Their biting in Sarasota
Angler's aboard the Reelin & Chillin have enjoyed great light tackle action with trout, and gray snapper (mangrove snapper) being the most productive. Also, several redfish have tightened lines along with a few small but scrappy snook.
Trout have been on the open water grass flats in three to six feet of water. Snapper, and redfish have been hanging around structure, with the snook in holes close to grass and mangrove shorelines.
Scaled Sardine - trout, and a couple redfish
Live hand picked shrimp - redfish, and snapper
Billy Bay Halo shrimp (artificial) - trout
A little info about those baits you catch in your cast net:
If your new the the area, or just started cast netting for bait, it can be confusing knowing just what your catching. So many names for the same two baits, whitebait, greenback, pilchard, horse minnow, shiners, thread-thins. I guess it just depends on the neighborhood your from. Here is the scoop on these local baits:
The two most common baits are the Scaled Sardine, and the Thread Herring.
Scaled sardine: Silver body with darker back gray, blue, or green. Body is thicker/heaver than the thread thin, making for better casting distance. The eye is twice the size as the thread thins. Scales do not easily fall off, and with a good running live well they will last all day. Easy to keep on the hook, and stays alive for quite awhile.
Thread Thin: At first glance it looks like the scaled sardine, however when compared it's easy to tell the difference. They have the silver body, however it's much thinner. It's belly is deeply curved compared to the scaled sardine. Part of the dorsal fin has what looks like a long piece of thread towards the rear, hence the name. The scales shed easily, and despite a good running live well they don't last long especially in the warmer months. Easy to throw off the hook, and dies fairly quick.
A fish tail aboard the Reelin & Chillin
On a six hour trip with Erich Ritzhoupt, wife Sara, and father in law David we started out with trout. Using scaled sardines Sara put four nice trout in the live well with the largest being twenty inches. Erich, and David also put a couple in the live to help out with dinner. Erich on the fly caught two trout using a white clouser fly. The trout bite slowed, so off to a dock for some mangrove snapper. I believe we picked up around five keepers before heading out to the next spot. We headed to a hole near some mangroves looking for snook. After chumming sardines for awhile and seeing a couple snook hit the surface Erich caught a twenty inch redfish, however no snook. The sky was turning black and lightning was in the air so we headed to the cleaning board just in time to end the day - a great trip with three great angler's.
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.