and Wednesday were cold and breezy.

 

I fished with Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek on the Myakka River on Friday with outstanding results! One thing the cold weather did was get the river fishing fired up, a lot more snook moved upstream. Casting Rapala X-Raps and Jointed BX Minnows resulted in several bass to 2 pounds and a dozen snook, including a 34″ fish and another big one that we just could not handle. This river fishing should cobntinue until the water starts to get too warm, which is usually late March or early April.

Big Myakka River snook

Sarasota Fishing Report Capt Jim Klopfer  (941) 371-1390

Capt. Jim Klopfer
January 4, 2014
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Mother Nature did not make things easy for us this week. Most days were either breezy or rainy, or both. The best action was on the deep flats and in holes as the tide was very low in the morning. Gold DOA jigs and live shrimp fooled trout to 20″, pompano, bluefish, jacks, and ladyfish. Small snook hit Rapala plugs in the Myakka River.

 

Sunday was a rain out. On Monday C D Duncan, Tom Miller, and Frank Austin, all friends from Charleston, West Virginia had a good morning casting jigs at Marker # 5, the Radio Tower, and the Middlegrounds. They wanted a few fish for dinner and put 3 pompano (Tom caught all 3), a pair of nice bluefish and an 18″ trout that hit a trolled Rapala in the box. They had steady action on those plus ladyfish, jacks, and smaller trout.

 

On Tuesday Jen and Dave Buckley from Gettyburg, PA went out with me. I stopped at a grass flat with a sharp drop off and on the first cast Jen landed a 20″ trout on a live shrimp, nice! Action was steady on trout, ladyfish, and jacks using shrimp and jigs.

 

I started the year off with a river snook trip on the Myakka. Kevin Schapley from North Port went out and the bite was fair, we caught a few snook but nothing big and a channel cat that took a Rapala. The forecast for Thursday was wind by mid morning and since my client had his 3 daughters, we canceled. Friday and Saturday were cold and windy.

Photo: Sarasota Fishing Report Capt Jim Klopfer 1/4/2014<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Capt. Jim Klopfer<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
January 4, 2014<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Mother Nature did not make things easy for us this week. Most days were either breezy or rainy, or both. The best action was on the deep flats and in holes as the tide was very low in the morning. Gold DOA jigs and live shrimp fooled trout to 20", pompano, bluefish, jacks, and ladyfish. Small snook hit Rapala plugs in the Myakka River.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Sunday was a rain out. On Monday C D Duncan, Tom Miller, and Frank Austin, all friends from Charleston, West Virginia had a good morning casting jigs at Marker # 5, the Radio Tower, and the Middlegrounds. They wanted a few fish for dinner and put 3 pompano (Tom caught all 3), a pair of nice bluefish and an 18" trout that hit a trolled Rapala in the box. They had steady action on those plus ladyfish, jacks, and smaller trout.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>On Tuesday Jen and Dave Buckley from Gettyburg, PA went out with me. I stopped at a grass flat with a sharp drop off and on the first cast Jen landed a 20" trout on a live shrimp, nice! Action was steady on trout, ladyfish, and jacks using shrimp and jigs.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>I started the year off with a river snook trip on the Myakka. Kevin Schapley from North Port went out and the bite was fair, we caught a few snook but nothing big and a channel cat that took a Rapala. The forecast for Thursday was wind by mid morning and since my client had his 3 daughters, we canceled. Friday and Saturday were cold and windy.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Sarasota Fishing Report Capt Jim Klopfer 1/4/2014<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Capt. Jim Klopfer<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
January 4, 2014<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Mother Nature did not make things easy for us this week. Most days were either breezy or rainy, or both. The best action was on the deep flats and in holes as the tide was very low in the morning. Gold DOA jigs and live shrimp fooled trout to 20", pompano, bluefish, jacks, and ladyfish. Small snook hit Rapala plugs in the Myakka River.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Sunday was a rain out. On Monday C D Duncan, Tom Miller, and Frank Austin, all friends from Charleston, West Virginia had a good morning casting jigs at Marker # 5, the Radio Tower, and the Middlegrounds. They wanted a few fish for dinner and put 3 pompano (Tom caught all 3), a pair of nice bluefish and an 18" trout that hit a trolled Rapala in the box. They had steady action on those plus ladyfish, jacks, and smaller trout.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>On Tuesday Jen and Dave Buckley from Gettyburg, PA went out with me. I stopped at a grass flat with a sharp drop off and on the first cast Jen landed a 20" trout on a live shrimp, nice! Action was steady on trout, ladyfish, and jacks using shrimp and jigs.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>I started the year off with a river snook trip on the Myakka. Kevin Schapley from North Port went out and the bite was fair, we caught a few snook but nothing big and a channel cat that took a Rapala. The forecast for Thursday was wind by mid morning and since my client had his 3 daughters, we canceled. Friday and Saturday were cold and windy.

Sarasota Fishing Report Capt Jim Klopfer (941) 371-1390

Capt. Jim Klopfer
December 28, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

A front moved through on Monday night, bringing strong breezes and falling temperatures; I did not fish Tuesday or Wednesday. Fishing was very good before the front in the inshore Gulf of Mexico for mangrove snapper, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, and a nice 18 pound cobia. Action quickly rebounded in Sarasota Bay as the weather cleared. Pompano to 3 pounds, bluefish to 4 pounds, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, speckled trout, sea bass, jacks, and ladyfish hit gold D.O.A. CAL jigs and free lined live shrimp at Marker # 5, Big Pass, Radio Tower, and Middlegrounds.
I started off the week on Sunday fishing with Dr Bill Ritchey from Akron, OH and his daughter Laura. They have fished with me a bunch of times, so for a different experience we did a Myakka River charter. The bite was a bit slow, but the scenery was great and Laura did bring a 30″ snook to the boat.

 

Dave Buckley from Gettysburg, Pa took his son Brady and nephew Aaron Cool out on Monday, just before the front moved through. We decided to try a little light tackle bottom fishing on the inshore reefs and had an outstanding morning! A pair of sheepshead to 2 1/2 pounds, ten mangrove snappers to 14″, a half dozen Key West grunts, and 4 Spanish mackerel went in the box, along with a 16 pound cobia that Aaron caught. It took him 20 minutes to land it on 10 lb spinning tackle, great battle! We also caught several nice jack crevelle. Most of the fish were caught on live shrimp.

 

On Thursday Sydney Markum took out some relatives who were in town visiting from Kentucky. We had a large group so we used a CB’s pontoon boat. They had a good morning, putting a pair of pompano, 3 Spanish mackerel, and a black sea bass in the box and catching jacks, ladyfish, bluefish, and trout. The best spot was Marker # 5. Dave Buckley, who fished with me on Monday, also used a pontoon boat on Friday to take out his family. These are actually very good platforms from which to fish. We had a good morning, starting things off with several 4 pound jack crevelle in the Intracoastal and catching a nice pompano, a couple of 3 pound bluefish, and a bunch of speckled trout and ladyfish using jigs at Marker #5 and the middlegrounds.

 

John Brennan from Brookfield, WI and his daughters Cari, Teresa, and Laura went out on Saturday morning. Action was steady on the flats near Big Pass. Jigs and live shrimp produced Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, jacks, large ladyfish, and a nice flounder, which the captain got to take home for dinner!

 

Photo: Sarasota Fishing Report Capt Jim Klopfer 12/28/2013<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Capt. Jim Klopfer<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
December 28, 2013<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>A front moved through on Monday night, bringing strong breezes and falling temperatures; I did not fish Tuesday or Wednesday. Fishing was very good before the front in the inshore Gulf of Mexico for mangrove snapper, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, and a nice 18 pound cobia. Action quickly rebounded in Sarasota Bay as the weather cleared. Pompano to 3 pounds, bluefish to 4 pounds, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, speckled trout, sea bass, jacks, and ladyfish hit gold D.O.A. CAL jigs and free lined live shrimp at Marker # 5, Big Pass, Radio Tower, and Middlegrounds.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>I started off the week on Sunday fishing with Dr Bill Ritchey from Akron, OH and his daughter Laura. They have fished with me a bunch of times, so for a different experience we did a Myakka River charter. The bite was a bit slow, but the scenery was great and Laura did bring a 30" snook to the boat.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Dave Buckley from Gettysburg, Pa took his son Brady and nephew Aaron Cool out on Monday, just before the front moved through. We decided to try a little light tackle bottom fishing on the inshore reefs and had an outstanding morning! A pair of sheepshead to 2 1/2 pounds, ten mangrove snappers to 14", a half dozen Key West grunts, and 4 Spanish mackerel went in the box, along with a 16 pound cobia that Aaron caught. It took him 20 minutes to land it on 10 lb spinning tackle, great battle! We also caught several nice jack crevelle. Most of the fish were caught on live shrimp.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>On Thursday Sydney Markum took out some relatives who were in town visiting from Kentucky. We had a large group so we used a CB's pontoon boat. They had a good morning, putting a pair of pompano, 3 Spanish mackerel, and a black sea bass in the box and catching jacks, ladyfish, bluefish, and trout. The best spot was Marker # 5. Dave Buckley, who fished with me on Monday, also used a pontoon boat on Friday to take out his family. These are actually very good platforms from which to fish. We had a good morning, starting things off with several 4 pound jack crevelle in the Intracoastal and catching a nice pompano, a couple of 3 pound bluefish, and a bunch of speckled trout and ladyfish using jigs at Marker #5 and the middlegrounds.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>John Brennan from Brookfield, WI and his daughters Cari, Teresa, and Laura went out on Saturday morning. Action was steady on the flats near Big Pass. Jigs and live shrimp produced Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, jacks, large ladyfish, and a nice flounder, which the captain got to take home for dinner!

Capt. Jim Klopfer  (941) 371-1390
December 21, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

The most reliable fishing this week has been the deeper grass flats throughout the area. Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano, speckled trout, jacks, flounder, and ladyfish are all daily catches. Jigs work very well for fishing the deep flats as they allow anglers to cover a lot of water. Keep moving until a productive flat is located. Big Pass also holds some fish; mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, blues, and flounder. Cotee and D.O.A. jigs in gold, glow, and rootbeer/gold work best for me. If the bite is slow I’ll switch to Gulp! baits. Live shrimp also caught a few fish.

 

I did some river and freshwater fishing, too. Snook fishing in the Myakka River has been reliable this year so far. I fished Lake Manatee and Upper Myakka Lake and both were slow for me, just a few crappie and bream. Upper Myakka Lake is VERY low, the deepest spot I marked was 2.2 feet.

Photo: Capt. Jim Klopfer<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
December 21, 2013<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>The most reliable fishing this week has been the deeper grass flats throughout the area. Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano, speckled trout, jacks, flounder, and ladyfish are all daily catches. Jigs work very well for fishing the deep flats as they allow anglers to cover a lot of water. Keep moving until a productive flat is located. Big Pass also holds some fish; mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, blues, and flounder. Cotee and D.O.A. jigs in gold, glow, and rootbeer/gold work best for me. If the bite is slow I'll switch to Gulp! baits. Live shrimp also caught a few fish.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>I did some river and freshwater fishing, too. Snook fishing in the Myakka River has been reliable this year so far. I fished Lake Manatee and Upper Myakka Lake and both were slow for me, just a few crappie and bream. Upper Myakka Lake is VERY low, the deepest spot I marked was 2.2 feet.

Capt. Jim Klopfer  (941) 371-1390
December 14, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

I experienced another interesting and diverse week of fishing in various locations on a bunch of different baits. Large ladyfish are thick on most of the deep flats and in the passes, along with some speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, black sea bass, jacks, and bluefish. Jigs caught most of the fish. Redfish to 23″ and jacks hit weedless gold Johnson spoons and white bait in shallow water and near mangrove shorelines. Snook to 30″ hit the new Rapals jointed BX minnow (my new favorite bait) and Skitterprops in the Myakka River. Speckled perch (crappie), bluegill, and sunshine bass ( a striper white bass hybrid) hit Beetlespins and 1/16 ounce charteuse jigs in Lake Manatee.

 

On Monday Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek fished a 6 hour trip. We ran down to Robert’s Bay to try for snook and reds. We cast Rapalas and gold spoons and caught a redfish and a jack, but it really wasn’t going on, so we headed back to Big Pass. I spotted some bait and loaded the well in one toss. The deep flats at Marker #5 and Marina Jacks provided steady action on ladyfish with a few trout, jacks, and mackerel mixed in. I hit an oyster bar nearby where we caught a couple of slot reds and missed a couple more. We headed to Big Pass and found steady action on mackerel, ladyfish and jacks. We finished up at the Radio Tower where I used the rest of the bait to chum them into a frenzy, catching more trout and ladyfish, along with 2 nice black sea bass.

 

A trip on Tuesday to Lake Manatee resulted in several crappie and bluegill, as well as a half dozen sunshine bass, which I heard they were stocking again. The Myakka River was steady, giving up some nice snook to 30″ and larger ones being missed. Rapala jointed BX Minnows and Skitterprops fooled them.

 

On Friday I had a last-minute afternoon charter from CB’s Saltwater Outfitters. We left at 2:00 and headed up north. The flats at Marina Jack and Marker # 5 provided fair action. Then, I moved into Big Pass and it was VERY good for an hour and a half. Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jack crevelle, and ladyfish hit gold jigs and trolled X-Raps. We had 4 fish on at once several times!

 

I finished up the week on Saturday with Dan Crawford from Massilon, OH, his son Jackson, and buddies Cole Clausen and Ali Khatoun. Action was decent in Big Pass, steady though not crazy. Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks, and gag grouper hit gold DOA jigs and trolled Rapala X-Raps. We hit the flats near Marker # 5 and caught some big ladyfish and Dan caught a nice flounder. Good trip with plenty of fillets for lunch at Claytons!

Photo: Capt. Jim Klopfer<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
December 14, 2013<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>I experienced another interesting and diverse week of fishing in various locations on a bunch of different baits. Large ladyfish are thick on most of the deep flats and in the passes, along with some speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, black sea bass, jacks, and bluefish. Jigs caught most of the fish. Redfish to 23" and jacks hit weedless gold Johnson spoons and white bait in shallow water and near mangrove shorelines. Snook to 30" hit the new Rapals jointed BX minnow (my new favorite bait) and Skitterprops in the Myakka River. Speckled perch (crappie), bluegill, and sunshine bass ( a striper white bass hybrid) hit Beetlespins and 1/16 ounce charteuse jigs in Lake Manatee.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>On Monday Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek fished a 6 hour trip. We ran down to Robert's Bay to try for snook and reds. We cast Rapalas and gold spoons and caught a redfish and a jack, but it really wasn't going on, so we headed back to Big Pass. I spotted some bait and loaded the well in one toss. The deep flats at Marker #5 and Marina Jacks provided steady action on ladyfish with a few trout, jacks, and mackerel mixed in. I hit an oyster bar nearby where we caught a couple of slot reds and missed a couple more. We headed to Big Pass and found steady action on mackerel, ladyfish and jacks. We finished up at the Radio Tower where I used the rest of the bait to chum them into a frenzy, catching more trout and ladyfish, along with 2 nice black sea bass.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>A trip on Tuesday to Lake Manatee resulted in several crappie and bluegill, as well as a half dozen sunshine bass, which I heard they were stocking again. The Myakka River was steady, giving up some nice snook to 30" and larger ones being missed. Rapala jointed BX Minnows and Skitterprops fooled them.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>On Friday I had a last-minute afternoon charter from CB's Saltwater Outfitters. We left at 2:00 and headed up north. The flats at Marina Jack and Marker # 5 provided fair action. Then, I moved into Big Pass and it was VERY good for an hour and a half. Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jack crevelle, and ladyfish hit gold jigs and trolled X-Raps. We had 4 fish on at once several times!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>I finished up the week on Saturday with Dan Crawford from Massilon, OH, his son Jackson, and buddies Cole Clausen and Ali Khatoun. Action was decent in Big Pass, steady though not crazy. Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks, and gag grouper hit gold DOA jigs and trolled Rapala X-Raps. We hit the flats near Marker # 5 and caught some big ladyfish and Dan caught a nice flounder. Good trip with plenty of fillets for lunch at Claytons!

Capt. Jim Klopfer  (941) 371-1390
December 7, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

This week clients and Capt Jim caught a variety of fish using several techniques in different locations. Fish were caught in Sarasota Bay casting jigs, free lining shrimp, and fly fishing, along with a little plug casting in freshwater. The deep flats near the passes yielded speckled trout to 16″, Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, bluefish to 2 pounds, jacks, gag grouper, sea bass, and ladyfish. On a day off I caught largemouth bass, channel catfish, jacks, and ladyfish in the Manatee River on an X-Rap.

 

I did a little River fishing this week on the Manatee River between Ray’s Canoe Hideaway and Rye Rd Bridge. The Manatee has a lot of variety; I caught ladyfish, jack crevelle to 4 pounds, largemouth bass to 3 pounds, and a 2 pound catfish, all on gold Rapala X-Raps.

 

I fished with Brian Ferry from Dayton, NJ and his 12 year old son Connor mid week. They started off catching ladyfish, sea bass, and grouper on jigs at the Radio Tower, then moved into Big Pass and caught ladyfish and jack crevelle. The tide turned to come in and they caught more ladyfish and speckled trout to 16″ free lining live shrimp.

 

Later in the week Allen Hartman from Roanoke, VA and his buddy Jim Wilcher who lives in Riverview, FL went out on a 6 hour trip. Allen fly fished the entire time, while Jim spin fished. We started off hitting the mouth of Phillippi Creek at first light on a hard, outgoing tide. Jim caught a Spanish mackerel on a Rapala, but that was it. We moved to the flats near Big Pass. Allen caught a bunch of ladyfish, a nice 16″ trout, and a couple of 2 pound bluefish using a chartreuse Clouser Minnow. Jim pitched in with a nice sea bass, a decent Spanish mackerel, and plenty of ladyfish using a jig head and Gulp! Shrimp. We also found a lot of ladyfish in Big Pass near South Lido Beach.

Photo: Capt. Jim Klopfer<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
December 7, 2013<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>This week clients and Capt Jim caught a variety of fish using several techniques in different locations. Fish were caught in Sarasota Bay casting jigs, free lining shrimp, and fly fishing, along with a little plug casting in freshwater. The deep flats near the passes yielded speckled trout to 16", Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, bluefish to 2 pounds, jacks, gag grouper, sea bass, and ladyfish. On a day off I caught largemouth bass, channel catfish, jacks, and ladyfish in the Manatee River on an X-Rap.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>I did a little River fishing this week on the Manatee River between Ray's Canoe Hideaway and Rye Rd Bridge. The Manatee has a lot of variety; I caught ladyfish, jack crevelle to 4 pounds, largemouth bass to 3 pounds, and a 2 pound catfish, all on gold Rapala X-Raps.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>I fished with Brian Ferry from Dayton, NJ and his 12 year old son Connor mid week. They started off catching ladyfish, sea bass, and grouper on jigs at the Radio Tower, then moved into Big Pass and caught ladyfish and jack crevelle. The tide turned to come in and they caught more ladyfish and speckled trout to 16" free lining live shrimp.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Later in the week Allen Hartman from Roanoke, VA and his buddy Jim Wilcher who lives in Riverview, FL went out on a 6 hour trip. Allen fly fished the entire time, while Jim spin fished. We started off hitting the mouth of Phillippi Creek at first light on a hard, outgoing tide. Jim caught a Spanish mackerel on a Rapala, but that was it. We moved to the flats near Big Pass. Allen caught a bunch of ladyfish, a nice 16" trout, and a couple of 2 pound bluefish using a chartreuse Clouser Minnow. Jim pitched in with a nice sea bass, a decent Spanish mackerel, and plenty of ladyfish using a jig head and Gulp! Shrimp. We also found a lot of ladyfish in Big Pass near South Lido Beach.

Capt. Jim Klopfer  (941) 371-1390
November 30, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

 

Mother Nature provided us with challenging conditions this Thanksgiving week. Winds were 20+ knots during the first half of the week, but fishing was productive. Anglers fishing Big Pass and the nearby flats did well on bluefish, trout, ladyfish, jacks, and flounder using Cotee and D.O.A. CAL jigs. Snook fishing was good in the Myakke River, with fish to 28″ being caught on Rapala BX Minnow plugs. Post front fishing was fair. Most of the fish caught were ladyfish with a few flounder and mangrove snapper mixed in. Good fishing should resume in a couple of days as the water clears and warms up.

 

On Sunday morning Dr Bill Ritchie from Akron, OH treated his daughter Laura to a trip on Sunday. Action was very steady on jacks, bluefish, and ladyfish in Big Pass and the flats near Marina Jack. Jigs, Rapala X-Raps, and live shrimp all produced plenty of fish.

 

I took out Patrick Tinucci and his teenage children Francesca and Anthony on Tuesday. We started off on the flats near Marker #5 catching a few trout, flounder, and ladyfish. The wind picked up, It was a steady 20 knots with gusts to 35. We “hid” in Big Pass and caught a lot of ladyfish and jacks, along with a couple of bluefish on gold and pearl colored jigs.

 

Wednesday morning I had a river snook trip scheduled with Kev Langham from the U.K. and his buddy Ian. Winds were 25+ out of the northwest and it was virtually un-fishable anywhere else. The boys did well casting Rapala Jointed BX Minnows in gold and firetiger. Snook to 28″, bass, and gar fell for these life-like baits. Ian also jumped a 15 pound tarpon. Great scenery and quality fish with fun guys!

 

Thanksgiving morning was cold! Temps were in the upper 30′s with a breeze; no fishing for me. On Friday I ran two trips with similar results. Fishing was a bit tough following the front. The water temperature was in the upper 50s, a drop of 10 degrees in a couple of days. Bruce Bellica from Atlanta and his grown sons John and Tim caught ladyfish on jigs and shrimp at the Marina Jack flats and in Robert’s Bay. Mike McWilliams from Waukesha, WI and his 10 year old son Sean caught ladyfish and flounder on jigs in Little Sarasota Bay near Point Crisp and mangrove snapper in Phillippi Creek.

Photo: Capt. Jim Klopfer<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
November 30, 2013<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Mother Nature provided us with challenging conditions this Thanksgiving week. Winds were 20+ knots during the first half of the week, but fishing was productive. Anglers fishing Big Pass and the nearby flats did well on bluefish, trout, ladyfish, jacks, and flounder using Cotee and D.O.A. CAL jigs. Snook fishing was good in the Myakke River, with fish to 28" being caught on Rapala BX Minnow plugs. Post front fishing was fair. Most of the fish caught were ladyfish with a few flounder and mangrove snapper mixed in. Good fishing should resume in a couple of days as the water clears and warms up. </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>On Sunday morning Dr Bill Ritchie from Akron, OH treated his daughter Laura to a trip on Sunday. Action was very steady on jacks, bluefish, and ladyfish in Big Pass and the flats near Marina Jack. Jigs, Rapala X-Raps, and live shrimp all produced plenty of fish. </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>On Tuesday I took out Patrick Tinucci and his teenage children Francesca and Anthony. We started off on the flats near Marker #5 catching a few trout, flounder, and ladyfish. The wind picked up, It was a steady 20 knots with gusts to 35. We "hid" in Big Pass and caught a lot of ladyfish and jacks, along with a couple of bluefish on gold and pearl colored jigs. </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Wednesday morning I had a river snook trip scheduled with Kev Langham from the U.K. and his buddy Ian. Winds were 25+ out of the northwest and it was virtually un-fishable anywhere else. The boys did well casting Rapala Jointed BX Minnows in gold and firetiger. Snook to 28", bass, and gar fell for these life-like baits. Ian also jumped a 15 pound tarpon. Great scenery and quality fish with fun guys! </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Thanksgiving morning was cold! Temps were in the upper 30's with a breeze; no fishing for me. On Friday I ran two trips with similar results. Fishing was a bit tough following the front. The water temperature was in the upper 50s, a drop of 10 degrees in a couple of days. Bruce Bellica from Atlanta and his grown sons John and Tim caught ladyfish on jigs and shrimp at the Marina Jack flats and in Robert's Bay. Mike McWilliams from Waukesha, WI and his 10 year old son Sean caught ladyfish and flounder on jigs in Little Sarasota Bay near Point Crisp and mangrove snapper in Phillippi Creek.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
November 23, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

 

I did a mix of saltwater, freshwater, and brackish water river fishing this week. Rapala X-Raps, gold Cotee jigs, D.O.A. CAL baits, and Gulp! Shrimp produced speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, and ladyfish on the deep flats and in Big Pass. The new Rapala jointed BX Minnow fooled snook to 33″ in the Myakka River. Largemouth bass and tilapia hit black spinnerbaits and chartreuse curly tail jigs. Action was slow in Upper Myakka lake, a few stumpknocker and crappie took small baitfish patterns on fly and black Beetlespins. The water level is pretty low.

 

Early in the week tides were right for fishing the Myakka River in Venice. I prefer a high, outgoing tide. Using the new Rapala jointed BX Minnow, I caught several snook in the slot, lost a couple more and landed a couple of small fish. I also caught largemouth bass on black spinnerbaits and tilapia on a tiny jig.

 

Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek and his friend Bill Kish from Cleveland, OH had a decent trip later in the week. Action was fast at the Radio Tower using Gulp! and D.O.A. CAL baits. Ladyfish, jacks, and trout kept the rods bent. I moved to a shallow bar near Selby and they caught Spanish mackerel and ladfyfish using Rapalas and jigs. Another move, this time to Big Pass, resulted in fast action on bluefish, jacks, and ladyfish. We decided to try some spots for snook and redfish, but without much luck.

Photo: Capt. Jim Klopfer<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
November 23, 2013<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>I did a mix of saltwater, freshwater, and brackish water river fishing this week. Rapala X-Raps, gold Cotee jigs, D.O.A. CAL baits, and Gulp! Shrimp produced speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, and ladyfish on the deep flats and in Big Pass. The new Rapala jointed BX Minnow fooled snook to 33" in the Myakka River. Largemouth bass and tilapia hit black spinnerbaits and chartreuse curly tail jigs. Action was slow in Upper Myakka lake, a few stumpknocker and crappie took small baitfish patterns on fly and black Beetlespins. The water level is pretty low.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Early in the week tides were right for fishing the Myakka River in Venice. I prefer a high, outgoing tide. Using the new Rapala jointed BX Minnow, I caught several snook in the slot, lost a couple more and landed a couple of small fish. I also caught largemouth bass on black spinnerbaits and tilapia on a tiny jig.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek and his friend Bill Kish from Cleveland, OH had a decent trip later in the week. Action was fast at the Radio Tower using Gulp! and D.O.A. CAL baits. Ladyfish, jacks, and trout kept the rods bent. I moved to a shallow bar near Selby and they caught Spanish mackerel and ladfyfish using Rapalas and jigs. Another move, this time to Big Pass, resulted in fast action on bluefish, jacks, and ladyfish. We decided to try some spots for snook and redfish, but without much luck.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
November 16, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

 

Fishing was excellent early in the week as a severe front was approaching. Clients caught snook, speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, jacks, gag grouper, flounder, sea bass, and ladyfish on the flats using pilchards and shrimp. Ladyfish were thick in Big Pass along with jacks, bluefish, and mackerel and hit gold Cotee jigs. Fly casters caught trout and ladyffish on the flats near Bird Key, ladyfish and jacks in Big Pass, and Spanish mackerel in the Gulf near Point of Rocks. Wednesday and Thursday were windy, but Friday morning was nice and the action resumed as before with good action in Big Pass and the nearby flats.

 

I started the week off with a good trip with Mike Cribbs from Tampa, FL and his father-in-law Frank Regnery from CT. They free lined live shrimp and pilchards near Big Pass and caught slot speckled trout to 17″, a dozen Spanish mackerel, 4 of which were around 3 pounds, jacks, grouper, silver trout, whiting, flounder, and ladyfish. We moved to a nearby shallow bar where they landed a couple more trout and a pair of snook around 22″.

 

Janine and Francis Sacco from San Martin, CA had a good trip on Monday. Using live shrimp in the Yacht Club Channel, Radio Tower, and middlegrounds, they landed speckled trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, and grouper. It was a ladyfish on every cast using Cotee jigs in Big Pass.

 

Fly fisherman Oscar Vertanen from Finland had an excellent morning on Tuesday, just ahead of the front. We started off using chartreuse over white Clousers on the edges of flats near Bird Key, catching speckled trout to 16″, ladyfish, and jacks. A move to Big Pass resulted in large ladyfish and jacks near Marker #15. The wind was light and out of the east, so we decided to go look out on the beach, hoping to find some false albacore. No luck, but we did come across some Spanish mackerel working on the surface near Point of Rocks. There were a bit skittish, but we landed a pair on white D.T. Specials and lost several flies.

 

Aidan Farrell and Martin Dillon are both recent arrivals to Sarasota and wanted a little “fishing lesson” to learn the local spots and techniques. We started off vertically jigging in Big Pass with gold Cotee jigs. Ladyfish, jacks, and bluefish kept them busy. We moved to the nearby flats; Bird Key, Marker #5, Marina Jacks, and Radio Tower, all produced good action on Gulp! Shrimp.

Photo: Capt. Jim Klopfer<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
November 16, 2013<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Fishing was excellent early in the week as a severe front was approaching. Clients caught snook, speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, jacks, gag grouper, flounder, sea bass, and ladyfish on the flats using pilchards and shrimp. Ladyfish were thick in Big Pass along with jacks, bluefish, and mackerel and hit gold Cotee jigs. Fly casters caught trout and ladyffish on the flats near Bird Key, ladyfish and jacks in Big Pass, and Spanish mackerel in the Gulf near Point of Rocks. Wednesday and Thursday were windy, but Friday morning was nice and the action resumed as before with good action in Big Pass and the nearby flats. </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>I started the week off with a good trip with Mike Cribbs from Tampa, FL and his father-in-law Frank Regnery from CT. They free lined live shrimp and pilchards near Big Pass and caught slot speckled trout to 17", a dozen Spanish mackerel, 4 of which were around 3 pounds, jacks, grouper, silver trout, whiting, flounder, and ladyfish. We moved to a nearby shallow bar where they landed a couple more trout and a pair of snook around 22". </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Janine and Francis Sacco from San Martin, CA had a good trip on Monday. Using live shrimp in the Yacht Club Channel, Radio Tower, and middlegrounds, they landed speckled trout to 18", Spanish mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, and grouper. It was a ladyfish on every cast using Cotee jigs in Big Pass. </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Fly fisherman Oscar Vertanen from Finland had an excellent morning on Tuesday, just ahead of the front. We started off using chartreuse over white Clousers on the edges of flats near Bird Key, catching speckled trout to 16", ladyfish, and jacks. A move to Big Pass resulted in large ladyfish and jacks near Marker #15. The wind was light and out of the east, so we decided to go look out on the beach, hoping to find some false albacore. No luck, but we did come across some Spanish mackerel working on the surface near Point of Rocks. There were a bit skittish, but we landed a pair on white D.T. Specials and lost several flies. </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Aidan Farrell and Martin Dillon are both recent arrivals to Sarasota and wanted a little "fishing lesson" to learn the local spots and techniques. We started off vertically jigging in Big Pass with gold Cotee jigs. Ladyfish, jacks, and bluefish kept them busy. We moved to the nearby flats; Bird Key, Marker #5, Marina Jacks, and Radio Tower, all produced good action on Gulp! Shrimp.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
November 9, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Action on the deep flats continues to be good for a variety of species. I only fished one charter this week as I was on vacation up in north Georgia. On that trip Lynn and Joe Sorrentino from Ocala, FL caught Spanish mackerel to 2 1/2 lbs, speckled trout to 17″, sea bass to 14″, gag grouper, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and sail cats on live shrimp and pilchards in the Yacht Club channel. After a couple hours of steady action, we decided to try for bigger game. Joe caught two snook, one 18″ and the other 23″ and had a couple more hard hits. We were using pilchards near Selby Gardens. The tide quit and we called it a morning.

 

I did a little prospecting on the Myakka River this week. I took fellow CB’s guide Ed hurst out on Thursday to do a little fly fishing. He caught a snook and a gar on a purple Puglisi pattern. On Friday Bonnie Czepiel did a bit better, she landed 6 snook and lost a pair of big fish trolling #8 gold/black Rapala X-Raps. She also caught a big tilapia and 2 smaller ones on nightcrawlers.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
October 26, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was very good once again this week, despite a front that moved through. Snook to 23″, redfish to 25″, Speckled trout to 22″, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, jack crevelle to 5 pounds, snapper to 13″, gag grouper to 18″, and ladyfish all provided great fun on charters this week. Bait can become difficult to catch after a front, but I have a “secret” spot where I loaded the well with ease. Once bait is procured, success is practically guaranteed. Most of the fish were caught using live pilchards but we did catch a few on Rapalas.

 

I started off the week with long-time client Chaz Boyter from New Jersey. Chaz stays at Fisherman’s Inn on the south end of Siesta, right next to the ramp at Turtle Beach, so we meet there. We ran up to the Intracoastal Waterway and cast Rapals at first light, hooking a pair of snook, 2 tiny ladyfish, and several jacks. The bite is over once the sun comes up, so we headed north, caught bait, and hit a couple of Bird Key spots. Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, jacks, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish hit on nearly every cast. After an hour or so of “action” fishing, we decided to try for bigger game. I hit a snook spot along Siesta Key; no snook but Chaz landed several slot trout and a couple of nice jacks. I decided to finish up down south near Midnight Pass. I had not fished there in months. Action was steady on jacks to 5 pounds, they responded enthusiastically to the chum! Chaz finished off the trip with a snook, fun trip, great guy!

 

Terry Mark from Olean, NY fished with me on Thursday after Wednesday was rained out. Terry is one of my most “tenured” client; he has been fishing with me for many years now and we always have a great time. Despite cool and breezy conditions, Terry caught over 30 fish including several slot trout, the largest of which went 22″, Spanish mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, grouper, and snapper. Most of the fish were caught in the Yacht Club Channel, all on pilchards.

