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Big Redfish In Sarasota Bay

Capt. Butch Rickey
June 23, 2011
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report


Only one trip this week, on Friday, just before leaving on vacation. I hurriedly penned the fishing report so I would have it done, and could do the rest on vacation, but somehow lost the whole report file. It's now ten days since that trip, and I'm operating from memory only.

I got the boats ready and drove up to the house in Sarasota on Thursday afternoon. I took the decommissioned Manta Ray 12 to leave with my daughter there. My customer was Dennis Dickerson, of Clancey, Montana. I decided to fish the area around old Midnight Pass out of Turtle Beach, since it was close for both of us, and used to be one of my favorite areas when I fished Sarasota a lot. I hadn't fished there in around six years, but the rules don't change. Dennis met me well before 7 AM, and we were soon in the water and on our way. It was a beautiful morning that promised to deliver a beautiful day.

After the short run to our first stop, I got Dennis set up on a spot that was always good to me over the years, looking for snook and redfish. He quickly found both. I fished down a nearby edge without attracting any interest. I left Dennis there on his spot to go hunting a short distance away. I didn't know how many fish he'd catch there, but it never lasts forever. Neither do the spoons we were using. Dennis had the hook break out of his spoon as he landed a fish. Fortunately, he landed the fish. He was concerned that he'd broken the spoon because of something he did, but I assured him it wasn't his fault. I would have to point at a poor solder job during the manufacturing process, especially since the hook popped right out of the solder cleanly, as if it had never bonded in the first place.

I worked over some of my favorite spots in the area looking for more fish, and it took a while to find them. Eventually, Dennis' bite stopped and I suggested he fish the edge of a sandbar that often gave me some outsized redfish over the years. I called Dennis to tell him I was on fish and to have him join me. But, Dennis had a fish of his own. It was a biggun', and he was pulled off his anchor and going for a boat ride. Finally, he radioed me that it was a 32 inch redfish! Man, was he excited. We agreed to pull anchors and head for each other so we could get some pictures.

As I pointed my boat in his direction and turned on the Minn Kota, I decided to toss a spoon out the back door and troll along. Hey, ya never know! I didn't get more than a hundred feet before I hooked another redfish. By the time I got it landed and ready was ready to move on, Dennis was nearing me. I decided to just cast there while he made the last leg. I caught another redfish. Dennis arrived with this monster in tow, and another broken spoon; "The Secret" from Bass Pro. It suffered the same fate. The hook came right out of the solder. Unacceptable. They have a great finish, cast like a rocket, and catch fish. And, lose fish! I'm going to see if BP will replace them.

After getting pictures and talking a while, Dennis and I went back at it. Almost immediately, I stuck a snook. Problem is, I was in the redfish mode, and whacked it several times. It threw the hook as I fought it, probably because I'd torn a two inch long hole in the membrane part of his mouth. From there I found some more reds on the back side of a small key nearby. I sent Dennis around to work them from the other side, but the quit as quickly as they'd began to bite.

It was about time to head from home, and I thought we might as well troll our way down the old pass to see if we could pick up some bonus fish. I caught a catfish on the jig, as well as a ladyfish, and a trout that gave us the Slam. It had been a good day. Dennis was a great guy and a lot of fun, and I was thrilled that he got such a great redfish on his first kayak fishing trip. Only takes one of those to make your day!

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Top Florida fishing guide, Capt. Butch Rickey has fished the waters of Pine Island Sound around Sanibel, Captiva, and Pine Islands, as well as Charlotte Harbor, Sarasota Bay, Terra Ceia Bay, and southern Tampa Bay, for much of his 65 years. He now offers guided kayak fishing trips, as well as sightseeing and bird watching tours anywhere that can be reached by kayak from southern Tampa Bay to Estero Bay.

Contact Info:

BarHopp'R Kayak Fishing
11520 E Palm Drive
Ft. Myers, FL 33908
Phone: 239-628-3522
Alt. Phone: 239-633-5851
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