After an unusually cold winter, spring has arrived in full force in Sarasota and the fish have really responded. Warm water and warm temps have put most species into a heavy feeding mode. Anglers aboard the Lucky Dawg have enjoyed great action with Pompano, Trout, Spanish Mackerel, Redfish, Bluefish and other species. Catching between 50+ fish in a morning has not been unusual. Drifting the deeper flats nears passes have produced a surprising number of Pompano at first light and then again late in the day. Using CAL jigs and the gold glitter tail has resulted in lots of Pompano and well as some huge Spanish mackerel. After the sun comes up, the grass flats on the East side of bay from the Marina Jack flats to Long Bar have been alive with feeding fish. The ticket to success here is a combination of the CAL jig and a Deadly combo. Because it has been a little windy, using a 1/8 CAL jig under a DOA clacker float allows the lure to sink faster allowing the angler to have a better feel. Big trout and Spanish Mackerel can't resist this set up. On calmer days, I prefer the DOA shrimp, but late march and early April is usually a little windy.
Anglers Chip De Grasso, son Gary and Friend Charlie Sirroco from Long Island enjoyed a great day using these techniques. Chip, at 95 was the oldest angler I have had on board and outfished his much younger friends by a wide margin . We ended up the day with 25 + trout to 24" and more than 20 Spanish mackerel to 4lbs and a 24" redfish that Chip caught from under a dock .
After a few days offs due to some mechanical difficulties, Dr Matt Byers of Sarasota joined me for a nice morning of Pompano, Trout and Spanish Mackerel.
Dr Byers had a period of time where he caught a trout or something else by using a Deadly combo on practically every cast.
Dave Martin and Glenn Silver of Sarasota joined me for a fabulous day on the water. Honestly, I have no idea how many fish they caught, it probably was over 75. Dave and Glenn are great anglers who love throw artificial lures and they were able to catch Pompano, Trout to 23 " and some really nice Mackerel.
Dave was able to catch numerous fish on flies which is something he loves to do. The secret to the fly fishing was to cut the fly down to a much smaller size. The fish were feeding on glass minnows and cutting the fly proven to be the key.
Finally, Mark Gooding and Roger Abbott from Cincinnati joined me for a fun that started with 5 pompano, then numerous (50+) trout and mackerel and ended with a nice redfish 25" These anglers were used to fishing only live bait and really had a great time using the artificial approach .
About The Author: Captain Jack Hartman
Company: Sarasota Fishing Charters
Area Reporting: Sarasota
Bio: Fishing the Sarasota area since 1977, Captain Jack Hartman provides affordable, high quality fishing charters for the expert angler, novice and families . Fishing Sarasota Bay and the beaches of Siesta Key, Longboat Key and Anna Maria island for Snook, Redfish, Pompano, and other Florida gamefish. Summer tarpon fishing a specialty.