 

Ed Grenke from Hudson, NH, and his friends Madeline and Bob Gagnon along with Mary O’Brien finished up the week for me. The fishing was outstanding! Bait was easy and we sat at Marker #5 for 2 1/2 hours, catching fish steadily. The girls had the prime spots on the rear corners and had a bite on nearly every cast. The boys did OK, too. A lot of Spanish mackerel were hooked, along with trout (2 in the slot), jacks, several nice mangrove snapper to 13″, jacks, grouper, and ladyfish. We decided to get out of the wind and try a shallow spot, and it worked out nicely. Madeline caught an 18″ grouper and a couple of trout, then Mary landed a 23″ redfish. Ed followed with a nice 25″ red. Several more trout were caught and we called it a morning.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
October 19, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

 

Anglers fishing with me out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitter on Siesta Key had another outstanding week of fishing! The species landed included snook, redfish, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jack crevelle, ladyfish, black sea bass, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, and sail cats. Live pilchards were the key to success this week; just about all the fish were caught using these great live baits. The deeper flats near Big Pass continue to be very productive. Despite terrific bait, the snook fishing has only been fair, perhaps a little cool weather will fire them up. I fished Upper Myakka Lake for the first time in a while. The water is high, the river is not really fishable, but the lake is fine. We caught bluegill, stumpknocker, a pair of shellcracker, and a bullhead trolling and casting black Beetlespins.

 

On Monday Taylor Hillier and his dad Lloyd Hillier, both from Canada experienced steady action on the deep flats near Bird Key. We started off casting Rapalas, but not much luck, a couple of ladyfish and jacks, the tide was barely moving. Bait was easy and action was good near Bird Key with a lot of Spanish mackerel along with speckled trout, ladyfish, sea bass, gag grouper, jacks, and mangrove snapper. We finished up trying for snook on the falling tide in Robert’s Bay. I had them popping pretty good, but all we could get to eat was a couple of 3 pound jacks.

 

Jim Fitzpatrick and his buddy Roger Sowinsky had a good day on Wednesday. We left Ken Thompson Park and made a quick drift or two at the Radio Tower casting Gulp! Shrimp. Not much, a few jacks and smaller fish, so time to catch bait. We sat in one spot for 2 1/2 hours, landing 15 or so mackerel and losing a bunch more, a couple dozen jacks, ladyfish, grouper, and snapper. Surprisingly, no trout. We did finish up at the Radio Tower with a couple of trout.

 

John and Amy Krasinsky and Chris Packer, all from the State College, PA area had a good trip on Thursday. We left CB’s, and idled north. Bait was thick at the north end of Siesta Key, so I loaded up and went to a spot near Bird Key that has been reliable. For an hour and a half just about every bait that hit the water got crushed. Decent Spanish mackerel, slot speckled trout, jacks, ladyfish, and more kept the rods bent. With the “action” part of the trip satisfied, we decided to go for snook and reds. Again, we did OK, but nothing spectacular. They caught a pair of snook, 2 nice mangrove snappers, 3 speckled trout between 16″ and 18″, and several jacks up to 4 pounds in Robert’s Bay.

 

I had a great morning on Friday with Mike Kirby from CO and his daughter Beth Sagris and son-in-law George Sagris from Chicago. When I arrived at Centennial Park to launch the boat and there was bait and busting fish everywhere in the basin. I tossed the net and caught some nice pilchards. When my clients showed up, I shoved the boat off the dock and they caught a 22″ snook on the first cast, followed by a few ladyfish and a small red. Nice way to start the trip, 2/3s of a “slam” before starting the motor! I went to Bird Key and action was steady on Mackerel, trout, snappers, jacks, and ladyfish. I ran out of bait, and quickly reloaded and hit Marker #5. The fishing was ridiculous! Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds, bluefish, trout, jacks, grouper, and ladyfish hit every bait. I was chumming heavily and it was just crazy! They actually wore out (plus it was quite warm) and we headed in early.

 

I was off Saturday and took my friend Bonnie Czepiel out to scout Myakka State Park. The water is still very high; the river is pretty much un-fishhable. So, we put in at the Upper Lake and cast and trolled black Beetlespins. It took a while to find them, but once we did the action was pretty fast. Bluegill, stumpknocker, shellcracker, and a bullhead came home for dinner.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
October 12, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was very good this week on a variety of species. Snook, Spanish mackerel to 3 1/2 pounds, bluefish to 3 pounds, speckled trout to 18″, jack crevelle, black sea bass to 14″, keeper mangrove snapper, sharks, small gag grouper, ladyfish, and more. Most of the fish were caught on live pilchards, threadies, and pinfish, but we did catch a few on Gulp! Shrimp and Rapala X-Raps. The deep flats at the Radio Tower and near Big Pass were best this week on my trips.

 

I want to mention something here. I had several clients this week who expressed an interest in eating the fish they caught, but did not want the hassle of cooking them. A great solution is to take the fish to Clayton’s Siesta Grille, http://claytonssiestagrille.com/ located right behind CB’s Saltwater Outfitters. Chef Dimitri does an unbelievable job preparing all species of locally caught fish. Just drop the fillets off and make a reservation, then show up and eat!

 

I started off the week with a regular client, Scott Pearce from Memphis, TN and his buddy Sean. The tide was falling so we decided to leave Centennial Park at 6:45 and run down to the Intracoastal near Phillippi Creek and try and catch a snook. They were casting Rapala X-Raps and Scott had 2 nice fish on for several seconds, but they got loose. A bit later, he caught a big bluefish that struck ferociously right at the boat! Sean and Scott landed 8 jack crevelle and the bite quit. I ran back towards Big Pass, caught some bait, and they had steady action on trout, mackerel, ladyfish, jacks, grouper, and snapper.

 

On Tuesday Mike and Gina Rymer from Petersburg, MI had a good trip. We left the ramp and it was blowing pretty good out of the west. This makes catching bait a bit more difficult, but I loaded the well and off we went. The best spots were deep grass just off of Bird Key. They landed Spanish mackerel to 3 1/2 pounds, speckled trout to 18″, jacks, ladyfish, several keeper mangrove snapper, gag grouper, sea bass, and sail cats.

 

Jonathan Daniels from Mentor, KY took out his son Jonathan and his buddies Kyle Dullaghan and Seth Hounshell on Wednesday. We started off casting Gulp at the Radio Tower, catching a few ladyfish and trout. I ran to New Pass and in one throw of the net caught all the bait I could use. Chumming back at the Radio Tower resulted in a nice bluefish, a couple of mackerel, a nice sea bass, a couple of slot trout along with some shorts, ladyfish, jacks, gag grouper, and sail cats. The bite slowed and the cormorants were so bad that I couldn’t chum, so we picked up and ran a short way to Bird Key. The Spanish mackerel bite was on! The boys put ten or so in the box and released a dozen more. With fresh fish secured for Clayton’s Grill on Siesta Key to cook up for them, we decided to try for a snook. I went up in behind Selby Gardens to give it a try. We did not wreck them but we caught two snook and a couple more mackerel. Great trip with good guys!

 

Dr Bill Ritchie was in town from Akron, OH visiting his daughter Laura who lives here in Sarasota, and decided to squeeze in a fishing trip. We started off casting Gulp! at the radio Tower, and although we had a bite on nearly every cast, but a lot of it was small stuff like grunts and puffer fish. I went to catch bait and just as I was finishing up I got a call from my buddy Capt Roy String, another CB’s guide. He knows that I also use bait and he said he had them cranked up and was leaving, so I ran over to him and took over where he left off. Thanks, Roy!! We caught Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, speckled trout, ladyfish, gag grouper and several nice keeper mangrove snapper. They discussed keeping a few fish and I suggested Clayton’s, and they were all over it. So, with dinner in the box, we decided to try for snook and reds. Again, not gangbusters, but they landed a snook, a jack, and a 14″ mang.

 

On Saturday Steve Hess, Mike Baio, and Rick Sueitzer, all from the Niagra Falls, NY area, had a very good trip. We started off casting Rapalas near the mouth of Phillippi Creek, but only caught a few jacks and a ladyfish. Bait was thick on the north end of Siesta Key and I loaded the well in a couple of minutes. We spent the next two hours anchored in one spot near Big Pass, catching a bunch of Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, 6 keeper mangrove snapper, jacks, speckled trout, grouper, sea bass, a nice bluefish and a shark. The action varied from steady to non-stop! Another family meal at Clayton’s in on the menu.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
October 5, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

 

Fishing was steady on the deep grass flats this week. I concentrated most of my efforts at the Radio Tower and flats near Bird Key. Speckled trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds, black sea bass to 14′, ladyfish, jack crevelle, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, flounder, pompano, sailcats, and more hit Gulp! Shrimp, and live bait this week.

 

Louis Gagnon and his fiancee Chris fished with me early in the week and experienced very good action along with variety and quality. I picked them up at the Ritz Carlton and we ran across and cast Gulp! Shrimp at the Radio Tower. Chris had barely fished but took lessons well and they caught speckled trout, ladyfish jacks, a couple of nice sea bass, gag grouper and lost a decent pompano. The breeze picked up so I went into New Pass, caught bait, and then ran in behind Bird Key to get a break from the wind. It took a little bit of chumming to get them going, but once I did it was a bite on every cast! Trout, jacks, snapper, grouper, flounder, sea bass, ladfyfish and Spanish mackerel kept them busy. A lot of big mackerel were hooked and made long runs, but most of them broke off. We did get several to the boat with the largest pushing 4 pounds.

 

On Friday Nancy and Tim Smalley from Minneapolis, MN had another good trip. We left Ken Thompson Park, idled out to the Radio Tower flat, and for an hour had steady action on jacks, a bunch of ladyfish, gag grouper, trout, a small pompano, and a Spanish mackerel free lining live shrimp and casting Gulp! The bite slowed so I ran around the corner, caught bait, and headed to one of my Bird Key flats. Once the chum got them going, we had good action on trout to 18″, several Spanish mackerel, lane and mangrove snapper, big sailcats, jacks, and ladyfish. With dinner in the box and Nancy’s arms tired, we decided to spend the last hour trying to catch a snook. Despite the very nice bait, I could not find a snook or red. We did finish up on a bar landing several more slot trout.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
September 28, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Back out on the water after nearly a month off, glad to be back at it! I did a little “shake down” trip for both me and my boat with my friend Beth Reis from Lakeland, FL. We left Centennial Park and ran across to New Pass where bait was thick. A couple of tosses of the net filled the well with pilchards of varying sizes. I motored over to Bird Key and the fish were biting without even chumming! Several 2 lb Spanish mackerel, some ladyfish and speckled trout kept up busy. After 45 minutes of steady action and a few macks on ice, we decided to try and catch a snook or redfish. Working docks in Robert’s Bay resulted in snook, redfish, and jack crevelle. Beth kicked my butt, catching an “inshore slam” ( a snook, red, and trout in the same day), topping off the morning with a gorgeous 25″ redfish.

 

The water temperature was 76 degrees in the morning, a little bit lower and the action on the beach should kick off. The water in the bay is dark from all the rain, but it will clear up quickly and fishing is good.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
September 8, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing remains outstanding on the deep grass flats near both Big Pass and New Pass. The flats on the north end of Siesta Key have been particularly productive. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, pompano, jacks, snapper, grouper, bluefish, sea bass, ladyfish, and more were hooked on trips early this week. We even had a 50 lb tarpon on for 2 jumps before he “spooled” us!

 

On Sunday I took out a group using a CB’s pontoon boat; there were too many for my boat. These are great fishing boats, especially with kids involved, plenty of room to move around along with comfortable seating and shade. We began the trip with a bang by hooking an estimated 50 pound tarpon near Bird Key. It jumped twice before dumping the spool, very exciting! We put 4 Spanish mackerel in the box before the rain chased us to cover. Once it cleared, we resumed the “catching” at the Marina Jack flat, putting more macks, some nice mangrove snapper, several big black sea bass, and a decent pompano in the cooler. All the fish hit free lined live shrimp.

 

Jessica Dean went out with me and the action was non-stop on the flats near Big Pass. I loaded up on bait, mostly threadies, and we wrecked them. Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, bluefish, ladyfish, mangrove snapper,jacks, and more hit live bait and flies cast into the chum. It got VERY hot so we called it a morning early with a nice mess of fish to clean.

 

I will be off the water for a couple of weeks to get some “routine maintenance” done on me and the boat. Hopefully the bonita and mackerel action will be going in the inshore Gulf!

Capt. Jim Klopfer
August 31, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

It sounds like a broken record, but fishing remains outstanding on the deep flats near Big Pass using live pilchards and threadfin herring. We did land snook, ladyfish, and jacks on Rapala X-Raps and trout and a nice flounder on Gulp!, but most of the action resulted from chumming with live bait. The bait is plentiful and very easy to catch. Spanish mackerel and mangrove snapper have been very consistent. Most of the trout were small but we did land several around 20″. Snook, redfish, and jacks were caught in Robert’s Bay.
Early in the week Steve Owen who lives in Cincinnati, OH came to Siesta Key. His son Stephen lives here in town and they joined me for a morning charter. We started off at first light casting Gulp! Shrimp at the Radio Tower. We caught a few, kinda picked at them, though Steve caught a nice flounder. I ran around the corner, loaded up on bait, idled 200 feet away to the edge of the flat and we caught fish steadily for two hours. The boys caught a dozen Spanish mackerel, some nice mangs, plenty of speckled trout, one of which was 22″, jacks, bluefish, and more. Oddly enough, we never hooked a ladyfish. We moved back to the Radio Tower and got them going again, catching a couple of big mackerel and some nice jacks.

 

Sarasota resident Jessica Dean went out one evening. We caught a few trout and then a storm chased us to cover. We sat it out for a bit, then ran down to Robert’s Bay. We found a spot where the tide was running along a mangrove shoreline and bait was thick. Jessica caught a nice redfish on a pilchard and we caught jacks, small snook, and ladyfish on Rapala X-Raps and live bait. We finished up at the Radio Tower with a few trout and ladyfish.

 

Joe Gallegos and his son Joe Jr from Idaho met up with Joe’s other son Sean, who lives in Gainesville, on Lido Beach for Lador Day and decided to go fishing. We left Ken Thompson Park and made a quick drift using Gulp! at the Radio Tower; not much happening. So, a short run around the corned, several tosses of the net, and we were in business. Just about every bait that hit the water got eaten, mostly Spanish mackerel, but also jacks, speckled trout, and ladyfish. A storm sent us scurrying for cover and after a 20 minute break we were back at it, this time the Radio Tower. Action was fast and furious as the boys caught mangrove snapper to 14″, speckled trout to 20″, jacks, ladyfish, mackerel, and catfish.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
August 24, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing continues to be outstanding in Sarasota Bay. Anglers hooked snook and redfish on Rapala X-Raps and caught Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds, speckled trout to 20″, bluefish, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, black sea bass, flounder, jack crevelle, sharks, ladyfish, and more free lining live bait over the deep grass. The mackerel fishing has been particularly good, especially for August, followed closely by the abundant, and tasty, mangrove snapper. There is a nice mix of pilchards and threadfins, and once the bait is acquired, success is guaranteed. All of the flats near the passes have been productive; Radio Tower, Middlegrounds, Bird Key, and Marina Jack. Just choose a flat with nice grass in 6′ of water or deeper where the tide and wind are going in the same direction, anchor up, throw a few handfuls of live bait out, and hang on!

 

I tried to take Jessica Dean out fishing Sunday afternoon, but Mother Nature did not cooperate. Thunderstorms are an issue in the afternoon this time of year. Bait was ridiculously easy and in short order we had trout, jacks, and mackerel boiling behind the boat at the Radio Tower. It was difficult leaving, but we had to.

 

On Tuesday morning I took Bonnie Czepial, a Sarasota resident, out for the morning. We ran down to Robert’s Bay at first light where Bonnie landed a redfish on a Rapala. We also had a decent snook jump off and missed a couple of bites. The tide quit and I caught bait, again very easy. We sat at one spot for an hour and a half and landed six keeper mangrove snapper, several slot trout and Spanish mackerel, along with a bunch of short trout and ladyfish. Back on the trailer by 10:30, nice morning!

 

Vladimir Prica from Ontario took his two boys Stefan (10) and Vasili (8) out on their first real fishing trip. This was a perfect trip to use whitebait. It was a bit breezy and the bait was a little hard to spot, but I knew where it was and two tosses was all I needed. We fished two spots all morning, A flat near Bird Key and the Radio Tower. The boys put ten mangrove snapper, a trout, and 3 Spanish mackerel in the box, released another dozen macks, a bunch of trout, lane snapper, a ladyfish, several jack crevelle, and a cute little two foot shark. Action was very steady, there was just one little lull when the tide turned.

 

Allen and Barbara Yanaros and their twenty year old twins Phil and Lindsay went out on Friday. Fishing was fantastic! We left CB’s at 7:00 a.m. and idled north. Three tosses of the net got us all the bait we needed for the morning; mostly threadies but with plenty of nice pilchards mixed in. I ran to the Radio Tower to catch the last hour of the falling tide and the fishing was ridiculous. Every bait that hit the water got eaten, and that was without any chum! It was so busy that Al kept stopping to help me land fish and bait hooks. The action slowed as the tide quit and the pinfish became a nuisance. We made a move to Marker #5 and in short order got them cranked up again. We didn’t keep count but probably caught a hundred fish. A half dozen nice Spanish ended up on ice along with ten mangrove snapper and a fat 19″ trout that al caught right at the end of the trip. Dinner at Clayton’s for them and enough for Capt Jim to keep a couple of tasty snapper, too! We released another 15 macks, plenty of small trout and mangs, several jack crevelle, ladyfish, bluefish, sea bass, gag grouper, and of course catfish and pinfish. Great day, great family!

 

Bob Siemering treated his 3 sons John, Joey, and Michael to a trip on Saturday. I picked them up at their dock in Robert’s Bay and caught bait on the way north to the Radio Tower. We sat in one spot for over two hours, steadily catching fish. The birds were a nuisance at first, making it difficult to chum. They caught around 50 fish, including a couple dozen Spanish mackerel, several of which were pushing 4 pounds, speckled trout to 18″, jacks, 20 mangrove snapper, most of which were keepers, ladyfish, gag grouper, black sea bass, and catfish. We spent a little time on the way back at an oyster bar, hoping for a snook or red, but only caught a trout and a flounder.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
August 17, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

 

Fishing was very good once again this week. The Radio Tower was the most consistent spot and as has been the case, chumming with baitfish produced steady action. Speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jack crevelle, mangrove snapper, sea bass, gag grouper, and ladyfish kept rods bent and clients smiling! Trips averaged around 60-70 fish and all charters produced enough fish for a meal or two.

 

Steve and Janine Weiss from Morristown, NJ and their son Ian and a very good morning on Monday. We basically fished one spot; the Radio Tower. We started off casting large live shrimp under corks. Janine caught a nice 19″ speckled trout and the boys caught some under-sized trout. The bite slowed so I went to catch bait. It was a bit tough, but with a little patience I filled the well. Chumming the same Radio Tower flat resulted in non-stop action on trout, jacks, mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, and ladyfish. They finished up with several trout and a half dozen snappers for Clayton’s Grill to cook up for them.

 

Rick Carney and his teenage sons Kevin (17) and Brian (15) experienced a similar trip on Tuesday. As I idled north near the Siesta Drive Bridge I came across a nice wad of bait. Two casts later I had a well full of threadies, not as desirable as pilchards, but good enough. I stopped at Marker #5 and action was fair. After about 20 minutes and ten fish or so I left, just could not get them cranked up. On the way to the Radio tower I saw another bunch of bait and “loaded up” again. I went to the same spot as Monday and action was non-stop. Speckled trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, jack crevelle, mangrove snapper, gag grouper and ladyfish kept the boys busy. They kept enough for dinner, and they are also having Clayton’s cook them up.

 

Tom Beall from Pittsburg, PA, his 12 year old son Liam and son-in-law Marlos Goes had a great trip on Friday! The weather was a bit unstable at first light, it was blowing 20+ with rain in the area. It looked a bit “iffy”, but we decided to give it a try, and that was a good call. The wind laid down and we wrecked them. I caught enough bait in five minutes and spent the entire morning at the Radio Tower. The boys caught around 75 fish, including Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, speckled trout to 18″, silver trout to 12″, bluefish to 2 pounds, jack crevelle, ladyfish, gag grouper, sea bass and for a few minutes had a crazy mangrove snapper bite going. I was chumming with dead threadies and the mangs rose up up a cloud, very cool in the clear water. We caught a couple dozen or so including eight nice keepers.

 

I took out Jessica Bell, a Sarasota local, on Saturday. Jess is a pretty girl who likes to fish and I use this time of year to get pics and material for upcoming articles and other projects. So, I took a bunch of nice pictures and then she fished a little bit. She caught speckled trout, ladyfish, and finished up with a pair of nice Spanish mackerel at Marker #5 using bait.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
August 10, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

 

Fishing went from decent early in the week to fantastic by the end of the week! Snook, redfish, speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, black sea bass, flounder, sharks, jack crevelle, and ladyfish were caught by clients on my charters this week. Chumming with live baitfish on the deep flats near both Big Pass and New Pass continued to be extremely productive; on Friday we caught over 100 fish. The Middlegrounds, Radio Tower, and Marina Jack flats all produced steady action. Docks and shorelines in Robert’s Bay held snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, jacks, and flounder. “Catch of the week” honors go to Mike Simon of Davie, FL who caught an inshore slam using Rapalas and topwater plugs, including a 27″ speckled trout.

 

I started the week off with Drew Martindale and his new bride Ashton who were on their honeymoon. Fishing was steady, but the cormorants were an issue. I could not chum with the pilchards as they would eat them as fast as I tossed them in. At the one spot where I was able to chum, action was non-stop. Still, we wound up with speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, sea bass, bluefish, and mangrove snapper in the box and released more trout and macks along with jacks and ladyfish. The Radio Tower and Middlegrounds were the best spots.

 

Mike Simon and his 10 year old son Andrew fished with me on Tuesday. Mike likes topwater action, so we hit the radio Tower at first light and he caught trout and a Spanish mackerel while Andrew landed several nice slot trout using live pinfish. After the bite slowed, I netted bait and we caught more trout, mackerel, ladyfish, jacks, sea bass and snapper on the deep grass.

 

Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek and I caught redfish to 23″, speckled trout to 21″, keeper mangrove snapper and flounder on Wednesday. I rarely fish on a charter, but Doc doesn’t like to fish alone, so I “had” to fish! The trout were caught at the Middlegrounds and Radio Tower while the red, flounder, and snapper were caught under docks in Robert’s Bay. We cast a few plugs and jigs, but almost all the fish were caught on live pilchards, pinfish, and grunts.

 

Mike Simon fished with me again on Thursday. We did the “deep grass” thing on Tuesday, so we decided to try for more challenging fish. We left CB’s at 6:30 and worked docks and shorelines in Robert’s Bay with plugs. Mike caught a snook on an X-Rap and a ladyfish on a Yozuri, then switched to a topwater plug. Good move! The result was a slot red, several jacks, a 24″ snook which shook off at the boat, and a very large “mystery fish” which blew up on it but missed. And, to complete the inshore “slam” in style, Mike caught a gorgeous 27″ speckled trout in a foot of water!

 

Don Loyd from Edmond, OK took out his son Greg and daughters Sydney and India on Friday. The fishing was spectacular! We started off drifting pinfish at the Radio Tower, catching one keeper trout, several smaller ones, and India landed a 30″ shark; great fun on light tackle. Capt Roy String called and told the bait was thick very close by, so I “loaded up” and went back to the Radio Tower to chum. Two hours of non-stop action resulted in speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, and mangrove snapper in the box. Short trout, gag grouper, ladyfish and catfish were released. Greg had a big trout (25″ or so) shake off boat side. I spoke to Roy on the phone and he said he had them wound up near Marina Jacks but was getting low on bait. So, I re-laoded and ran over to him, gave him some bait, and we double-teamed them for an hour or so. It was two to three fish at a time on both boats! Capt Roy and I both like to fish with bait and often work together to catch bait and chum them up. Big fun.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
August 3, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

 

Fishing was VERY good once again this week on the deep grass flats near both Big Pass and New Pass. Several speckled trout over 20″ were landed, along with others in the slot and some short fish. We averaged ten Spanish mackerel per trip and caught some nice mangrove snappers, black sea bass, gag grouper, jack crevelle, bluefish, silver trout, and ladyfish. A few fish were caught using Gulp! Shrimp but chumming with live bait produced very consistently. Bait was a bit tough early in the week but as tides improved nice bait was easier to catch. A full well almost guarantees a bunch of bent rods! There are also a fair amount of jacks in Robert’s Bay.

 

Russell Archer and his 15 year old grandson Cameron, both from Cartersville, GA started the week off with a great trip on Monday. We ran to Big Pass, loaded up on bait, then sat in one spot for two and a half hours, getting bit on almost every cast. Spanish mackerel, bluefish, speckled trout, silver trout, jacks, and ladyfish kept the boys busy. We finished up in the Intracoastal near Stickney Pt. with a nice little “jack attack”. I was trying to catch a redfish or snook but the jacks were too aggressive, a nice problem to have.

 

I had a two boat trip with Capt Bruce on Tuesday. Tom Moroney from Tampa, his two sons Jack (12) and James (10) along with their cousin Andrew (10) experienced steady action near Big Pass using live pilchards. They put 8 Spanish mackerel on ice and released a couple more along with speckled trout, sea bass, jack crevelle, and ladyfish. We made a move to the Radio Tower and really lit them up! Bluefish, mackerel, ladyfish, and trout kept the boys busy until it was time to head in.

 

Sarasota residents Martha and Brian Heard along with their daughter Selena experienced steady action on Wednesday. We started off casting Gulp! Shrimp at first light near the Ringling Bridge and they quickly put a 16″ and 22″ speckled trout in the box. Action slowed so I went to catch bait. There was a lot of small bait with some decent threadfins mixed in. Chumming the nearby flats resulted in several Spanish mackerel, a couple more slot trout, a lot of ladyfish, jack crevelle, black sea bass, mangrove snapper, and catfish. A good day with a great family!

 

Long time client and friend Tommy Hyser from Cambridge, MD fished with me on Thursday. We started off casting Gulp! Shrimp at the Radio Tower and Marina Jack flats, catching some undersized trout and a few ladyfish. I caught bait and we had non-stop action on Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and trout near Big Pass. We left them biting (usually a mistake) to go try the deep structure at the north end of Siesta Key; nothing happenning. Same with the inshore reef off of Lido, pretty slow. So, we came back in and lit them up at the Middlegrounds, catching a 23″ speckled trout along with some other trout, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, black sea bass, jack crevelle, and ladyfish.

 

Diane and Scott Blackledge from DeForest, WI took out their two children Campbell (6) and Grady (9) out on their first saltwater charter. I caught bait and we sat in one spot for three hours. The kids did great, especially Grady, who caught a 3 1/2 lb Spanish mackerel, keeper mangrove snapper, speckled trout, ladyfish, and jacks. The rest of the gang chipped in with more macks, trout, ladyfish, snapper, and grouper. Diane finished off the trip with a fat 13″ mang. All in all, we landed 60 fish or so, great morning!

 

Sarasota resident Laura Ritchey and her dad Bill who was in town visiting from Akron, OH had a good trip on Saturday. Once again, live bait was the ticket. It was very still with little breeze or tide; this normally results in tough fishing. But the chum brought them to the boat, especially the Spanish mackerel. The bite was on with the pair landing a couple dozen up to 3 1/2 pounds on pilchards near Big Pass. We finished up at the Middlegrounds as the tide turned to go out catching a pair of 18″ trout, a nice sea bass, and several big mangs.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
July 27, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Live bait, primarily pilchards and threadfins though I did use a little shrimp, was the key to success for my clients this week. Pilchards were thick on the flats near both passes and it only took a few minutes to “load up”. After that it was just a matter of choosing a spot where the wind and tide would help the chum bring fish to the boat. Speckled trout to 26″, Spanish mackerel and bluefish to 2 1/2 pounds, mangrove snapper to 13″, jacks, sharks, sea bass, ladyfish, and more kept rods bent and provided fresh fish dinners for satisfied clients out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters this week. All of the deeper grass flats seem to be holding fish, the flats close to the passes; Marker #6, Marina Jack, Radio Tower, and Middlegrounds, were all productive spots.
The week started off nicely with a very productive trip for Benjamin Adams and his son Sam from Flower Mound, TX. We left the ramp at first light and baitfish were thick; two tosses resulted in a full well. After that, it was steady action throughout the morning on the flats near Big Pass and New Pass. Spanish mackerel, big bluefish, speckled trout to 19″, jacks, mangrove snapper, ladyfish and catfish kept the rods bent.
Mark Gruber from Dayton, OH took his two sons Jesse and Justin out on Tuesday. The tide was still falling as we left CB’s, so we hit a couple of edges where bait schools were present and caught a couple of decent mangrove snappers on live shrimp. I then ran to Big Pass, caught bait, and action was steady the rest of the morning on the nearby flats. They put speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, snapper, and sea bass in the box for dinner. Jesse caught a BIG trout, just under 26″ and Mark landed a nice bonnetthead shark. Of course we also caught ladyfish and catfish, too.
Jacob Rabinsky and Christian Marrero, both from the Miami, FL area, had a very good morning on Wednesday. Even though it was a bit breezy and cloudy, I was able to load the bait well in two tosses of the net. After that, it was steady action on speckled trout to 17″, along with a dozen Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish on the nearby deep flats. We finished up on the edge of the Intracoastal Waterway in Robert’s Bay. I still had a bunch of bait left, so I chummed like crazy and got the fish whipped up into a frenzy! Snapper to 12″, a nice bluefish, catfish, and then several double-headers on 2 pound jacks ended the trip on a high note.
I had a great charter on Friday with Lori and Jack McLaughlin and their son Eric from Billerica, MA. It was a bit breezy when we departed and I was concerned that catching bait would be a problem, but I ran across a big wad of it in a protected area in Robert’s Bay and loaded up. After a short run to a flat near the twin Bridges, I anchored up and we caught fish steadily. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper to 14″, of all things a yellowtail snapper, black sea bass, catfish, and ladyfish provided good action. We kept a couple of mackerel and snapper, one 19″ trout and released another 23″ trout, gotta let those big girls go! To finish off the trip I hit a mangrove shoreline where Lori landed a beautiful 24″ redfish.
Kerry Rea, her son Shane, nephew James Casey, and fiance Curt Trascher had a fair trip on Saturday. For whatever reason, it was tough getting the fish excited and feeding in the chum. They caught quite a few speckled trout, with Kerry landing one about 18″. They also caught some decent snapper; Shane landed a fat 14″ fish. Ladyfish, sea bass, and other species were also caught along with a pair of mackerel cutting us off right at the boat.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
July 20, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

I get a lot of family charters this time of year, and the main objective on these trips is to bend the rods. Action and variety are the goals, and the deep grass flats near both Big Sarasota Pass and New Pass provided that for clients this week. I did quite well chumming with pilchards towards the end of the week as we had incoming tides early and the bait was easy to catch. Pompano, speckled trout to 24″, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, black sea bass to 14″, mangrove snapper to 15″, sharks, jacks, and ladyfish pleased anglers this week casting Gulp! Shrimp, live shrimp, and pilchards at Marker # 5 and #6, Marina Jacks, Bird Key, and the Radio Tower flats.

 

Ryan Schmidt from Alpharetta, GA and his two sons Luke (10) and Lansden (15) fished with me early in the week. They had very little experience fishing so I got a bunch of lively shrimp at CB’s. We hit the Marina Jack flat and made a couple of drifts on the high, outgoing tide. The boys caught several trout including two in the slot, and a 15″ mangrove snapper; some fine eating! The wind picked up so we went in behind Bird Key and caught a bunch of ladyfish along with more trout, sea bass to 13″ and a nice Spanish mackerel.

 

Pete Layden from Ocala, FL and his boys Thomas (16) and Matt (20) had a good trip this week. The boys had never been fishing before, but after a few minutes of instruction, they were casting very well. They used Gulp! Shrimp and caught speckled trout, silver trout, black sea bass, jacks, ladyfish, and catfish near the Ringling Bridge. Thomas finished off the trip with a nice pompano at Marina Jacks, which I got to eat for dinner, thanks!!
John Vieger from San Antonio, TX and his sons Chris (15) and Bryan (14) along with Andrew Jones (14) from GA caught some nice fish on Friday. We started off casting Gulp! near the Radio Tower, catching sea bass and trout, when Chris hooked a nice bonnetthead shark. The flats near Big Pass provided more sea bass to 14″, along with trout, bluefish, and ladyfish. Action slowed and the tide turned to go out, so I netted up a bunch of bait and we got a hot trout bite going right at the end, landing a pair of 23″ and 21″ speckled trout, and several others in the slot. Nice way to end the trip!

