Big Reds in Sarasota Bay
Angler's aboard the Reelin & Chillin cleaned up on Red Drum during several trips the last couple of weeks. Most were over the slot limit of twenty-seven inches, and caught on light tackle. Using the St. Croix Tidemaster medium action rod, an Okuma IA-30 reel spooled with ten pound test line made for fantastic action. Some of the reds reached up to twelve pounds, measuring up to thirty-two inches. Trout also entered the picture on several trips reaching up to twenty-two inches on a couple trips. Finding some green backs off North Lido Key I was able to put one trip on several Snook - no big ones, however a twenty five inch snook on ten pound test is still a great fight.
A fish tail enjoyed aboard the Reelin & Chillin:
March is a very busy month, I have so many trips that it's impossible to share all, however this one I have to tell. A group of four angler's from the Encore RV park in Bradenton tore up the big reds on a morning trip. Al Gardner, Terry Applebee, Terry Martin, and Bob Reynolds hit several locations with not much luck until I went to an old redfish spot. I hadn't done much on this spot for awhile, however a few days before I did pick up two reds, so I thought I'd give it a try. It was just around ten a.m. and the according to the Solunar times it was a peak activity major feed at 11:10 a.m. To make a long story short we ended up with two reds in the slot, and twelve more that were over the twenty-seven inch limit that we released. This was one fantastic hour and a half of steady action. But here is the story of the day. Terry Martin set his rod down' on the front deck of the boat to take a photo of Terry Applebee holding an over-sized red. No sooner was the photo taken when Bob yelled YOUR POLE as it went bouncing across the deck and into the water. Needless to say Terry felt really bad and was offering to pay for the rod when Al reeled in and hooked the tip of the pole and started to reel it in, but it fell off. Then Bob reeled his line in and also hooked the pole tip, but again it fell off. By this time I had tied a heavy jig to a spare rod and casted out hooking the line. Slowly I reeled in until Terry was able to grab his rod. We untangle my line and as Terry reeled in he noticed the fish was still on. Five minutes later we were taking another photo of an oversize red. Terry and I were both relieved, I would have not charged Terry for the rod & reel, however I don't think he would have let that happen, so it's the end to a great trip and a fish story to embellish on.
Captain's Tip - Solunar Tables
Solunar tables can be a great tool, and should be a part of every serious angler's plan. Do they always work, and produce a feeding frenzy at your favorite fishing hole? The answer is no, reason is there are other factors involved that can also affect the feeding. A few examples: A front moving in can shut down feeding quick. Winding or rainy weather churning up the water or fresh water intrusion could affect feeding. Maybe even a bottle nosed dolphin minutes before you arrived ran through your spot and spooked everything that you weren't aware of. Things like this can affect the tables, however they are still a great tool when conditions are correct. Pick them up at your local tackle shop, or order a year supply off the Internet, it's cheap, and can improve your odds. Of course it goes without saying any experienced angler would rather have luck than skill any day.
Tight Lines & Good Times, Capt. Terry Frankford
Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.
Don - 26
Terry Martin - 30
About The Author: Captain Terry Frankford
Company: Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.
Area Reporting: Sarasota
Bio: Fishing experience in the Sarasota area for over thirty years - mostly salt water inshore and nearshore. Became a full time guide in November of 2003 after retiring from Verizon Communications as a Network Planning Engineer. U.S.C.G. licensed Master #1125021 – includes Commercial Assistance Towing. Completed Auxiliary boating Skills & Seamanship course. Certified in Senior Lifesaving, Advanced First Aid, CPR, and Open Water Scuba Diving.