July Fishing Report For Sarasota - New Pass & Big Pass
Among the species caught aboard the Reelin & Chillin trout, redfish, mangrove snapper, and spanish mackerel topped the list. Many additional species have been caught such as lizard fish, juvenile goliath grouper, needle fish and ladyfish to name a few species interesting to visitor's and the kids.
Enjoy a few fish tails aboard the Reelin & Chillin:
Russ and Susie Bolton headed out for a late afternoon trip - four to eight pm. We beat the heat and after a little work found some great action. The last spot I went was near a pass with good moving tidle waters flowing over a large grass flat. We fished the edge of the grass flat where it met with a drop off into a deeper area of sand with a little grass. I believe what happen was the current swept unwary bait such as shrimp and small crabs into this deeper area. There was also small white bait at the edge of the drop off. Starting with shrimp we picked up a few small species, not much to write home about. Russ then used a small pinfish, about the size of a half dollar. To make a long story short on these pinfish we put one nice trout, two nice redfish, and five mangrove snapper to fifteen inches in the box. All this action was in the last forty-five minutes of the trip. We did run out of the couple dozen pins - went back to shrimp, and ended up catching smaller fish again. I have caught plenty of good fish using shrimp, however pins beat them out this trip for sure - not a bad idea to change up on baits every now and then.
It may not have been the backwater flats vision that many angler's want when fishing Florida, however a seawall with old torn down docks, vacant lots, and hotels in the distance did produce some great action. Dan Giordano with sons Chris, and Mikey flipped shrimp around the structure and had a blast. Several species were caught, but the big fish stories were Dan's cuda that was close to twenty-four inches - what a battle on ten pound test line near structure using a mono leader - can't believe he landed it. The second and most exciting was a nine pound black drum. This fish took Dan back into the piles twice before it reached the landing net. I really thought a couple times he just wasn't going to stop it, however he persisted, and won.
Captain's Tip - Change up the Bait
It seems like I'm doing it more often with success. Changing up the type of bait has really been making a difference on my trips. Last month I spent a couple weeks throwing hand-picked select shrimp into a redfish hole catching one after the other then they stopped. I changed up to three inch pinfish and caught them for another week before they left. FYI, I didn't fish the hole out - ninety percent were over the slot of twenty-seven inches and were released. This time the change up brought slot sized fish - all we were catching was pinfish and small snappers while using shrimp. With the half dollar sized pins we put slot sized trout, and reds in the box, however it's the snapper that were the surprise. Many times in the bay the slot snapper are ten to twelve inches. With these pins they were up to fifteen inches and chubby. When we did run out of pins and go back to shrimp it was like turning a light switch, the big fish wouldn't eat and the smaller fish robbed us. So, don't leave the old cast net in the garage, throw it in the boat and if you see those little pins flashing in the turtle grass catch a couple - see what happens, you may be surprised. One last note - these pins are small and a large hook will weigh them down. Try a #4 Owner MUTU circle hook, that's what I used and it worked. Not to be confused with a 4/0 - it's #4.
Tight Lines & Good Times, Capt. Terry Frankford
Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.
Russ & Susie with redfish caught using a pin fish
Robby with a goliath grouper
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.