 

Brian Mahnken and his 13 year old son Tate did well in the Yacht club Channel chumming with pilchards. We started off casting large live shrimp under popping corks near Marker # 5 but there wasn’t much happening. Bait was thick and in short order the well was full. From that point on it was a bite on every cast. Speckled trout, silver trout, mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, and jacks kept the rods bent. Surprisingly, we did not hook a single ladyfish, pretty unusual.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
July 13, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was outstanding this week! The pilchards ( also known as shiners or whitebait ) showed up in big numbers. Although the bait is a bit small, it is large enough to use. Chumming the deep flats produced action, variety, and quality this week. Snook ( caught on a Rapala X-Rap), speckled trout to 24″, silver trout, Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds, bluefish to 3 pounds, black sea bass to 15″, jack crevelle, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, and sharks bent rods on my charters this week. The deep flats near both passes; Marker #5, Marina Jack, Radio Tower, and Middlegrounds, continue to be very productive. Most of the fish were caught on live shrimp or pilchards but Gulp! and Rapalas fooled a few fish, too.
The week got off to a good start on Sunday morning with Scott Pearce from Memphis, TN and his boys Jordon (21) and Mitchell (15). Despite the fact that it was the day of the Offshore Grand Prix, boat traffic was light in the morning. Mitch started things off with a snook on a Rapala first thing near the mouth of Phillippi Creek. We moved to Big Pass; not much happening. On my way to a deep grass flat I spotted a bunch of bait. It wasn’t big, but it was big enough. Two tosses of the net resulted in a full well. For the next hour and a half it was steady action on speckled trout to 22″, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, sea bass, gag grouper, jack crevelle, and ladyfish as I had them chummed into a frenzy! They had so much fun they went again on Monday afternoon with similar results. We started off casting jigs; Mitch caught a big sea bass near Marina Jack, but it was spotty. A thunderstorm chased us off and when it cleared I caught bait and once again it was resulted in a lot of fish. We finished up with a frenzy of non-stop action on big trout, ladyfish, jacks, and mackerel near New Pass.
On Tuesday Barry Palmer and his two boys Palmer (13) and Carson (7) from Stanton, KY experienced very steady action near Bird Key. Once again live bait was the ticket. After filling the well, chumming and fishing with the whitebait resulted in Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds, speckled trout to 21″, ladyfish, jacks, and snapper.
I left the boat ramp at Centennial Park at 7:00 a.m on Wednesday morning with Norm Shade from Thornville, OH, his son-in-law Steve Bartalsky and Steve’s dad Mike. We started off at the Radio Tower casting Gulp! Shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jig head. Sea bass, silver trout, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, and ladyfish provided steady action. After an hour it slowed a bit, so I ran to my spot to catch bait. Once again, it was quick and easy and chumming on a deep flat neat the Twin Bridges resulted in 5 macks in the box along with ladyfish, speckled trout, and jacks being caught. We finished up at the Middlegrounds with a nice trout bite! a dozen or so trout in the slot including several over 20″ were caught and released along with ladyfish and a nice bluefish.
We had another productive morning on Thursday with the Gratton clan from the Orlando area. Rob took his son Aiden (7) and dad Bob out fishing. We started off on the last part of the outgoing tide near Marker # 5, and using live shrimp under a cork caught small trout, ladyfish, and had a nice bluefish cut us off at the boat. Action slowed as the tide quit, so I ran to my spot and loaded up on bait in two tosses of the cast net. For two hours we sat in one spot getting a bite on nearly every cast. Pinfish were a nuisance, but we caught several Spanish mackerel, a bunch of speckled trout ( Aiden put a pair of keepers, one 20″ and the other 16″, in the box) along with mangrove snappers to 12″ and ladyfish. We fished Phillippi Creek on the way in catching small snappers and a few jack crevelle.
I finished off the week with Darcy and Ken Rohr from Cleveland, OH and their two boys Zach (15) and Alex (13). Fishing was steady early, then slowed as the tide quit. A tide change mid-morning can be tough! But, once the water started moving in, the action picked up. Using pilchards near Marina Jack, they caught speckled trout, silver trout, jacks, snapper, ladyfish, and Spanish mackerel. Right near the end of the trip Ken hooked a nice spinner shark which cleared the water by four feet twice while spinning madly before breaking off. Very cool! Alex then topped his dad by landing a 4 pound Spanish mackerel on the last cast! Way to go, Alex!

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
July 6, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

My first trip of the week was on Friday, it rained on Monday, I had doctor appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday and decided to stay off the water on the 4th of July. Despite a LOT of fresh water in the bay from heavy rains, fishing was decent on the deep flats near Big Pass. Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, black tip sharks, bonnetthead sharks, sea bass, mangrove snapper, flounder, ladyfish, and catfish were caught on the two trips. Live shrimp caught most of the fish.

 

On Friday Chad and Carla Barker from Indianapolis, IN and their thre children Brenna (9), Dylan (12), and Carinne (14) had a good morning trip. Using Gulp! Shrimp at the Radio Tower flat, they caught slot speckled trout, a 14″ flounder, sea bass, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, and catfish. We had one exciting moment when a hundred pound tarpon followed in a hooked catfish right up to the boat, mouthed it, then boiled the water as it saw the boat and swam away. We finished up closer to Big Pass where the water was cleaner catching more trout, sea bass, three Spanish mackerel (around two pounds) and a small shark. Fun trip with action, variety, and dinner!

 

On Saturday I had Ralph Primavera and his 16 year old son Christopher on the boat. Fishing was OK, a little slow to start off but we did finish with some good action near Otter Key. Using live shrimp at Marina Jacks, Radio Tower, and in the Yacht Club Channel, the boys caught speckled trout to 16″, bluefish to 1 1/2 pounds, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, sail cats, and a bonnetthead shark.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
June 29, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing this week pretty much dispelled the whole “Fishing is slow on the full moon” theory. Action on the deep flats was steady on a variety of species. Sharks, speckled trout to 21″, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, flounder, sea bass, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and catfish hit Gulp! and live shrimp this week on the flats near both passes. Top spots were the Marina Jack and Radio Tower flats.

 

Chris Sambach, his wife Lila, and ten year old daughter caught a LOT of fish on Monday morning! The “Super Moon” must have made them bite! Every spot produced fish. We started off in Big Pass catching jacks and ladyfish. As the tide came in we moved to the deep grass flats in the Yacht Club Channel and caught a ton of ladyfish along with speckled trout, flounder, jacks, and mangrove snapper to 14″ free-lining live shrimp.
Fishing was good on Wednesday for Larry Grisham from southern Illinois and his teenage grandsons Gavin Grisham and Lucas Griffith. We started off in Big Pass catching a bunch of ladyfish using jigs and shrimp on the outgoing tide. After a bit of that, we tried some docks and structure in the pass on the slack tide with ninimal results; just a few snapper and grunts. As the tide turned to come in, action resumed on the deep flats with the boys catching speckled trout to 18″, a big 17″ silver trout, jack crevelle, sea bass, and ladyfish.
Melissa and Jon Rankin had Jon’s sister Beth Rankin in town from Denver, CO, and they decided to go fishing. They wanted fish for dinner, so I concentrated on the deep flats near the passes. The Radio Tower, Marina Jack, and Marker 5 and 7 flats all produced steady action. Both girls landed a nice, fat 20″ speckled trout, along with a bluefish and several other slot trout. Jon pitched in with a nice Spanish mackerel, a keeper mangrove snapper, and a keeper trout. In between the eating fish, they had steady catch and release action on ladyfish, smaller trout, jack crevelle and finished up with both Melissa and Jon catching sharks. Fun day with enthusiastic anglers!
Monte Clithero and his girlfriend Dana from Springfield, MO had another productive trip on Friday. We left Ken Thompson Park at 6:30 a.m. and hit the Radio Tower first thing. Speckled trout, ladyfish, and jacks hit live and Gulp! Shrimp. After netting up some pilchards, I moved over to the flats near Selby and chummed them up! The bait was small, so I used the chum to lure them in then shrimp to catch them. Some of the bait was large enough to use. It didn’t matter, it was pretty much a fish on every cast. Speckled trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel, a shark, sea bass, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, jacks, ladyfish, and catfish kept the rods bent and Dana happy!
On Saturday Sid Marcum took out a large crew on a CB’s rental pontoon with me as the captain/guide. These are actually good fishing boats. The trout bite was hot with a half dozen nice trout between 17″ and 20″ going in the box along with a 16″ flounder. Gulp! Shrimp and live shrimp worked equally well; the Radio Tower was the best spot.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
June 22, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

“Steady” is the best word to describe fishing this week. Nothing spectacular, but consistent action on a variety of species was experienced on the deep grass flats at Marina Jack, the Yacht Club Channel, Radio Tower, Moorings, Bishop’s Pt., and Buttonwood. Water temperatures are in the mid 80′s; we could use some rain to cool things off. Live shrimp and Gulp! Shrimp were equally effective. Speckled trout to 20″, silver trout to 16″, flounder to 19″, Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, bluefish to 2 pounds, sea bass, snapper, jacks, ladyfish, and sailcats were caught this week. I saw a lot of bait “dimpling” on the surface and twice this week cast-netted a bunch. Unfortunately, most of it was quite small, which is unusual for this time of year. But, it is good to see it on the flats; it usually triggers feeding sprees by the gamefish.

 

Emad Alumasmi and his teenage son Adam fished with me on Monday. The morning started off very still; no breeze or tide, this usually results in tough fishing. However, I spotted some bait fish dimpling on the surface and though not very big, they were just large enough. Chumming with the smaller baits and hooking the larger ones resulted in a bunch of ladyfish and trout along with a 12″ mangrove snapper and some jacks near Bird Key. We finished up at the Radio Tower with Adam landing an 18″ speckled trout.

 

On Tuesday I was part of a 4 boat charter out of CB’s. The Wagenbrenner crew from Ohio was having a reunion and wanted a fish fry. Action was steady with good variety and some quality fish. Nick Wagenbrenner took top honors landing a 20″ speckled trout, a 16″ silver trout, and a 19″ flounder using Gulp! Shrimp. Eric Wagonbrenner, his sons Hudson (15) and Griffin (9) along with Diego Roman (10) pitched in with a Spanish mackerel, a mangrove snapper, and eight more slot trout, most of which were nice, fat fish between 16″ and 18″. Jacks, ladyfish, catfish, and more fell prey to Gulp! and free lined shrimp at Marina Jacks, Radio Tower, and the Yacht Club Channel.

 

For whatever reason, fishing was tougher on Wednesday. Bob Arther, his son Andy and son-in-law Joe Ballard from Kansas City, MO caught a fair amount of fish, but the “quality” wasn’t there. Trout, flounder, jacks, and ladyfish were caught on the deep flats. We finished up in Big Pass catching ladyfish and a small shark.

 

On Thursday I took out my cousin Valerie Day, her 16 year old son Tanner and his girlfriend Kaleigh Tobias, all from Howard, PA. We left the boat ramp at Centennial Park at first light and ran over to the west side of the bay. Again, fishing was OK, but nothing spectacular. They landed several speckled trout in the slot, a silver trout, jack crevelle, ladyfish, grouper, flounder, and catfish on Gulp! Shrimp.

 

Newlyweds Tara and Pat Williams from Garden City, MI fished with me on Friday on their honeymoon, what a great way to get a marriage started off in the right direction! They caught a lot of fish, mostly ladyfish, jack crevelle, and short trout with Tara free lining live shrimp and Pat casting Gulp! Shrimp. They put a 16″ and a 20″ speckled trout, a 15″ silver trout, a 2 lb bluefish, and a black sea bass in the box for a couple of meals.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
June 15, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was steady this week in Sarasota Bay after Tropical Storm Andrea passed through. The deep flats near the Moorings, Bishop’s Pt., and Buttonwood were best for me, the water near the passes was still a bit churned up. Gulp! Shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jig head produced the best results; pinfish are thick making live shrimp more difficult to use. Still no white bait on the flats. Speckled trout to 24″, bluefish to 3 pounds, Spanish mackerel, flounder to 16″, silver trout, black sea bass to 14″, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and sailcats were caught this week on charters.

 

James Marsh had his nephew Jason Easton in town from Hampstead, MD and went fishing on Sunday. I had not been out for several days due to Tropical Storm Andrea, but was pleasantly surprised to see the water in decent shape. It got cleaner as I worked away from the passes. Marina Jack and Marker #5 and #6 were a bit slow though Jason did catch an 18″ trout there. Action was better up near the Mooring as they landed speckled trout to 20″, silver trout to 14″, a nice fat 15″ flounder, and ladyfish using Gulp! Shrimp.

Fishing was steady on Monday for Ed Herman and his two sons Drew (21) and David (17) from Columbus, OH. Using Gulp! Shrimp on jig heads along the west side of Sarasota Bay from the Moorings up to Helicopter Shoal, the boys landed several bluefish to 3 pounds, speckled trout to 23″, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, and ladyfish. They kept a couple of blues, the mackerel, and two 18″ trout for dinner, releasing the big trout to make babies, I never kill trout over 20″ if I can help it.

Sarasota residents Drew Peterson and his dad Renno went out on Tuesday. The focus was more on learning spots than on just catching fish, so I gave them the “grand tour” of the area from Big Pass north. Drew caught speckled trout, jacks, sailcats, and ladyfish on Gulp! Shrimp while Renno landed speckled trout, silver trout, a Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, and ladyfish casting chartreuse and dark green Clouser Minnows on his fly rod.

Kim Maxwell, Leo Cyrus, and Joe Parker had a good trip on Wednesday. Using Gulp! Shrimp on 1/4 ounce Cotee jig heads at the Moorings, Bishop’s Pt., Helicopter Shoal, and Buttonwood, the boys put several speckled trout to 24″, two flounder to 17″, bluefish, and a croaker in the box along with steady catch-and-release action on smaller trout, jacks, and ladyfish.

Fishing slowed a bit for me towards the end of the week, tides were less than ideal. Still, action was steady, though unspectacular. Paul Trabel and his son Eric from Indiana put several slot trout in the cooler for dinner along with a nice black sea bass free lining live shrimp near Bird Key. They also released undersized trout, ladyfish, jacks, and catfish.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
June 8, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Tropical Storm Andrea effectively shut down fishing on Thursday and affected the fishing over the weekend. I was able to in three trips early in the week. Speckled trout to 20″, silver trout, bluefish to 3 pounds, Spanish mackerel to 2 1/2 pounds, jacks and ladyfish were caught near Bird Key and on the west side near the Moorings. Gulp! and live shrimp fooled them.

Bill Ritchey from Akron, OH and his daughter Laura started my week out again; they fished with me last Sunday, too. This time we left 10th Street and headed north to show them areas we had not fished before. The Middlegrounds, Moorings, and Bishop’s Pt. were all productive and fishing was pretty steady. We caught a few fish on live shrimp but the best action was experienced using Gulp! Shrimp. Speckled trout to 20″ (we released everything, but a half-dozen or so were in the slot), bluefish to 2 pounds, jacks, and ladyfish kept the rods bent.

Derek Hart, his son Julian, mom Ann and brother caught speckled trout to 20″, silver trout, bluefish to 3 pounds, and ladyfish on the deep grass flats on the west side of the bay on Tuesday. Gulp! Shrimp caught most of the fish; the Moorings and Bishop’s Pt were the best spots.

Mark Bloom from Ft. Wayne, IN and his nephew Devin Bojrab caught speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, snapper, jacks, and ladyfish free lining live shrimp on the edges of flats near Bird Key on Wednesday,just before the wind cranked up as Andrea was approaching.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
June 1, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Tarpon, snook, speckled trout, silver trout, jacks, Spanish mackerel, sea bass, black drum, gag grouper, flounder, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish were caught this week by clients. Most of the fish were caught on the deep flats near Big Pass using Gulp! and live shrimp. Tarpon fishing along the beach was fair with crabs producing the most action. Wind was a factor mid-week for both bay and tarpon fishing.

 

The week started off nicely with a productive trip for Dr Bill Ritchey from Akron Ohio and his daughter Laura who lives in Sarasota. They wanted a couple of fish for dinner, so I went right to my silver trout spot near the Ringling Bridge. They put several in the box using Gulp! Shrimp on a jig head, including a 17 1/2″ fish, that is a big silver trout! Flats near Marker # 6 yielded speckled trout, silver trout, ladyfish, and gag grouper. We made the switch to live shrimp and the Bird Key flats yielded Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, sea bass, jack crevelle, and ladyfish.

 

On Monday, Memorial Day, Nick Frederick Sr from Lakewood Ranch took his son Nick Jr who was in town visiting from Arizona, out fishing. The trip was similar to the previous one; silver trout early, then moved to the deep flats near Big Pass and caught mackerel, jacks, a couple of slot speckled trout, sea bass, and ladyfish.

 

Brian Robinson, his 12 year old son Quinn, and father in law Dave Piper fished with me on Tuesday. It was a bit slower, mostly due to VERY strong winds out of the east. My silver trout bite let me down, catching a couple of small flounder, catfish, and ladyfish, but again, with the wind conditions were tough. We tucked in behind Bird Key and caught several Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, speckled trout to 17″, a 12″ sea bass, jacks, and ladyfish free lining shrimp. Dinner was in the box! We finished up with some mangrove snapper in Phillippi Creek. After 10 straight days I needed a break and the boat needed service, so a day off for me!

 

Scott Valentino from Pittsburg took his teenage son Vinnie out tarpon fishing on Thursday. Conditions were less than ideal; it was quite breezy with a big swell. We only found one school that we could work and after several attempts got on them just right and Scott hooked up with a hundred pound fish. After several jumps and rolls and a 40 minute battle, the hook pulled near the boat.

 

Peter Craig and his friend Ron Hutchenson, both from Ontario, experienced good action on Saturday with quite a bit of variety. Speckled trout, silver trout, jack crevelle, sea bass, ladyfish, and sailcats hit Gulp! and live shrimp near Big Pass. Mangrove shorelines and docks in Robert’s Bay produced snook, black drum, and mangrove snapper on live shrimp.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
May 25, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was good this week on a multitude of species using a variety of techniques. Trip of the week went to Chaz Boyter who caught a 10 lb false albacore and a 90 lb tarpon on Thursday. Along with those two species, silver trout, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, bluefish, sea bass, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish were caught by anglers using Rapalas, flies, Gulp! Shrimp, Cotee jigs, and live shrimp this week. This week was a great example of the diverse angling opportunities that Sarasota offers!

Jim Cooke and Jim Sluss from the Orlando, FL area booked an afternoon charter on Monday. Action was very good for silver trout. Using Gulp! Shrimp they put 16 in the box along with a 17″ speckled trout near the Radio Tower. We finished up near Birk Key with sporadic action on trout and ladyfish.

Newlyweds Polly and Jimmy Braddy from Metter, GA experienced steady fishing on a variety of species on Tuesday morning. The silver trout bite was a bit slow, but we still caught a half dozen using Gulp! A move to the Radio Tower flat produced ladyfish, slot trout, and small trout using Gulp! and live shrimp. We finished up near Bird Key with a nice flurry of trout, bluefish, jack crevelle, and ladyfish free lining shrimp.
Bart Brass and his son Dr. Abe Brass from Peabody, MA used live shrimp and Gulp Shrimp to catch speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, sea bass, mangrove snapper, jack crevelle, and ladyfish near Big Pass on Wednesday.

Chaz Boyter from New Jersey caught two fish on Thursday. The first was a VERY large false albacore. We were on a tarpon trip and saw some bait fish fleeing. I decided to have Chaz troll a Rapala X-Rap and in short order he hooked and after a tough battle landed a big albie. Around 10:30 we spotted a small school of tarpon. After working the school for nearly an hour, we got a bite and Chaz landed a nice 90 pound tarpon. Great morning!!

Phil Steward from Pepperell, MA had a good trip on Friday morning. We headed up to Long Bar in search of a redfish, but the water was full of weeds and moss and it was blowing harder than forecast. Imagine that! We worked our way back south, just picking at small trout and ladyfish. We hit the jackpot at Bishop’s Point as a bunch of tiny baitfish were being ravaged. For two hours Phil caught a fish on nearly every cast using an 8wt fly rod and various flies, the pattern really didn’t matter. Anything small and white got crushed. Trout, ladyfish, bluefish, and jacks were all landed.

Chuck and Gretchen Green from Michigan, their son Tom, and Chucks dad David had an excellent trip on Saturday, despite breezy conditions. They wanted enough fish for dinner, so I hit my reliable silver trout spot near the Ringling Bridge. They put 10 in the box along with a keeper speckled trout and a pair of flounder using Gulp! Shrimp. Free lining live shrimp near Bird Key produced very steady action on ladyfish, jack crevelle, speckled trout, and three Spanish mackerel.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
May 18, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was steady again this week, improving towards the end of the week. Friday and Saturday were both VERY good. Speckled trout to 26″, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, sea bass, ladyfish, jacks and more hit live shrimp, Gulp! Shrimp, and flies on the grass flats in Sarasota Bay. The deep grass north of Siesta Key to New Pass were the most productive for my clients this week. Silver trout continue to provide action and meals.

Bob Veierstahler, Larry Foeckler, and Allan Foeckler from Wisconsin had a good mixed-bag trip on Monday. The special caught included speckled trout to 18″, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and sailcats. Gulp! Shrimp and live shrimp worked equally well at the Radio Tower and Marina Jack flats.

Joel Herbert and Sammy Taylor from Pendleton, SC caught a lot of fish on Tuesday morning near Bird Key. We started off at the Radio Tower, where action was fair, with the boys landing a few trout and ladyfish. A move to a deep grass flat near Bird Key and free lining shrimp resulted in non-stop action on ladyfish, speckled trout to 18″, and a couple of big mackerel that bit us off. We finished up at a nearby flat, landing several nice silver trout and a 17″ speckled trout on Gulp! Shrimp.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Emmaly and Aaron Crouse from Park City, Utah did some fly fishing. Both are excellent anglers and good casters. On Wednesday we hit the Radio Tower, Marina Jack, and Bird Key flats, catching speckled trout, ladyfish, silver trout, and a snapper using chartreuse/white Clousers. On Thursday we header up north; the best spot was Helicopter Shoal, where several slot trout and large ladyfish took dark green/white and chartreuse/white Clousers. We finished up at the Marina Jack flat with several trout, ladyfish, and a Spanish mackerel.

The silver trout bite was terrific on Friday! Denise and Jim Markovic from Atlanta, GA caught a mess of these feisty fish using Gulp! Shrimp near Bird Key. They also caught a bunch of ladyfish, speckled trout, and sea bass free-lining live shrimp and casting Gulp! near Bird Key and in Big Pass.

Phil Steward, his wife Deb, and daughters Kate and Bethany fished with me on Saturday morning and had a great trip both in numbers and in quality. We made a quick drift at the Radio Tower, not much happening. A move to the Bird Key flats resulted in steady action on ladyfish, speckled trout to 18″, and a Spanish mackerel. Action slowed, so we moved to a nearby reliable silver trout spot. Bethany had never used artificial lures before, but after a few minutes she started wrecking the silvers using Gulp! on a jig head. She also caught a 25″ speckled trout! Kate added a 20″ trout and a couple of silver trout. We finished up in Big Pass with non-stop action on ladyfish, mostly on shrimp but Phil caught several on fly.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
May 11, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was steady once again this week on the deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Gulp! Shrimp on a 1/4 ounce Cotee jig head caught most of the fish, though clients also caught fish on live shrimp. Species total for the week included redfish, speckled trout to 20″, silver trout to 16″, flounder to 18″, Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, bluefish, black sea bass, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and sailcats. Bream are available in Upper Myakka Lake and Lake Manatee.

 

It was quite breezy on Sunday and Monday, no fishing for me. On Tuesday I had a full day with Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek, who was treating himself to a fishing trip for his birthday. Action was steady on the flats at Marina Jack, Radio Tower, and the Moorings. Speckled trout to 20″, silver trout to 16″, Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, jack crevelle, ladyfish hit Gulp! Shrimp and live shrimp. The silver trout bite was very good and we put a dozen or so in the box for a few meals.

 

On Wednesday I went out to Myakka River State Park with Bonnie Czepiel. Fishing was pretty slow, we caught some bream using live worms and black Beetlespins and we each lost a big “mystery” fish.

 

Cody Thompson from Madison, WI fished with me on Thursday. Action was steady on a variety of species using Gulp! Shrimp and live shrimp. We started off in Big Pass just as the tide had turned to come in. Drifting with the current and free lining shrimp and casting jigs resulted in several jack crevelle and ladyfish. A move to the nearby deep flats produced a pair of 20″ speckled trout along with a bunch of smaller fish, silver trout to 14″, sea bass, jacks, and ladyfish. Most were caught using Gulp! Shrimp. We finished up catching a redfish on a live shrimp in Robert’s Bay.

 

Andrew Court from NYC took his friends Kira and Niels out fishing on Friday. Action was steady, nothing spectacular, but very similar to Thursday’s trip. Silver trout, speckled trout to 16″, sea bass, ladyfish, and other species hit Gulp! Shrimp and live shrimp on the deep flats near the Ringling Bridge.

 

Staurday’s charter with Dave Betts and his two grown sons (22 and 25) Phil and Marshall who also live in the NYC area, was the best of the week. We started off at the Radio Tower flat and quickly got socked in by the fog. No worries, however, as the fish were biting! Casting Gulp! Shrimp produced speckled trout to 20″, silver trout to 12′, sea bass, flounder, ladyfish, and sailcats. A move to the Middlegrounds resulted in jacks crevelle, ladyfish, and more trout. The Moorings and Bishop’s Pt. gave up a more trout along with a bluefish and a Spanish mackerel. We finished up at Helicopter Shoal with a fat 18″ flounder. Great trip with great guys!!

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
May 4, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was decent this week, though it did slow down a bit later in the week in terms of numbers. Speckled trout to 20″, silver trout to 16″, jack crevelle, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, sailcats, and sea bass hit Gulp! Shrimp on the deep grass flats near Big Pass. Bream are fairly actice in Upper Myakka Lake.

I had a day off on Monday so I headed out to Myakka River State Park with my 14′ Alumacraft to fish Upper Myakka Lake for panfish. It was quite breezy and it took a while to locate the fish, but once I did I filled the cooler in short order. Nothing huge, but most of the ‘gills were between 6″ and 8″, along with a bass and a big gar. I only used a 1/16 once black Beetlespin. I fished the tidal portion of the Myakka near Venice on Thursday afternoon and it was slow, that section is better in the cooler months.

On Tuesday Jim Sandusky from Canton, MI, his son Scott, and son in law Steve Seese had a good trip with very steady action. Despite weak tides, the fishing on the deep grass flats near Big Pass was very productive. They had promised the ladies a fish dinner, and they came through! Casting Gulp! Shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jig head, the boys caught speckled trout to 19″, silver trout to 15″, jack crevelle, sea bass, bluefish, and sailcats. Two slot speckled trout and eight nice silver trout went in the box with everything else released. A fun morning with great guys!

Andrew Coren from NYC and his brother Michael Coren from Dallas, TX experienced decent action on Wednesday, catching speckled trout to 20″ silver trout to 15″, bluefish, jacks, sea bass, and ladyfish using Gulp! Shrimp near Big Pass.

7 year old Odin Medrick outfished his dad John Medrick and grandfather Gary McClellan on Friday. Casting Gulp! Shrimp, he caught speckled trout, silver trout, bluefish, jacks, 2 species of catfish, sea bass, and ladyfish. John pitched in for dinner by putting a decent Spanish mackerel and a couple of bluefish in the box to go along with the half dozen silvers that Odin caught. Marker #5 and Marina Jacks were the best spots.

Saturday’s charter with Dan Hoffman, Gordon Nedwed, and Bill Matta was similar on a breezy morning. They did not catch a ton of fish and we spent a fair amount of time on the silver trout, putting a dozen in the box for dinner., along with releasing ladyfish, speckled trout, a sailcats.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
April 27, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Strong incoming tides in the morning along with fantastic weather resulted in very productive trips this week. Bluefish, ladyfish, and Spanish mackerel were feeding in the passes first thing. We caught most of the fish on Cotee jigs and several using Rapala X-Raps. As the tide increased, we moved to the nearby deep grass flats and caught speckled trout, silver trout, mackerel, bluefish, sea bass, jack crevelle, and ladyfish using Cotee jigs, Gulp! Shrimp, and live shrimp. Snook and jack crevelle are along the mangrove shorelines in Robert’s Bay. Live pilchards are the best bet.

On Sunday Ed Burt and his father-in-law John Carroll from New London, NH had a good mixed bag trip on Sunday. They had promised the girls a fish dinner, so I went right to the silver trout near the Ringling Bridge and put ten nice ones in the box using Gulp! Shrimp and released speckled trout, ladyfish, and jacks. We moved to the Bird Key flats and added a pair of nice Spanish mackerel to the box free-lining live shrimp along with more speckled trout and ladyfish.

Steve Light from CT took his teen age boys Aaron and Seth out fishing. They wanted some fish for dinner, so I hit my reliable silver trout spot and we put ten or so in the box using gulp! Shrimp. With dinner secured, it was just “fun fishing” time. For the next two hours action was virtually non-stop free lining live shrimp on the deep flats. Most of the fish were ladyfish, with a few trout, jacks, and a nice Spanish mackerel.

Jack Femmel from Chicago and his buddy Bill had a very good trip. Casting Cotee jigs and Gulp! Shrimp in Big Pass and the surrounding flats produced steady action on a variety of species. Speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jack crevelle, sea bass, and ladyfish were caught that morning.

Sarasota resident Bonnie Czepiel experienced great action on Saturday morning. We started off catching ladyfish and bluefish in Big Pass using Cotee jigs and Rapala X-Raps. A move to the deep flats resulted in speckled trout, silver trout, jacks, bluefish, ladyfish, and sea bass using Gulp! Shrimp. My buddy Capt Roy string gave me a net full of pilchards and Bonnie caught several snook to 22″, her first ever, along the mangroves in Robert’s Bay.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
April 20, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Silver trout fishing was outstanding this week! Although not large (15″ is a nice one), they are tasty, aggressive, and put up a good battle for their size. Most of the silvers caught this week hit Gulp! Shrimp. Speckled trout to 20″, gag grouper to 14″, Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and sailcats hit jigs and live shrimp on the deep grass near Big Pass. Freshwater fishing was good in Lake Manatee; big bluegills and decent catfish hit Beetlespins and live worms.

 

Saturday afternoon I went out to Lake Manatee and did well on big bluegill, small bass, and a nice catfish using black Beetlespins and live worms. On Sunday Beth Higgins caught speckled trout, silver trout, jacks, and ladyfish using live shrimp and Gulp! Shrimp on the flats near Big Pass. The silver trout bite was hot!

 

John Spelky, his wife Amy, and daughter Cora (9) had an excellent morning on Wednesday. We started off at Marker #5, catching ladyfish, speckled trout, and jacks on Gulp! and free lined shrimp. They wanted a few fish for dinner, so I headed over to a reliable silver trout spot near Marina Jack; and it did not disappoint. In short order, ten fat silver trout went in the box, most came on jigs. We finished up near Bird Key with Amy catching a Spanish mackerel and the others landing a few trout on shrimp.

 

Matt Smith and his wife Jessica experienced steady action on Thursday morning. Very seldom did either go more than a few casts without a bite. Casting Glow Gulp! Shrimp over the deep flats near Big Pass resulted in speckled trout to 17 1/2″, silver trout to 14″, jack crevelle, Spanish mackerel, and ladyfish.

 

Jim Mitchell from Longboat Key and his brother-in-law charlie Beard from WI had to work a bit harder on Friday. The wind cranked up early, making for tough conditions. the boys caught a pair of slot speckled trout, 20″ and 18″, several silver trout, ladyfish, jacks, and a gag grouper using gulp! Shrimp and live shrimp before the wind chased us off the water.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
April 13, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was productive this week with a nice variety of species being caught and plenty of fresh fish for dinner going home with happy clients. Bluefish to 3 pounds, Spanish mackerel to 3 1/2 pounds, silver trout to 16″, speckled trout to 21″, pompano, flounder, jacks, and ladyfish fell for Cotee jigs, Gulp! Shrimp, Rapala X-Raps, Clouser Minnow flies, and live shrimp. Both Big Pass and New Pass were productive as were the nearby deep grass flats. A trip to the Myakka River produced snook, bass, and tilapia using Rapalas and Beetlespins.

 

On Sunday Ed Okerson from Plano, TX and his friend Teijo from Finland went out on a morning charter, fishing was good, but it would have been better had the dolphins not been so aggressive. They are cool to watch, but three times, in Big Pass, Bird Key, and Radio Tower, we got the fish going and the dolphins came in and shut them down. Still, Teijo caught a 3 1/2 lb Spanish mackerel on a free lined shrimp. They also caught speckled trout to 17″ and ladyfish on shrimp and Gulp! baits.

 

 

On Monday Allen Hartman from Roanoke, VA did some fly and spin fishing. We started off fly casting, but action was sporadic with Allen catching a pair of jacks and several speckled trout. The wind picked up so he changed to a Glow Gulp! Shrimp on a spinning outfit and experienced steady action on speckled trout, silver trout, a pair of nice Spanish mackerel, and plenty of ladyfish. The Radio Tower and Marina Jack flats were the best spots.

 

 

I had two trips on Tuesday. In the morning, Dean and Kiya Genthe, their daughter Jarge, and Uncle Dan had a very good trip. We started off in Big Pass where large bluefish and Spanish mackerel hit gold Cotee jigs, trolled Rapala X-Raps and free lined live shrimp. Action slowed after the dolphins showed up so we moved to the Radio Tower where it was steady on trout and ladyfish. We finished up near Marina Jacks catching ladyfish, silver trout, and speckled trout. In the afternoon, Greg Wallace from GA treated his grandson Caleb Taff to his first “real” fishing trip. The silver trout bite was hot with Caleb besting grandpa as far as size goes. A dozen nice silver trout, one slot speckled trout, a Spanish mackerel, and a flounder went into the box. Most of the fish were caught on Gulp shrimp near Big Pass.

 

 

Later in the week I took out brothers Menash and Elihou Murad from the New York City area. We did not catch a ton of fish, but did get some quality. Using free lined shrimp and Cotee jigs they put a pair of bluefish to 3 pounds, two average Spanish mackerel, a pompano, and three speckled trout going 21″, 19″, and 18″ in the box. They also caught a dozen ladyfish. All were caught in or near Big Pass.

 

On Friday it was blowing 30 knots + out of the south, so i decided to go scout on my own on the Myakka River near Venice. Action was fair, I caught a couple of small snook, a really fat 3 pound bass, and several big tilapia.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
April 6, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

A nasty front moved through mid-week, but fishing was very good before and after the weather passed. The deep flats near both passes were very good, as were the passes themselves. Spanish mackerel and speckled trout numbers were good, along with bluefish, flounder, silver trout, sea bass, jacks, and of course ladyfish, mixed in. Gulp! Shrimp, Cotee jigs, and live shrimp were all productive. The sheepshead bite is winding down.

 

The week started off with a good trip on Easter Sunday for Jim Rokicki from Pittsburgh, PA and his 16 year old grand son Andrew. Spanish mackerel were hitting free lined shrimp in Big Pass, along with a nice bluefish. A move to the surrounding flats resulted in more macks, ladyfish, speckled trout, and a big silver trout on shrimp and jigs. We hit a dock and caught several sheepshead on shrimp. We finished up at Marker #5 with good ladyfish action using gold cotee jigs.

 

The Manby clan from Brookfield, WI wrecked the Spanish mackerel on Monday morning. Using free lined shrimp in and near Big Pass, they boated close to two dozen up tp 3 1/2 pounds. They also landed a nice flounder, a decent bluefish, speckled trout, and plenty of ladyfish.

