Hot bite = Kings, Redfish, Trout in Sarasota
Capt. Jack Hartman
May 18, 2010
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report
Take your pick: Catch Kings and large Spanish Mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico, jump a Tarpon off Longboat Key or Siesta Key, fish the flats for large Redfish or land large Sea trout in the deeper grass patches. The water temps are warm, White bait is here in massive numbers and the predators have followed the bait schools.
Again catching Kings and Spanish is almost too easy. First, net a bait well full of white bait right off the beaches at first light. There is so much bait that chumming to attract them is not
necessary .Then, head out to the nearest Artificial reef , anchor and begin to chum . Using a long shank hook in a 2/0 size with a short 6-10 " bit of wire and barrel swivel is the trick for these game fish. If you start to get baits chopped in 2 ,the kings have arrived. Simply add a trace of wire to your set up and add a stinger hook for the Kings. Be prepared to see a lot of boats in the area, but don't let that bother you : it doesn't seem to other the Kings.
The first tarpon of the season have begun to show up of Longboat Key and the Big Pass area. It is a little early in the season to expect Tarpon schools to act correctly ,but they can be caught. Anchoring or drifting with pinfish or crabs about 6' under a float will catch more Tarpon early in the season than chasing schools that will not feed aggressively. The best bet is to fish the outgoing tide and fish the outside edges of the outside sandbar off the beaches. Remember , the season has just started and will get better in June and in July.
Redfish have finally schooled up and can be found right up against the mangroves during high tides and in the outside sand holes on the lower tides. Of course, whitebait and chumming will produces numbers of Redfish, but I really prefer to use CAL jigs and jerk baits thrown parallel to the tree line and thru the sand holes . The sight of a big red charging an artificial and the jolt of the strike makes this type of fishing great fun. For even more of a thrill, try a "silver bullet" which is a Zara spook Jr in chrome.
This has been the best year in recent history for large trout in Sarasota Bay. My buddy ,Steve Karwatt from Sarsota caught one that measured 34". Anglers fishing the deeper grass flats in 4-6 ‘ of water or 1-3 ‘ at daybreak should have no problem catching a really nice trout of quality size. Please take extra care and release all trout over 20" . They are all full of eggs and getting ready to spawn. You are esily able to catch afew in 15-17' range for the dinner table if so choose. Personally, the rout don't actually taste that great once the water warms , so I release them all. A chrome torpedo top water plug in the shallows early and is tough to bet. When the sun comes the old reliable, CAL jig with the Copper Crush and the new Avocado colors are killers for big Trout.
Sarasota Fishing Forecast:
From late May to the end of July 1,000's of Tarpon will be schooling off the beaches of Sarasota, Siesta Key and Longboat Key.
Redfish will be all over the flats and Snook will head to the passes
More Fishing Reports: