Anglers aboard the Tide Tuit had a good week. On Monday 12 yr. old R.J. Schupler and his father Robert both hooked and fought tarpon on flies. RJ fought a very determined fish for an hour and twenty minutes when the leader gave out. Robert had a fish on for about 15 minutes before losing his. Wednesday Jack Whitman caught several snook before the sun came up and then went on to fight a tarpon for a few minutes also . The snook were caught on jigs and shrimp while the tarpon was hooked on a live thread-fin herring.
CB’s Weekly Fishing Reports
Fishing on the Sea Dog Charter boat this past week with Capt. Jack Ryan produced a week of large Trout 18" to 26" using white bait on local large and deeper grass flats. Also a fair amount of Mangrove snapper, Bluefish, and Jacks were bending our rods.
This time of year with much warmer water it is best to put a few factors together: early morning, good water moving through the bay, and fishing most times in a little deeper water 4 to 9 feet will bring good results.
Near shore on some trips we put larger Mangroves in the ice box. Larger Jacks came in the chum slick giving customers some good reel burning moments.
Clients experienced another very good week of fishing on charters this week! Snook, sharks to 30 pounds, speckled trout to 22", bluefish, Spanish mackerel, sea bass, mangrove snapper, flounder, jack crevelle, ladyfish and more were landed this week. Most of the fish fell prey to live bait, both shrimp and bait fish, but jigs and Rapalas also fooled a few fish. The water temperature is climbing and we could use a bit of rain to cool things down. However, we have strong, incoming tides in the morning next week and fishing should remain very good.
I started off my week on Monday with Tim Mallik from the Cincinnatti area. The mangrove snapper bite was on as the tide ebbed out. Live shrimp free lined along the edges of deep grass beds produced a dozen nice keeper "mangs". As the tide turned to come in i netted bait and we caught speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, and more, then finished up with 3 sharks on cut ladyfish.
On Tuesday Rocky and Ron Richardson, along with Joshua Parnell went out on a charter. We started off in Big Pass, catching a bunch of ladyfish on jigs and shrimp on the bottom of the outgoing tide. As the tide switched, I netted bait and they landed speckled trout, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, and ladyfish. Josh ended the trip with 3 sharks hooked and 2 landed, one of which was estimated at 30 pounds.
Frank Regnery and his grown sons Bill and Rob, all from CT, had a great charter on Wednesday! We started off from Centennial Park at first light and ran across to the Radio Tower flat where there was a lot of surface activity, mostly bait but some fish popping. For an hour or so action was steady on bluefish, trout, ladyfish, jacks, and a nice flounder using jigs and Rapalas. The bite slowed so we switched to live bait and caught speckled trout to 18", mangrove snapper, jacks, and ladyfish near Bird Key. We finished up in Big Pass with a nice little snook bite, landing a dozen or so and finishing up the trip with a snook "triple-header" on the last cast. Nice!!
The wind cranked up a bit on Thursday and Friday, blowing 15 knots or so out of the southwest, which made catching bait more difficult. On Thursday Norm Shade and a couple of buddies experienced good action using jigs and live bait, with the Radio Tower flat being the most productive spot. Speckled trout to 18", Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, bluefish, jack crevelle, sea bass, snapper, ladyfish, and more kept the boys fairly busy. On Friday Ralph Primavera and his 17 year old son Chris had a good trip. It was still breezy, but bait was easier and the speckled trout in particular were on the feed. Chris caught a nice 22" trout and several more slot fish came to the boat, along with snapper to 14", bluefish, sea bass, and jacks. Chris finished up the trip with a 3' long shark.
The wind laid down on Saturday morning for Johnathan Olmo and his girlfriend Elizabeth Bissell from Nutley, NJ. Bait was easy in Big Pass with a calm surface and the top of the incoming tide. Action was steady, mostly on speckled trout with a few gag grouper and mangrove snapper mixed in. Nothing huge, but a half dozen fat trout in the slot, up to 18". Liz finished off the trip with a bonnet head shark on a cut up grunt.