 

I had a bunch of very young ladies on the boat today, and did they ever catch some fish! Todd Bruce from Minneapolis, MN and his daughters Hazel (7) and Ruby (10) did very well in the morning. It was quite foggy to start out, so we stuck close and hit the Radio Tower flat. Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, speckled trout, jack crevelle, and silver trout hit free lined shrimp. The fog lifted and I ran to Big Pass where the mackerel bite was good. Spanish to 3 1/2 pounds kept the girls busy. We finished up with a sheepshead (the girls wanted to see one) under a dock. In the afternoon, Lisa and Dave Stein from KY and their 3 young girls caught ladyfish, spanish mackerel, speckled trout, and silver trout in Big Pass and the nearby deep flats.

 

I had two similar trips on Wednesday. In the morning Mike Brown and his son Mitch (12) went fishing. Young Mitch kicked his Dad’s behind, catching most of the fish. Speckled trout (several in the slot), Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and flounder hit shrimp and jigs. In the afternoon, George Benson from Rocky River, OH took his son Lee and two grandsons out. It was breezy and fishing was fair. The Radio Tower flat was the best spot, giving up a pair of 18″ trout and a couple of mackerel using Gulp! and live shrimp. Thursday and Friday were rain-outs.

 

On Saturday Ian Warsop and his teenage boys Mitch, Bryson, and Lawrie had a friendly competition. Dad Ian spanked the boys numbers-wise using a Glow Gulp! Shrimp, he caught speckled trout, ladyfish, a sea bass, and a big silver trout. The Radio Tower was the best spot. They ended up with four slot trout to 18″, two Spanish mackerel, and the big silver in the box along with other silver and speckled trout, ladyfish, and more released.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
March 30, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Weather continued to be the story. Strong winds and unseasonably cool temperatures resulted in less than ideal conditions. The ability to adapt to those conditions was the key to success. Still, plenty of nice fish were caught on charters this week. As Capt Ed would say, “You aren’t going to catch them sitting on your couch!”. The weather did improve late in the week. Sheepshead fishing was very reliable and provided meals for anglers. Speckled trout and ladyfish were steady on the deep flats, with a decent number of slot trout. Silver trout hit jigs in the deeper dredge areas around Bird Key and Golden Point. Spanish mackerel, flounder, and black sea bass were also caught on trips this week.

I took Sunday off and Monday it was blowing 25+ out of the northwest, so I moved my trip to later in the week. Long-time client Dave Buckley from Gettysburg, PA went out on Tuesday. The morning started off nice, cool, but with a 10 knot wind out of the northeast. We caught some silver trout on jigs near Marina Jack and then caught ladyfish and trout free-lining shrimp near Bird Key. A move to the docks resulted in a bunch of sheepshead, several of which were solid 3 pound “chunks”, and a nice black sea bass. The wind picked up and we hit a couple of protected spots behind Bird Key, catching more speckled trout and ladyfish.

Kevin Lyons and his son Jackson from Chicago, IL faced cool, breezy conditions on Wednesday, but still had a very good fishing trip. We left at 11:00 and hit the Radio Tower flat where they caught speckled trout to 16″ and ladyfish on jigs and shrimp. We moved over to the Marina Jack area and put a half dozen silver trout in the box. A move to the Bird Key docks resulted in a trio of 2 lb sheepshead on ice and several more released. The breeze picked up and we finished up with steady catch and release action on trout, flounder, Spanish mackerel, and ladyfish hiding behind Lido Key and Ken Thompson Island free lining live shrimp.
David Wahba from New York and his 11 year old son Charlie had a very good trip on Thursday. Again, we let it warm up and went later in the morning. We started off catching ladyfish and speckled trout in Robert’s Bay using shrimp and jigs. Fish was on the menu for dinner, so I ran to some docks in Big Pass and they did not disappoint. Five decent sheepshead and a flounder went in the cooler with more released. We hit some deep grass edges and caught more speckled trout, ladyfish, and a flounder.

I had two trips on Friday, and both were similar. Michelle and Randy Boller from MI and their two boys worked the docks near Big Pass for sheepshead to 4 pounds. They also caught several silver trout on jigs. We finished up with an insane ladyfish bite using jigs. In the afternoon, Dave Buckley and his son Brady from Gettysburg, PA caught ladyfish and trout using Gulp! Shrimp and caught some nice sheepies under docks. Brady finished up the trip with a 2 1/2 Spanish mackerel at the Radio Tower on Gulp!

Gil Fitzgerald and his son Gilly from Chicago had a vert good trip on Saturday morning. Action on the deep flats was steady using jigs and free lined shrimp. Most of the fish were ladyfish, some quite large, but Gilly caught two Spanish mackerel, including a nice 3 1/2 pound fish. We also hit some docks and put a half dozen sheepshead in the boat.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
March 23, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Weather was once again the story this week. Unseasonably cool temperatures and breezy conditions made fishing a little more difficult that it should be for the middle of March. Still, action was good for anglers willing to adapt to the conditions. The sheepshead bite has been very reliable. Small live shrimp fished near structure in Big Pass put meals on the table for clients this week. Speckled trout to 18″, big silver trout, ladyfish, and Spanish mackerel provided steady action on the deep flats at the Radio Tower, Moorings, middlegrounds, and Marker #5 for anglers casting jigs, plugs, and flies.

 

I started the week off with a fly fishing charter. Tom Lade from used an 8 wt outfit and caught a dozen ladyfish and 6 speckled trout. Several of the trout were between 15″ and 17″. Chartreuse/white Clousers at Marina Jacks and Radio Tower flats caught them.

 

Bob Siemering and his 18 year old son John from MA went out on Monday morning. There were breaking fish near the Siesta Drive bridge and we caught a few ladyfish first off. Drifts at the middlegrounds, Moorings, and Radio Tower produced some small trout with a pair in the slot, a Spanish mackerel, and plenty of big ladyfish on free lined shrimp. The wind picked up and we finished up with a few more fish near Bird Key then called it a few minutes early with threatening weather on the way.

 

On Tuesday I ran a group trip will all the other guides out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters with a bunch of people in the generator business. These trips are a lot of fun with some good-natured ribbing involved. Action was steady on speckled trout, silver trout, and ladyfish using jigs and Gulp! Shrimp at Marker #5 and the Radio Tower flats. We also caught a half dozen Spanish mackerel using Rapala X-Raps. Wednesday morning it was raining, so no fishing.

 

Gino Picciano from Montreal, Canada, his brother Bruno, and son Matt had a decent morning on Thursday. Once again, it was breezy, and they wanted enough for dinner, so we concentrated on docks and stucture in big Pass using shrimp. Ten sheepshead, a pair of mangrove snapper, and a flounder went in the box. We spend a little time on the deep grass and caught ladyfish and speckled trout, including one 17″ trout, using jigs.

 

Brad Mueller and his friend Drew Johnson from Cincinnati, OH had a similar day on Friday. We put fat sheepies in the box, including a nice fish pushing 4 pounds. We fished up with ladyfish, small trout, and several small, but legal mackerel using Glow Gulp! Shrimp.

 

Rich Ruis from Ann arbor, MI, his son Tom, and a couple of friends had another day like those earlier in the week. We hit the docks early, caught some sheepies, then fished the deep flats and had steady action on speckled trout to 17″, a pair of 14″ silver trout, and ladyfish using jigs and live shrimp.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
March 16, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing the deep grass flats was very productive early in the week as a severe front was approaching. Fish are usually VERY active as they sense a big change in barometric pressure. The bite continued after the front passed, though we had to deal with cool, windy conditions. The deep flats near Big Pass were quite productive for anglers casting jigs and live shrimp this week. Pompano, speckled trout, silver trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, flounder, and ladyfish were caught on the deep grass this week. The sheepshead bite was on! I had several clients wanting enough fish for a meal. Fishing shrimp on the bottom near docks in Big Pass put enough sheepies in the box in short order. We also caught gag grouper, mangrove snapper, and flounder.

Pat Richardson from Indiana and his buddy Charlie Booth who lives in Homassassa, FL had a good morning of mixed-bag fishing on Sunday. Using Cotee jigs they caught ladyfish and a pompano in Big Pass. A move to the flats in the Yacht Club Channel resulted in more ladyfish and a Spanish mackerel on jigs. I saw some macks jumping so I switched to Rapala X-Raps and we put several more in the boat. We finished up at Marker #5 as the wind picked up catching ladyfish and speckled trout.

Action was virtually non-stop for Steve Cook and his son Drew and Drew’s buddy Phil who were in town from Canada. A front was approaching and it was blowing hard out of the south. Casting gold Cotee jigs and Glow Gulp! Shrimp at Marker #5, Marina Jacks, and the Radio Tower produced plenty of big ladyfish, along with speckled trout to 16″, a couple of keeper flounder, and a 2 lb Spanish mackerel. Tuesday was a no-go as it rained early then blew 20+ knots in the afternoon.

Joe Walsh from Dayton, OH and a couple of friends did well on Wednesday despite breezy conditions. The boys wanted enough fish for a meal, so I headed into Big Pass in search of pompano and mackerel. It was a bit too windy and no bites, so I moved into the Yacht Club Channel where they caught ladyfish and short trout using jigs. We then hit some docks along Bird Key where they put a half dozen sheepshead and a mangrove snapper in the box using live shrimp. We finished up with a hot bite near Marina Jacks, catching big ladyfish, small trout, and a Spanish mackerel using Cotee jigs and Gulp! Shrimp.

John and Amy Lorenz from St Paul, MN took out their two boys Mitch (10) and Nick (10) out on Thursday. It was cool and very windy, so we left CB’s at 11:00 in the morning. A stop at the Field Club flat produced several ladyfish. The wind eased up and we made a couple of long drifts at the Marina Jack flat, catching speckled trout (one keeper), ladyfish, and a nice bluefish. They wanted a couple more fish for dinner, so we hit a dock on Bird Key and quickly put 4 sheepshead in the cooler, and released several more along with 4 flounder. All the fish were caught using shrimp.

Tim Sledz and his father Bill from CT caught speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and a pair of big silver trout casting gold Cotee jigs and Gulp! Shrimp on the flats near Big Pass on Friday.

Bob Siemering, his son John, and a couple of friends did very well on Saturday. We started off in Big Pass at dead low tide; no bites. As the tide started moving, we caught ladyfish, speckled trout, and a nice silver trout and a Spanish mackerel near Otter Key. The boys needed enough fish for dinner and the sheepshead were chewing! They put 6 keepers in the box in 15 minutes. We finished up with steady action at Marker #5 and Marina Jacks, catching ladyfish and trout on jigs and shrimp.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
March 9, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

The weather has been unseasonably cool and breezy in March after a fantastic January and February. Water temperatures are in the upper 50′s where they should be in the low 70″s. Still, action on the deep grass flats has been very good! Loads of decent sized ladyfish kept rods bent and anglers bust with speckled trout, silver trout, and Spanish mackerel sprinkled in. Fly fishermen scored using bright Clousers while anglers using spinning tackle did well with jigs and live shrimp. Docks and oyster bars produced snook, sheepshead, and large speckled trout for anglers using live shrimp.

 

On Monday Nathan Adams from Seattle, WA and his dad Mike went out to do some fishing. It was cool and breezy and Nate is a fly fisherman. Not great conditions, but Nate caught a dozen ladyfish on pink/white and chartreuse/white Clousers at the Radio Tower and Marker #5 flats. Mike pitched in with 20 or so trout and ladyfish using “New Penny” Gulp! Shrimp.

 

Janet and Rich Guelfi from Elmhurst, IL had a god trip on Tuesday. It was cool early, but warmed up quickly and was a beautiful morning. Free lined shrimp produced speckled trout to 16″, silver trout to 14″, and ladyfish at Marker #5. Janet caught a 21″ in the Yacht Club Channel along with smaller trout and more ladyfish. They kept 3 smaller slot trout for dinner and released the big girl to make babies.

 

It was blowing 30 knots on Wednesday, so no fishing. Jeff Bishop from Poland, OH went out on Thursday. We waited a bit for it to warm up and left CB’s at 10:30. With all the wind I expected to find the water on the flats near Big Pass to be dirty, but it wasn’t bad. Action was very good using Gulp! Shrimp and Cotee jigs. Most of the fish were ladyfish, but we also caught speckled trout and a nice Spanish mackerel. Jeff finished the trip with a 22″ trout off an oyster bar on a large live shrimp.

 

Long-time client Bill LaPierre from Massachusetts had a good trip on Friday. Ladyfish, speckled trout, and Spanish mackerel hit gold Cotee jigs at Marker #5 and in the Yacht Club Channel. We finished up working docks in Robert’s Bay and Bill caught a pair of 2 lb sheepshead and 5 snook to 24″ on live shrimp.

 

The bite was a bit slow on Saturday for fly fisherman Norm Robakiewicz from MI. He caught ladyfish and trout using pink/white Clousers near Big Pass.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
March 2, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

The deep grass flats throughout the area continue to provide good action on a variety of species. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, pompano, bluefish, ladyfish, and silver trout are hitting jigs and live shrimp in five to eight feet of water. Sheepshead fishing has been very good around structure in both passes. Live shrimp produced well for me. A cold front late in the week shut down fishing over the weekend. Action should resume as it warms up.

 

Bill Thiel from Naperville, IL took out a couple of friends early in the week. Bill had promised his wife enough fillets for a fish fry, so we targeted docks along Bird Key. The boys put eight sheepies in the box, making dinner a done deal. They also caught ladyfish in Big Pass and speckled trout near Marina Jacks. They finished up with several silver trout to add to the fish fry.

 

Later in the week Ray Moreland from Bannockburn, IL and his father-in-law Deke Brinkman, a Sarasota resident, went out on a charter. Ray likes the challenge of targeting larger fish, so we left early and worked the Intracoastal Waterway near Phillippi Creek with Rapalas. Other than a 16″ speckled trout, nothing was hapenning. We ran up to the Middlegrounds and caught a Spanish mackerel on a free lined shrimp and several ladyfish on gold Cotee jigs. The Radio Tower flat produced more ladyfish. We finished up in the Gran Canal on Siesta Key, trolling Rapala X-Raps and catching several jack crevelle to 6 pounds.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
February 23, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Once again, fishing was good in a variety of locations, using several different techniques. This week I did some live bait bottom fishing, casting lures on the flats, fly fishing, and a river snook trip. The most consistent action was found on the grass flats in five to seven feet of water near both passes. Jigs, flies, and live shrimp produced Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, pompano, buefish, and ladyfish. The flats south of Midnight Pass have plenty of ladyfish and some speckled trout scattered about. Bottom fishing with shrimp around docks and structure in both passes has been very productive for sheepshead, gag grouper, and mangrove snapper. A Myakka River trip resulted in a half dozen snook on Rapalas.

 

 

Keith Williams and his son Thomas from the UK fished with me on Monday. It was breezy and it was the day after a front, so we opted for an afternoon trip down south, in Osprey Bay. Action was steady on ladyfish with a few speckled trout and a flounder. Gold jigs out-fished live shrimp on this trip.

 

 

On Tuesday Brenda and Tom Van Dyne from Mayer, MN took their 12 year old girls Jaymes Marie and Sarah out on their first saltwater trip, and they did great! We started off catching ladyfish and trout near the Field Club, then moved to Marker # 5 and had steady action on ladyfish, speckled trout, and a Spanish mackerel. Tom caught his fish, including the mack, on a gold Cotee jig and the girls all free-lined live shrimp. Jaymes caught a nice 17″ trout. The breeze picked up so we worked docks along Bird Key and Sarah and Jaymes caught several nice sheepshead to 3 pounds. We finished up back at Marker #5 catching some big ladyfish.

 

 

Peg Heaslip from Osprey, FL had her son Ben and his friend Jeff in visiting from Canada, so she took them fishing. We started off catching trout and ladyfish at Marker #5. Peg loves sheepshead, so we hit some docks along Bird Key. Action was sporadic on grouper, snapper, and sheepshead; there was no tide or wind and it was just too still. I made a move to Big Pass in search of deeper water and hopefully a little tide. The move paid off as we finished up with a flurry with a dozen sheepshead to 3 pounds and several decent bluefish.

 

 

Ryan Medford from Brinkley, AR experienced steady action at the Middlegrounds, Country Club Shores, and the Moorings on Thursday. The dolphins kept chasing us off of spots, but each time we moved the “catching” resumed quickly. Gulp! Shrimp, Trigger-X Shrimp, and Cotee jigs were all productive, fooling Spanish mackerel, pompano, speckled trout, bluefish, and ladyfish.

 

 

Dan Vukmer from Columbus, OH spent the morning fly fishing on Friday. Action was steady at Marker #5, the Yacht Club Channel, and the Radio Tower flat. Dan caught a couple dozen fish including speckled trout, ladyfish, and a nice Spanish mackerel. He also got cut off several times and had numerous fish on. Clousers in white and chartruese/white did well. Dan read about guys catching trout in Florida on a “Grey Fred”, which is a variation on a Wooly Bugger, and darn if he didn’t catch the mackerel on it! The last hour was tough as the wind really cranked up and it was difficult to find any protection.

 

 

Bill LaPierre from Massachusetts wanted to try the Myakka River on Saurday. Action was fair, we landed 6 snook, lost a couple, and missed a couple. The water temperature in the river is 72 degrees, which is a bit high for this time of year.

 

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
February 16, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Charters this week were an even mix of structure and deep grass fishing. Docks throughout the area were reliable for sheepshead, snapper, grouper, and flounder. This is primarily bottom fishing with live shrimp. Deep flats produced Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, silver trout, flounder, sea bass, bluefish, sea bass, and plenty of ladyfish. The Middlegrounds and Marker #5 were the best spots. Gold Cotee jigs, glow Gulp! Shrimp, Rapala X-Raps, and live shrimp were productive. We also caught a snook, a black drum, and a permit. Nice week for variety!

 

 

Richard Fletcher from Minnesota invited his brother Tom who lives in Riverview, FL to go fishing with him on Monday. They wanted to focus primarily on “eating” fish, so we worked docks and structure in Big Pass and along Bird Key using live shrimp. Action was steady on Sheepshead to 3 pounds, mangrove snapper to 12″, and gag grouper. The largest grouper landed was 16″ but they got freight-trained a couple of times on fish they just could not handle on light spinning tackle.

 

 

Andy Singerling and his friend David Spies from PA had a good day of mixed-bag fishing on Tuesday. We started off hitting New Pass on the last hour of the outgoing tide. Unfortunately, the wind was the opposite direction and the drift was bad. So, we trolled Rapala X-Raps and caught a half dozen bluefish and a couple of Spanish mackerel. After the tide turned, we made a move to the Middlegrounds where Andy used a gold Cotee jig and David drifted a live shrimp. The result was speckled trout, flounder, mackerel, and ladyfish. Andy wanted a sheepshead for dinner, so we finished up working docks along Longboat Key and caught 2 keeper sheepies and a flounder. Fun day and a nice box of fish! Wednesday was foggy and windy, no fishing for me.

 

 

John Belicka from Woodstock, GA treated his brother Tim and father Bruce to a trip on Thursday. The weather was threatening, but first thing in the morning it was calm, so we made the run up to the Middlegrounds. Bruce caught a nice Spanish mackerel on a free lined shrimp on his first cast. John and Tim caught macks, bluefish, ladyfish, sea bass, and sail cats on Cotee jigs. The wind picked up so we started working back, stopping at some docks on Bird Key. Gag grouper, sheepshead, and mangrove snapper bit steadily. We finished up with a small snook near Phillippi Creek.

 

 

Bill Thiel from Naperville, IL fished with me on Friday. A front moved through the night before and we waited until 9:00 a.m. for the rain to clear through. Action was fair, though we did catch a lot of different species. A black drum hit a shrimp in Phillippi creek, sheepshead, snapper to 12″, and gag grouper were caught under Bird Key docks, ladyfish, speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, and a small permit took jigs and shrimp on the flats near bird Key.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
February 9, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was good during the first part of this week then slowed a bit after the front passed. John Lovely has “fish of the week” honors with a big snook he caught on Monday using a small live shrimp. The Middlegrounds, Country Club Shores, Marker # 5, and the Field Club were all reliable spots for mackerel, trout, bluefish, and ladyfish. Gold Cotee jigs produced a lot of fish, as did flies, Gulp!, and live shrimp. Creeks and canals are holding snook, snapper, drum, sheepshead, trout, and flounder.

 

On Monday afternoon John Lovely and Jay Lalley, both from Chicago, IL went out fishing. The charter went from decent to fantastic on the last cast as John hooked and landed a 38″ snook on a live shrimp and 10 lb spinning tackle. The fish almost got back in the mangroves but somehow John turned it and brought it to the boat for a quick photo. Earlier they had sporadic action on bluefish, ladyfish, and Spanish mackerel using live shrimp at the Middlegrounds, Yacht Club Channel, and Field Club flat.

 

Earl Sharmon and Larry Mothershead from Wisconsin fished a 6 hour trip on Tuesday. We left the dock at 8:00 a.m. and since there was very little wind and tide I decided to give New Pass a try. Action was steady on Spanish mackerel and bluefish using gold cotee jigs. Action slowed after a couple of hours so we moved inside to the Middlegrounds and caught speckled trout to 17″, ladyfish, mackerel, and a remora on jigs and Gulp! Shrimp. After a lunch break we worked some canals on Longboat Key and caught a pair of flounder to 15″, several more trout, and lost a decent redfish using Gulp! Shrimp.

 

Ben Ciliberto from Philadelphia, PA did some fly fishing on Wednesday. We did not catch a ton of fish, but action was steady on Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and speckled trout. Chartreuse Clousers caught fish at the Middlegrounds, Marker #5, Bird Key, and Field Club.

 

Jim Mitchell and his brother John from Minneapolis, MN had a great day on Thursday. We started off catching fish on every cast using Cotee jigs at the Middlegrounds and Country Club Shores. Most were ladyfish, but there were a few speckled trout and jack crevelle mixed in. We moved to the Bird Key flats and caught silver trout, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, whiting, and ladyfish free-lining live shrimp. The wind kicked up so we found some protection from the breeze in canals on Siesta Key catching mangrove snapper to 12″ and sheepshad to 2 pounds on shrimp.

 

Friday morning found me on the Myakka River with Mike Christman from Wisconson. A front had just passed and we were greeted with blue-bird skies and the snook were a bit fussy. We caught a few and missed one nice one. Still, great scenery and company make it a fun trip.

 

Gil Fitzgerald from Chicago and his buddy Mike fished with me on Saturday morning. A stiff northeast breeze and dirty water made for tough fishing. We worked hard for a pair of bluefish, several speckled trout, a Spanish mackerel, and some ladyfish using jigs, Gulp!, and live shrimp. The Field Club flat was the best spot.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
February 2, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Winter reared it’s head this week, hopefully for the last time. Before the front, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and pompano were hitting on the deep flats. Sheepshead, gag grouper, and mangrove snapper are hiding under docks near the passes. Snook and redfish were available in the Siesta Key canals. Bluegill bit very good in Upper Myakka Lake. Snook are still taking Rapala X-Raps in the lower portion of the river. It was blowing 30 knots on Wednesday, then cool and breezy on Thursday and Friday. By Saturday the front had cleared and it was nice enough to fish. There was some dirty water near the passes but the flats further north were nice.

 

I started the week off fishing Dave Buckley and his cousin Jerry Buckley from Gettysburg, PA. We decided to work bars and canals in Robert’s Bay to see what we could catch. Using live shrimp, they landed redfish to 21″, sheepshead, snapper, and jack crevelle. Casting and trolling Rapala X-Raps resulted in snook, jacks, and ladyfish.

 

On Monday Jonathon Smith from Indianapolis, IN treated his two boys Sawyer (3) and Sullivan (5) and father-in-law Terry Hamilton to a fishing trip. It was the boys first “real” trip, and they did great! Free lining shrimp in the Intracoastal waterway just south of Siesta Drive resulted in big ladyfish and a pair of catfish. A move to the Bird Key flats produced speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and a pompano. We finished up working a couple of docks and caught gag grouper, mangrove snapper, and sheepshead.

 

I fished Upper Myakka Lake on Tuesday and massacred the bream (pronounced “brim”, it is Southern for bluegill and other panfish). Live wigglers and black Beetlespins caught all the fish. we also caught a 16″ largemouth bass. A severe weather front moved through and Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were quite breezy, so no fishing for me.

 

Peg Heaslip from Osprey, FL treated her sister Jeannie Musial and brother Jeff Courtright to a trip on Satursday. The water was cool and a bit off-color. Fishing was steady, and although we did not catch a lot of fish, they ended up with 5 nice sheepshead to 5 lbs, a mangrove snapper and a flounder in the box for dinner along with catch and release action on ladyfish, speckled trout, jack crevelle, and a small redfish. Most of the fish were caught near Bird Key and in Robert’s Bay on live shrimp.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
January 26, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Another week of good, and diverse fishing in Sarasota! I started off in the Myakka River catching several snook near 30″ and a bunch of smaller ones from 18″ to 25″ on gold Rapala X-Raps and Husky Jerks with my wife Christine. Monday was a bit breezy as a front was approaching but ladyfish bit good in Robert’s Bay and near Midnight Pass. Tuesday and Wednesday were cool and breezy, no fishing or me. I finished up the week doing well at the Middlegrounds, Helicopter Shoal, and Buttonwood catching nice Spanish mackerel and keeper trout. Shrimp, Cotee jigs, Gulp!, and Rapalas all caught fish this week.

 

The week started off good fishing the Myakka River on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. I took a day off and my wife Christine and I fished and camped on the river. Snook to 30″ hit Rapala X-Raps and Husky Jerks, gold was the best color. Chris also caught a decent bass and I missed another.

 

On Monday Tim Wilhelm from Ann Arbor, MI took out his son Zach, daughter Georgia, and nephew Leo out. It was a bit breezy but they caught a bunch of ladyfish in Robert’s Bay and the flats near Midnight Pass free lining live shrimp and casting gold Cotee jigs. They also caught sheepshead and mangrove snapper in Phillippi Creek.

 

Dave Buckley and his cousin Jerry from Gettysburg, PA fished with me later this week. On Thursday we went north from Centennial Park, hitting the Middlegrounds, Moorings, Bishop’s Pt, and Helicopter Shoal. Action was steady on speckled trout to 18″, big ladyfish, a flounder, and a nice Spanish mackerel landed and a couple more that bit us off. Gold Cotee jigs and Glow Gulp! Shrimp on 3/8 ounce jig heads fooled them.

 

On Friday Greg Pratt, his wife Patty and their friends Kristi and Chuck Barton, all from Middletown, OH had a good day fishing the flats in north Sarasota Bay. Things started off a bit slow with a few small trout and a couple of ladyfish at the Middlegrounds and Moorings. It was slick calm and there was no drift at all. We worked our way north and got into some good action off of Buttonwood Harbor. 4 Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds and 3 slot trout went in the box. They also caught small trout, ladyfish, and a bluefish. Trolled Rapalas, Cotee jigs, Gulp! Shrimp and live shrimp all produced. Great fun and a nice mess of fish for dinner!

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
January 19, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

All of the fishing I did this week was in then Myakka River near Venice, Fl. This time of year the snook are up in the brackish portion of the river. Even though it has been unseasonably warm to this point, the fish still make their winter run up the creeks and rivers. This is a unique angling experience that offers visitors the opportunity to see the true “old Florida”. The scenery is spectacular and it is very peaceful. Anglers will not catch a lot of fish but usually catch some quality fish. Most trips yield a 30″ fish. Small tarpon and largemouth bass are also frequently caught.

 

Early in the week Andrew Berryhill from upstate NY and his friend Mark Monson from Mn had a decent morning. The bite was early then tapered off as it got sunny. Mark landed a nice 32″ snook on a Firetiger Rapala X-Rap while Andrew got 2 “Myakka Slams”, snook, bass, and tarpon. The tarpon are small, but fun.

 

Later in the week Cb’s Saltwater Outfitters owner Aledia Tush and long-time manager Doug Forde went out with me. The bite was more steady with the fish eating throughout the morning. The tide was still trickling in at first light then turned to go out and this kept the action going. Doug had the largest fish, around 28″, while Aledia caught the most. We had fifteen or so on and landed nine or ten. All of the snook hit gold/black X-Raps.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
January 12, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Is it January or June? The weather has been fantastic so far in 2013! Mid day temperatures were around 80 degrees with lows in the mid 60s and no rail. Fish are thick on the deep flats near the passes. Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, silver trout, flounder, ladyfish, bluefish, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, black drum, sheepshead, and sea bass were all caught by clients on trips this week. River fishing resulted in snook, largemouth bass, and gar using Rapala X-Raps.

 

Renee and Chris Boisen along with their freind Teri Bumphrey from Orion, IL had a good day early in the week. The tide was still going out in the morning, so we made several drifts in the Intracoastal Waterway and caught a grouper and a few ladyfish using Cotee jigs. We moved to Big Pass where Chris caught a nice Spanish mackerel on a Gulp! Shrimp. The breeze picked up making jigging difficult, so we anchored up on deep grass edges near Bird Key and free lined live shrimp to fool speckled trout to 19″, flounder, ladyfish, and sea bass. They finished up with 4 keeper trout and the mackerel, plenty for a meal or two.

 

Ryan Kraehling and Rob Maciag from Ontario experienced good action on Thursday. Fishing near Siesta Drive on the outgoing tide resulted in fast action on big ladyfish with a couple of Spanish mackerel and bluefish mixed in. After the tide changed we did well on speckled trout on the Bird Key flats.

 

Long time client and winter resident Peggy Heaslip and her brother-in-law Paul Turner from Vancouver, British Colombia.ad a great trip on Friday! We started off catching a few ladyfish in the Intracoastal waterway near Siesta Drive. We hit a dock on bird Key and caught several gag grouper, a 14″ mangrove snapper, a flounder, and Peg got smoked by something big; probably a nice grouper. A move to the deep grass near Bird Key resulted in Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds, speckled trout to 24″, and tons of ladyfish. Action was non-stop! We finished up working a canal in Roberts Bay and caught several more snapper to 12″, along with sheepshead and black drum. All of the fish were caught on live shrimp.

 

Saturday morning found me fishing the Myakka River. Fishing was fair, July Allen and Jennifer Vogel, both from Tampa, teamed up for a dozen snook, a bass, and a gar. All of the fish were caught on Rapala X-Raps.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
January 5, 2013
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Sunday morning was cold and windy and Monday morning a bit chilly, but the weather the rest of the week was fantastic. And so was the fishing! Big ladyfish kept rods bent and anglers very busy. Other species landed on charters this week include snook, speckled trout, silver trout, pompano, flounder, sea bass, gag grouper, jack crevelle, and bluefish. Cotee jigs, Rapala X-Raps, Gulp! Shrimp and live shrimp were used this week. The deep flats near both passes were the best spots.

On Monday morning Jack Plym and his 8 year old son Charlie from New York City caught speckled trout to 20″ and big ladyfish free lining shrimp in the channels and deep grass edges near Bird Key. Numbers were not great but there were some quality fish. On Monday after noon John Brennan from Brookfield, WI took his three teenage daughters Laura, Cari, and Teresa out fishing. We basically spent the trip at the middlegrounds catching slot trout, plenty of ladyfish, a 3 pound Spanish mackerel and Laura topped off the trip with a nice pompano. Most of the fish hit shrimp but John used gold Cotee jigs and Gulp! Shrimp. Laura caught the mack trolling a Rapala X-Rap. Great trip on a beautiful afternoon, what better way to close out the year!

 

Tuesday morning Lou Hassan started the year off right; by going fishing! She took her 2 sons Dean (17) and Grant (12) out on Tuesday morning. We started off at Marker #5 catching a speckled trout, jack crevelle, and a couple of ladyfish. We moved to the middlegrounds and spent the rest of the trip there catching big ladyfish, black sea bass to 13″, and a pompano on gold Cotee jigs. Lou also caught a 2 lb Spanish mackerel on a trolled Rapala.

 

Steve Laliberte, his son Dave, and son-in-law Alex caught Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, black sea bass, and loads of ladyfish at the middlegrounds, Country Club shores, and the Moorings using Cotee jigs and Gulp! Shrimp on Wednesday. Alex had “big fish” honors with a 3 1/2 lb mack.

 

Pat Cotter, a city boy from Chicago, had never caught a fish in his life. We took care of that on Thursday. Pat, his wife Amy and son Finn experienced very good action at several spots. We started in the Intracoastal near Siesta Drive where they caught big ladyfish and Amy landed a nice Spanish mackerel and a 20″ gag grouper on the falling tide. A move to Big Pass did not produce much but the tide turned to come in and the “catching” resumed. Free lining shrimp at he Bird Key flats resulted in speckled trout, silver trout, flounder, a mackerel, sea bass, and ladyfish. We finished up with a big ladyfish flurry, action was non-stop. They got tired of reeling them in and called it a day a bit early.

 

I got a last minute cal from CB’s to run an afternoon trip on Friday. Ryan Moffitt from Burlington, NC needed to get out and do a little fishing. We started off at the Field Club flat catching ladyfish on nearly every cast using Cotee jigs. After enough of the ladies, we went after something a bit more challenging. Ryan fished Phillippi Creek hard with Rapalas and while there wasn’t a ton of action, Ryan landed his first snook and a pair of nice jack crevelle.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
December 29, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Mother Nature kept us on our toes this week. Conditions were constantly changing and several trips had to be canceled, but it is winter after all. The trips I did run were fairly productive on a variety of species including Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, flounder, black drum, sheepshead, mangrove snapper, and bluefish. Jigs, Rapalas, and live shrimp all caught fish this week.

On Monday Jim Lebow from Kansas City, MO took out his sons Derek and J.D. and J.D.s wife Amanda. Action was steady at Marker # 5 and the Yacht Club Channel using gold Cotee jigs and Gulp! Shrimp. They caught between 40 and 50 fish, and lost about as many. Most of them were large ladyfish, but J.D. and Amanda both caught several speckled trout and each caught a Spanish mackerel. Amanda landed a 1 1/2 lb mack on a Rapala and J.D. caught the biggest fish, a 3 lb mackerel on a jig. Fun morning with great people!

Tuesday was Christmas and Wednesday it blew 25-30 knots, so no fishing. Thursday morning Darrell Williams from Siesta Key took out his son in law Thomas Miles and his grandson Ryan Miles who were visiting from CT. Action was good on the deep flats near Bird Key for big ladyfish, speckled trout, and flounder. Free lined shrimp worked best. We hit a dock on Siesta and caught a black drum and missed a couple more fish. We finished up in Phillippi Creek where Ryan caught a redfish and a decent sheepshead wile Tom and Darrell caught a few mangrove snapper. Thursday afternoon was bit slow for Craig Stechman and his son Graham. Craig lost a pompano on the second cast and it was just picking at ladyfish after that. The best spot was Marker # 21 near Nokomis.

