Fishermen and women had a great week on the Tide Tuit. Cody Rafferty did well with the snook on Friday morning. Catching fish to 24 inches on white plastic jigs and shrimp. John Bace and Bill Richley had a good trip Saturday catching redfish to 26 inches, and trout to 6 pounds , as well as jacks, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, and spanish mackerel.
Capt. Bruce Burkhart’s Weekly Fishing Report
Anglers fishing aboard the “Casual Lies” with me last week caught a variety of fish. Tuesday we caught Black Drum to 17 inches, Snook to 37 inches and Flounder. Friday and Saturday we fished the deeper grass flats around Sarasota Bay with Silver/glow C.A.L. jigs. Some nice Trout were caught along with Flounder, Mackerel, Ladyfish, Bluefish, Black Sea Bass but the best fish for 11 year old CJ was a big Puffer fish. All the fish we caught were released to be caught again.
Capt. Jim Klopfer’s Monthly Forecast for Sept 2014
September is the month that redfish begin schooling up in Sarasota. The expansive shallow flats in north Sarasota Bay are traditionally the most productive areas to fish. Long Bar is a great place to start searching for fish. A low, incoming tide in the morning is preferred, allowing anglers to see the large schools of reds. As the tide rises, the fish will work up from the edges of flats and holes onto the grass to feed. Locating the fish can be difficult under flood tide conditions; there is just too much water up on the flat to effectively sight fish.
Artificial baits that work shallow and don’t get hung up in the grass are the most effective baits. This includes soft plastics on a light jig head, weedless spoons, and topwater plugs. A gold Johnson weedless spoon is a proven lure. It can be cast a long way and covers a lot of water. Scented soft plastics such as Gulp! baits are extremely effective, particularly once fish are located. They allow anglers to work an area slowly and thoroughly. Special weighted hooks are made specifically for this application, but a 1/8 ounce jig head also works well. Large live shrimp and bait fish will also produce; however live bait can be difficult to fish in shallow grass.
Speckled trout fishing has been outstanding this year and this should continue in September. Deeper flats will produce more fish, while the larger specimens may be found in shallow water. A Rapala Skitter Walk or X-Rap worked over bars at first light is a deadly technique for fooling gator trout. Along with trout, anglers fishing the deep grass will catch a variety of species this month including bluefish, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, pompano, gag grouper, and ladyfish. Both live bait and artificial lures will catch plenty of fish. A Bass assassin Sea shad on a ¼ ounce jig head is a great choice for anglers who enjoy casting artificial lures. Olive (08) X-Raps and other plugs are also effective along with gold and silver spoons. A live shrimp under a popping cork is a time-proven technique for catching “specks” on the West Coast of Florida.
We experienced a fantastic late summer tarpon frenzy the last several years off of Buttonwood Harbor. Giant tarpon will terrorize schools of glass minnows and ladyfish early in the morning. Live ladyfish and pinfish drifted behind a boat will produce strikes, as will large plugs cast to rolling tarpon.
Snook will migrate from the beaches back into the bays. Both passes will be great spots to fish, especially on afternoon outgoing tides. The bars and mangrove shorelines along Siesta Key are prime spots as the fish move towards their fall feeding areas. Artificial baits will allow anglers to cover more water, while a well full of pilchards practically guarantees success. Redfish, large speckled trout, jack crevalle, and mangrove snapper may also be encountered while pursuing the mighty snook. Lighted docks and bridges are snook magnets and will provide great action for anglers looking to catch fish and escape the summer sun. Live and artificial shrimp free lined in the tide are deadly, as are small white flies.
The rocks and bridges in both New Pass and Big Pass will be excellent spots to target mangrove snapper this month. These tasty saltwater panfish will be migrating out of the bay and into the Gulf of Mexico. Slack tides are the best times to drop a live shrimp or bait fish along the structure. Don’t be surprised if a big snook intercepts a bait meant for a mang!
Capt. Jack Ryan’s Weekly Fishing Report
With some good incoming tides and plenty of Pilchards (small white bait) and some live shrimp our results were very good this past week. Our customers had a good time with Spanish Mackerel, Trout up to 19”, Ladyfish, and Mangrove snapper to just over 12”. Flounder up to 21” were put on the ice. Bonnethead sharks were on the prowl at the Middle grounds and Bird Key flats. While chumming with our white baits and catching a variety of fish, the sharks came in to get their fair share and the action was quite exciting for all on board. It was screaming reels and screaming anglers for sure.
