Sarasota Bay fishing report
Angler's aboard the Reelin & Chillin experienced some diverse weather conditions the last couple of weeks. A few trips had to be canceled due to severe weather with a couple others enduring tough conditions. Angler's still managed to enjoy a tight line with several species including Redfish, King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Mangrove Snapper, and Grouper to name a few.
A Fish Tail aboard the Reelin & Chillin
On a morning trip with Peter Paris of the Lakewood Ranch Angler's Club we headed straight to the beaches in hopes of finding some Spanish Mackerel, and Little Tunny. We did find a few diving birds, however no fish. We then moved inside checking several spots until we found fish. When we did it was plenty of action - chumming white bait we enjoyed crazy action with ladyfish, and jacks. A couple of trout went for the bait along with a couple undersized grouper. Then Peter decided to get serious hooking something big - at first I thought it may be a red - then it took off like a snook, but didn't break the surface - ended up being a twenty-three inch grouper - what a great battle on light tackle. Then another surprise - a door mat sized twenty-four inch flounder. Peter ended the day with a twenty-seven inch redfish - another great fight on light tackle.
Heading offshore with Capt. Scott Green we did a little "research and development" - that's right angler's - that's what us Captain's do on our days off. We tested a couple artificial reefs off Sarasota up to six miles out. Using live shrimp, and white bait we brought to the boat king mackerel, spanish mackerel, little tunny, and mangrove snapper. We did loose what we believe were a couple nice grouper. We also kept a line out with a blue runner for bait, however after the third goliath grouper broke us off we decided to give that idea up. Lot's of fun, and a few fish for the smoker.
Captain's Tip - Winter forecast
Redfish should be on or near the flats and schooling. These guys may stay in the same area for a couple weeks, and may be over the twenty-seven inch limit. Trout will also be on the flats until the water cools, then you may find them in deeper water with dark bottom - creeks and locations where water doesn't flow as much may be a good area to target. Keep in mind that in our area trout are not in season November, and December. Mangrove Snapper should be near structure - small live shrimp would be a sure bet. Sheepshead may not be plentiful, however they should be moving in as the water cools. Last December I had one of my best days offshore with my client's catching so many king mackerel that we lost count. We were trolling Rapala CD-11 MAG lures on an offshore reef - after a couple hours and complaints of sore wrists we tried bottom fishing with live shrimp - problem was the shrimp never made it to the bottom before a king would nail it. We ended up heading inshore for some redfish action.
Hope this helps you enjoy a great day on the water, Capt. Terry
Tight Lines & Good Times, Capt. Terry Frankford
Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.
Keeper Grouper inshore
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.