Jeff and Maria Manby from Brookfield, WI and their 3 daughters went out on Friday. It was chilly in the morning, so we went from ten till two. Fishing was steady with close to 50 fish being landed and a bunch more lost. It was about an even mix of speckled trout and ladyfish with a nice flounder mixed in. Maria caught a huge ladyfish and they ended up with trout and a flounder in the box for dinner. All of the fish hit free lined shrimp and the Moorings was the best spot. Saturday was a rain-out.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
December 22, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was very good once again this week in both fresh and salt water before a severe front shut things down on Friday. Grass flats throughout the area held pompano, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, bluefish, sea bass, and a lot of decent sized ladyfish. Marker #5, Radio Tower, middlegrounds, and flats further south near Midnight pass were all productive this week. Gold Cotee jigs caught most of the fish, along with a few on Gulp! Shrimp and Rapala X-Raps. Oyster bars and docks in the same area are producing sheepshead to 3 pounds, redfish, and black drum.

Myakka River trips continue to be extremely productive. This week we caught snook, bass, tarpon (yes, tarpon), tilapia, and bream using Rapalas and black spinnerbaits. The cold front should push more snook up into the river.

Ladyfish, speckled trout, and pompano are scattered throughout the area from north Sarasota Bay to Blackburn Pt. Jigs have been productive and allow anglers to cover a lot of water. The key is to keep moving until action is found, then concentrate on that flat. Gold and chartreuse Cotte jigs worked well for me.

Dave Vins and his 18 year old son had a busy morning on Thursday. The bite was good at Marker #5 until several dolphin moved in and shut it own. We picked at them in Big Pass, the Yacht Club Channel, and the Radio Tower, catching trout, sea bass, ladyfish, and bluefish on gold Cotee jigs. A move to New Pass resulted in Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and big ladyfish. The wind cranked up so we finished up with a ladyfish flurry are Marker #5.

John Brennan from Brookfield, WI and his 3 girls Laura, Cari, and teresa went out on Saturday. We went in the afternoon to let it warm up a bit. We did not catch a lot in terms of numbers, but did get a lot of variety and a nice bag of filets for dinner. Fishing bars near Stickney Pt with live shrimp resulted in 5 keeper sheepies, a half dozen “shorts”, 2 redfish to 20″, and a 15″ black drum. We moved to the flats just south of Point Crisp and caught ladyfish, trout, and a Spanish mackerel on jigs and live shrimp.

On Tuesday I ran way up the Myakka River and the 18″ snook could not resist a tiny black Beetlespin. This is my “go to” lure for bluegill, but a couple dozen snook, four bass, a big tilapia and a pair of small tarpon could not resist them. Even a small snook or tarpon is a handful on ultra light spinning tackle. I trolled a Rapala on the way home and caught several more snook.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
December 15, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

This week really illustrated the diverse fishing opportunities that Sarasota offers! On Monday we fished Sarasota Bay and did well on Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, and ladyfish free lining live shrimp. On Wednesday I caught crappie, largemouth bass, and bream in Upper Myakka Lake using black Beetlespins. On Thursday I fished the tidal portion of the Myakka and caught a bunch of snook to 28″ and a pair of chunky bass tossing Rapala X-Raps. Back in the bay on Saturday catching pompano, sheepshead, trout, ladyfish, and redfish.

Bonnie and Dan Czepiel caught Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, speckled trout to 16″, and big ladyfish at Marker #5, the Bird Key flats, and the Radio Tower flat using live shrimp and gold Cotee jigs on Monday morning before the wind and rain chased us home.

I fished Upper Myakka Lake on Wednesday and the tidal potion of the river Thursday. Crappie, bream, and bass hit Beetlespins in the lake. The snook bite was fantastic on Thursday morning! Snook to 28″ hit gold/black Rapala X-Raps, along with a pair of 2 pound largemouth. This winter snook fishing is just getting cranked up and will go into March.

Tommy Hyser from Cambridge, MD fished with me on Saturday and the fish bit pretty good. Speckled trout and ladyfish were plentiful at the Radio Tower flat and Marker #5. We also caught a decent pompano and a pair of flounder. All the fish came on gold Cotee jigs. A run to New Pass resulted in more ladyfish and a couple of mackerel on jigs and Rapalas. We picked up some shrimp and hit a couple of canals in Robert’s Bay and landed several nice sheepshead and a couple of small redfish.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
December 8, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

The weather was warm and mild this week and fishing was good with a variety of species being caught. Snook, redfish, speckled trout, bluefish, flounder, snapper, and ladyfish were caught this week on charters. The deep flats near both Big Pass and New Pass are holding trout, mackerel, bluefish, flounder, and ladyfish. Jigs and live shrimp worked the best. Creeks and canals are holding snook, redfish, and sheepshead.

Trips to the Myakka River resulted in snook, gar, and bluegill using Rapalas and Beetlespins. Tim Palmer, an associate at CB’s, tried his hand at fly fishing on Tuesday. It was pretty slow, the tide was just not moving and the unseasonably warm weather has the water temperature a bit too high. One good cold snap should get them going.

Sarasota resident Dan Gallagher had his son Colm in from San Diego and they decided to go fishing. Action was steady with four very nice Spanish mackerel, speckled trout to 16″, and a flounder going home for dinner. It was very foggy in the morning so we started off in Phillippi Creek where Colm caught a snapper and a redfish on live shrimp and they had on a couple of sheepshead that escaped. The tide quit so we moved to the flats at Marker #5 where Colm caught several ladyfish and got cut off by a bluefish and Dan put a keeper flounder in the box. Both were using gold Cotee jigs. The dolphins moved in and shut down the fishing so we moved to the deep flats near Bird Key where they caught Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds, speckled trout to 16″, and ladyfish free lining shrimp.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer

December 1, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was good this week on the deep grass flats near both passes this week. Speckled trout, mackerel, bluefish, pompano, sea bass, flounder, and ladyfish were caught this week. Pompano are showing up in Big Pass. Tripletail are being caught in the Gulf of Mexico in 30 feet of water. Snook are hitting Rapalas and other plugs in creeks, canals, and rivers.

Josh Koritz from St Louis, MO and his 19 year old son Alex started the week off in fine fashion. We left Ken Thompson Park and ran out to New Pass where there had been a bunch on Spanish mackerel. I was surprised to find a big swell and it was pretty “sporty”. We put a half diozen Spanish in the box using gold Cotee jigs and Rapala X-Raps then decided it was just too rough. As I idled to the Middlegrounds I noticed some bait “dimpling” on the surface. A couple of tosses of the net resulted in a vwell full of VERY nice pilchards. It was slick calm and the free lined live bait produced some exciting bites, sometimes chasing the pilchards completely out of the water and eating them in mid air! They caught 15 or so macks to 3 pounds and several trout and ladyfish. The tide quit and the bite slowed so we ran to a flat near Bird Key and Josh caught a 20″ speckled trout and they both landed snaller trout and ladyfish.

I spent a few hours in the Myakka River inside the state park on Tuesday. My target was bream but the river was ate up with tilapia! They are an invasive species and anglers are required by law to remove them. The good news is that they are fabulous eating with snow white tender filets. I put 8 fat ones in the coller using live worms, great fun on 4 lb test. I also caught shellcracker, bluegill, and brown bullhead.

I fished the tidal portion of the Myakka River later in the week. Cooler temperatures have resulted in snook migrating up the river. These fish are pretty active and will eat plugs and jigs. 30″ snook are caught often and fish to 40″ are not uncommon.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
November 24, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was very good this Thanksgiving week. Early in the week ladyfish were everywhere then thinned out as the water cooled off. Spanish mackerel and bluefish bit good later in the week. Species count for the week was speckled trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, bluefish to 3 pounds, black sea bass, flounder, gag grouper, ladyfish, sailcats, and a small permit. Gold Cotee jigs, Gulp! Shrimp, Rapalas, and live bait caught the fish. Best spots were the passes and nearby flats.

On Monday long time client and friend Tom Hyser from Cambridge, MD had a good day on a variety of species including speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, black sea bass, flounder, gag grouper, and ladyfish using gold Cotee jigs, Gulp! Shrimp, and pilchards. We started off at the Radio Tower catching sea bass and ladyfish, then moved to New Pass where ladyfish were thick with some Spanish mackerel mixed in. We took a ride out in the Gulf in search of breaking fish but there wasn’t much going on so we came in Big Pass and caught more ladyfish. A move to the deep flats and free lining pilchards resulted in flounder to 16″, trout, mackerel, and ladyfish.

Sandy and Bruce Borders from Indianapolis, IN caught a TON of big ladyfish at Marker #5, the Yacht Club Channel, and Big Pass using glow Gulp! Shrimp on Tuesday. They also caught several speckled trout, two big sailcats, flounder, and sea bass.

Gina and Jason Sroga and their two children Calvin (13) and Sadie (9) from Woodbury, MN had a terrific trip on Wednesday! Action was virtually non-stop all morning, I don’t think five minutes went by without a fish. Ladyfish were thick at the Middlegrounds and hit gold Cotee jigs and free-lined live shrimp. They also caught several speckled trout and bluefish. Jason really wanted a few fish for dinner so we left them biting and went to the Radio Tower where a nice sea bass and a 17″ trout were put in the box. I hit one more trout spot on the way in near Bird Key and they caught four more slot trout on live shrimp. A ton of fish were caught and so was dinner!

Conditions were a little tough for Joe Segobiano and his son Lucas from St. Charles, IL on Thursday. It was blowing hard out of the north at first light and we tried fishing the middlegrounds, it was just too rough. Several drifts at the Radio Tower resulted in two sea bass in the cooler and several ladyfish releases using Gulp! Shrimp. A move to the deep flats near Big Pass and switching to live shrimp got us out of the wind and action was steady on speckled trout, ladyfish, and a nice Spanish mackerel. We finished up in Big Pass with some big ladyfish.

Jeff Wilson and his son Glenn (12) from Wilmington, NC and Scott Tilton from Minneapolis, MN got into a hot Spanish mackerel bite in New Pass on Friday morning. We started off at the Middlegrounds catching sea bass, ladyfish, and bluefish on gold Cotee jigs, but action was sporadic. We moved to New Pass and trolled Rapala X-Raps to locate the macks, then killed the engine and drifted back through the fish casting plugs and jigs. X-Raps accounted for exciting strikes and most of the fish. We finished up at Marker #5 and Big Pass catching bluefish, ladyfish, and a small permit on jigs

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
November 17, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was VERY good this week as the weather settled into a predictable pattern of light northeast winds. Both passes and the nearby deep grass flats provided good action on Spanish mackerel and bluefish to 4 pounds, black sea bass, pompano, speckled trout (mostly small) and loads of BIG ladyfish. Gold Cotee jigs, #8 Rapala X-Raps, and flies were the most productive baits on my charters. Early in the week the inshore Gulf of Mexico was one giant school of mackerel, but later in the week they did not show as well. Still, action was found blind casting in the passes and working the artificial reefs off of Lido Key. We spent a little time on the false albacore but found them to be fussy.

I had a great trip on Monday morning with long time client Dr. Francis Sacco from San Martin, CA. We idled out of the ramp at Ken Thompson Park to find a bunch of breaking fish. They turned out to be ladyfish, so after catching a few on Cotee jigs we moved into New Pass. Once again, fish were busting all over the place. Francis caught several Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds on a Rapala X-Rap then switched to the fly rod and caught a dozen more on various flies. We moved out to the inshore Gulf and mackerel and birds were everywhere. We caught several mackerel while trying to hook a false albacore. We got on a nice bunch of albies but could not get them to bite. We came back in and finished up at the middlegrounds catching mackerel, big bluefish, and a mack on jigs.

Indiana boys R.H. Bennett, Evan Chastain, Jared Green and Ryan Kemp were down for Evan’s wedding and went out fishing on Wednesday. They did well on Spanish mackerel and ladyfish in New Pass using X-Raps and live shrimp. We put a dozen macks in the box for dinner and finished up at the Radio Tower catching big bluefish, ladyfish, trout, and a pompano on free lined shrimp. I got to keep the pomp for MY dinner!

Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek caught a bunch of ladyfish along with Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, black sea bass, speckled trout and bluefish on Cotee jigs and Gulp! Shrimp in New Pass and at the Radio Tower, Middlegrounds, and Stephen’s Pt. We also fished an inshore artificial reef and caught flounder and a 25″ gag grouper on the Gulp!

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
November 10, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing in the inshore Gulf of Mexico was very good early in the week before the front moved through. Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds were feeding near the beach. East winds are forecast for the upcoming week and hopefully this action will resume along with some big king mackerel and bonita. It was breezy on Wednesday and Thursday and fishing was fair on the east side of the bay and in the Yacht Club Channel. Speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, black sea bass, and ladyfish hit gold Cotee jigs and live shrimp.

Snook are starting to move up into the rivers and creeks and are being caught on Rapalas and soft plastic baits. The water level in the Myakka River is perfect in both the tidal portion and the stretch in the state park. I offer a unique angling experience for these gamefish in the cooler months. It is a “quality over quantity” deal, but every trip gives anglers the opportunity to land a trophy fish, and the scenery is spectacular! On Saturday afternoon I did a little scouting and landed a snook estimated at ten pounds. Snook and bass are biting in the lower section and bluegill, bass, and catfish are available up-river.

Bob Stack and treated his father-in-law and brother-in-law to a trip on Friday afternoon. We fished Stephen’s Pt, Bishop’s Pt., and the Moorings and although we did not catch a lot of fish, they landed some quality fish. Spanish mackerel to nearly 4 pounds, keeper speckled trout, and big ladyfish hit live shrimp, pilchards, and Gulp! Shrimp.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
November 3, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

I was on vacation at Lake Louisa State Park early in the week. It was still breezy from Sandy, but we had fun and found a protected spot, the Crooked River, which connects two lakes and caught a few bream and catfish. It is a neat place with nice cabins only two hours from Sarasota. Later in the week as the winds subsided I got out both freshwater and saltwater fishing. The water in Sarasota Bay has a little color from the wind but really isn’t too bad. Speckled trout are plentiful on the deep flats though a lot of them are small, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel are also on the flats and in the passes. Redfish and snook are scattered throughout the area along mangrove shorelines and on oyster bars. Action on the beach should pick up as soon as the Gulf of Mexico settles down. The cool snap has really kicked the freshwater fishing into gear. Bass, bream, and catfish are biting in the Myakka River and Upper Myakka Lake. The water level in the river is finally down and just about perfect. Black Beetlespins and worms worked the best.

Bill Skinner and his two bothers in law Scott Graf and Craig Graf, all from the Akron, OH area, caught a lot of fish on Thursday using Cotee jigs and Gulp! Shrimp. We started off on the deep flats in the Yacht Club Channel catching speckled trout, ladyfish, and sea bass. The tide was falling and almost at dead low, so I moved into Big Pass and they had great action on ladyfish in shallow water using gold Cotee jigs. The tide switched and we moved to the Radio Tower flat where “Molting” colored Gulp! Shrimp fooled flounder to 14″, speckled trout, ladyfish, a 2 lb Spanish mackerel, and a half dozen nice sea bass to 13″.

I fished the Myakka River inside the state park on Friday and did very well on big bluegills and shellcracker using worms and Beetlespins. We finished off the morning with a ten pound channel cat, great fun on 4 lb spinning tackle.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
October 26, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

High pressure and strong northeast winds resulted in fishing going from excellent to pretty good. I had one angler trips this week so the total numbers were down, but action was steady with quality fish and plenty of variety. The deep flats behind Bird Key in the Yacht Club Channel were very productive and a bit out of the wind. Speckled trout to 20″, silver trout to 14″, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, jacks, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, black sea bass, and more hit free lined live shrimp and pilchards along with glow Gulp! Shrimp. Snook, redfish, and jacks hit Rapala X-Raps and large live pilchards along mangrove shorelines in Robert’s Bay and in the canals on the east side of Siesta Key.

Charles Boyter from NJ caught snook and jack crevelle on Rapala X-Raps at first light near the mouth of Phillippi Creek on Monday. After that bite slowed, I caught bait and we fished several flats near Bird Key, catching silver trout, mackerel, a pair of 18″ speckled trout, jacks, grouper, snapper, sea bass, and ladyfish. We finished up with another couple of snook and jacks in Robert’s Bay on pilchards.

Terry Mark from Olean, NY had a good day on Tuesday. We started off catching speckled trout to 20″ and mangrove snapper to 14″ on hand-picked shrimp near Marker #5. I caught bait later in the morning and moved behind Bird Key as the wind began to crank up. It was protected and the fish bit good with Terry landing 10 or so nice Spanish, trout, jacks, silver trout, sea bass, snapper, and grouper. He ended up with 40 fish all together

On Thursday I targeted snook, reds and jacks using large pilchards along the mangrove shorelines in Robert’s Bay. The tally for the morning was 10 snook, mostly small but up to 22″, several mangrove snapper to 11″, a pair of 16″ speckled trout and a 21″ redfish.

My wife and I are going to Lake Louisa, near Orlando, for a little vacation. Hopefully we will get a bit of fishing in despite the breezy conditions.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
October 20, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing remained excellent in Sarasota Bay near Big Pass and in Robert’s Bay. Bait is plentiful and easy to catch, so I have been loading up and chumming with very good results. The deep flats near Big Pass continue to produce good numbers of Spanish mackerel, along with speckled trout, jack crevelle, bluefish, ladyfish, gag grouper, sea bass, mangrove snapper, and other species. The docks and mangrove shorelines in Robert’s Bay are producing increasing numbers of snook along with big jacks and redfish.

On Sunday morning Cody Miller and his girlfriend Jennifer Vogel from Tampa, FL went out to do a little spin and fly fishing. We started off ot Marker # 5 catching speckled trout, jacks, and ladyfish on live baitfish and jigs. We moved over to a flat near the Ringling Bridge and got into some Spanish mackerel to 2 1/2 pounds. The breeze picked up so we moved into the Yacht Club Channel and Cody caught a nice mackerel on a chartreuse/white Clouser and Jennifer caught several speckled trout using a white Crystal Minnow. We ran out on the beach but nothing was happening so we called it a morning.

Fly fisherman David Morgan from Chevy Chase MD went out with me on Monday morning. We started out catching ladyfish, jacks, and a bluefish on D.T. specials at Marker # 5. David wanted to try for snook, so we hit some bars and mangrove shorelines, but no luck. We fished up back catching ladyfish and then ran into a school of jacks on the way back in.

Kirk Horn and his dad Bob from Columbus, OH had a very good trip. I loaded up on bait and hit a deep edge near Bird Key. We basically caught fish steadily for 2 1/2 hours at that spot, landing Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, speckled trout to 16″, silver trout to 12″, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish on free lined bait. With a half hour to go, we decided to try for something else and fished a canal on the east side of Siesta Key. The move paid off with a snook, a pair of jacks to 5 pounds, and a 16″ flounder.

Diane and Gordon Skeel from Clinton, IL did very well on the flats near Bird Key. Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, speckled trout to 19″, jack crevelle, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish kept the rods bent using live pilchards. We decided to try for snook since I had some really big pilchards left in the well and it paid off. Diane caught a 22″ snook on her second cast and they both landed another half dozen along with a jack fishing in Robert’s Bay.

Sarasota resident Bonnie Czepiel and her brother Dan caught bluefish, spanish mackerel, speckled trout, jacks, snapper, and ladyfish at Marker #5 using free lined pilchards. Dan had a 5″ shark eat a bait right at the boat before it took off and cut the line.

Bill Schmidt and Ewell Eubanks from The Villiages in north Florida had a terrific trip. Bait was a little hard to get, and I did not get a lot, but it was enough. I anchored up near Bird Key and they caught 40 Spanish mackerel along with a few trout, ladyfish, jacks, and snapper. The macks ate just about every bait as soon as it hit the water. With an hour to go we decided to go snook fishing. Bill caught a red and a pair of snook to complete his “inshore slam” and Ewell caught several decent snook.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
October 13, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was excellent in both salt and fresh water this week. Action on the deep flats was outstanding for speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, two pound jacks, ladyfish, snapper, gag grouper, black sea bass, big sailcats, and other species. Snook, redfish, jacks, sheepshead and a gar were caught in Robert’s Bay. My wife Christine Klopfer and I went out to Myakka Lake on Sunday morning. Fishing was fair, we caught crappie, bluegill, and bullhead using black Beetlespins. For an hour or so we had a manatee following us and kept rubbing his back on the bottom of the boat. Then on Monday a client caught sheepshead on whitebait and a 4′ gar in Phillippi Creek. Strange. Bluegill action was very good later in the week using black Beetlespins and flies.

Dennis Dickenson and his friend Richard Leferink who was in town from Montana went out on Monday for a 6 hour trip. We started at at dawn in a light drizzle catching speckled trout to 17″ and ladyfish on Gulp! Shrimp under a cork on a shallow bar near Big Pass. Action slowed a bit and bait was thick so I tossed the net and loaded the well. For the next couple of hours the action was non-stop free lining live baitfish on the deep edge of a flat near Bird Key. A dozen Spanish mackerel (one was almost four pounds), a bunch of speckled trout, ladyfish, jack crevelle, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, and catfish kept the rods bent constantly. We decided to try for snook and reds, so I headed to Robert’s Bay. Action was fair, they landed several snook, one decent one around 25″. We finished up in Phillippi Creek catching sheepshead, snook, mangrove snapper to 12″, a big gar, and on the last cast Dennis caught a 20″ redfish to complete his “inshore slam” Great morning with a couple of great guys!

Keith Daniels, his son Jonathan and his Jon’s friend Seth Hounshell from Mentor, KY fished with me mid-week and did well using live baitfish on the deep flats near Big Pass and Bird Key. Speckled trout to 22″ and Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds went in the box, along with catch and release action on short trout, ladyfish, jacks, gag grouper, and snapper.

I was back out at Myakka Lake on Thursday and Friday; the bluegill bit like crazy! Black beetlespins produced a bunch of hand-sized ‘gills and small bass. CB’s Saltwater Outfitters associate Tim Palmer caught bluegill and his first largemouth bass flyfishing. They hit a #10 black Wooly Bugger.

On Saturday Bryce Wadsworth from Lehi, UT took out 3 of his kids Bridger (11), Coleman (15), and McKenzie (17). despite breezy conditions, the action was non-stop for several hours at Marker # 5. They caught trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, jacks, ladyfish, grouper, snapper, sea bass, and catfish free lining pilchards. The wind finally ran us off and we finished up on a bar in Robert’s Bay, where Coleman caught a trout and a small snook.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
October 6, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing continues to be good on the deep grass flats in Sarasota Bay, particularly near the passes. Bait is thick on the bars and shallow grass. Clients caught speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, jacks, snapper and more using flies and live bait fish. Spanish mackerel are out on the beach but the false albacore action has slowed. Snook, snapper, and jacks hit big pilchards in Robert’s Bay.

Nancy and Chuck Reynolds had a very good morning charter on Monday. We caught a couple of fish on Gulp! Shrimp but it really wasn’t going on, so I caught bait and we spent the next several hours catching a fish on almost every cast. Speckled trout to 21″, a couple dozen Spanish mackerel to 2 1/2 pounds, ladyfish, gag grouper, black sea bass, jack crevelle, mangrove snapper, silver trout, and catfish hit free lined pilchards and threadfins near the Ringling Bridge. We spent the last hour fishing docks and structure in Robert’s bay where Nancy caught her first snook and several mangrove snapper to 14″ while Chuck completed the “boat slam” with a small redfish and the largest fish of the day, and eight pound jack crevelle.

Dan Vukmere and his Wife Sheila from Pittsburg, PA did some fly fishing on Tuesday. It was breezy and the weather was questionable, but we decided to give it a try. We started off working a bar that was loaded with bait near Siesta Key. Dan caught a redfish and a couple of small trout on a chartreuse/white Clouser then hooked and landed a 23 1/2″ fat speckled trout! It was too windy to drift so we just moved from spot to spot and Dan caught Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, jack crevelle, snapper, and trout on a white D.T. Special and that same Clouser. We finished up in Phillippi Creek with a pair of 12″ snapper. Dan did all of the fishing while Sheila enjoyed the day on the water, in all he caught 40 to 50 fish on fly. Great morning!!

I had another great fly fishing trip later on in the week. David Morgan who lives in MD and has a house on Bird Key caught 30+ fish using a #4 white Crystal Minnow and a #1/0 D.T. Special style fly. We started by sitting it out as a squall moved through. We left his dock at 8:30 and the skies were still ominous looking. David caught speckled trout, jack crevelle, and ladyfish casting the Crystal Minnow into schools of bait on the edge of a bar near Siesta Key on the outgoing tide. A brief rain shower passed by and after that the skies were clear. The tide turned to come in and we moved to a grass flat near Bird Key and David caught a half dozen Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, more trout, ladyfish, mangrove snappers, and jacks on the D.T. Special.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
September 29, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing remains very good in Sarasota Bay near Big Pass on a variety of species. Speckled trout and Spanish mackerel lead the way with ladyfish, jacks, sea bass, sharks, snapper, and grouper also being caught using live and artificial bait. Snook are hitting Rapalas at first light on the bottom of the outgoing tide near Stickney Pt. Action on the beach slowed a bit as the water temperature rose but there are still a lot of mackerel and some false albacore near Point of Rocks. One good front should really kick it into gear! Freshwater fishing has been good in the lakes for bass, speckled perch (crappie), and bluegill.

On Sunday morning Phil Hubbell, Ivana Jardim, and her son Pedro Jardim from Clearwater, FL. had a good day of mixed-bag fishing in Sarasota Bay near Big Pass. We started off using Gulp! Shrimp under corks at first light on a shallow bar. Phil caught a 20″ trout and Ivana hooked a 3′ shark which cut her off at the boat. We also caught smaller trout and some ladyfish. It slowed a bit so I netted up some bait. Anchoring on the edges of grass flats near Bird Key resulted in trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel to 2 1/2 pounds, big sail cats, grouper, mangrove snapper, sea bass, and ladyfish. These clients had very little experience, but this kind of fishing is easy and anyone can catch a bunch of fish!

Warren Persky from Ft. Lauderdale, FL fished with me later in the week and had a great day! We started off catching a nice snook around 25″ on a Rapala X-Rap near the Stickney Pt Bridge first thing. Then, we moved up to the deep grass flats at Bird Key and free lined shrimp to catch speckled trout to 18″, ladyfish, and snapper. There was a bunch of bait on the surface so I netted up some and went to Marker # 5 to chum. I saw my buddy Capt Roy String there, and between us we had breaking fish as far as you could see! Warren caught trout, ladyfish, snapper, and sea bass on every cast until it was time to go home.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
September 22, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was very good on a variety of species this week using Rapala X-Raps, Gulp! Shrimp, and live pilchards and threadfins. The deep grass flats in Sarasota Bay near Big Pass and the docks in Robert’s Bay produced most of the fish this week. Species landed included snook to 23″, redfish to 29″, speckled trout to 20″, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, flounder to 16″, jack crevelle to 4 pounds, sea bass, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, and big sailcats. S.W. winds had the beach a little churned up but the mackerel and false albacore fishing should be good this week in the inshore Gulf of Mexico as the winds turn out of the east. Bluegill, crappie, and bass are biting small spinnerbaits and jigs in both Lake Manatee and Upper Myakka Lake. The water is high and that usually results in good fishing.

On Sunday morning Christian Googan from Durham, NC and his father-in-law Steve Dixckman from Louisville, KY caught experienced steady action at Marker #5, the Yacht Club Channel, and the Radio Tower using Gulp! Shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jig head and olive Rapala X-Raps. It started off a bit slow, but once the tide turned to come in they caught several nice black sea bass, mangrove snapper, speckled trout, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and more.

Ed VanArtsdalen and Mark Shull from Pipersville, PA had an excellent trip this week. We left Centennial Park at first light and fish were breaking right at the mouth of the canal. I tied on two Rapala X-Raps and they caught jacks, ladyfish, and a Spanish mackerel for half an hour, nice way to start the trip! The Radio Tower was a little slow, so I ran out Big Pass to both catch bait and look for surface action. It was a bit rougher than expected, with just a few macks breaking here and there, so I caught bait and moved back inside. Anchoring and chumming at the Bird Key flats resulted in excellent action on speckled trout to 19″, jacks, ladyfish, a pair of 2 lb mackerel, sea bass, snapper, and more. With dinner in the box, we decided to try for snook and reds. Docks in Robert’s Bay gave up a “slam” for Mark; he caught 2 snook and 2 reds, one red a gorgeous 29″ fish, using pilchards. We finished up with a jack frenzy as I emptied the bait well, great fun!

Laura Ritchey from Medina, OH and her dad Bill Ritchey from Akron, OH had a great morning on Friday fishing the deep grass flats near Big Pass. We started off catching trout, jacks, and a big sailcat on Gulp! Shrimp under corks near the Siesta Drive bridge. I saw a bunch of bait and filled the well with two tosses and moved to the edge of a nearby flat. For three hours they caught Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, speckled trout to 18″, ladyfish, jacks, flounder, and sea bass free lining live pilchards and threadfins. We finished up at a Siesta Key dock catching several jacks to 3 pounds, a 14″ sea bass, and a 16″ flounder.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
September 15, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was very good this week in Sarasota Bay, the inshore Gulf of Mexico, and in freshwater. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, flounder, snapper, ladyfish, and more were caught on the deep grass flats using live bait and artificial lures. Docks, oyster bars, and mangrove shorelines in Robert’s Bay are producing snook, redfish, snapper, and jacks. Rapala plugs produced at first light and live pilchards and hand-picked shrimp worked better later in the morning. Spanish mackerel and false albacore are working on the surface in the inshore Gulf of Mexico and hit flies, plugs, and silver spoons.

Rick and Cathy Fishbach from Chagrin Falls, OH and their friend Marc Rubinstein had a good inshore trip on Wednesday. We hit the bars just south of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at first light and put a slot trout in the box and released several more, along with ladyfish, and catfish. A move up to the flats near Big Sarasota Pass resulted in a couple of more keeper trout and a dozen “shorts”, mangrove snapper to 12″, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and a cutoff by a nice bluefish. We hit a dock on the way in and Cathy caught a redfish that was just in the slot at 18″ All of the fish were caught on live shrimp.

Freshwater fishing remains good in Upper Myakka Lake, the Myakka River is still very high. Bluegill, bass, and speckled perch are hitting black Beetlespins and small jigs around the edges of weed beds. The bluegill still have roe and should bite good up to the next full moon. Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek caught bluegill, crappie, and bass on charteuse and white 1/16 ounce spinnerbaits in Upper Myakka Lake Friday morning.

Photo: Capt. Jim Klopfer<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
September 15, 2012<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Fishing was very good this week in Sarasota Bay, the inshore Gulf of Mexico, and in freshwater. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, flounder, snapper, ladyfish, and more were caught on the deep grass flats using live bait and artificial lures. Docks, oyster bars, and mangrove shorelines in Robert's Bay are producing snook, redfish, snapper, and jacks. Rapala plugs produced at first light and live pilchards and hand-picked shrimp worked better later in the morning. Spanish mackerel and false albacore are working on the surface in the inshore Gulf of Mexico and hit flies, plugs, and silver spoons.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Rick and Cathy Fishbach from Chagrin Falls, OH and their friend Marc Rubinstein had a good inshore trip on Wednesday. We hit the bars just south of CB's Saltwater Outfitters at first light and put a slot trout in the box and released several more, along with ladyfish, and catfish. A move up to the flats near Big Sarasota Pass resulted in a couple of more keeper trout and a dozen "shorts", mangrove snapper to 12", jack crevelle, ladyfish, and a cutoff by a nice bluefish. We hit a dock on the way in and Cathy caught a redfish that was just in the slot at 18" All of the fish were caught on live shrimp.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Freshwater fishing remains good in Upper Myakka Lake, the Myakka River is still very high. Bluegill, bass, and speckled perch are hitting black Beetlespins and small jigs around the edges of weed beds. The bluegill still have roe and should bite good up to the next full moon. Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek caught bluegill, crappie, and bass on charteuse and white 1/16 ounce spinnerbaits in Upper Myakka Lake Friday morning.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
September 8, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

The water cleared up this week as the remnants of Isaac moved on. Fishing rebounded, too. Specked trout are thick on the deep flats all throughout Sarasota Bay from Big Pass north to Long Bar. Jacks, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel, sea bass, flounder, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, and more hit live bait, Rapalas, and jigs. Snook fishing is improving each week as they move back in the bays. Nothing beats a large live pilchard for line-siders!

The baitfish showed up in large numbers on the beach and the Spanish mackerel were right on their tails. Macks are plentiful at the mouths of the passes, Point of Rocks, and the inshore artificial reefs off of Lido Key. Forecasted west winds will put a damper on that early in the week.

I do a fair amount of freshwater fishing this time of year. This week I went out to Lake Manatee once and Upper Myakka Lake twice. We did best at Manatee using tiny gold Rapalas, catching bass to 2 pounds, crappie (specks) to 12″, and bluegill to 6″. Black Beetlespins were the ticket at Myakka (though I did catch a few fly fishing with a #8 gold/charteuse streamer) and casting them to the edges of grass beds resulted in bass to 3 pounds, crappie to 12″, bluegill, stumpknocker, shellcracker, and warmouth to 8″.

Photo: Capt. Jim Klopfer<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
September 8, 2012<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>The water cleared up this week as the remnants of Isaac moved on. Fishing rebounded, too. Specked trout are thick on the deep flats all throughout Sarasota Bay from Big Pass north to Long Bar. Jacks, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel, sea bass, flounder, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, and more hit live bait, Rapalas, and jigs. Snook fishing is improving each week as they move back in the bays. Nothing beats a large live pilchard for line-siders!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>The baitfish showed up in large numbers on the beach and the Spanish mackerel were right on their tails. Macks are plentiful at the mouths of the passes, Point of Rocks, and the inshore artificial reefs off of Lido Key. Forecasted west winds will put a damper on that early in the week.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>I do a fair amount of freshwater fishing this time of year. This week I went out to Lake Manatee once and Upper Myakka Lake twice. We did best at Manatee using tiny gold Rapalas, catching bass to 2 pounds, crappie (specks) to 12", and bluegill to 6". Black Beetlespins were the ticket at Myakka (though I did catch a few fly fishing with a #8 gold/charteuse streamer) and casting them to the edges of grass beds resulted in bass to 3 pounds, crappie to 12", bluegill, stumpknocker, shellcracker, and warmouth to 8".