Back in the bay Brian Frank and sons Evan and Tyler caught a variety of fish this week. Dad was the top angler catching a 19” speckled trout and a bonnet head shark. The trio caught several other species that included ladyfish and sheephead. They were using live shrimp and fished the Stephens Point area.
Bryan & MaryAnn Vincent along with daughter Emma and son John as well as friend Ally Muller took a bay trip this week and caught a variety of fish. Emma took top honors catching a nice bonnethead shark for the biggest fish while the others all boated a species that went home for supper. The group used live shrimp to catch speckled trout to 17”, mangrove snapper, black drum, bluefish, ladyfish and jacks.
The Friendliest Catch saw Josh Compton and his mom Carlene Beckham fish the middle grounds area this week. Josh had the hot hand catching several species of fish that included speckled trout, jacks, bluefish, ladyfish, and mangrove snapper. The top catch was a beautiful 21” speckled trout. The fish were caught on live shrimp, jigs and top water lures.
Jesse Heidenthal and Alex Whalen fished the middle grounds and Longboat Key this week and caught trout, jacks, ladyfish and mangrove snapper. While Alex caught the most fish Jesse had the biggest with a nice 21” trout. They used jigs and live shrimp.
Remember, the best time to go fishing is when you can and be sure to save some for seed!
Last week the fishing stayed good although the water temp is rising up abit. Trout and Bluefish topped the species list for anglers fishing with me on the Casual Lies. Darker C.A.L jigs like Rainbow Trout and Root beer seemed to be the best bait in the deeper water. Pompano showed up a couple of trips for some good action and good dinners for a few people. Spotted Sea Trout, Silver Trout, Flounder, Black Sea Bass and ladyfish also kept the action steady.
The tarpon fishing continues to be very good at this point. I fished Tim kolchowsky from Chicago and his uncle Irv from Seminole and we had 9 tarpon on and landed 4 all of the fish were caught on crabs and pin fish. The bay fishing is really starting to get really got now that the bait has arrived in the bay. I fished the bay in Thursday and we landed 60+ fish on a 4 hr trip. We caught mostly trout, mackerel, snapper and a couple of jacks.
A fly angler 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 with tarpon in the coastal gulf in Sarasota during the past week.
Frank Zaffino, from Rochester, NY, fly fished for tarpon several days with me last week. The goal was tarpon on a fly and he did well, especially since it was his first time targeting tarpon. Tuesday was a great day with lots of shots and Frank caught and released his first tarpon, an estimated 90-pounder!
Shots were fewer on Wednesday and our day ended when a thunderstorm pushed through roughing up the water. Tarpon fishing is usually a waiting game, much like hunting whitetail deer or turkeys, so we often see other things along the way. Over several days we saw bull and hammerhead sharks, manatees and had a shot at a couple of cobia while we waited for tarpon.
Conditions deteriorated on Thursday as a stiff west wind made it rough. Frank hung in there and made his shots count, hooking up with another tarpon, an estimated 70-pounder, and successfully catching and releasing the fish on the last cast of the day! Going 2 for 2 on tarpon with a fly, especially on your first attempt-priceless!
Tarpon fishing should remain strong next week as we head towards a full moon. Large schools of tarpon should become more plentiful as they prepare to head offshore to spawn. Catch and release snook fishing should also be good in passes and around docks and bridges close to passes. You should find reds and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay or fish deep grass flats for trout, blues and more.
This week got off to a slow start as Nick McMullen, Matt Deluca and Scott Hechlik of Sarasota fished hard all morning with little to show for their efforts. The group didn’t even see a tarpon until nearly 9:20 when they spotted several fish milling about off Casey Key. With the exception of one crushed crab they were unable to get the fish to eat. With the wind out of the west it was a bit sloppy but the results were not because of a lack of effort. They’ll get em next time.