Capt. Roy String’s Weekly Fishing Report
The fishing this past week was really good with catches of snook,redfish,speckled trout and multiple other species in the mix. I fished Travis and Debbie Martin from Houston Tx on Friday and we had redfish to 27 inches and snook to 24 inches using white bait around area docks and the flats, we also caught 40–50 trout on the deeper grass flats in north Sarasota bay. The fishing will stay great all thru the summer!!!
Capt. Jim Klopfer’s Weekly Fishing Report
Mangrove snapper fishing continues to be outstanding on the grass flats throughout the area. The best action on charters this week continued to be over the deep grass flats near the passes. Marker #5, marina Jacks, Bird Key, and the Radio Tower were the top spots for me. Bait is plentiful and the water is cleaner and cooler. Speckled trout to 26″, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, gag grouper, sea bass, sharks, ladyfish, and more came into the chum and hit free lined pilchards and threadfins. The keys to success this time of year are a livewell full of bait and getting out there early.
I started my week off on Sunday with Carvel and Frank Gould from Atlanta, GA. Bait was easy, two tosses and I was loaded up. It took a couple of short moves, but we got them fired up at the Marina Jack flat. For two hours it was a bite on every cast! Speckled trout to 26″, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, sea bass, and ladyfish kept the rods bent. It was very hot with no breeze, so when the bite slowed we called it a morning.
On Tuesday the Denise and Jamie Dietz from Canfield, OH had a VERY good charter with their sons James (14) and Luke (10). None of them had fished very much, but they could all cast well enough, so after filling up with bait, I hit a deep flat in the Yacht Club Channel. It was quite breezy, but we had some protection. Action was steady, but slowed as the tide quit and then turned. I moved to a flat near Selby Gardens and action was non-stop until it was time to go. Speckled trout, bluefish, mackerel, grouper, snapper, sea bass, and ladyfish all came to the chum.
I finished off my week with a good charter with Aaron Edwards from Kansas City, MO, his mom and dad Marcia and Brian, and 5 year old son Mason. Bait was easy in Big Pass despite a fairly stiff breeze. A couple stops near Bird Key produced a few fish, but not what I was looking for, though Marcia caught a nice little bonnetthead shark. A move to the Radio tower flat proved to be a good decision as we sat in one spot and caught fish for over two hours. Action was steady on speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, sea bass, snapper, and catfish. The mangrove snapper bite was very good, with twenty or so grovers to 14″ coming to the boat.
Capt. Terry Simmons’s Weekly Fishing Report
In August, catching bait early is the key, getting them before the wind comes up. Anchoring up, chumming with live pilchards and staying in one spot that had been producing on previous trips has saved many of my August days. When I’ve had children onboard during TV’s shark week, all they could talk about was catching sharks. Fortunately, the small sand sharks were around for some action, along with ladyfish, Crevalle Jack, Gaftop sail catfish, bluefish, small trout, mangrove snapper and a few juvenile grouper. Incoming tides produced the best because of the fresh Gulf water that was cleaner and a bit cooler.
Kenny Mateau formerly of northern Virginia and now of Siesta Key, took his brother-in-law and his two boys and caught small sharks, bluefish, Gaftop sail catfish, ladyfish, small grouper, mangrove snapper and undersized trout in Sarasota Bay Middlegrounds. The kids especially wanted to catch a shark, after all it was shark week on TV.
Michael Gitomirski of Richmond, Virginia area and wife Olga, caught about the same except for shark. Erik Planck, of Lexington, Kentucky area brought his children, Ryan 12, Katlyn 8. After Ryan caught a shark, they went back and forth swapping places on the boat. They also caught ladyfish, small trout, Gaftop sail catfish and bluefish. Brian Blaski, Steve Ellis, Chris Corado of the Syracuse, New York area caught Sp. Mackerel, lots of bluefish. When the bite subsided, I started throwing out some of the dead pilchards trying to get the fish on the bottom stirred up. I wanted to get some of the sharks going again. We got some of those and several Gaftop sail catfish; not being able to get away from them! Lots of fun and pull on the rod but not exactly a prized fish to brag about! But we’re doing it anyway because it was that kind of day! When the client has a fun time and they haven’t had a pull like those big‘ns can do, it is a good trip. We lost a big fish that nearly spooled us. It was never seen because it didn’t even give me the chance to get the anchor up before it just “came loose”.
