Several Species Making the Table
Fishing aboard the Reelin & Chillin has brought trout, sheepshead, pompano, whiting, and redfish to name a few species. The fronts have brought some chilly weather and windy conditions making for some slow fishing days at times, but with a little luck angler's ended up with a decent day on the water. Greenbacks have been a little hard to get leaving shrimp and artificial as the bait of choice. A live hand picked shrimp around structure or jigging along a grass line is effective. A Halo artificial shrimp under a Billy Bay Popping cork drifted across a grass flat will produce - I like fishing them later in the day after the water warms a little.
A couple fish tails enjoyed aboard the Reelin & Chillin:
Terry and Ginny Allen worked the feeding periods to end up with a live well of great fish by the end of the trip. At the beginning of the trip in the morning there was a minor feeding period around 9am. In a period of approximately one hour Terry landed five trout in the slot of 15 to 20 inches. Things slowed down between this minor feed, then around 2pm the major feed arrived. We slid into an area where I had been catching some sheephead and picked up four in the slot, and one redfish in the slot. Moving to a dock where I recently picked up some nice reds Terry picked up one that was over the 27" limit then two in the slot. It was a slow day between feeds, however being at the hot spots during the feed payed of very well for Terry and Ginny.
Fishing just before a front Brad Meyer and I went out for a late morning trip. We did have to fight the wind, however it was pretty nice weather for late January with the temperature at around 72 degrees. I can't say we tore up the fish, however Brad managed to take home pompano, trout, and flounder for dinner. He didn't managed to get a redfish for dinner, however a nice photo of a 29" red made for a great memory - the photo is on my website.
Captain's Tip - Fishing the Solunar times
It's pretty simple really, just take a look at when the minor or major feeding period is and start fishing one hour before and fish until one hour after. My understanding is that minor means the fish feed for one hour and major they feed for two hours. Minor is when the sun and moon line up on the horizon, and major sun and moon are above and below. Anyhow, why get all scientific about it, keep it simple. I pick up my tables at Hart's Landing here locally, easy for me. You can maybe find a local tackle shop or bait stand in your area that will give copies away. If you can't find them locally just search them off the Internet, you can find them free on some sites or buy a whole years worth on other site. If you can fish them - they do work. Nothing is for certain, however they have worked well for me with a front moving in being the only time they really fail.
I have one quick example as to why you should take a few minutes and figure the solunar's out. Let's say you want to fish on a Saturday, your day off, but you still need to get the yard mowed, weed whacked, and blown. So you decide to get up at the crack of dawn and go fishing, get off the water around 1pm, go home clean the boat, and be working in the yard by 3pm. As your blowing grass off the driveway you smell chicken coming from your kitchen, not fish - why, because the major feed was at 2:30pm, that's right you got up really early for nothing, fished when the fish weren't biting, and you were cleaning a boat, and mowing a lawn while the fish were in a feeding frenzy. CHECK OUT THE SOLUNAR TABLES.
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.