The west wind continued to blow on early this week but that did not deter Ben Bates and John Shelton of Sarasota and Ben’s father in law Alan Hobeck of Richmond, VA from getting out and chasing a few tarpon. Even though the seas started out rough we were able to get on a school early with Ben getting the bite. After a four spectacular jumps the fish threw the hook. Approximately an hour later we managed to find another school and this time it was John who got the bite and managed to get the fish hooked long enough to get a long run and one jump. Again the fish won and threw the hook. Alan was up next and he had two crabs stolen by the stealthy tarpon. Along the way we had a pinfish eaten by a small shark. No fish were boated but the action was good till late morning. All of the tarpon bites came on crabs.
Nick Conicella, son Alex and father John gave tarpon a try this week on a much nicer day as the wind was still from the west but much more fishable. During the early morning several schools of fish were presented baits but they were unable to coax a bite. After a move to another beach more schools were found moving along and Alex was able to get a crab eaten. When the line came tight and the fish jumped the leader broke and the fish was gone. They were unable to get another fish hooked up.
Bryan Chesnutt and daughter Kendall of Macon, GA went bay fishing this week where they caught a mixed bag of fish that included speckled trout, flounder, black drum, sheephead, ladyfish, jacks and a nice redfish. Daughter Kendall had the hot hand as she out fished dad catching several nice black drum, the redfish as well as hooked in to a nice snook that was able to throw the hook before she could get it to the boat. They also had a nice mangrove snapper that went home along with the drum for supper!
Back out on the beach the wind kicked up a little early Friday but tarpon were still schooled up and eating. Heath Swihart and son Tyson found several fish that were willing to eat their crabs. Heath finished the morning two out of four on the tarpon and Tyson wrecked the bait fish with the sabiki. It was a busy morning!
To end the week we saw the best and worst of tarpon fishing on my boat. On Saturday local Mike Mumma and friend Tony Bartucci fished and even though we saw a lot of fish and had baits in them multiple times they just could not find a hungry fish. In contrast on Sunday David Holifield found the opposite as he couldn’t put bait in the water that the fish wouldn’t eat and he finished the morning four out of four. (As a side note the captain went a disappointing zero for two jumping both fish off.) It just goes to show how challenging tarpon fishing can be!!!
Remember, the best time to go fishing is when you can and be sure to save some for seed!
Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released several snook, lookdowns, mutton snapper and jack crevalle on DOA Lures in the Indian River at the DOA/River Palm Outdoor Writer Festival out of Jensen Beach, FL and had good action with tarpon in the coastal gulf in Sarasota on DOA Baitbusters and live baits during the past week.
Capt. Andy Cotton and I towed our boats over to Jensen Beach (Stuart area) on Sunday for the annual DOA/River Palm Outdoor Writer Festival at River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp. Located right on the Indian River with quaint cottages, a long pier with boat dockage, swimming pool, tiki hut and a boat ramp next door, it’s a “cool place to stay” for a weekend or a week long fishing getaway.
Guides, outdoor writers and sponsors were matched up to fish the area on Monday and Tuesday. Nice snook and trout, false albacore (little tunny), tarpon and more were caught and released and numerous tarpon were jumped with DOA Lures by various anglers in the group.
Outdoor writers, Michael “Mookie” Wilson, with the Lakeland Ledger and Pete Barrett, from Jupiter, FL, fished St. Lucie Inlet with me one day. We found some snook and jacks busting baits along a rock jetty and had some action catching and releasing them on DOA Shrimp. We also caught and released several lookdowns, a member of the jack family, and a mutton snapper around rocky areas of the inlet also on DOA Shrimp. Thanks to Mark Nichols and the entire crew at DOA Fishing Lures (www.doalures.com) and Rufus Wakeman, owner of River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp www.riverpalmcottages.com for hosting the event and to other sponsors, Lazer Trokar Hooks, Shimano, Power Pro, Engel Coolers, Tailin' Toads, Johnson Outdoors (Minnkota & Humminbird), Pilar Rum and Costa Sunglasses.
The Notari family, from Longboat Key, FL and the Chicago area, tarpon fished in Sarasota with me and Capt. Jack Hartman on Thursday. Everyone had good action with 3 out of 4 anglers landing tarpon and jumping several others. The DOA Baitbuster continues to produce for my anglers with a couple of bites and 1 tarpon, an estimated 120-pound fish, caught and released by Josh Notari with the lure. The other tarpon were on a variety of live baits. Friday’s fly fishing trip had a dozen or more shots at tarpon before conditions went downhill with wind, rough water and thunderstorms closing in on us.