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
September 1, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Tropical storm Isaac put a damper on fishing this week. I did get out Sunday morning, just ahead of the storm. We did not experience any damage, but strong winds had the Gulf of Mexico churned up and the dirty water is all over the bay. Speckled trout remain the best bet on the deeper flats while snook fishing in improving as more fish move in off the beach. Excellent fishing should resume this week.

 

Bill Lauderdale from Jacksonville, FL and his future son-in-law Andrew Rice from Orlando braved the elements on Sunday morning. The wind started at 15 knots and was 25 knots by the time we finished. We started out casting jigs at the Marina Jack flat and caught a few jacks and trout. There were fish breaking and a lot of bird activity, but it was difficult to stay on them. I ran into Robert’s Bay to a protected spot where I had been catching bait. Being out on the water every day paid off as this is an unusual spot to catch bait, but I filled the well and after that the action was steady. Hiding behind Bird Key gave us some protection and we did well on trout to 20″, jack crevelle, a several Spanish mackerel, sea bass, mangrove snapper, flounder, grouper, and ladyfish. We got in at 11:00, just ahead of the nasty stuff.

By the end of the week if was fishable, though the water in the bay was dirty. The cleanest area was between the Moorings and Buttonwood Harbor, where trout (mostly small) kept the rods bent using jigs and Gulp! Shrimp.

Photo: Tropical storm Isaac put a damper on fishing this week.  I did get out Sunday morning, just ahead of the storm.  We did not experience any damage, but strong winds had the Gulf of Mexico churned up and the dirty water is all over the bay.  Speckled trout remain the best bet on the deeper flats while snook fishing in improving as more fish move in off the beach.  Excellent fishing should resume this week.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Bill Lauderdale from Jacksonville, FL and his future son-in-law Andrew Rice from Orlando braved the elements on Sunday morning.  The wind started at 15 knots and was 25 knots by the time we finished.  We started out casting jigs at the Marina Jack flat and caught a few jacks and trout.  There were fish breaking and a lot of bird activity, but it was difficult to stay on them.  I ran into Robert's Bay to a protected spot where I had been catching bait.  Being out on the water every day paid off as this is an unusual spot to catch bait, but I filled the well and after that the action was steady.  Hiding behind Bird Key gave us some protection and we did well on trout to 20", jack crevelle, a several Spanish mackerel, sea bass, mangrove snapper, flounder, grouper, and ladyfish.  We got in at 11:00, just ahead of the nasty stuff.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>By the end of the week if was fishable, though the water in the bat was dirty.  The cleanest area was between the Moorings and Buttonwood Harbor, where trout (mostly small) kept the rods bent using jigs and Gulp! Shrimp.

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
August 25, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Action continued to be outstanding on the deep grass flats in Sarasota Bay near both Big Pass and New Pass. Threadfin herring and pilchards are abundant and loading the well has been easy. Chumming with live bait virtually guarantees success. Speckled trout were the highlight this week, along with Spanish mackerel, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, black sea bass, jacks, ladyfish, and more! Casting jigs and Gulp! Shrimp at first light was also productive. We also landed snook at the end of charters fishing docks in Robert’s Bay.

Gary McGurk and his son Mason from the Pittsburg, PA area enjoyed steady action on Monday morning. Using live pilchards and threadfins, they caught Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, jacks, ladyfish, snappers, grouper and more on the deep flats near the Ringling Bridge. The action really picked up mid morning when the tide turned to come in.

Rick Long, Scott Brown, Jason Vega, and Jeff Schreck had a good morning on Wednesday. We started off casting Gulp! Shrimp near marker #5 and #6 and caught trout, jacks, and ladyfish early. Jacks and ladyfish were busting on the surface in shallow water. The action slowed, so I caught bait and chummed at the Radio Tower and Marker #5 and caught a half dozen mackerel, 5 keeper trout to 18″, snapper, jacks, ladyfish, and a pair of nice gag grouper.

Tom and Pam Schilling from Wilder, KY had a terrific trip on Thursday morning! We started off on a shallow bar near Big Pass and on the first cast ten cormorants showed up and one ate the bait. I looked behind the boat and bait was thick so I loaded up and anchored up on the edge of a deep flat near Bird Key and we caught fish on almost every cast for over two hours. We put a pair of nice 18″ speckled trout for the box, released another half dozen in the slot along with jack crevelle, gag grouper to 16″, mangrove snapper to 13′, black sea bass to 12″ and ladyfish. I “reloaded” on bait and hit the flat at Marker #5. We did OK, but the terns became a nuisance and I had some REALLY big pilchards, so we decided to try and catch a snook in the last half hour. Despite no wind, slack tide, and bright sun, Tom caught 2 snook (his first ever) under a Siesta Key dock. The trip ended with a manatee scratching it’s back on the hull of my boat!

Bob Siemering from Wellesley, MA took his two sons Joey (12) and Michael (12) out on a fishing trip on Friday. Action was steady and the boys did a great job catching a bunch of speckled trout, putting a pair of nice fat 18 inch fish in the box and releasing a 20″ fish and several more in the slot. Ladyfish, jack crevelle, black sea bass, gag grouper, and mangrove snapper also kept them busy. Free lining threadfins and pilchards on the edges of deep flats near Bird Key were very productive. We finished up catching a snook under a Siesta Key dock on a huge pilchard.

Stephen Owen from Cincinnati, OH and his son Steve who lives here in Sarasota had an excellent morning of speckled trout fishing. We started off casting “glow” Gulp! Shrimp under corks near Marker #5, catching several nice slot trout to 18″ along with under sized trout, jacks, and ladyfish. They bit for an hour or so, then I made one throw of the net and loaded up the bait well. We hit two spots near the Ringling Bridge and caught several more quality trout to 23″, a pai2 of 2 lb Spanish mackerel, jacks, snapper to 12″, sea bass to 12″, ladyfish, and catfish. We finished up drifting the Radio Tower flat with the Gulp! and catching several more trout before calling it a morning.

Photo: Action continued to be outstanding on the deep grass flats in Sarasota Bay near both Big Pass and New Pass.  Threadfin herring and pilchards are abundant and loading the well has been easy.  Chumming with live bait virtually guarantees success.  Speckled trout were the highlight this week, along with Spanish mackerel, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, black sea bass, jacks, ladyfish, and more!  Casting jigs and Gulp! Shrimp at first light was also productive.  We also landed snook at the end of charters fishing docks in Robert's Bay.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Gary McGurk and his son Mason from the Pittsburg, PA area enjoyed steady action on Monday morning.  Using live pilchards and threadfins, they caught Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, jacks, ladyfish, snappers, grouper and more on the deep flats near the Ringling Bridge.  The action really picked up mid morning when the tide turned to come in.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Rick Long, Scott Brown, Jason Vega, and Jeff Schreck had a good morning on Wednesday.  We started off casting Gulp! Shrimp near marker #5 and #6 and caught trout, jacks, and ladyfish early.  Jacks and ladyfish were busting on the surface in shallow water.  The action slowed, so I caught bait and chummed at the Radio Tower and Marker #5 and caught a half dozen mackerel, 5 keeper trout to 18", snapper, jacks, ladyfish, and a pair of nice gag grouper.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Tom and Pam Schilling from Wilder, KY had a terrific trip on Thursday morning!  We started off on a shallow bar near Big Pass and on the first cast ten cormorants showed up and one ate the bait.  I looked behind the boat and bait was thick so I loaded up and anchored up on the edge of a deep flat near Bird Key and we caught fish on almost every cast for over two hours.  We put a pair of nice 18" speckled trout for the box, released another half dozen in the slot along with jack crevelle, gag grouper to 16", mangrove snapper to 13', black sea bass to 12" and ladyfish.  I "reloaded" on bait and hit the flat at Marker #5.  We did OK, but the terns became a nuisance and I had some REALLY big pilchards, so we decided to try and catch a snook in the last half hour.  Despite no wind, slack tide, and bright sun, Tom caught 2 snook (his first ever) under a Siesta Key dock.  The trip ended with a manatee scratching it's back on the hull of my boat!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Bob Siemering from Wellesley, MA took his two sons Joey (12) and Michael (12) out on a fishing trip on Friday.  Action was steady and the boys did a great job catching a bunch of speckled trout, putting a pair of nice fat 18 inch fish in the box and releasing a 20" fish and several more in the slot.  Ladyfish, jack crevelle, black sea bass, gag grouper, and mangrove snapper also kept them busy.  Free lining threadfins and pilchards on the edges of deep flats near Bird Key were very productive.  We finished up catching a snook under a Siesta Key dock on a huge pilchard.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Stephen Owen from Cincinnati, OH and his son Steve who lives here in Sarasota had an excellent morning of speckled trout fishing.  We started off casting "glow" Gulp! Shrimp under corks near Marker #5, catching several nice slot trout to 18" along with under sized trout, jacks, and ladyfish.  They bit for an hour or so, then I made one throw of the net and loaded up the bait well.  We hit two spots near the Ringling Bridge and caught several more quality trout to 23", a pai2 of 2 lb Spanish mackerel, jacks, snapper to 12", sea bass to 12", ladyfish, and catfish.  We finished up drifting the Radio Tower flat with the Gulp! and catching several more trout before calling it a morning.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
August 18, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing the deep grass flats near Big Pass and New Pass was very good this week. Strong incoming tides helped the bite. Baitfish are thick on the bars and grass flats, mostly threadfin herring with some pilchards mixed in. I went to live bait early on most trips, the artificial bite was a bit off this week. Speckled trout were cooperating, with a good ratio of keepers to short fish. Spanish mackerel were also reliable, we averaged ten or so each trip. Ladyfish and jacks also kept the rods bent. Some good sized mangrove snapper were also caught, along with black sea bass.

Jim Kollar, his 16 year old son Garrett, and his friend Josh from Latrobe, PA had a good day on Sunday. The cormorants made things difficult early; they shut down the early bite and after I caught bait they were eating all the chum. We had a dozen around and ended up leaving. All in all, we probably caught 100 fish, putting 2 speckled trout, six Spanish mackerel, and six mangrove snapper in the box, destined for Clayton’s that evening.

Rick Scroggs from North Carolina bought my donated CCA trip and we went out on Monday. Action was steady, though the first light bite produced smaller trout that we have been catching. However we did very well using live bait, catching a bunch of trout, 10 Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and more. We left them biting to try for snook and reds, I hit several docks but not much action.

Brian Schilling, his wife Michelle, father John, and nephew Ethan had another productive morning on Tuesday. It was calm first thing, not great conditions for using artificial baits, so we went right to using live bait. The birds were once again a nuisance and caused some problems, but by the end of the trip we caught over 100 fish and had a box full of fish for dinner including speckled trout to 18″, Spanish Mackerel to 2 1/2 pounds, mangrove snapper, and black sea bass. We also caught a bunch of short trout, ladyfish, and jacks. The grass flats on the north end of Siesta Key were the best spots.

The bite was a little off on Wednesday, though John Heiser and his grandson Nick Zimmerman still caught 50 fish or so and put 3 slot trout and several Spanish mackerel in the box fishing live bait near Bird Key. The fish were biting and then bad weather chased us off. For the next hour it was a little tough, but then we finished with a flurry near the Ringling Bridge including 8 Spanish mackerel.

Monte Clithero and his girlfriend Dana from Springfield, MO had an excellent morning on Thursday, although we did have to dodge a little weather and sit out a brief shower. But, we persevered and the caught speckled trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, mangrove snapper to 13″, jacks, ladyfish, and more. We caught a few early on Gulp! Shrimp but most of the fish were caught on threadfin herring. Marker #5 was the best spot.

David Lasley and his friend Tom Jung from Raleigh, NC did very well on Friday morning. The early morning Gulp! bite was good, they landed a bunch of trout including five or six keepers at the Radio Tower before it slowed down. We fished two spots near Bird Key with live bait and the action was virtually non-stop for a couple of hours. Trout, jacks, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel, and snapper kept the rods bent constantly. We finished up catching a redfish, decent jack, and snapper on a mangrove shoreline in Robert’s Bay.

After ten straight days of excellent fishing, I took Saturday off. Back at it next week!

Photo: Fishing the deep grass flats near Big Pass and New Pass was very good this week.  Strong incoming tides helped the bite.  Baitfish are thick on the bars and grass flats, mostly threadfin herring with some pilchards mixed in.  I went to live bait early on most trips, the artificial bite was a bit off this week.  Speckled trout were cooperating, with a good ratio of keepers to short fish.  Spanish mackerel were also reliable, we averaged ten or so each trip.  Ladyfish and jacks also kept the rods bent.  Some good sized mangrove snapper were also caught, along with black sea bass.  </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Jim Kollar, his 16 year old son Garrett, and his friend Josh from Latrobe, PA had a good day on Sunday.  The cormorants made things difficult early; they shut down the early bite and after I caught bait they were eating all the chum.  We had a dozen around and ended up leaving.  All in all, we probably caught 100 fish, putting 2 speckled trout, six Spanish mackerel, and six mangrove snapper in the box, destined for Clayton's that evening.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Rick Scroggs from North Carolina bought my donated CCA trip and we went out on Monday.  Action was steady, though the first light bite produced smaller trout that we have been catching.  However we did very well using live bait, catching a bunch of trout, 10 Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and more.  We left them biting to try for snook and reds, I hit several docks but not much action.  </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Brian Schilling, his wife Michelle, father John, and nephew Ethan had another productive morning on Tuesday.  It was calm first thing, not great conditions for using artificial baits, so we went right to using live bait.  The birds were once again a nuisance and caused some problems, but by the end of the trip we caught over 100 fish and had a box full of fish for dinner including speckled trout to 18", Spanish Mackerel to 2 1/2 pounds, mangrove snapper, and black sea bass.  We also caught a bunch of short trout, ladyfish, and jacks.  The grass flats on the north end of Siesta Key were the best spots.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>The bite was a little off on Wednesday, though John Heiser and his grandson Nick Zimmerman still caught 50 fish or so and put 3 slot trout and several Spanish mackerel in the box fishing live bait near Bird Key.  The fish were biting and then bad weather chased us off.  For the next hour it was a little tough, but then we finished with a flurry near the Ringling Bridge including 8 Spanish mackerel.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Monte Clithero and his girlfriend Dana from Springfield, MO had an excellent morning on Thursday, although we did have to dodge a little weather and sit out a brief shower.  But, we persevered and the caught speckled trout to 18", Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, mangrove snapper to 13", jacks, ladyfish, and more.  We caught a few early on Gulp! Shrimp but most of the fish were caught on threadfin herring.  Marker #5 was the best spot.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>David Lasley and his friend Tom Jung from Raleigh, NC did very well on Friday morning.  The early morning Gulp! bite was good, they landed a bunch of trout including five or six keepers at the Radio Tower before it slowed down.  We fished two spots near Bird Key with live bait and the action was virtually non-stop for a couple of hours.  Trout, jacks, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel, and snapper kept the rods bent constantly.  We finished up catching a redfish, decent jack, and snapper on a mangrove shoreline in Robert's Bay.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>After ten straight days of excellent fishing, I took Saturday off.  Back at it next week!

 

Capt. Jim Klopfer
August 11, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

The strategy to cast lures and flies at first light to take advantage of the early morning bite then switching to live bait when the action slowed has been extremely productive on my charters this week. Baitfish are thick on the grass flats and very easy to catch, even later in the morning. 100 fish trips were the norm. Species caught this week on the flats near Big Sarasota Pass, New Pass, and along Siesta Key in Robert’s Bay include snook to 20″ ,redfish to 22″, speckled trout to 24″, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, jack crevelle in the 2 pound range, mangrove snapper to 13″, sea bass to 12″, gag grouper, flounder, tons of ladyfish, several 3′ bonnetthead sharks, a 2 pound bluefish, and a barracuda. Great week of fishing and the action should continue as we have excellent tides in the upcoming week!

My wife and I spend the night on the beach down in Englewood this weekend. No serious fishing but there are still a fair amount of snook on the beach from Blind Pass to Stump Pass. I did not catch any but had a couple put their nose on the fly.

Tony Suarez, his wife Anne, and father Jamie fished with me on Monday. Action was steady using Gulp! Shrimp early then live bait later in the morning. A bunch of speckled trout with several in the slot to 17″, Spanish mackerel (5 landed and a bunch that we missed), mangrove snapper, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and a bonnethead shark were caught near the Ringling Bridge.

We absolutely wrecked them on Tuesday morning! T.J. Shay and his nephew Nick from Columbus Ohio caught and released a 24″ trout, a 22″ trout, and a pair of 20″ trout. They put 4 or five in the 16″-18″ range in the box (and released several more in the slot), along with 3 nice mangrove snapper. We started off catching trout near the Ringling Bridge on Gulp!, including 2 keepers. A switch to bait resulted in non-stop action on trout to 24″, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, snapper to 12″, jacks, grouper, and more ladyfish than I have caught in a while. We basically only fished 2 spots, the Radio Tower and Marker #5.

Ray Lloret and his two grown sons Mike and Ray Jr were visiting from Miami and wanted to try out local fishing. Once again, chumming with live bait produced a 100+ fish trip! Speckled trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, jacks, mangrove snapper, sea bass, grouper, ladyfish, and a shark were caught near Big Pass.

Chris Conery from Boulder, CO and his friend John Parry from Silver Spring, MD had a terrific morning on Friday. We started off with a really good bite at first light using jigs on the flats near Big Pass. Speckled trout, ladyfish, and jacks were busting on the surface and eating anything close to them. Chris picked up his fly rod and caught a few on a charteuse Clouser. The bite slowed after an hour when the tide quit. Bait was easy and with the well full we chummed up more trout to 18″, ladyfish, snapper, and jacks. The dolphins moved in the shut us down, so we decided to spend the last hour in Robert’s Bay fishing docks. It paid off as they caught 2 snook, 2 reds, a flounder, a nice snapper, and of all things a barracuda.

The early morning bite was good for Valerie Day and her 15 year old son Tanner from Howard, PA on Saturday. In an hour using Gulp! Shrimp under corks they put 4 keeper trout in the box, had 2 nice ones shake off, and landed a bunch of short trout, ladyfish, jacks, and a 2 pound bluefish. Once again, bait was easy and the well was loaded in a few minutes. Non-stop action followed on speckled trout, ladyfish, jacks, gag grouper, and magrove snapper. Tanner also caught a half dozen fish on a charteuse Clouser. We finished up catching snapper and flounder under a dock and “jumping” a snook in Phillippi Creek.

Photo: The strategy to cast lures and flies at first light to take advantage of the early morning bite then switching to live bait when the action slowed has been extremely productive on my charters this week.  Baitfish are thick on the grass flats and very easy to catch, even later in the morning.  100 fish trips were the norm.  Species caught this week on the flats near Big Sarasota Pass, New Pass, and along Siesta Key in Robert's Bay include snook to 20" ,redfish to 22", speckled trout to 24", Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, jack crevelle in the 2 pound range, mangrove snapper to 13", sea bass to 12", gag grouper, flounder, tons of ladyfish, several 3' bonnetthead sharks, a 2 pound bluefish, and a barracuda.  Great week of fishing and the action should continue as we have excellent tides in the upcoming week!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>My wife and I spend the night on the beach down in Englewood this weekend.  No serious fishing but there are still a fair amount of snook on the beach from Blind Pass to Stump Pass.  I did not catch any but had a couple put their nose on the fly.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Tony Suarez, his wife Anne, and father Jamie fished with me on Monday.  Action was steady using Gulp! Shrimp early then live bait later in the morning.  A bunch of speckled trout with several in the slot to 17", Spanish mackerel (5 landed and a bunch that we missed), mangrove snapper, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and a bonnethead shark were caught near the Ringling Bridge.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>We absolutely wrecked them on Tuesday morning!  T.J. Shay and his nephew Nick from Columbus Ohio caught and released a 24" trout, a 22" trout, and a pair of 20" trout.  They put 4 or five in the 16"-18" range in the box (and released several more in the slot), along with 3 nice mangrove snapper.  We started off catching trout near the Ringling Bridge on Gulp!, including 2 keepers.  A switch to bait resulted in non-stop action on trout to 24", Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, snapper to 12", jacks, grouper, and more ladyfish than I have caught in a while.  We basically only fished 2 spots, the Radio Tower and Marker #5.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Ray Lloret and his two grown sons Mike and Ray Jr were visiting from Miami and wanted to try out local fishing.  Once again, chumming with live bait produced a 100+ fish trip!  Speckled trout to 18", Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, jacks, mangrove snapper, sea bass, grouper, ladyfish, and a shark were caught near Big Pass.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Chris Conery from Boulder, CO and his friend John Parry from Silver Spring, MD had a terrific morning on Friday.  We started off with a really good bite at first light using jigs on the flats near Big Pass.  Speckled trout, ladyfish, and jacks were busting on the surface and eating anything close to them.  Chris picked up his fly rod and caught a few on a charteuse Clouser.  The bite slowed after an hour when the tide quit.  Bait was easy and with the well full we chummed up more trout to 18", ladyfish, snapper, and jacks.  The dolphins moved in the shut us down, so we decided to spend the last hour in Robert's Bay fishing docks.  It paid off as they caught 2 snook, 2 reds, a flounder, a nice snapper, and of all things a barracuda.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>The early morning bite was good for Valerie Day and her 15 year old son Tanner from Howard, PA on Saturday.  In an hour using Gulp! Shrimp under corks they put 4 keeper trout in the box, had 2 nice ones shake off, and landed a bunch of short trout, ladyfish,  jacks, and a 2 pound bluefish.  Once again, bait was easy and the well was loaded in a few minutes.  Non-stop action followed on speckled trout, ladyfish, jacks, gag grouper, and magrove snapper.  Tanner also caught a half dozen fish on a charteuse Clouser.  We finished up catching snapper and flounder under a dock and "jumping" a snook in Phillippi Creek.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
August 4, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Catch of the week goes to Russell archer who landed a 32″ redfish on his last cast Wednesday morning. It was a great battle on a light spinning rod! Other species caught this week were snook, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, mangrove snapper, shark, sea bass, ladyfish and more. I started most trips casting Gulp! Shrimp, jigs, and flies and if the action wasn’t fast enough I made the switch to live bait. A well full of threadfins and pilchards practically guarantees success. Action varies from steady to non-stop. The average is around 30 fish per person. The deep grass flats near both passes are all producing plenty of fish.

Bill Sawyer and his 13 year old grandson Drew Kobus, both from Midlothian, VA along with Phil Steward had a very good morning on Sunday. We started on the shallow bars near Big Pass where bait was plentiful and caught speckled trout on Gulp! Shrimp under corks. Phil was fly fishing and scored on a charteuse/white Clouser. We switched to live bait early as the action slowed around 8:00 a.m. Chumming the flats resulted in 6 Spanish mackerel, a bunch of trout, ladyfish, jack crevelle, snapper, and a couple of nice sea bass.

I had two father/son duos on Monday. Mike and Mason Haggerty and Don and Parker Runyon, all from Overland Park, Kansas absolutely wrecked them. I went straight to the bait and loaded the well. I am not sure how many fish we caught, but it was certainly over 100! They wanted dinner and we put 8 Spanish mackerel in the box and released a few more, along with 4 speckled trout (we released another 4 or 5 nice ones). Ladyfish, jacks, small trout, snapper, and a nice 3′ blacktip shark provided constant catch-and-release action. The Radio Tower and Marker #5 were the top spots.

Fishing was excellent on Wednesday morning. Russell archer and his grandson Cameron Rhodes (14) from Cartersville, GA caught speckled trout to 22″, a half dozen Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, a bunch of ladyfish, jack crevelle, snapper on the flats near Marina Jacks chumming with baitfish. The action was steady, they caught an estimated 60 fish. We stopped at a mangrove shoreline in Robert’s Bay where Cam caught a snook and several mangs to 11″ and Russell lost a big jack right at the boat and landed a big redfish on the last cast!

Christine Rasmussen, her son Gabe, and a pair of Gabe’s buddies Eli Kowalkowsk and Ian Sedacek, all from Green Bay, WI had a very productive trip at the end of the week. We started off catching a few trout on Gulp! Shrimp on the edge of a bar. The bait was thick, kinda teasing me as it peppered up on the surface. I could not take it anymore and idled in shallow to load up on bait. We were pleasantly surprised to find several manatees lying in there and we enjoyed watching them for a few minutes. There is so much more to a day on the water in Sarasota than just the fishing! Several tosses filled the well and after that it was virtually non-stop. With 4 people fishing it was all I could do to keep up, every bait got crushed as soon as it hit the water. They wanted a few for the grill, so we kept a half dozen Spanish mackerel, released a dozen more, caught a bunch of trout and ladyfish, jack crevelle, and snapper.

Photo: Russel caught this big redfish on a tiny pilchard on the last cast.  It finished off a great morning!

Capt. Jim Klopfer
July 28, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was good once again this week, particularly towards the end as tides improved. Also, while the baitfish is small, it is abundant and just large enough not to get “gilled” in the net. Chumming with live or fresh dead threadfins and pilchards will bring the fish right up to the boat and keep the action going later in the morning when the fish sometimes quit hitting lures. Once the fish were “lit up” behind the boat, anglers caught speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, jacks, mangrove snapper, ladyfish and more using live bait, jigs, and flies.

David Collins, Tanner Dean, Kerri haugland and her son caught around 80 fish on Tuesday morning. Most of the fish were trout, with a pair going 18″ and a couple more in the slot, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, sea bass, and a big sail cat. Gulp! Shrimp and Cotee jigs fooled them at the Moorings and Middlegrounds.

We had to work a little bit harder for them on Wednesday, for whatever reason the bite was a little off. We caught fish at every spot, but never really got them cranked up. Jason Choy from Teddington, London took his sons Loren (14) and Tristan (16) out on a charter. They ended up with a decent number of trout ( on 17″ and another 20″ that shook off at the boat), a mackerel, a sea bass, and a ladyfish on Gulp! Shrimp. After 5,000 or so charters, Loren did something I have never seen before. He caught a Spanish mackerel that had old line wrapper around it, so old it actually was part of the skin. The fish wasn’t hooked, but the jig got tangled up in the old line and that is how he caught the fish. Very strange.

Fishing was very good on Thursday for Joel Joiner and his wife Orelia from Riverview, FL. We started off catching speckled trout to 18″ at the Moorings on Gulp! Shrimp. The bite slowed a bit and while running to a new spot I came across a nice bunch of bait. I loaded up on three tosses and went to the Middlegrounds and started chumming. Joel caught a 22″ trout, his largest, along with a couple more keepers. Orelia and Joel caught more trout, ladyfish, jacks, sea bass, and mangrove snapper on live bait. Joel wanted to try a little fly fishing, so we finished up at the Radio Tower flat where he caught several trout, a jack, and a ladyfish on a green and white Clouser.

I picked up Scott Blackledge from DeForest, WI at Centennial park at 6:30 a.m. on Friday morning and ran across Sarasota Bay to the Moorings. We put 3 nice slot trout to 19″ in the box using Gulp! Shrimp. The previous two days the fish were shallow, this morning we had more success fishing deeper, 6′-8′, using Gulp! on jig heads. With dinner on ice, we decided to change it up, so I netted up some bait. Chumming the first spot near Big Pass resulted in non-stop action, mostly ladyfish. The nest spot was similar, a bite on every cast, except this time it was mostly jacks. Both ladyfish and jacks fight hard and are fun on light tackle!

Phil Steward from MA, his cousin Bill Sawyer and Bill’s 13 year old grandson Drew Kobus went out with me on Saturday. We started off at the Radio Tower flat catching speckled trout. It slowed down and a move to Marker #5 resulted in a little more action. I netted up some bait and from then on it was non-stop catching on the deep flats. Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, a pair of 20″ trout,. sea bass, mangrove snapper, jacks and ladyfish kept the rods bent until we quit at 11:00.

Photo: Fishing was good once again this week, particularly towards the end as tides improved.  Also, while the baitfish is small, it is abundant and just large enough not to get "gilled" in the net.  Chumming with live or fresh dead threadfins and pilchards will bring the fish right up to the boat and keep the action going later in the morning when the fish sometimes quit hitting lures.  Once the fish were "lit up" behind the boat, anglers caught speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, jacks, mangrove snapper, ladyfish and more using live bait, jigs, and flies.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p> David Collins, Tanner Dean, Kerri haugland and her son caught around 80 fish on Tuesday morning.  Most of the fish were trout, with a pair going 18" and a couple more in the slot, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, sea bass, and a big sail cat.  Gulp! Shrimp and Cotee jigs fooled them at the Moorings and Middlegrounds.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>We had to work a little bit harder for them on Wednesday, for whatever reason the bite was a little off.  We caught fish at every spot, but never really got them cranked up.  Jason Choy from Teddington, London took his sons Loren (14) and Tristan (16) out on a charter.  They ended up with a decent number of trout ( on 17" and another 20" that shook off at the boat), a mackerel, a sea bass, and a ladyfish on Gulp! Shrimp.  After 5,000 or so charters, Loren did something I have never seen before.  He caught a Spanish mackerel that had old line wrapper around it, so old it actually was part of the skin.  The fish wasn't hooked, but the jig got tangled up in the old line and that is how he caught the fish.  Very strange.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Fishing was very good on Thursday for Joel Joiner and his wife Orelia from Riverview, FL.  We started off catching speckled trout to 18" at the Moorings on Gulp! Shrimp.  The bite slowed a bit and while running to a new spot I came across a nice bunch of bait.  I loaded up on three tosses and went to the Middlegrounds and started chumming.  Joel caught a 22" trout, his largest, along with a couple more keepers.  Orelia and Joel caught more trout, ladyfish, jacks, sea bass, and mangrove snapper on live bait.  Joel wanted to try a little fly fishing, so we finished up at the Radio Tower flat where he caught several trout, a jack, and a ladyfish on a green and white Clouser.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>I picked up Scott Blackledge from DeForest, WI at Centennial park at 6:30 a.m. on Friday morning and ran across Sarasota Bay to the Moorings.  We put 3 nice slot trout to 19" in the box using Gulp! Shrimp.  The previous two days the fish were shallow, this morning we had more success fishing deeper, 6'-8', using Gulp! on jig heads.  With dinner on ice, we decided to change it up, so I netted up some bait.  Chumming the first spot near Big Pass resulted in non-stop action, mostly ladyfish.  The nest spot was similar, a bite on every cast, except this time it was mostly jacks.  Both ladyfish and jacks fight hard and are fun on light tackle!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Phil Steward from MA, his cousin Bill Sawyer and Bill's 13 year old grandson Drew Kobus went out with me on Saturday.  We started off at the Radio Tower flat catching speckled trout.  It slowed down and a move to Marker #5 resulted in a little more action.  I netted up some bait and from then on it was non-stop catching on the deep flats.  Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, a pair of 20" trout,. sea bass, mangrove snapper, jacks and ladyfish kept the rods bent until we quit at 11:00.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
July 21, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was good once again this week, although rains resulted in constantly changing water conditions. That dark “root beer” water is just not productive. Most of the fish were caught using Gulp! Shrimp under noisy floats. Rapalas, shrimp, and live baitfish also produced. The species caught this week included snook, redfish, speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, black sea bass, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, and sail cats.

The speckled trout bite was fantastic on Monday morning! Randy Youngblood, Doug Kerr, Doug’s daughter Katlyn Kerr, and her friend Josh Gray absolutely wrecked them on the flats near the Radio Tower. They put a half dozen in the box then released another 15 or so nice slot trout, all of which were nice, fat 16″-18″ fish. Add in another twenty or so short trout and some ladyfish and it was a great start. All of the fish hit Gulp! Shrimp under noisy corks. I had stopped and caught some small shiners on the way out, so we decided to try and chum up some Spanish mackerel. We did not really get them fired up, I think the bait was too small, but we landed three macks along with jacks, ladyfish, and trout. Katlyn really wanted to catch a redfish, so we spent the last half hour working a shoreline in Robert’s Bay and got a 20″ red on the same Gulp!/cork combo. Great trip!

Tuesday was a rain out, thunderstorms and rain in the morning. On Wednesday Link Miller from Mechanicsburg, PA took out his grand daughters Olivia (18) and Sam (16). Heavy rains had the water off-color and fishing was a bit spotty. We caught a nice bluefish, big sail cat, several trout, a jack, ladyfish, and mangrove snapper on a shallow bar that had a bunch of bait on it. I netted some bait and that helped get the action going a little better. We had to cut the trip short because one of the girls was not feeling well.

Thursday Jim Lawrence from Trinity, FL was in town for a couple of days and went out fishing. He started off with a snook on a Rapala X-Rap first thing in the Intracoastal Waterway just north of CB’s. The tide slackened off and we motored up to the flats near Big Pass and caught trout, with a couple keepers, ladyfish, jacks, and a bluefish on Gulp! Shrimp on a 1/16 ounce jig head.

Friday Bob Traver from West Harrison, IN took out 3 friends. We caught a lot of trout, mostly small but a couple in the slot, ladyfish, sea bass, and jacks on Gulp! Shrimp near Big Pass.

