Big Bait Means Big Fish!
Capt. Jason Marsh
June 23, 2009
Sanibel - Saltwater Fishing Report
This week has proved itself to be more difficult than others to find decent bait on my favorite spots. Today I started my day around 4:30 am. I was on the water and underway by 6am. After a short ride out of Saint James City, I was soon on a well known bait spot called Picnic Island. I set up where I usually do and began to chum the water for Whitebait. Soon the water was alive with what I initially believed to be my bait of choice but soon discovered that the flat was full of Ballyhoo instead. Ballyhoo is great for the offshore guys but not so great for me. It seemed as though I was not going find the Greenbacks that I was looking for. After throwing the cast net approximately 50 times, I conceded to the possibility that they were simply not there.
After running out of patience, resolve and time I had to leave to leave Picnic Beach in order to pick up my charter for the day. It was a group of four that was expecting to catch some monster Snook. I met them at the Punta Rassa docks. My game plan was to start the day with artificial bait. I also hoped to be able to toss the net at some live bait along the way.
Once we started fishing the flats, we had good results working Gulp Baits on lead head jigs. Trout seemed to be the order of the day. After a couple hours working the flats I decided to run to Redfish Pass for the outgoing tide Snook bite. When we arrived there I suddenly remembered a bait spot that I rarely use. Not because it's too far away or because I want to keep it a secret, but because the bait rarely holds there. Still, it was worth a shot to head over and give it try. The gamble paid off in HUGE way! I found big Thread Fin Herring there and I mean BIG. I quickly filled both wells and then headed back to Redfish Pass.
We set up on the outgoing drift and began to hammer the Snook. It seemed as though they were helpless against the big threads. We caught multiple 30in. fish and a few over 36in, with multiple big fish break offs, and not because of the rocks. Here's the tip of the day, when using big baits in a known giant Snook spot, GEAR UP. These fish are big, these fish are nasty, and these fish fight big and nasty.
All in all, it was another great day in sunny Southwest Florida. I say it over and over again, and I'm certain people get tired of hearing it, but it's all about the bait. So get up, get moving, and "GO CATCH EM"!
Captain Jason Marsh
Snook, Trout and Redfish
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