Capt. Clark Wright’s Weekly Fishing Report
Summer is here and Fall is just around the corner. We will experience some of the best fishing of the year over the next couple of months. The live bait (scaled sardines, aka ‘whitebait’) is plentiful and action is nearly guaranteed when fishing with live bait this time of year. The inshore fishing for snapper and trout has been as good as it gets.
A few Spanish mackerel have started to show up in the passes and in the bay. This is also the best time of year to fish for snook, with the right bait its not uncommon to catch 30 or 40 snook in a trip. For those looking to tag a big tarpon, there are still plenty of tarpon around for those willing to make the 40 minute drive from Siesta Key to the tarpon grounds. This time of year the tarpon stage up in the blackwater estuary’s where they gorge in anticipation of migrating away in late September.
Capt. Kelly Kurtz’s Weekly Fishing Report
Fishing this past week has been very good due to the moon phase. The deeper grass flats produced lots of action . A lot of trout up to 26″, Spanish mackerel , mangrove snapper , juvenile grouper and a few flounder in the sand holes.
Fishing the passes with clean water flow mangrove snapper bite has been strong with a lot of 11–14″ with a few 15″. The snook bite has also been good as well. A well full of whitebait has been the key to good fishing .
The fishing at night has been very good with a lot of keeper trout, snook and redfish. Looking forward to cooler weather.
Capt. Kelly Stilwell’s Weekly Fishing Report
Clients aboard the Tide Tuit had great action this week. On Saturday anglers Pete, Jason, and Tom caught a total of close to 100 fish. They were a mix of trout, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, and mangrove snapper. The jacks and bluefish were the best fighters with some in the 4 lb. range. All of these fish were caught on Jigs with DOA plastic of various colors.
Capt. Roy String’s Weekly Fishing Report
This week I fished with David Sugar winner of this years’s 84th Annual Sarasota Tarpon Tournament, his son Jack, and my wife Barb. We started the trip running out on the beach to catch bait. One throw of the net got 1,000 pilchards and we started fishing a Marina Jacks flat and just picked at them catching some trout and a few snapper.
We headed for the north bay finding some breaking fish and stayed there for couple hours catching or getting a bite on every cast. After that we then headed north and found a huge school of redfish but only managed to catch only one which weighted in at about 10 to 12lb.
Capt. Jack Ryan’s Weekly Fishing Report
Last week our charters ran mainly in Sarasota Bay with customers of long standing catching lots of 14 to 18″ Trout, gag grouper and Mangrove snapper, Ladyfish, and Drum throughout the Bay mainly on the deeper grass flats of Bird Key and the Middle grounds.
Offshore fishing is still producing the larger Mangrove snapper, Gag and Red Grouper, good size Key West grunts, Porgies, and sharks. For best results it is important to get out there early with a good assortment of live and cut baits. Be careful to watch out for those storms that pop up.
Capt. Bruce Burkhart’s Weekly Fishing Report
Last week was a great week on the water in Sarasota Bay. Tuesday and Thursday Bill and Clyde fished with me early in the morning for Snook. Tuesday was the best day with nine Snook up to 37 inches, after the sun came up we caught some Ladyfish and headed offshore. We cut the Ladyfish and set them on the bottom, in three hours they caught 17 sharks up to 29 lbs. Thursday we had five Snook to 26 inches, Flounder, and Redfish to 31 inches, Friday Brad and I headed to the north Bay, the snook were small but did get a 19 inch Flounder for his dinner that night.
On the way back we make a quick stop on the west side of the bay where Brad landed a nice 30 inch Redfish on a Gulp jig. Saturday I had Bret, Colby and Craig to just go and catch fish whatever they were.They caught Bluefish, Mackerel,Trout, Black Sea Bass, Jacks and Ladyfish. I was very busy and don’t know how many they caught, but Colby counted his and ended up with 52 fish for him. All the fish Saturday were caught on artificial baits (silver CAL jigs).
Capt Andy Cotton’s Weekly Fishing Report
Anglers fishing with me this past week aboard the O’Fishall out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key caught a variety of species like spotted seatrout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano, mangrove snapper and sharks.