Photo: Fishing was good once again this week, although rains resulted in constantly changing water conditions.  That dark "root beer" water is just not productive.  Most of the fish were caught using Gulp! Shrimp under noisy floats.  Rapalas, shrimp, and live baitfish also produced.  The species caught this week included snook, redfish, speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, black sea bass, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, and sail cats.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>The speckled trout bite was fantastic on Monday morning!  Randy Youngblood, Doug Kerr, Doug's daughter Katlyn Kerr, and her friend Josh Gray absolutely wrecked them on the flats near the Radio Tower.  They put a half dozen in the box then released another 15 or so nice slot trout, all of which were nice, fat 16"-18" fish.  Add in another twenty or so short trout and some ladyfish and it was a great start.  All of the fish hit Gulp! Shrimp under noisy corks.  I had stopped and caught some small shiners on the way out, so we decided to try and chum up some Spanish mackerel.  We did not really get them fired up, I think the bait was too small, but we landed three macks along with jacks, ladyfish, and trout.  Katlyn really wanted to catch a redfish, so we spent the last half hour working a shoreline in Robert's Bay and got a 20" red on the same Gulp!/coprk combo.  Great trip!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Tuesday was a rain out, thunderstorms and rain in the morning.  On Wednesday Link Miller from Mechanicsburg, PA took out his grand daughters Olivia (18) and Sam (16).  Heavy rains had the water off-color and fishing was a bit spotty.  We caught a nice bluefish, big sail cat, several trout, a jack, ladyfish, and mangrove snapper on a shallow bar that had a bunch of bait on it.  I netted some bait and that helped get the action going a little better.  We had to cut the trip short because one of the girls was not feeling well.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Thursday Jim Lawrence from Trinity, FL was in town for a couple of days and went out fishing.  He started off with a snook on a Rapala X-Rap first thing in the Intracoastal Waterway just north of CB's.  The tide slackened off and we motored up to the flats near Big Pass and caught trout, with a couple keepers, ladyfish, jacks, and a bluefish on Gulp! Shrimp on a 1/16 ounce jig head.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Friday Bob Traver from West Harrison, IN took out 3 friends.  We caught a lot of trout, mostly small but a couple in the slot, ladyfish, sea bass, and jacks on Gulp! Shrimp near Big Pass.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
July 14, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Things are settling down and into our normal summer pattern after the holiday week. I fished 10 straight days and took a couple off for rest and boat maintenance. That never ends!! We are getting nice showers most afternoons but the water quality in Sarasota Bay is still pretty good. The deep flats near both passes continue to be productive. The best technique for me this week was a glow Gulp! Shrimp under a noisy cork. Bait is showing up in the bay but for the mosty part it is pretty small. Spanish mackerel showed up in decent numbers this week!

James Krampe from Louisville, KY took his two boys Clayton (14) and Kendall (12) out fishing. It was a Christmas present that was giver to James. Action was good at the Marina Jack flat for the first hour and a half. Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, and ladyfish hit Gulp! Shrimp under a noisy cork. We continued to fish the deep flats near Big Pass and the catching slowed a bit, which is normal this time of year. Still, we ended up with a lot of fish and fun was had by all.

Later in the week Rob Gratton from Winter Springs, his dad Bob, and 6 year old son Aiden had a very good trip! We started off catching speckled trout to 17″ on Gulp! Shrimp under a cork on the flats near Big Pass. The action slowed around 9:00 a.m., a switch to live bait turned the bite back on. Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, trout, snapper, ladyfish, and mystery fish that I am pretty sure was a shark came to the chum and took pilchards and small pinfish. We hit a dock on the way in and caught a few more mangrove snapper.

I had a rain-out on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning Matt Stinson from Nokomis, FL took his two kids Olivia (12) and Joseph (9) out. I had donated a charter to the Siesta Key Chamber and Matt was the high bidder. We got out there at 6:00 a.m. and fishing was very good for both action and quality. We used Gulp! Shrimp under corks and live shrimp and caught a bunch of trout with four nice fat keepers in the slot, along with ladyfish, two big sail cats, and a couple of cut-offs. My buddy Capt Roy String, another CB’s guide, called me and said he had chummed up the mackerel and there were boiling behind his boat. Both Roy and I fish live bait a lot and we do this for each other often. I was less than a mile away and scooted over to him, anchored up, and we finished up the trip with several macks to 3 pounds, ladyfish, blue runner, and bluefish on live bait and Rapala X-Raps. Thanks Roy!!

Photo: Spanish mackerel are showing up on the deep flats and inshore artificial reefs.  we are catching them on both jigs and live bait.  Caught this fish today on a pilchard.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
July 7, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

The strategy this week has been to get out there EARLY, find grass in 6′-8′ with clean water and toss jigs and live bait. Rising water temperatures seem to have the fish a tad deeper this week. The water near the passes is still a bit murky, but is clearing up daily. Species list for this week’s charters include speckled trout, redfish, jack crevelle, bluefish, flounder, mangrove snapper, black sea bass, and ladyfish.

On Sunday morning Ralph Primavera and his 15 year old son Chris caught speckled trout, sea bass, and ladyfish at the Moorings on Gulp! Shrimp and pilchards. Action was steady, but the bite got a little tough later in the morning. Even though it was the day of the boat races, traffic was not bad. It did get very hot with not much breeze.

Jason Olges and his 15 year old son Tristan from Dillsboro, IN got onto a good trout bite early Monday morning. They caught a couple dozen, putting three in the box, along with several ladyfish. They wanted to change it up, so we caught some bait and hit a few docks and shorelines in Robert’s Bay. The result was a half dozen mangs and a slot redfish.

Kevin Quinn from Tampa and his buddy Chris Pierce and Chris’s 18 year old daughter Hadley had a good morning of speckled trout fishing along the west side of Sarasota Bay using Gulp! Shrimp and live bait on Tuesday. They also landed a nice bluefish, ladyfish, jack, and flounder.

Long-time client Marcel Hamburger from Houston, TX and his daughter Morgan and son Grant went out on Wednesday, July 4th. We went at 6:15 to beat both the heat and the holiday boat traffic. Using Gulp! Shrimp and live baitfish, they landed 75 fish, a lot of speckled trout with a half dozen in the slot. The Moorings, Bishops Pt, and middlegrounds all produced equally well. Other species caught were a nice mangrove snapper, a big black sea bass, several small flounder, a couple of ladyfish, and a decent mackerel that ate through the leader boatside.

We started very early on Thursday, before 6:00 a.m. as Scott Pearce and his 14 year old son Mitchell had to be on the road by 9:30 at the latest. Once again, the deep flats on the west side gave up plenty of speckled trout to 18″ on jigs. Scott also landed a nice bluefish. We finished up at the middlegrounds with sea bass, trout, jacks, and ladyfish.

Greg Bass from Lordstown, OH treated his 10 year old son Christopher to his first fishing experience on a boat on Friday. Young Christopher did very well using a D.O.A. deadly combo on the flats near Bishop’s Pt. For whatever reason, we did better in shallower water today, between 4′-5′. Greg caught most of his fish on a glow Gulp! Shrimp. close to 50 trout were landed, with several in the slot to 17′, a Spanish mackerel, flounder, jack crevelle, and ladyfish. After fishing straight through the holiday, I am taking the weekend off!

Photo: The strategy this week has been to get out there EARLY, find grass in 6'-8' with clean water and toss jigs and live bait.  Rising water temperatures seem to have the fish a tad deeper this week.  The water near the passes is still a bit murky, but is clearing up daily.  Species list for this week's charters include speckled trout, redfish, jack crevelle, bluefish, flounder, mangrove snapper, black sea bass, and ladyfish. </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>On Sunday morning Ralph Primavera and his 15 year old son Chris caught speckled trout, sea bass, and ladyfish at the Moorings on Gulp! Shrimp and pilchards.  Action was steady, but the bite got a little tough later in the morning.  Even though it was the day of the boat races, traffic was not bad.  It did get very hot with not much breeze.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Jason Olges and his 15 year old son Tristan from Dillsboro, IN got onto a good trout bite early Monday morning.  They caught a couple dozen, putting three in the box, along with several ladyfish.  They wanted to change it up, so we caught some bait and hit a few docks and shorelines in Robert's Bay.  The result was a half dozen mangs and a slot redfish.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Kevin Quinn from Tampa and his buddy Chris Pierce and Chris's 18 year old daughter Hadley had a good morning of speckled trout fishing along the west side of Sarasota Bay using Gulp! Shrimp and live bait on Tuesday.  They also landed a nice bluefish, ladyfish, jack, and flounder.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Long-time client Marcel Hamburger from Houston, TX and his daughter Morgan and son Grant went out on Wednesday, July 4th.  We went at 6:15 to beat both the heat and the holiday boat traffic.  Using Gulp! Shrimp and live baitfish, they landed 75 fish, a lot of speckled trout with a half dozen in the slot.  The Moorings, Bishops Pt, and middlegrounds all produced equally well.  Other species caught were a nice mangrove snapper, a big black sea bass, several small flounder, a couple of ladyfish, and a decent mackerel that ate through the leader boatside.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>We started very early on Thursday, before 6:00 a.m. as Scott Pearce and his 14 year old son Mitchell had to be on the road by 9:30 at the latest.  Once again, the deep flats on the west side gave up plenty of speckled trout to 18" on jigs.  Scott also landed a nice bluefish.  We finished up at the middlegrounds with sea bass, trout, jacks, and ladyfish.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Greg Bass from Lordstown, OH treated his 10 year old son Christopher to his first fishing experience on a boat on Friday.  Young Christopher did very well using a D.O.A. deadly combo on the flats near Bishop's Pt.  For whatever reason, we did better in shallower water today, between 4'-5'.  Greg caught most of his fish on a glow Gulp! Shrimp.  close to 50 trout were landed, with several in the slot to 17', a Spanish mackerel, flounder, jack crevelle, and ladyfish.  After fishing straight through the holiday, I am taking the weekend off!

Capt. Rick Grassett
July 8, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Good conditions and tarpon returned last week following TS Debby, although following a full moon on Tuesday, 7/3, they weren’t aggressive. Conditions ranged from poor to terrible for more than a week as TS Debby approached, hovered in the northeast gulf and finally moved on. After the rough surf and big swell subsided we were left with muddy water mixed with flood water runoff for a few more days. However, anglers fishing the coastal Gulf of Mexico off Sarasota with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, recently had numerous shots at tarpon with a fly and caught and released one early last week. We are still seeing some large schools of tarpon, that may not have spawned yet, as well as singles, doubles and small schools traveling both north and south.

I saw something on Monday, 7/2, that I’ve never seen before in 22 years of guiding and more than 30 years on the water in Sarasota, an endangered smalltooth sawfish. The big fish, approximately 7′-8′ long was swimming in clear, shallow water with a small cobia following. I paralleled the prehistoric fish for several minutes and we got a good look at it as we cast to the cobia. In addition to its “saw”, the fish is distinguished by an extra fin between its dorsal and tail fins. We also had several shots at tarpon with a fly and a DOA shrimp on spinning tackle that day.

Randy Honaker, from OH, his son, Randy, Jr. from Tampa, FL, and son-in-law, Justin, tarpon fished with me on Tuesday, 7/3. Tarpon were plentiful on the incoming tide. They had shots at numerous schools of tarpon, which were mostly moving north. Randy, Jr. jumped and landed a 65-pound tarpon on a bunny fly out of a small school of 8 or 10 fish. A great job with his first tarpon on a fly!

Click to Enlarge Photo

Click to Enlarge Photo

Capt. Jim Klopfer
June 30, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Inshore fishing rebounded quickly after Debby passed through. We did not sustain any real permanent damage, just an infusion of fresh water from the rainfall. The areas near the passes remained cloudy from the churned up Gulf of Mexico. But, we found a nice patch of clean water on the west side of the bay from Country Club Shores north to Buttonwood Harbor. Trout fishing was very good with mackerel, jacks, bluefish, flounder, sea bass, and ladyfish mixed in. This time of year the shrimp get scarce and small, so a switch to jigs, Gulp! Shrimp, and live baitfish is in order. Excellent fishing near the passes should resume after the 4th of July.

It was Thursday before the weather would let me back out on the water. Janine and Steve Weiss from Morristown, NJ and their 12 year old son Ean had to work to find the fish. Most of the bay was filled with rain water or muddy water from the Gulf. We did find a nice patch near Bishop’s Pt and caught 3 trout in the slot, a dozen shorts, and a nice black sea bass on Gulp! Shrimp and live pinfish and grunts.

On Friday I fished a two boat charter with Capt Terry Simmons out of CB’s. We took out the Murphy family from Atkinson, NH, I had Sean (18), Mike (16), and Brendan (14). My normal spots near the passes were still a bit dirty, so we met at Ken Thompson Park and headed up north to an area that had nice water. We did quite well, the boys caught a bunch of trout including a pair of 18″ and several more in the slot, a Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jack crevelle, and flounder. We finished up with a ladyfish flurry on the deep edge of a flat. All of the fish were caught using Gulp! Shrimp.

Lauri Bates and her husband Phillip from Auburn, AL fished with me on Saturday morning. Action was steady off of Longboat Key, but a lot of the fish were small. Still, they managed enough trout for a meal and had a lot of fun.

Photo: Finally got back out today after heavy rain from Debby.  Fishing was a little tough, as expected.  Once we found some decent water we did well on trout to 17" and this nice sea bass.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
June 23, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Experience in being out on the water on a daily basis along with the ability to read local weather conditions really paid off this week. The forecast from Wednesday through Saturday was poor, yet I got in each trip with only a few sprinkles, and for the most part we were successful. Never cancel a trip based on the forecast! Fishing grass flats in 5′-8′ of water near the passes continues to be the most productive pattern on my charters. Speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, snapper, flounder, and ladyfish hit jigs, Gulp! Shrimp, live shrimp, and baitfish this week.

Peter Ianace and his twin 7 year old boys Landon and Anthony from Frisco, TX caught Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, ladyfish, sea bass, and jack crevelle on live shrimp and pilchards near Big Pass on Monday morning. A fairly stiff east breeze made things tough on the boys, and they missed some bites. But, they caught plenty of fish and had a good time.

It was a perfect fishing day on Tuesday. Overcast, light breeze out of the east, and a strong incoming tide. Ron Shaney and his children Ronnie and Valerie caught Speckled trout to 22′, Spanish mackerel and bluefish to two pounds, jack crevelle, snapper, and ladyfish at the Marina Jack and Bird Key flats using live shrimp and Gulp! baits. Action was very steady, we caught fish at every spot.

We were greeting with breezy conditions on Wednesday, but still had a productive trip. Sarasota resident Trevor Jessup, his girlfriend Ashlee Griffith, and his mom Suzanne Gordon caught a 15′, 17′, and 18′ speckled trout at the Marina Jack and Bird Key flats, along with smaller trout, silver trout, jacks, and ladyfish using live shrimp. We finished up on a mangrove shoreline in Roberts Bay where Trevor caught a small snook.
David Morgan wanted to try and catch a tarpon on Thursday morning, so we headed out to Point of Rocks at first light. We were surprised to find a large swell in the inshore Gulf of Mexico and very few fish. In fact, we never made a cast. By all accounts it has been a poor tarpon season. We came back inside after a while and bay fished. David caught a small trout on a green Clouser, pretty tough day.

Local Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek caught speckled trout, silver trout, spanish mackerel, sea bass, mangrove snapper, jacks, and ladyfish using Gulp! Shrimp at the Radio Tower, Bird Key, and Marina Jack flats on Friday.

Another local resident, Charles Mancino, went out on Saturday, along with his buddy Bob. The weather was looking marginal, but decided to go and it really paid off; we had an excellent morning! The boys wanted some fish for dinner, the final tally was 4 slot trout from 16″-18″, 4 mangrove snapper and three silver trout to 13″. The big trout were caught on live shrimp and the snapper and silver trout on pilchards. We also caught plenty of short trout, jacks, sea bass, a ladyfish, and a small mackerel. We got in at 11:00, just ahead of the weather. Great way to end another good week of fishing in Sarasota!

Photo: Experience in being out on the water on a daily basis along with the ability to read local weather conditions really paid off this week.  The forecast from Wednesday through Saturday was poor, yet I got in each trip with only a few sprinkles, and for the most part we were successful.  Never cancel a trip based on the forecast!  Fishing grass flats in 5'-8' of water near the passes continues to be the most productive pattern on my charters.  Speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, snapper, flounder, and ladyfish hit jigs, Gulp! Shrimp, live shrimp, and baitfish this week.  </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Peter Ianace and his twin 7 year old boys Landon and Anthony from Frisco, TX caught Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, ladyfish, sea bass, and jack crevelle on live shrimp and pilchards near Big Pass on Monday morning.  A fairly stiff east breeze made things tough on the boys, and they missed some bites.  But, they caught plenty of fish and had a good time.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>It was a perfect fishing day on Tuesday.  Overcast, light breeze out of the east, and a strong incoming tide.  Ron Shaney and his children Ronnie and Valerie caught Speckled trout to 22', Spanish mackerel and bluefish to two pounds, jack crevelle, snapper, and ladyfish at the Marina Jack and Bird Key flats using live shrimp and Gulp! baits.  Action was very steady, we caught fish at every spot.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>We were greeting with breezy conditions on Wednesday, but still had a productive trip.  Sarasote resident Trevor Jessup, his girlfriend Ashlee Griffith, and his mom Suzanne Gordon caught a 15', 17', and 18' speckled trout at the Marina Jack and Bird Key flats, along with smaller trout, silver trout, jacks, and ladyfish using live shrimp.  We finished up on a mangrove shoreline in Roberts Bay where Trevor caught a small snook.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>David Morgan wanted to try and catch a tarpon on Thursday morning, so we headed out to Point of Rocks at first light.  We were surprised to find a large swell in the inshore Gulf of Mexico and very few fish.  In fact, we never made a cast.  By all accounts it has been a poor tarpon season.  We came back inside after a while and bay fished.  David caught a small trout on a green Clouser, pretty tough day.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Local Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek caught speckled trout, silver trout, spanish mackerel, sea bass, mangrove snapper, jacks, and ladyfish using Gulp! Shrimp at the Radio Tower, Bird Key, and Marina Jack flats on Friday.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Another local resident, Charles Mancino, went out on Saturday, along with his buddy Bob.  The weather was looking marginal, but decided to go and it really paid off; we had an excellent morning!  The boys wanted some fish for dinner, the final tally was 4 slot trout from 16"-18", 4 mangrove snapper and three silver trout to 13".  The big trout were caught on live shrimp and the snapper and silver trout on pilchards.  We also caught plenty of short trout, jacks, sea bass, a ladyfish, and a small mackerel.  We got in at 11:00, just ahead of the weather.  Great way to end another good week of fishing in sarasota!

Capt. Jim Klopfer
June 16, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

The deep grass flats in five to eight feet of water near both Big Sarasota Pass and New Pass continue to provide great action and variety for my clients. D.O.A. CAL jigs, Gulp! Shrimp, Rapalas, flies, and live shrimp and baitfish are all producing, depending on conditions. Redfish, speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, BIG sea bass, flounder, mangrove and lane snapper, jack crevelle, ladyfish, gag grouper, and black drum were caught this week on charters. Snook and redfish action has slowed in the shallow water.

I had a great trip on Sunday with Jon Copp from Zionsville, IN and his 16 year old son Sam. We started off catching big sea bass, jacks, and small trout at the Radio Tower flat on Gulp! Shrimp. We hit a couple of mangrove shorelines and docks, no snook but several nice mangrove snappers. At the last spot, Marker #5, Sam picked up the fly rod and caught a dozen fish including two Spanish mackerel, several trout to 17″, and ladyfish on white and green/white Clousers. Jon caught silver trout, speckled trout and ladyfish.

Mark Kimler from Madison, W. VA took his two boys Wesley and Willie, along with a friend Drew Vess out on Monday morning. They caught a bunch of fish including speckled trout to 20″, silver trout to 14″, flounder, jacks, sea bass, ladyfish, snapper, and catfish. Jigs worked well early but by late morning live shrimp were producing better. The Radio Tower flat was the best spot.

Scott Morehouse and Bryan Czapor from West Virginia caught over a hundred fish on Tuesday! We stated off catching a couple of jacks and a snapper on Rapalas at first light in Phillippi Creek. We moved to the deep grass flats near Big Pass and they caught speckled trout, jacks, and ladyfish on shrimp and jigs. I netted up some bait and although it was small, it was usable. And I had a LOT of it! We sat in one spot for over two hours and caught fish on nearly every cast including several Spanish mackerel, a ton of speckled trout, jacks, sea bass, and ladyfish. Heavy chumming kept them close. We finished up at the Radio Tower flat with Scott landing a 21″ trout on a Gulp! Shrimp and a big sea bass while Bryan caught a bunch of trout on live shrimp.

Mike Yarbrough fro Berwyn, PA took his dad Jim from Lagrange, GA out on Wednesday. Fishing was a little slow at first as we picked at the trout using jigs. But, the tide turned to go out and some live bait chumming resulted in very steady action on speckled trout, sea bass, jacks and ladyfish near the Twin Bridges.

Tim Rink and his 18 year old son Jason from Grainger, IN did a 6 hour morning trip on Thursday. We started off with Jason catching a 20″ redfish, a keeper mangrove snapper, and have a black drum shake off at the boat using live shrimp in Phillippi Creek. We moved up to the Radio Tower flat and made several long drifts casting Gulp! Shrimp on 1/4 ounce jig heads. Tim caught a 16″ and an 18″ speckled trout while Jason put a nice black sea bass in the box. They also landed flounder, jack crevelle, lane snapper, ladyfish, and a big sailcat. The tide turned to go out and we made a move into the Yacht Club channel and chummed the trout and Spanish mackerel up. The boys got a bite on almost every cast! On the way in we hit a couple of docks and caught mangrove snappers to 12″ and got “freight-trained” twice by something big. All-in-all, a great day of fishing.

On Friday I had two father/son teams, Steve Nicholson and his son Max and Scott Higgins and his son Nate. Both boys are 13 years old. We started off at the Radio Tower casting Gulp! Shrimp, catching trout, ladyfish, and a couple of gag grouper, but the action was sporadic, a lot of vegetation had moved in. We moved to the Marina Jack flat and put a 21″, 20″, and 18″ speckled trout into the boat using large shrimp under a cork. Max lost another keeper trout to a 4′ shark, pretty exciting! We finished up near Bird Key with a flurry of trout, ladyfish, jacks, and a mackerel using pilchards.

Brad Williams and his 15 year old sone Bradley from Kokomo, IN caught a couple dozen speckled trout to 20′, sea bass, flounder, gag grouper, jacks, and ladyfish on Gulp! Shrimp at the Radio Tower and Bird Key flats. I caught some bait and they caught redfish, jacks, snapper, and flounder under docks near the Siesta Drive bridge.

Photo: The deep grass flats in five to eight feet of water near both Big Sarasota Pass and New Pass continue to provide great action and variety for my clients.  D.O.A. CAL jigs, Gulp! Shrimp, Rapalas, flies, and live shrimp and baitfish are all producing, depending on conditions.  Redfish, speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, BIG sea bass, flounder, mangrove and lane snapper, jack crevelle, ladyfish, gag grouper, and black drum were caught this week on charters.  Snook and redfish action has slowed in the shallow water.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>I had a great trip on Sunday with Jon Copp from Zionsville, IN and his 16 year old son Sam.  We started off catching big sea bass, jacks, and small trout at the Radio Tower flat on Gulp! Shrimp.  We hit a couple of mangrove shorelines and docks, no snook but several nice mangrove snappers.  At the last spot, Marker #5, Sam picked up the fly rod and caught a dozen fish including two Spanish mackerel, several trout to 17", and ladyfish on white and green/white Clousers.  Jon caught silver trout, speckled trout and ladyfish.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Mark Kimler from Madison, W. VA took his two boys Wesley and Willie, along with a friend Drew Vess out on Monday morning.  They caught a bunch of fish including speckled trout to 20", silver trout to 14", flounder, jacks, sea bass, ladyfish, snapper, and catfish.  Jigs worked well early but by late morning live shrimp were producing better.  The Radio Tower flat was the best spot.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Scott Morehouse and Bryan Czapor from West Virginia caught over a hundred fish on Tuesday!  We stated off catching a couple of jacks and a snapper on Rapalas at first light in Phillippi Creek.  We moved to the deep grass flats near Big Pass and they caught speckled trout, jacks, and ladyfish on shrimp and jigs.  I netted up some bait and although it was small, it was usable.  And I had a LOT of it!  We sat in one spot for over two hours and caught fish on nearly every cast including several Spanish mackerel, a ton of speckled trout, jacks, sea bass, and ladyfish.  Heavy chumming kept them close.  We finished up at the Radio Tower flat with Scott landing a 21" trout on a Gulp! Shrimp and a big sea bass while Bryan caught a bunch of trout on live shrimp.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Mike Yarbrough fro Berwyn, PA took his dad Jim from Lagrange, GA out on Wednesday.  Fishing was a little slow at first as we picked at the trout using jigs.  But, the tide turned to go out and some live bait chumming resulted in very steady action on speckled trout, sea bass, jacks and ladyfish near the Twin Bridges.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Tim Rink and his 18 year old son Jason from Grainger, IN did a 6 hour morning trip on Thursday.  We started off with Jason catching a 20" redfish, a keeper mangrove snapper, and have a black drum shake off at the boat using live shrimp in Phillippi Creek.  We moved up to the Radio Tower flat and made several long drifts casting Gulp! Shrimp on 1/4 ounce jig heads.  Tim caught a 16" and an 18" speckled trout while Jason put a nice black sea bass in the box.  They also landed flounder, jack crevelle, lane snapper, ladyfish, and a big sailcat.  The tide turned to go out and we made a move into the Yacht Club channel and chummed the trout and Spanish mackerel up.  The boys got a bite on almost every cast!  On the way in we hit a couple of docks and caught mangrove snappers to 12" and got "freight-trained" twice by something  big.  All-in-all, a great day of fishing.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>On Friday I had two father/son teams, Steve Nicholson and his son Max and Scott Higgins and his son Nate.  Both boys are 13 years old.  We started off at the Radio Tower casting Gulp! Shrimp, catching trout, ladyfish, and a couple of gag grouper, but the action was sporadic, a lot of vegetation had moved in.  We moved to the Marina Jack flat and put a 21", 20", and 18" speckled trout into the boat using large shrimp under a cork.  Max lost another keeper trout to a 4' shark, pretty exciting!  We finished up near Bird Key with a flurry of trout, ladyfish, jacks, and a mackerel using pilchards.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Brad Williams and his 15 year old sone Bradley from Kokomo, IN caught a couple dozen speckled trout to 20', sea bass, flounder, gag grouper, jacks, and ladyfish on Gulp! Shrimp at the Radio Tower and Bird Key flats.  I caught some bait and they caught redfish, jacks, snapper, and flounder under docks near the Siesta Drive bridge.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
June 9, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Once again, the deep flats on the north end of Siesta Key near Big Sarasota Pass and docks and shorelines in Roberts Bay provided clients with steady action on a multitude of species. Redfish, speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, flounder, sheepshead, sea bass, jack crevelle, sharks, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, and catfish were landed by anglers using flies, jigs, and live shrimp on charters this week.

Aaron Gibson from Orem, Utah and his dad Steve did some fly fishing with me on Monday morning. Speckled trout and ladyfish hit green/white, charteuse/white, and all white Clouser Minnows at the Marina Jack, Radio Tower, and Moorings flats.

Bill Bockelman and his son Shawn, both from Louisville, KY caught a nice mess of fish on Tuesday morning at the Bird Key and Marina Jack flats. Several speckled trout to 19″, silver trout to 12″, and four Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds went into the box while jacks, ladyfish, plenty of short trout, and a pair of sharks were released. Shawn caught all of his fish on a 3″ glow Gulp! Shrimp while Bill stuck with the real thing. The larger shark ran all the line off, we were down to the knot, but we cranked up and chased it down!

Raymond Miles from Huntington, NY and his brother Rich Miles from Reston, VA caught speckled trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, jacks, sea bass, ladyfish on the deep flats on Wednesday morning. After putting dinner in the box, we tried some mangrove shorelines and caught a redfish and several snappers. We used live shrimp all morning.

Thunderstorms in the morning shut down fishing on Thursday, but we were back at it on Friday. Bob Schilling from Cold Springs, KY took out his 15 year old son Grant and his friend Joe Broerine fishing. They caught a bunch of different species and ended up with a nice box of fish. A pair of speckled trout to 18″, six silver trout to 14″, a 15″ flounder, a 13″ sheepshead, and a 2 lb Spanish mackerel went home for dinner while smaller trout, jacks, sea bass, ladyfish, and a shark were released. Most of the fish came on white Gulp! Shrimp fished on the deep flats near Siesta Key. The flounder and sheepshead hit live shrimp under a dock in Big Pass.

Saturday afternoon Scott Huff from Columbia Sportswear treated clients to a trip. We decided to use a pontoon boat from CB’s to provide shade and shelter from the sun and potential rain. We worked the bars from Stickney Pt. south to Blackburn Pt. and caught speckled trout and ladyfish on live shrimp and jigs.

Photo: Speckled trout fishing continues to be outstanding on the deep grass flats in Sarasota Bay.

Capt. Jim Klopfer
June 2, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was good this week, although the weather did make things challenging at times. A fairly stiff breeze blew from the west all week. But, we had excellent tides and the action on the deep flats continued to be very good for both speckled and silver trout. Spanish mackerel, sea bass, ladyfish, bluefish, and the occassional shark were also taken. Snook are in decent numbers along the mangrove shorelines. Mangrove snapper are schooling up under docks along Siesta Key.

Tom Tanner from Chelsea, MI treated his son Tom Jr, Amanda French, and Cody Lance to a morning of fishing on Sunday. Action was very steady on the deep grass near Big Pass. Tom and Tommy tossed gold D.O.A. CAL shad tail jigs and Amanda and Cody used live shrimp. The count was pretty even between the artificial and live bait anglers, with speckled trout to 18″, a bunch of decent silver trout to 14″, 3 Spanish mackerel, black sea bass, a blacktip shark, and ladyfish being landed. We fishined up in Robert’s Bay, catching a snook and losing another, had 2 reds pull the hook, caught 3 decent mangrove snapper and a slot trout.

Brian Robinson, his father in law Dave Piper, and eleven year old son Quinn caught a nice mess of speckled and silver trout along with a couple of Spanish mackerel, jacks, sea bass, and ladyfish using live shrimp on the deep flats. We finished up with Quinn landing 2 snook and Dave catching one (their first ever for both) and Brian caught two mangrove snappers. All was done in Robert’s Bay on shrimp.

Bill Walker, his daughter Kim, and granddaughter Mariah from Colorado Springs, CO had a good morning on Wednesday. Six year old Mariah started things off with a 21″ trout, then hooked a nice bonnethead shark on her next cast! All three fought it. Silver trout and a bunch of speckled trout were then landed. We finished up the trip working a dock and Bill caught a small snook, Kim caught several mangs to 12″, and Mariah caught more snapper and a ladyfish.

Ray Draper from TX and Chris Busbee from GA fished with me on Thursday. They caught silver trout to 14″ and speckled trout to 22″ on white Gulp! Shrimp on the flats near the Ringling Bridge, along with a Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, catfish, and sea bass. We spent a little time in shallow water and caught a pair of trout on Rapala X-Raps and a flounder on a jig.

Lindsay and Jeff Klein from Carmel, IN and their 6 year old son Carter braved the ominous-looking weather and went fishing on Friday. We got drizzled on a couple of times, but they were rewarded with a nice box of fish. A pair of 17″ speckled trout, 8 silver trout, and a pair of Spanish mackerel along with mangrove snapper, sail cats, jack crevelle, and ladyfish hit free lined shrimp.

Fly fisherman Nick Frederick and his dad Nick fished early Saturday morning. Nick Sr caught speckled trout to 17″, silver trout to 14″, and a very nice sea bass on a Trigger-X Shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jig head. Son Nick caught speckled trout and a Spanish mackerel on all white and chartreuse/white Clousers. The Radio Tower was the best spot.

Photo: Fun morning fishing with the Walker family from Colorado.  Bill treated his daughter Kim and grand daughter Mariah to a trip.  The highlight was this shark that took all three to land.

The best way to experience the fantastic fishing on Siesta Key is to go with a professional guide. Capt Jim Klopfer runs Adventure Charters. A fishing guide since 1991, Capt Jim spends the majority of his time fishing around Siesta Key. He is very much tuned in to the local fish migrations and conditions. That 20 years experience fishing these waters will help you catch more fish. Many visitors to Siesta Key are novices and families with young children, Capt Jim is patient, easy-going, and friendly, ensuring a quality, relaxed angling experience. He can also accommodate seasoned anglers seeking more of a challenge such as snook, redfish, and tarpon. Call Capt Jim at (941) 371-1390

Capt. Jim Klopfer
May 26, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Clients experienced another excellent week of fishing in Sarasota! I ram my first two tarpon trips, we saw a lot of fish on Sunday but no bites and landed one on Thursday. Speckled trout to 24″, silver trout, snook, Spanish mackerel, jacks, bluefish, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish were also caught this week.

I ran a tarpon trip on Sunday morning with Bruce Wheeler from San Diego, CA and a couple of friends. We saw plenty of fish and had some great shots, but no bites.

On Monday morning Becky Briber and Doug Griesel from Madison, NH had a very active trip. Speckled trout, silver trout, bluefish, jacks, mangrove snapper, a mackerel, and ladyfish were caught on the deep flats near Big Pass. Becky caught her fish on shrimp and Doug used shrimp and also landed some fish on fly using Clouser Minnows.

Sarasota residents Susie Alarie and David Watkins fished a 6 hour trip on Tuesday. The speckled trout bite was good, with several slot trout to 18″ going in the box and a 24″ fish released. Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, small jacks, sea bass, and a bluefish were also landed on live shrimp. I caught some pilchards and we finished up in Robert’s Bay catching a pair of snook to 22″ and a nice jack crevelle.

John Price from York, PA and his friends Dick Berkheimer and Bill Franz experienced great action on the deep flats wednesday, landing a bunch of speckled trout with several in the slot to 17″, silver trout, jacks, ladyfish, and a pair of 2 lb Spanish mackerel using live shrimp. We finished up using live pilchards, where John caught a snook and Bill landed a pair of decent trout.

Chaz Boyter from New Jersey caught his first tarpon Thursday on a live pinfish off of Longboat Key. We did not see a lot of fish, but got one to eat! He also hooked a cobia off the New Pass bar on the way in on a crab.

Friday and Saturday were boat maintenance days, time for a 2500 hour service. Yamaha makes a great engine, mine still runs great! After eleven straight days on the water, I was ready for a couple of days off. Back at it on Sunday.

 

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Capt. Jim Klopfer
May 19, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Once again, fishing was excellent on a variety of species, mostly using live bait. Snook, redfish, speckled trout, silver trout, jack crevelle, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, sea bass, and snapper were among the species landed this week. The flats and shorelines along Siesta Key were the best spots. The pattern has been to hit the trout flats early then finish up targeting snook, reds, and jacks later in the morning. The pilchards are very large and perfect for snook and reds.

