Live Select Shrimp = Big Redfish
Redfish, Redfish, Redfish, the species of the week with out a doubt. Thanks to a tip on a location from my good friend Capt. Tony Westheimer, also a Hart's Landing guide, I was able to put my anglers on some Great - Big - Reds. The largest being thirty-four inches weighing in at fifteen pounds caught by John Anderson from Chicago, IL. Using lite spinning tackle with only fifteen pound test line made for some exciting action. Also, Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, Pompano, Sheepshead, and Ladyfish were around for some great action.
Here are a few fish tails from recent trips aboard the Reelin & Chillin.
Jeff, and Denise Zerby with friends Kevin, and Roberta Grauer nailed the Redfish on a morning trip in Sarasota Bay around structure. All together over twelve Reds were landed in the first few hours of the trip. Only two made the slot of eighteen to twenty-seven inches, all the rest were to large to keep. Roberta caught the big Red of the day at thirty-two inches weighing in at fourteen pounds. All fish were released for the rest of us to enjoy in the future, way to go crew.
Brian Cook, and John Anderson also had an afternoon of fantastic Redfish action. Around ten Reds were caught and released, three were in the slot, however all were released. John stole the Big fish of the week award with a thirty-four inch Red weighing in at fifteen pounds. We headed to Sarasota Big Pass in hopes of getting Brian into some Ladyfish action on the fly. He had plenty of hits and did manage to get one to the boat for a photo and release.
Terry and Ginny Allen hit the Redfish hole and for one last time I was able to get on the Reds. Terry was a catch and release angler and that he did. We didn't even keep track he caught so many with the largest being thirty-two inches. It was such great action that I dropped a line in just for GP and a moment later I was releasing an over-slot Red.
As it goes, all good things must come to an end - I took the next crew to the Redfish-hole with no fish making it to the boat. We were broken off twice, however they just wouldn't turn on again. So my crew the Petricks, Chad, Chris, Ciara, Brent, and Julie headed to the New Pass area to seek action, and found it. Trout, Spanish Mackerel, and Bluefish were all over feeding on glass minnows. These fish had no problem taking our shrimp to the point that I ran out of the first eight dozen, bought another seven dozen and went through them in less than an hour. Ciara, caught the big fish of the day, a twenty-four inch Spanish Mackerel, nice fish Ciara.
When you find big fish around docks or other types of structure while using lite tackle keep this in mind. Most of the time the water if going to be deep, around five to eight feet near the structure where the fish are hanging. Your bait needs to be up under the dock or right at the pile, if your cast isn't there, re-cast. Don't flip your bail right after casting, leave it open and feed line out so your bait goes straight down, then flip the bail over. When the bait has reached the bottom get all the slack out of the line making sure not to pull the bait away from the dock. Pay attention, if your not paying attention Redfish will pick up the bait and slowly swim around the piles, this results in a sure break off. As you feel that first tug reel like crazy to pull the fish out from the structure. Once out you can play the fish a little to tire it before attempting the landing. Be gentle with the big ones your going to release, dropping one in the boat or keeping it out of the water to long could kill the fish. These big ones are near ready to leave the bays and head offshore to breed, we need to protect them as much as possible.
Tight Lines & Good Times, Capt. Terry Frankford
Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.
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.