Success between the fronts
March 12, 2010
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report
The name of the game is to get out on the water between fronts.
We were able to do that a couple of times this week. On Monday, we fished off E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin. It's a nice area that offers a variety of fishing situations. Most often, it's a good place for redfish and snook.
The park sits along the south shore of Tampa Bay and there is great access to the bay and backcountry. Launching is relatively easy and the place is rarely crowded during the week.
We launched and paddled north to the backcountry. Once there, we stood up and poled the shallows. We found plenty of mullet, but little else. We did see one redfish.
We paddled out into the bay and then began poling some more. Didn't see any fish. We saw a couple of anglers wading the flat and watched them for 15 minutes. Didn't see them do anything.
We decided to fish a cut near the launch. We cast D.O.A. CAL Jigs with gold shad tails up under the mangroves on the north side of the cut. We caught a nice 26-inch red that put up a great battle. The tide was incoming, so we just drifted along and cast under the mangroves. In 90 minutes, we caught and released seven more reds. Most were around 17-18 inches.
The action subsided when the tide turned. It was time to go home, so we put the kayaks on the trailer and headed south.
The next day, we launched at Stephens Point on Sarasota Bay. The spot has been very productive all winter. This time was no different.
We caught a spotted seatrout on the first cast and that was a sign of things to come. We found every grass patch loaded with trout. In three hours, we caught and released 80 trout and one ladyfish on D.O.A. CAL Jigs with a gold paddle tail and a D.O.A. Deadly Combination (gold flake shrimp).
Here's a tip that works: If you're jigging, you might want to cast out a D.O.A. Deadly Combination and let it drift. If there's any chop on the water at all, it will be enough to work the Deadly Combo. Just make sure you keep an eye on the float while you're jigging. When it goes under (which it will often), set the hook and reel in a nice fish.
The D.O.A. Deadly Combo is a great fish-producer. It's a noise-producing cork with a D.O.A. Shrimp suspended about 3 feet below on a leader. It allows inexperienced angler to fish without constantly hanging up in the grass. It's also a great choice for veteran anglers.
And, best of all, it's easy to use: Cast it out, allow the shrimp to sink, then "pop" the cork a couple of times. Allow the shrimp to sink again and repeat.
Five years ago, I had Chad Pennington, then the starting quarterback of the New York Jets, out and we had a great day using Deadly Combos. We caught 70 trout to 22 inches and a dozen hefty Spanish mackerel. We were fishing the deep grass in Sarasota Bay off Stephens Point.
Fishing has been very good when we've been able to get out. We can't help but wonder how it's going to be when we finally get some good weather.
March is pretty much booked up, but I have openings in April and May. Those months typically produce some of the best fishing of the year.
My beach snook trips will start in May and continue through September. These popular outings are great sight-fishing ventures that are wonderful for first-time experienced snook anglers. On a typical day, my clients will see 200 or more snook.
Don't forget that I also offer freshwater outings on local lakes and streams. We use light fly rods and spin tackle to target bass, bluegill, shellcracker and channel catfish.
Sarasota Fishing Forecast:
I look for very good action when the weather settles. Give us three or four days of warm weather, and the fishing will heat up!
Redfish, spotted seatrout, ladyfish, jack crevalle, snook, pompano, Spanish mackerel
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