The Drums are Here
It was a really cold couple of weeks here in the Sarasota Florida area. With the water temperature dropping to 46 degrees at times the fish took a hard hit. For some it was to cold - snook, spadefish, small mullet, catfish and ladyfish were hit the hardest in this area. There was a fish kill for these and I'm sure other species, however it wasn't catastrophic. I have heard reports from other Captain's in areas on both coasts of Florida having larger fish kills, but I didn't see that here. Yesterday as the tide was changing I did see dead fish in the tide line, however it wasn't major. It was sad seeing some large snook along with the other species, however with the temperatures being in the 70's for the rest of the week hopefully they will bounce back.
Fish Tails aboard the Reelin & Chillin
The second day after the water started to warm up Andy Hale and son Hayden enjoyed some great action with black drum being the fish of the day. We found them around structure near the southern area of Longboat Key. Andy landed two, with young Hayden taking the award for catching nine. They Kept a couple for dinner and released the rest for others to enjoy. We moved to another location and had some fun ladyfish action before calling it a day.
Darren and Jayne Jones had a fair day also catching black drum and sheepshead. Again the location was south Longboat Key around some docks. We didn't catch as many as Andy and Hayden, however Darren did land one that was around four pounds making for great light tackle action. He was only using ten pound test line when he pulled this fish away from the structure before fighting it in open water.
Leftover shrimp - seems like a waste to toss them over the side after paying up to $4.00 a dozen. And we all know what it's like trying to use a shrimp after it's been frozen, they end up soft and won't stay on the hook. Here is something to try if your going fishing within a day or two after you have these leftovers. Salt them down, I mean really pour on the salt - make it look like their almost buried in snow. Set them in the frig to keep them cool. The salt will harden them up helping them to stay on the hook better. This is a good tactic for winter fishing because fish are not as active when the water is cool - they don't have to work for their dinner chasing a free lined shrimp around. Also, after hooking a shrimp it usually dies pretty quick - don't throw these guys over they harden up just fine in the salt. Just so you know I did test this. On Andy and Haydens trip mentioned above Hayden caught 50% of his black drum on shrimp I had from a trip two days before that I salted and put in the frig. It does work so try it if you like, you may save a few bucks and still put dinner on the table.
Tight Lines & Good Times, Capt. Terry Frankford
Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.
Red Drum or 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.