Sarasota Bay area fishing report
The Reelin & Chillin was able to find, several species with redfish topping the list. Also, mangrove snapper were plentiful, spotted sea trout were hanging in the grass flats. A fly fishing trip was almost scrapped do to wind, however we still made it happen.
Enjoy a few fish tails aboard the Reelin & Chillin:
Scott Blankenbicker with ten year old daughter Sara, and friend Makaela headed out for an afternoon charter. After hitting several spots we finally found some nice redfish on a dock in North Sarasota Bay. Sara picked up her first red ever at nineteen inches. Soon after, her friend Makaela hooked into a huge twenty-eight inch fish. Dad and I just sat back and had a ball watching two ten year old lady anglers having a ball. Later we moved to a grass flats area hoping to get into some screaming action with spanish mackerel. No mackerel, however Sara managed to catch another red measuring in at twenty-two inches.
Father & Son team Randy and Justin Scheule requested a little spin, and fly fishing. No problem when they booked, however on the day of the charter the wind forecast was between ten and twenty-five knots. We headed out thinking fly fishing was a bust and decided to just go spinning. We hit a couple spots around some mangroves protected from the wind. The second spot - pay dirt. Both angler's caught redfish until the six dozen select shrimp were gone. My guess is we caught and released at least a dozen reds. We then headed for the grass flats netting a couple hundred sardines on the way. Seeing terns hitting bait on the flats we put the power pole down and had non-stop action for the remainder of the trip. Trout, snapper, and one ladyfish were feeding on the bait with the terns. In the last twenty minutes Randy decided to try a fly. Casting adjacent to the wind. he had no problem getting the fly out. I chummed the water with live sardines as they casted. Long story short several trout and mangrove snapper were caught on the fly by both anglers. He was casting a floating fly line with a chartreuse Clouser fly.
Captain's Tip -A little chumming never hurts
I know it's not what the purest fly or lure angler has in mind, however a little chumming can make a big difference in putting more fish on the line. It's different when in your own town, and on your own boat with plenty of time, however when you only have four hours on a charter to put fish on the line, a little chumming goes a long way. On the above trip we knew fish were in the area because we were catching them with live bait. When the fly rod was brought out I would chum with five or six sardines on almost every cast. We could see the fish hitting the surface, and they didn't hesitate hitting the fly. Some anglers use a plastic ball bat with the end of the bat cut out. I rigged up a plastic gin bottle with the bottom cut out and an old rake handle stuck in the neck end of the bottle. The gin bottle was used because the plastic is thicker than like a soda two liter bottle. I used the rake handle because I wanted it a little longer than the standard plastic bat so I could get more distance. I put a half dozen or so sardines in the bottle - spin them around a few times to get them dizzy then fling them into the target area. Give it a try sometime, it works great for both fly and spin fishing.
Tight Lines & Good Times, Capt. Terry Frankford
Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.
Danielle with a spotted sea trout
Sara with her first redfish
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.