Anglers on the Sea Dog charter boat w/Capt. Jack Ryan out of CB’s enjoyed catching and releasing Trout to 23”, Mangrove snapper, Spanish Mackerel and Flounder of good size on Pilchards. With good incoming tides and live baits, fishing the flats or docks was very productive and fun for our anglers. We had an unusual catch last Friday when fishing some docks in Big Pass. Using live Pilchards we caught a flounder that was 18” in length and had the same camouflage and design on both sides. However the under side or head was white. Never have seen this arrangement ever on a Flounder. We are going to show this report to Mote.
CB’s Weekly Fishing Reports
Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing trout, blues and jacks on DOA lures, top water plugs and flies in Sarasota Bay during the past week.
Since I was away most of August, I needed to get back on the water in Sarasota before a trip on Saturday. Steve Traves, owner of Anna Maria Island Outfitters and Rusty Chinnis, from Longboat Key, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday. We had some action catching and releasing trout and blues on DOA Deadly Combos and CAL jigs with shad tails on deep grass flats on both sides of the bay.
Pete Pedersen and his son Bill, from MA, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday. We fished some of the same areas and had good action catching and releasing blues and trout on CAL jigs with shad tails, DOA Deadly Combos, top water plugs and flies. Bill also caught and released a couple of trout on my Grassett Flats Bunny fly, his first saltwater fish on a fly! I often use a “popper/dropper” rig when fly fishing on deep grass flats this time of year.
The principle is the same as the DOA Deadly Combo, with the popper making noise and a smaller lightly weighted fly fluttering along 3’ behind.
You should find trout, blues, mangrove snapper and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Look for bait schools, diving birds or breaking fish to find them. Reds are schooling on flats of Sarasota Bay. They may stage on edges of bars or shallow grass flats when the tide is low. Look for wakes or patches of nervous water when it is calm or slick spots when there is a chop to find schools.
Action continues to be outstanding on the deep grass flats in Sarasota Bay. Recent rains cooled the water off a tad, temperatures are in the low to mid 80s. Bait is thick on the beach and in the passes, catching a well full and chumming the fish up produced consistently this week, though we also caught fish on Bass assassin jigs in Big Pass. Mangrove snapper continue to led the way but there was a noted increase in Spanish mackerel this week. Snook, speckled trout, jack crevelle, flounder, black sea bass, gag grouper, bluefish, and ladyfish rounded out the list of species landed by clients this week. The Radio Tower, Marker #5, and the Bird Key flats all provided a lot of action. I hit a couple spots In Robert's Bay with fair results, just a few snook, snapper and trout. It is probably still just a bit too warm.
I started my week off with Richard Nunn from the UK and Stuart Nunn (20) and Isla Murton (11). I caught bait and basically sat at the Radio tower all morning. The mangrove snapper bite was terrific, with over two dozen fat snappers being caught, along with ten Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, and ladyfish. Action was very steady with most baits producing a bite.
On Labor Day I took out buddies Darrell Rich from Johnson City, TN and John Wade from Lebanon, OH. We started off casting jigs on the flats and in Big Pass, hooking a handful of ladyfish. I caught bait and hit Marker #5, where action was virtually non-stop. Speckled trout, jack crevelle, mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, gag grouper, black sea bass, and ladyfish kept the boys busy. After the bite slowed, I hit a couple snook and red spots near Selby, but no luck. We finished up at the Radio Tower with more mixed-bag action before we called it a morning.
I had another very productive charter on Wednesday with Karen and Barry Hamm from Flemingsburg, KY. Bait was easy, I actually caught too much, then we basically fished 2 flats near Bird Key all morning. The tide was high first thing, then turned to go out. The fish came to the chum and Karen and Barry experienced steady action all morning. Speckled trout to 17', Spanish mackerel to 2 1/2 pounds, bluefish to 3 pounds, mangrove snapper to 14", flounder to 14", gag grouper, sea bass, ladyfish, and catfish kept us busy.
I finished up my week with Phil Hughey from Nokomis, FL, his son Jackson, and friend Harold Morse. Fishing was VERY good! We started off drifting in Big Pass and vertically jigging Glow Bass assassin jigs, catching ladyfish and gag grouper. The tide was quite swift, so I moved to catch bait, then hit Marker #5. The snapper bite was decent but Spanish mackerel kind of stole the show with their vicious strikes and blistering runs. In all, they probably landed a couple dozen mackerel, another twenty snapper, along with speckled trout, ladyfish, grouper, and a bonnethead shark. We finished up the charter looking for snook and reds in Robert's Bay, catching a small snook and losing a decent one.
I was away on a family vacation last week, so I don’t have a Sarasota fishing report. However, CB’s Saltwater Outfitters guides are reporting good action on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with trout, mangrove snapper, blues, jacks and more. Snook season reopens today on the west coast of Florida. Anglers may take one snook between 28”-33” per person per day from Sept. 1-Nov 30. Full regulations are available at www.myfwc.com. Personally I’ll continue to ask that all snook be released on my boat and also encourage other anglers to practice catch and release with snook, since stocks are still rebuilding to pre 2010 cold kill levels. Snook fishing should be good in the surf, in passes and around docks and bridges close to passes.
Reds are schooling on flats of Sarasota Bay. They may stage on edges of bars or shallow grass flats when the tide is low. Look for wakes or patches of nervous water when it is calm or slick spots when there is a chop to find schools. You should find trout, mangrove snapper, blues and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. There may still be some action with tarpon in the coastal gulf. However as they thin out in the coastal gulf, they are moving to inside areas where you may find them rolling on deep grass flats or in passes at first light.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.