The Nelson family from Iowa fished with me for 3 days this past week. Jim, Heidi, Tomas and Mateo fished with on Friday. Despite numerous thunderstorms in the area we managed to stay dry. We concentrated on the deeper grass flats near the passes. We caught mangrove snapper, pompano and spotted seatrout using live shrimp under DOA Clackers. Monday Stephanie, Mateo and Tate had a better weather conditions. We fished the deep grass around Stephens Pt. and Bishops Pt. the boys caught bluefish to 5 pounds, jack crevalle , mangrove snapper and spotted seatrout using live shrimp and DOA CAL Shad Tail jigs.
Wednesday Stephanie, Tate, Tomas and Ruslan didn’t get enough fishing in the first 2 days. I found some breaking fishing and birds feeding on the surface earlier in the week in Sarasota bay, so we set out to keep the rod bent for a couple hours. We had a little bit of a slow start until the tide changed and then the birds starting working over the bait schools. We targeted the breaking fish with DOA Cal Shad Tail jigs and the kids scored with jack crevalle, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel and sharks. Several jacks that we had reeled up next to the boat were bit in half by sharks, which was pretty exciting for everyone!!
The deeper grass flats with good moving water have been the most productive for me the past few weeks. With water temps still holding close to 90 degrees the bite has been early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Capt Jim Klopfer’s Weekly Fishing Report
The only thing hotter than the weather in Sarasota this week was the fishing! The pattern has been to get out there at first light, load up on bait, and chum the deep grass flats near the passes where the water is cleaner and a bit cooler. The Radio Tower, Middlegrounds, and Marina Jack flats continue to be the best spots. Also, that is where the bait is congregating. Bait is also thick just off the beaches near the passes. This resulted in schools of breaking fish, which are easy targets, mostly ladyfish with mackerel and jacks mixed in. Clients experienced fast action using the 4″ Bass Assassin Sea Shad (any light color with a little flash will work fine) and #8 Rapala X-Raps. Highlight of the week was a 50 lb tarpon that hit a large threadfin in 5′ of water near Bird Key on a light spinning outfit. Cobia, Spanish mackerel, redfish, speckled trout, mangrove snapper (the snapper bite continues to be VERY strong), jack crevelle, gag grouper, black sea bass, ladyfish, and more were hooked this week on charters.
Mike and Amee Luttrell from Texas took out their teenage sons Jake and Lance on Sunday morning. Action was very good the first couple of hours as they landed Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, gag grouper, and a cobia fishing the deep flats near Big Pass. We headed in for a break, it was VERY hot, even for this family from the Dallas area, and the last hour or so was a bit slow. We went in a little early, they had caught a lot of fish and it was just too hot to sit out there.
On Monday Bill Wells and his son-in-law Steve Jackson has similar results. Plenty of action from grouper, snapper, trout, and ladyfish for the first two hours. We decided to try a spot in Robert’s Bay, where Steve had a nice redfish on which pulled the hook at the boat. We finished up at the Radio Tower with good action once again until it was time to head in. Tuesday was a boat and truck maintenance day.
Action was virtually non-stop all morning on Wednesday for Sarasota residents Doc Dojutrek and John Englander, both Chicago transplants. We started off drifting near Marker # 5 when I spotted some fish working near Bird Key. For 2 hours we caught fish on almost every cast using Bass Assassin Sea Shad jigs and Rapala X-Raps between Bird Key and the mouth of Big Pass. The boys finally had enough, so I caught some bait and hit a couple of spots. The tide had turned to go out and I had the fish chummed into a frenzy at the Radio Tower, just about every bait that hit the water got violently attacked! Spanish mackerel to 2 1/2 pounds, mangrove snapper to 13″, speckled trout to 18″, jacks, sea bass, and more ladyfish kept the rods bent until it was time to go home. We did not keep count, but I am sure the pair caught well over 100 fish! Great morning!
John Rellah from Morristown, NJ had an interesting charter with me at the end of the week. I started off by catching bait, which was easy with the incoming tide. A run to a flat near Bird Key produced a few fish before John hooked a fish that just slowly swam, away. Clearly, it was large, so I pulled the anchor and ran it down. I thought it was a shark, but it turned out to be a 50 lb tarpon; hooked on 10 lb spinning gear! We fought it for a while, then increased the pressure to try and land it and broke it off. We caught some ladyfish in Big Pass and finished up with Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, sea bass, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, and more near Marina Jack and the Radio Tower.