Marci Jenke from Colorado fished with me on Monday and Thursday. On Monday she brought along her brother Joe, who lives here in Sarasota. They caught a nice mess of speckled trout and a couple of Spanish mackerel on shrimp near Big Pass. We finished up working docks along Siesta Key and both caught a snook along with a nice trout. Marci wanted to target more challenging gamefish on Thursday, so we concentrated on mangrove shorelines and docks on Robert’s Bay. Marci landed a pair of nice jacks near Phillippi Creek to start things off. The morning got quite still with little wind or tide, and fishing was a little tough. She finished up with a snook and 2 decent trout, along with a mystery fish that broker her off on a dock.

Repeat clients Joanne and Jim Meyer from Valparaiso, IN went out for a morning trip on Tuesday. Action was steady on speckled trout using shrimp and pilchards. Joanne caught a 21″ redfish on a pinfish to finish up the trip. Great people and great fun!

Kim and Paul McStowe from Stratham, NH went out on Wednesday. The silver trout bite was terrific near the Twin Bridges, for whatever reason these tasty fish are still quite plentiful. They put several in the box and released a dozen more along with speckled trout and four Spanish mackerel. Paul mentioned that he would like to try for some more challenging fish, so after netting up some bait we headed for the mangroves. Paul caught several snook, even “calling his shot” once, promising a snook, then moments later catching a 24″ fish. Not to be outdone, his lovely bride Kim completed an “Inshore slam”, landing a snook and a pair of reds to go along with her trout.

Peter and Jeanette Goldsbrough took out their son and daughter Claire and Ian on Friday. They are very casual anglers and wanted a few fish for dinner, so we concentrated on the deep flats using live shrimp. Action was steady and they put 4 speckled trout, a nice silver trout, a Spanish mackerel, and a bluefish in the box. Jack crevelle, flounder, sea bass, ladyfish, and catfish were also caught and released.

Bob Theis, his wife Sally, and son Pete fished on Saturday morning. They wanted to try for snook, reds, and jacks, so I got some hand-picked shrimp and hit some docks and mangrove shorelines in Robert’s Bay. They landed a big mangrove snapper, a couple of slot trout, and got broken off twice by big fish. we finished up on the deep flats catching trout to 18″, a shark, and ladyfish.

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Capt. Jim Klopfer
May 12, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was very good once again this week! We landed snook on every charter, redfish, large speckled trout, silver trout, pompano, sea bass, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle to 8 pounds, flounder, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish on shrimp, pilchards, and jigs. Several clients caught their first ever snook.

On Sunday morning I fished with Sarasota locals Martha and Brian Heard and their 15 year old daughter Selena. They had a great trip, the speckled trout bite was fantastic! They caught close to a dozen trout in the slot, including a 24″ fish on the last cast along with a couple of 20″ and several 18″ trout. Pompano, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, big sea bass, jack crevelle, and ladyfish were also boated. Brian and Selena also each caught their first ever snook. Martha pitched in with a nice Spanish mackerel and a nice jack. All of the fish were taken near Siesta Key on live pilchards and shrimp.

Bob and Sally Theis from Manlius, NY treated their daughter Alison to a fishing trip on Monday. Action was virtually non-stop on speckled trout free lining shrimp near Marina Jack, with the largest one going 25″. Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and more were also caught. I netted up some pilchards and we finished up near CB’s Saltwater Outfitters catching several nice jack crevelle and a snook.

Marci Jenke from Colorado and her friend Mary experienced steady action on Wednesday morning. Speckled trout, silver trout, mackerel, snapper, and ladyfish kept the rods bent. The flats near Selby were the most productive. We stopped at a dock along Siesta Key where Marci landed a snook and several more were hooked and lost.

Friday morning Becky and Ken Jenkins from Naperville, IL celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary by going fishing. Gotta love that! They had a great morning, landing several slot trout, silver trout, sugar trout, mangrove and lane snapper, jacks, and ladyfish on the deep flats near Big Pass on shrimp and small pinfish. We finished up the trip with both Becky and Ken catching their first snook, along with several jacks to 5 pounds.

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Capt. Jim Klopfer
May 5, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was steady this week, though unspectacular. Snook, speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, flounder, bluefish, jack crevelle, sea bass, ladyfish, sharks, mangrove snapper, and more were landed on charters this week. Most of the action took place on the deep flats near Big Pass using live shrimp.

Anthony Tripaldi and his girlfriend Beth from Brooklyn, NY caught Spanish mackerel, a nice bluefish, and slot trout near Big Pass on Sunday morning using live shrimp. I netted up some pilchards and went snook fishing, but only caught one small one near Phillippi Creek.

Monday I fished a group trip with a bunch of CB’s guides. It was very breezy, but we caught trout, ladyfish, and mackerel on Gulp! Shrimp and D.O.A. CAL jigs at the Marina Jack and Yacht Club Channel flats.

Sarasota resident Dennis Dickenson promised his wife some fresh fish for dinner. So, we put several speckled trout and a pair of Spanish Mackerel in the box using live shrimp, then went after bigger game. We caught a decent snook and a couple of small ones on pilchards along with some mangrove snappers on the east side of Siesta Key.

Osprey resident Peggy Heaslip, her son Ben, and a couple of his friends fished with me on Thursday. Action was steady on speckled trout and ladyfish near the Ringling Bridge. They also caught snapper, flounder, Spanish mackerel, jacks, and a shark. All of the fish were caught on free lined shrimp.

Dustin Theobald from Upper Darby, PA fished with me on Friday morning. He caught several ladyfish and trout on jigs, then mentioned that he would rather catch a couple of quality fish, and hopefully a snook, over numbers of smaller fish. The baitfish were dimpling on the surface and I quickly had the well full of nice sized pilchards. A few hours later Dustin had an “inshore slam”, landing 3 snook and a redfish near Siesta Key. The icing on the trip was several 8 pound jack crevelle.

Long time client Joe Puhy from West Bloomfield, MI took his wife out on Saturday. Action was steady on speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, and ladyfish using live shrimp and pilchards. We finished up near Marina Jack with a good trout bite, landing a half dozen slot fish to 20″ chumming with bait fish.

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Capt. Jim Klopfer
April 28, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

A severe front shut down fishing early in the week. Winds were 20+ out of the northwest. Fishing picked up later in the week as winds subsided and the water began clearing. Snook, redfish, big jacks, large trout and Spanish mackerel were caught on pilchards and shrimp.

I fished the Myakka River on Tuesday. Post cold front conditions (strong n.e. wind, bluebird sky) made for tough fishing, but we landed a couple of bass and a 5 pound tarpon on D.O.A. jerk baits and two big tilapia on tiny chartreuse jigs.

Jim Mitchell from Longboat Key and his brother-in-law Charlie did not catch a ton of fish, but they did catch some quality ones. Charlie caught a 25″ speckled trout on a pinfish and lost a nice snook on a pilchard and caught several mangrove snapper. Jim caught a big jack on a pilchard.

Friday was better as the water cleared up a bit. Ed Burt from New London, NH took out his 15 year old daughter Jonalyn and his father-inlaw John Carroll. Action was steady on Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, speckled trout to 18″, ladyfish, sea bass, and snapper hit pilchards and shrimp near Big Pass. We decided to try for some snook and jacks, so I netted up some pilchards. The first spot only produced a flounder. The second did better as Jonalyn completed her “Inshore slam”, catching a pair of snook and a redfish. John caught a red and Ed landed a jack.

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Capt. Jim Klopfer
April 21, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was very good once again this week on a variety of species. Speckled trout in the slot, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, flounder, sharks, flounder, sea bass, and flounder were caught on the deep flats on the north end of siesta Key on jigs, shrimp, and pilchards. Snook to 28″, redfish, jacks to 8 pounds, and mangrove snapper to 14″ were caught along docks and mangrove shorelines in Robert’s Bay.

Paul Brunelle from Sarasota took his 10 year old son Jay out for a birthday present. It was breezy, but they caught several nice trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and jacks on live shrimp. Jay finished up the trip with a 3 foot bonnethead shark, happy birthday!

Bob Kozuch from Venice, FL took out his son Scott who was visiting from Coventry, CT on Tuesday. The started of catching silver trout at Marker # 5 on gold D.O.A. Cal jigs. A move to the deep channel edges resulted in a par of fat 18″ speckled trout along with another keeper fish on shrimp. I netted up some bait and we finished up catching snook to 24″ and jacks to 8 pounds in Robert’s Bay.

Cathy and Bruce Goodwin from Keego Harbor, MI had an excellent trip on Wednesday! They caught 8 slot trout on live shrimp and pilchards, along with several Spanish mackerel and a flounder on the grass flats near Big Pass. A move to Siesta key resulted in a snook, a snapper, and a pair of jack crevelle to 8 pounds.

On Friday morning David Sandrew from Westport CT took out his 2 boys Shane (5) and Simon (9). Just a couple minutes in, Shane hooked a big fish, which turned out to be a 3′ bonnethead shark which the boys “double teamed” to land. Dave caught a nice 21″ trout and in all they landed a half dozen in the slot along with two Spanish mackerel and a 16″ flounder. I caught some bait and we finished up with a couple of nice jacks, two snappers, and a snook. Total number of species for the four hour trip; thirteen. Stormy weather shut down fishing over the weekend.

 

 

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The best way to experience the fantastic fishing in Sarasota is to go with a professional guide. Capt Jim Klopfer runs Adventure Charters. A fishing guide since 1991, Capt Jim spends the majority of his time fishing around downtown Sarasota and the nearby beaches. He is very much tuned in to the local fish migrations and conditions. That 20 + years experience fishing these waters will help you catch more fish. Many visitors to Sarasota are novices and families with young children, Capt Jim is patient, easy-going, and friendly, ensuring a quality, relaxed angling experience. He can also accommodate seasoned anglers seeking more of a challenge such as snook, redfish, and tarpon. Call Capt Jim at (941) 371-1390

Capt. Jim Klopfer
April 14, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Fishing was steady this week on a variety of species and using several techniques. Snook, Speckled trout, silver trout, redfish, jack crevelle, flounder, pompano, mangrove snapper, sharks, sea bass, ladyfish, bluefish, largemouth bass, bluegill, warmouth, and tilapia were landed on charters this week. The flats near the passes and docks on Siesta Key were the best spots to fish. I ran a trip out at Myaka River State Park, the water is extremely low and fishing was a little tough.

Tom Salerno and his son Kyle from Buffalo, NY caught several nice speckled trout to 20″, ladyfish, jacks, and a pair of snook on live shrimp and pilchards on Sunday. On Monday morning the Kahler family from Brookfield, WI had virtually non-stop action on speckled and silver trout, jacks, ladyfish, and a pair of Spanish mackerel on live shrimp near Big Pass.

Dan Lynch from Venice, FL and his buddy Dominic had a great trip on Tuesday. Both are experienced anglers who enjoy fishing with artificial baits. we started off catching 2 reds and a 4 pound trout on Rapala X-Raps at first light near CB’s. Then, Gulp! Shrimp fooled a nice pompano, speckled and silver trout, jacks, flounder, mackerel, and ladyfish on the deep flats.

I ran 2 trips on Wednesday. In the morning, the Manby family, also from Brookfield, WI caught a nice bunch of Spanish mackerel in Big Pass, destined for dinner at Clayton’s that evening. Tom Grupp and his son Nick from Buffalo did very well in the afternoon, landing several 20″ trout (we released them) and keeping a few macks for the grill. We finished up with 2 snapper and a half dozen 4-5 pound jacks off of Siesta Key. Shrimp and pilchards were used on both trips.

Local Sarasota resident Doc Dojutrek fished a full day on Friday. He had to work at, but Doc got an “Inshore Slam”, landing trout on Gulp! Shrimp, a 21″ red on a gold spoon, and a 22″ snook on a pilchard. He also caught flounder to 14″, a decent bluefish, jacks, and ladyfish.

Warren Persky from Pompano Beach, FL had to fish in a pretty stiff S.E. breeze on Saturday. He did fine, catching several Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, trout to 17″, and ladyfish freelining shrimp on the deep flats. A move to a Siesta canal resulted in a pair of 14″ mangrove snapper and several 3-4 pound jacks on pilchards.

 

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Capt. Jim Klopfer
April 7, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Trout fishing has been outstanding this week! Most of the deep flats are holding slot sized and larger fish. Potholes and bars in shallow water are yielding trout over 5 pounds. Snook fishing has been good; several clients caught their first ever snook this week. Spanish mackerel are around, but not in big numbers. Decent sized jack crevelle are being caught along side the snook.

Joe McGurrin from Stevensville, MD and his buddy Stan Ross from Virginia Beach, VA caught speckled trout and ladyfish on jigs at the Marina Jack flat first thing in the morning. The bite slowed, so I netted up some pilchards and we had steady action on the edge of a flat, landing silver trout to 16′, speckled trout to 17″, and ladyfish. We ran down to Robert’s Bay and caught a half dozen 4 pound jacks, 3 snook to 28″, and a nice trout under docks.

Longboat Key resident Jim Mitchell, son Todd Bruce, and grand daughter Ruby (8) Bruce caught trout, mackerel, and ladyfish on Monday morning. We dropped Ruby off and finished up with Todd catching his first snook, a nice 28″ fish. Jim and Todd also landed jacks and a nice 15″ mangrove snapper. In the afternoon Steve Tally and his son Nick from Atlanta caught a bunch of trout to 18″, 5 Spanish mackerel, a 16″ flounder and ladyfish on pilchards.

Eric Prime from Bargersville, IN took his kids Alec (12) and Alden (17) out on Tuesday morning. Action was steady, they landed several macks, 4 slot trout, and 3 trout right at 20″ that we released (gotta let those big girls go!!) In the afternoon Osprey, FL caught her first ever snook, along with several nice trout. Her guests caught trout, mackerel, ladyfish, a nice bluefish, and a 6 pound jack crevelle.

Tim Carrig from Elm Grove, WI and his sons Joe (8), Kevin (10) and Tim (12) experienced non-stop action on trout, ladyfish, mackerel, and jacks using live shrimp. They landed over 75 fish. With 45 minutes to go, we ran out of shrimp ( I started with 12 dozen! ) so with 30 minutes left, I did a quick bait netting, putting 30 pilchards in the well. The result was 2 snook landed by Kevin, he was inches from a “Slam” as a red shook loose right at the boat. We did land a red and missed several other snook.

Jeff O’Daniel from IN took out a friend on Thursday. A stiff west wind and dirty water near the passes made catching bait difficult. We ended up focusing on speckled trout on the flats off of Longboat Key and did quite well tossing D.O.A. shad tail baits and Gulp! Shrimp.

Friday it blew 20+, so no fishing. We did get out on Saturday. John Sznewajs and his boys Lukas (12) and Peter (9) from Birmingham, MI caught silver trout, speckled trout, ladyfish, a Spanish mackerel, and a blacktip shark. Fishing was a little tough, coming off the front and dealing with strong N.E. winds.

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Capt. Jim Klopfer
March 31, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Rich Ruis, his son Tom, and brother-in-law Hank DeYoung from Michigan had an excellent morning on Sunday. We did get rained on a couple of times and had to sit under bridges, but we were rewarded with speckled trout to 21″, bluefish and Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds, silver trout, ladyfish, gag grouper, and flounder on the deep flats at the north end of Siesta Key. I netted up some pilchards and we finished the trip with a flurry of snook, landing 18 to 28″ along with a jack crevelle near the Siesta Dr Bridge.

Jody and Greg Love from Janesville, WI had a good trip on Monday morning. The tide was a little slow to get moving, but they caught several nice Spanish mackerel and lost a few more, speckled and silver trout, ladyfish, and sea bass on pilchards near Big Pass. They finished up catching a snook each on the way back in along Siesta Key

The Stasny family from Woodridge, IL fished with me on Tuesday and Wednesday. Jacqueline (9), Kyle (14) and Natalie (7) along with Patti and Dan caught Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, silver trout, ladyfish, jacks, and flounder on the deep flats. We finished up on Wednesday with Kyle landing 3 snook to 22′ on pilchards on the west side of Robert’s Bay.

We absolutely wrecked them on Thursday! Cathy and Jim Dorricott from Osprey, FL tok their daughter Kaitlyn and her friend Danielle out fishing. Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and trout provided steady action in Big Pass and the nearby flats. With an hour to go I netted up some pilchards, chummed a deep edge, and we caught a HUGE Spanish mackerel, several smaller macks, 3 trout over the slot to 24″, 3 flounder, and a bunch of ladyfish.

Fly anglers David Morgan and Jed Lyons from Washington, D.C. caught Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, silver trout, and ladyfish on white and red/white Clouser Minnows. Action slowed, so I netted up some pilchards and we finished catching several snook (losing two big ones) and a 5 lb jack crevelle under a Siesta Key dock.

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Capt. Jim Klopfer
March 24, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

Strong morning rising tides made for good fishing in the bay this week for speckled trout and Spanish mackerel. Sheepshead are still plentiful near both passes. The inshore Gulf of Mexico is good for mackerel. Snook are being caught along Siesta Key along with the occasional redfish.

Dave Buckley from Gettysburg, PA fished with me on Sunday and Wednesday mornings. Dave enjoys fishing the inshore Gulf, so after catching bait and landing a few trout, mackerel, and ladyfish we went out and worked the inshore reefs. Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds and flounder to 18″ were the top catches.

Fly fisherman Jack Martin from the Philadelphia, PA area caught a dozen trout to 17″ and several ladyfish on white D.T. specials on Manday morning on the flats near Big Pass.

Suzy and Dick Wahba and their children Charlie and Victoria from New York City caught nearly 50 fish including Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, trout to 17″, ladyfish, 3 keeper sheepshead, gag grouper, jack crevelle, croaker, and other species near Big Pass using live shrimp.

Jessica and Dustin White from Elmwood Park, IL had a great morning on Thursday. Slot trout were released and 4 Spanish mackerel went in the box for lunch. The fish hit live shrimp and pilchards near Big Pass. We finished up working a dock along Siesta Key where Dustin caught several snook, and Jessica completed her “Inshore Slam”, landing a nice red and 2 snook.

Scott Domowicz from Erie, PA took his two boys Eric (10) and Colin (12) out on thier first saltwater fishing trip. The boys did a great job, catching plenty of trout, ladyfish, a several Spanish mackerel. Colin ended the morning with a nice 4 lb mack!

Saturday morning Betty Gravlich and Trey Johnson from Sarasota went out with me. We did not catch a lot of fish, but the ones we did catch were quality fish. Four trout between 16″ and 18″, a pair of 2 pound mackerel, and six snook to 24″ were caught using live pilchards on the north end of Siesta Key

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Capt. Jim Klopfer
March 17, 2012
Sarasota – Saltwater Fishing Report

The week started off with the excellent fishing continuing. Jim and Marie Broberg and their daughters Kristin (20) and Heather (18) caught a dozen sheepshead under docks, keeping 8 for dinner. As the tide turned to come in, gold D.O.A. jigs and live shrimp fooled a bunch of ladyfish. The nearby deep grass flats produced ten Spanish mackerel to 3 lbs on free lined shrimp. We finished up the morning catching a 3 lb jack and a small snook under a Siesta Key dock.

Monday’s charter was quite similar. Craig Raiford and his boys Luke and Eli caught 13 different species including redfish, speckled and silver trout, Spanish mackerel to 3 lbs, flounder, sheepshead, ladyfish, and gag grouper. Jigs and shrimp free lined in Big Pass and the docks and flats near Bird Key produced most of the fish. The afternoon was a bit slower, but still resulted in macks, sheepshead, trout, and ladyfish.

Bill LaPierre from MA went out on Tuesday morning. After catching some sheepies and ladyfish in Big Pass, we decided to do something different and go out on the beach. It really wasn’t going on, but we caught a nice Spanish mackerel, silver trout, and ladyfish on Rapala X-raps and jigs near Point of Rocks. In the afternoon Steve Cook and his son Andrew from Ontario experienced great action on trout, mackerel, and ladyfish in Big Pass and the surrounding flats using live pilchards and shrimp. They also caught a pompano on fly. We finished up with several sheepshead under Siesta Key docks.

Jeanne and Rich Tobias from Ft. Wayne, IN treated their daughter Morgan and her fiance Josh to a charter on Wednesday. Once again, the sheepshead bite was very good. Once we had a few for the box, the nearby grass flats produced Spanish mackerel, trout, and ladyfish.

John Lorentz from St. Paul, MN and his twin 9 year old boys Nick and Mitch had a terrific morning! They wanted a few fish for dinner and the sheepshead were running large under the docks on Bird Key. After they had enough for a meal, we went for action on the deep flats nearby. Plenty of trout to 20″, ladyfish, several Spanish mackerel, a couple of bluefish, and a flounder kept the boys busy. Live pilchards and shrimp caught all the fish. We finished up working a dock on Siesta Key, where Mitch completed an inshore slam, landing a 20″ redfish and a 22″ snook to go along with his trout.

Repeat client Peg Heaslip from Osprey took out her niece and nephew Alanna and Cole Dowling who were in town visiting from Vancouver. The sheepshead bite was a little slower, but they caught eight keepers to 3 pounds and finished up with mackerel and trout on the flats.

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3/11/2012

Although it was breezy, this week fishing was very good, the key was adapting to conditions. Finding cleaner water out of the wind resulted in steady action on a variety of species. Speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel, flounder, redfish snook, sea bass, sheepshead, ladyfish, whiting, jack crevelle, gag grouper, and red grouper were all caught this week. The Bird Key docks are loaded with sheepshead. Nearby flats are holding plenty of trout. Live shrimp, jigs, and flies all produced on charters this week.

Bill Thiel from Naperville, IL and a couple of buddies were looking for enough fillets for a fish fry on Monday. Four hours later we had a nice box including speckled trout to 17″, ten silver trout, a 2 pound sheepshead, and a nice flounder by fishing edges of flats near the Ringling Bridge on live shrimp.

Tuesday fly fishers Jack Martin and Bill Zimmerman from Philadelphia, PA fished in difficult conditions. Five trout to 17″ and a couple of ladyfish were caught on green/white Clouser Minnows and gold/chartreuse Crystal Minnows near Bird Key and in Robert’s Bay.

Wednesday morning was once again breezy, and once again we had steady action. Stephen Brooks and his son Smith (13) caught silver and speckled trout, ladyfish, and sheepshead on the Bird Key flats and docks on live shrimp.

The sheepshead bite was ridiculous on Thursday morning! Fishing the docks in Big Pass with Gary Oxender and Darold Votaw resulted in four nice fat fish in the box and another dozen released on live shrimp. Any bait that was within six feet of a piling got hit immediately. We also caught trout, ladyfish, spanish mackerel, and jack crevelle in the Yacht Club Channel. In the afternoon Ron Blanck and his friends Cathy and George Diffenbaucher, all from MD, caught silver trout to 12″, speckled trout to 17″, sheepshead to 2 lbs, and a 3 lb Spanish mackerel in the deep dredge areas near Bird Key on live shrimp.

Ladyfish were thick on the bar in Big Pass on Friday morning. Steve Gutwein and his uncle Phil Gutwein from Indiana experienced non-stop action using gold Cotee jigs. A move to the deep grass flats near Marina Jack resulted in 3 slot trout and a few short ones. We finished up dock fishing and put 4 keeper sheepshead in the box.

Saturday’s charter was terrific! Frank Regnery from CT and his son-in-law Mike Cribbs from Tampa were my clients. The morning started off cool and hazy. A drift in New Pass resulted in a ladyfish. We moved out to a ledge in 25″ and caught 15 flounder to 20″, 8 Spanish mackerel to 2 1/2 lbs, red grouper, Key West grunts, Sea bass, and blue runners on shrimp and cut bait. After a couple of hours, we came back in and hit my best sheepshead dock where we added 6 sheepies to the box in short order. Casting large shrimp under a Siesta Key dock resulted in 2 reds and a snook. We finished up on a deep edge near Otter Key and caught a few speckled trout.

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3/4/2012

Fishing was outstanding this week! Warming water and longer days really had the fish chewing. Snook, redfish, speckled trout, silver trout, pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, sheepshead, mangrove snapper, black sea bass, gag grouper, flounder, and loads of ladyfish were caught on charters this week in the Big Pass area. D.O.A jigs, Rapala X-Raps and live shrimp were all productive.

We had a good morning fishing the passes and inshore Gulf of Mexico on Monday. Ray Moreland from Chicago, IL treated his father-in-law Dick to a fishing trip. Spanish mackerel and ladyfish hit gold D.O.A Cal jigs in New Pass, then we moved out to the Silvertooth Reef. Flounder to 18″, sheepshead to 2 lbs, Spanish mackerel to 2 lbs, a small king, grunts, and other bottom fish hit shrimp and cut bait. We then ran to Point of Rocks in search of surface activity. None was seen, but we caught several nice bluefish, silver trout, and a mackerel on jigs drifting with the breeze.

I had a great fly fishing charter on Tuesday. Part-time Sarasota resident David Morgan and his friend Jeff caught pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, speckled trout, and ladyfish on chartreuse/white Clousers and white D.T. Specials in Big Pass, New Pass, and at the Moorings.

Wednesday Peggy Heaslip from Osprey, FL took her friends Joan and Bob Banville from Beaver Island, MI and local resident Frank Lovell out fishing. Pompano, bluefish, ladyfish, and Spanish mackerel were caught in Big Pass on jigs and shrimp. Docks in the area gave up sheepshead, flounder, and black sea bass. Fishing deep flat edges resulted in speckled trout, silver trout, and ladyfish. Most of the fish were caught on live shrimp.

Bill LaPierre from Massachussetts had a fabulous morning on Thursday free lining live shrimp. We began with non-stop action in Big Pass on ladyfish. A move to the Yacht Club Channel resulted in a half dozen nice Spanish mackerel to 3 pounds. We finished up working docks in Robert’s Bay where Bill caught several snook and reds, completing his “Inshore Slam”. He topped it off with a 15″ mangrove snapper.

Bill Thiel from Naperville, IL caught several slot trout along with a 21″ fish on the bars near Midnight Pass on live shrimp.

JoAnne Johnson and Andy Archer from MN experienced virtually non-stop action all morning long on Friday. Ladyfish hit gold D.O.A. Cal shd tail jigs in Big Pass and a VERY large Spanish mackerel hit a Rapala X-Rap. Speckled trout, mackerel, and ladyfish hit jigs and shrimp on the deep edges in the Yacht Club Channel. Sheepshead and mangrove snapper were caught under docks along the north end of Siesta Key. We finished up with a half dozen slot trout to 20″ on live shrimp at the Marina Jack flat.

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2/26/2012

Fishing was good this week on a variety of species. Speckled trout led the way; slot trout were landed from Bishop’s Pt. south to Blackburn Pt. on D.O.A Cal jigs, Gulp! Shrimp, Trigger-X baits, and live shrimp. Large ladyfish, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and jacks were caught along with the specks. Sheepshead fishing slowed a bit.

On Monday afternoon Tammy and Dave DeWind from Fairport, NY and their teenage boys went out fishing. We stayed down south between Stickney Pt and Midnight Pass and caught plenty of ladyfish and trout along with a redfish on D.O.A. Cal jigs, Gulp! Shrimp, and live shrimp.

I had two trips on Tuesday. In the morning Elizabeth Morgan and Ryan Boyer caught speckled trout, ladyfish, flounder, sheepshead, and jack crevelle on live shrimp near Big Pass. In the afternoon Sue and Gerald Cooley caught a bunch of speckled trout to 17″ and ladyfish, along with a couple of flounder on jigs and shrimp near Midnight Pass.

Wednesday I picked up Harold Hutchins at the park under the Siesta Drive bridge. We worked our way north to the Moorings, catching speckled trout to 20″, bluefish to 3 lbs, ladyfish, and flounder on Gulp! Shrimp and live shrimp. Fish were very active as the front approached the area.

Marty Davis and his 11 year old grandson Quin Murphy from Toledo, OH caught a mess of trout and ladyfish at the Moorings on Trigger-X shrimp and live shrimp. Working nearby docks and structure resulted in sheepshead and gag grouper. In the afternoon Bill Thiel from IL took his daughter Julie and 4 year old grand daughter Grace out for a few hours. Action was steady in Robert’s Bay on big ladyfish and trout on free lined shrimp. Julie was holding the rod when a HUGE ladyfish hit like a freight train. She held on with both hands, clutching with all her strength as the drag screamed! Mom helped her and they eventually landed the fish.

Perseverance paid off on Saturday. Fairfield CT resident Scott Watson treated his friends from MN Patti and Jim Rich and their daughter Jessi to a fishing trip. It was quite windy early, but eased up a bit later in the day. So, at 1:30 we left CB’s and headed north. Ladyfish were thick at the Field Club flat. Speckled trout to 17″, ladyfish, flounder, and a nice Spanish mackerel hit free lined live shrimp and jigs at the Bird Key flats.Jessi finished up the trip with a 2 lb sheepshead under a dock.

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2/19/2012

Sheepshead have invaded the docks and other structure along the north end of Siesta Key and Bird Key! Most of the fish are solid two pounders or better, very few “short” fish. Live shrimp with a 1/4 ounce egg sinker has been the ticket. Gag grouper and flounder are also being caught. Schoolie bluefish are in both passes and hitting gold D.O.A. shad tail jigs. Legal speckled trout are on most of the deep flats and silver trout are still in the deeper channels.

Early in the week two couples from Ontario, Canada, Ed and Connie Morrison and Dave and Karen Duval fished with me. They wanted a few fish for dinner so I headed up to fish the docks surrounding Bird Key. It was a tad breezy, making anchoring difficult, but they ended up with nine sheepshead to 4 pounds in the box, along with catch-and-release action on gag grouper and flounder. A move to the nearby flats resulted in speckled trout and ladyfish. Everything was caught on live shrimp.

Brownsburg, Indiana anglers John McIntire, Chuck Woody, and John Inabnit had a good morning with me on Thursday. The fish box contained five nice sheepshead in the 3 pound range, a bluefish, a flounder, and three slot trout. In addition, we landed ladyfish, gag grouper, and a redfish. Gold D.O.A. CAL jigs and live shrimp fished around the bird key docks and flats fooled them.

Jim Mitchell and his son-in-law Patrick Regan from Minneapolis, MN caught bluefish in Big Pass on jigs, speckled trout, silver trout, and ladyfish on shrimp on the nearby flats, and sheepshead, flounder, and gag grouper under docks.

I had a great morning with fly angler Stephen Dow and his brother-in-law Parker Stitzer. We started off catching a dozen speckled trout to 17″ and several ladyfish on green/white Clouser Minnows and gold D.O.A. Cal shad tail jigs on the Marina Jack flats, then moved out to the inshore Gulf of Mexico. Spanish mackerel action was excellent right out in front of New Pass! White D.T. Specials and jigs resulted in a bunch of macks and several bluefish landed and a bunch more that cut off the flies.

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2/11/2012

Silver trout action has been outstanding of late! Small chartreuse jigs and fresh or frozen shrimp pieces are accounting for a nice box of tasty fillets in short order. I have been starting out targeting these fish, then once we have enough for a meal, moving on to other species. The deep dredged areas around the passes have been the most productive spots. Speckled trout and ladyfish are on the flats, sheepshead and flounder are under docks. Bluefish were thick in New Pass along with some Spanish mackerel.

Early in the week Dick Fletcher from Eagan, MN took out his broher Tom and a friend out. We loaded up on silver trout them moved to deep grass edges and caught speckled trout and ladyfish. We finished up working a couple of docks on the north end of Siesta Key and caught several flounder and a pair of sheepshead. All the fish were caught on shrimp.

Greg Altemose spent Thursday morning with his 3 boys David (10), Gregory (9), and Mattew (8). Once again, we started out with non-stop action on silver trout near the Twin Bridges. Speckled trout and ladyfish hit free lined live shrimp on the Bird Key flats. Fish of the day was a fat 3 1/2 pound sheepshead that we caught on a drop-off near Otter Key.

Friday’s charter with Longboat Key resident Jim Mitchel and his brother John who was in from SC was fantastic! I suppose the approaching front had them in a mood to chew. We started out catching speckled trout, silver trout, ladyfish, flounder, jack crevelle, and a shark on jigs and shrimp near Bird Key. We then caught a handful of bluefish on jigs in Big Pass before running out to the Silvertooth Reef. A pair of nice flounder, a decent sheepshead and an unexpected 4 lb speckled trout were caught there on live shrimp. We finished up with a frenzy on the New Pass Bar. Using gold D.O.A. shad tail jigs we experienced non-stop action on bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and a couple of sharks.

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2/5/2012
Despite breezy conditions, fishing was good this week on a variety of species. Silver trout are abundant in the deep dredges areas surrounding Bird Key. Many of them are decent size and they fight three times harder than speckled trout. Jigs will catch a few but fresh shrimp accounted for most of the fish. Bluefish are hitting D.O.A. jigs and Rapala X-Raps in Big Pass.

Local Sarasota resident Steve Martin took out his buddy Bob Pahl from Mn who was in town for a short visit. They landed several bluefish in Big Pass on Rapalas before it got too windy. A move to the flats near Otter Key resulted in keeper flounder, speckled trout, silver trout, whiting and ladyfish on live shrimp.

We had a very good trip on Saturday with the Bruins family from Roslin, Ontario. Dad Rob took out his daughter Heidi (10) and son Mattew (12). A couple of drifts in Big Pass yielded a couple of bluefish and a ladyfish on gold D.O.A. Cal jigs. The deep canals near Bird Key were thick with silver trout and whiting. Small pieces of fresh shrimp fished on the bottom were the ticket to steady action and good eating! The deep grass edges were productive; we caught several slot speckled trout to 18″ and a couple of big ladyfish.

I got out to the Myakka one day this week. Snook action is slowing as the water temperature rises, but bass were hitting steadily on #8 gold/black X-Rap Slashbaits.

 

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The best way to experience the fantastic fishing on Siesta Key is to go with a professional guide. Capt Jim Klopfer runs Adventure Charters. A fishing guide since 1991, Capt Jim spends the majority of his time fishing around Siesta Key. He is very much tuned in to the local fish migrations and conditions. That 20 years experience fishing these waters will help you catch more fish. Many visitors to Siesta Key are novices and families with young children, Capt Jim is patient, easy-going, and friendly, ensuring a quality, relaxed angling experience. He can also accommodate seasoned anglers seeking more of a challenge such as snook, redfish, and tarpon. Call Capt Jim at (941) 371-1390

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