Fishing in Sarasota Bay was decent this week, with Big Pass and the nearby flats being the most productive spots. We did not get big numbers of fish on charters, but clients did land some quality fish along with quite a bit of variety. One morning we found a large school of gag grouper with some mangrove snapper mixed in on a ledge in Big Pass. Speckled trout were the most reliable species, with snook, silver trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, sharks, jacks, and ladyfish also being caught this week. Live shrimp, jigs, Gulp! Shrimp, and topwater plugs all produced fish. Tarpon fishing was slow for me and for the other guides that I spoke to.
Jennifer Johnstom from SC landed this trout.
I started the week off with Ranjiv Saini from Charleston, SC, his girlfriend Jennifer Johnston, son Neal, and Neal's buddy Zach Mills. They had very little fishing experience and this was a kind of lesson to see if they liked fishing. We started off at the Middlegrounds, catching ladyfish and a few small trout. A move to the Bird Key flats resulted in speckled trout to 20", silver trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, and mangrove snapper. All of the fish were caught on free lined live shrimp.
Leona King showed the boys how it is done!
Leon King from Parksbug, PA treated his children Elmer, Tommy, and Leona to a trip on Tuesday. Action was steady most of the morning, except for a little lull when the tide switched. Bluefish to 2 1/2 pounds, speckled trout to 18", bonnethead sharks to 3', and mangrove snapper hit shrimp under popping corks at Marker #5 and the Marina Jack flats.
We finished up in Big Pass with a flurry on ladyfish and jack crevelle.
Chaz Boyter from New Jersey went out on a tarpon fishing charter on Wednesday. We saw a half dozen schools, but they were all moving fast and not showing well, we really never got a decent shot.
Jason Puckett and his buddy Justin went out on Friday. We left early and did a little topwater fishing near the Siesta Drive Bridge, landing a snook and a jack crevelle. A move to a nearby flat resulted in a keeper trout, a Spanish mackerel, and a few other smaller trout. With no wind at all, we decided to take a peek out in the Gulf and look for tarpon. After an hour an a half without spotting one, we came back inside and caught a nice 18" trout, a bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, a shark, and short trout at the Middlegrounds and Moorings.
Andy Schlick from MN caught one in Big Pass.
Jason Exum from Ocala, FL with a 23" trout.
I had a very good charter on Saturday morning with Andy Schlick from Woodbury, MN and his friend Jason Exum from Ocala, FL. We left the ramp at 6:45 and minutes later had a 16" and 18" speckled trout in the box. The trout bite was steady, with the boys catching several more keepers to 23" along with some ladyfish.
As the tide waned, i moved into Big Pass where they caught a few ladyfish and then stumbled across a big school of gag grouper. For half an hour it was a bite on every drop, with the gags running between 14" and 20", great fun on light tackle! several mangrove snapper to 14" also fell victim to the shrimp-tipped jigs.