Tarpon fishing should remain strong next week. Look for more singles, doubles and smaller schools as fish return to the beach after spawning. You should find reds and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay or fish deep grass flats for trout, blues and more. Catch and release snook fishing should also be good in passes and around docks and bridges close to passes.
Fishing was excellent this week on a variety of species in Sarasota Bay, with spotted sea trout once again being the high point as several fish over 24" were landed. Anglers on charters caught Speckled trout to 25", mangrove snapper to 14", gag grouper, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, sea bass, jack crevelle, ladyfish, and sharks were caught at Marker # 5, Bird Key, and the Radio Tower flats. I only used live bait this week, once the bait shows up thick, using them to chum the fish behind the boat is extremely effective and easy for novice anglers. I have been finishing up most trips with a little shark fishing. Basically, I anchor up on the edge of a flat and drift out cut ladyfish under a float. They are great sport on light tackle and everybody likes sharks!!
The week started off with an excellent trip with Doug Knoblett, his children Chase and Autumn, and her friend Calee Fulling, all from Palestine, IL. We left Centennial Park at first light and I ran straight to the bait. Two tosses of the net resulted in a full well. After that, we sat in one spot for 2 1/2 hours, catching speckled trout to 18", Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds, gag grouper, mangrove snapper to 14", black sea bass, and ladyfish. The action was very steady. We decided to finish up trying for a shark, and Chase landed a nice 40" blacktip on a chunk of cut ladyfish.
I had Bill Kippel and his son on the boat on Tuesday. Action was steady on the deep flats, the Spanish mackerel were particularly aggressive, though none were larger than 1 1/2 pounds. Trout, ladyfish, sea bass, snapper, and grouper were also caught. For whatever reason, the bait was smaller that day, making fishing a bit more difficult. We finished up with a shark near Big Pass.
The bait was better on Wednesday, and so was the fishing, for Lori and Fred Koppold from Noblesville, IN and their 19 year old son Seth. The speckled trout bite was hot with the crew putting a couple of 16" trout on ice and releasing several more up to 25"; gotta let those big ones go back!! Gag grouper, mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and sea bass kept the rods bent. The shark bite was also on; we hooked three and landed on in less than a half hour on cut ladyfish.
Kyle Moyer and his buddy Greg fished with me on Thursday. Action was fairly steady though there wasn't a lot of "quality" fish and the bait-stealers were more of a nuisance. Still, they put two speckled trout, a mackerel, and a half dozen mangrove snapper on ice as well as catching gag grouper, ladyfish, sea bass, and other species. Once again, the deep flats near Big Pass produced the action. We finished up hooking a nice shark and having it eat through the 100 lb leader after a couple of blistering runs.
Action was very good on Friday for Bill McClain, Bruce Colon, and Bruce's 13 year old son Hayden. Bait was easy and decent and the flats near Big Pass and New Pass produced a bunch of mangrove snapper, sea bass, speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jack crevelle, gag grouper, and one ladyfish, but it was probably the biggest one I have ever seen. Hayden had the hot hand, catching the big ladyfish and a pair of 25" speckled trout. All of the fish hit live pilchards and sardines.
I finished up the week with a good charter with buddies from Rhode Island Steve Jensen and Rob Fleming. Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, sea bass, snapper, grouper and ladyfish came to the chum on the deep grass near Bird Key. Rob caught and released a beautiful 24" trout. We finished up with a shark and another one that ran off and came unbuttoned.
Bay fishing at Middle Grounds, Stephens Pt. and Roberts Bay this week produced lots of Trout, Mangrove Snapper to 12”, some Bluefish, Ladyfish and Snook at various docks. High tide with live shrimp casting under these docks brought Snook and Mangrove snapper that keeps our customers happy and busy. The snapper were keepers and the Snook were on the small size.
Offshore fishing produced Yellowtail to 14”, Mangrove Snapper to 17”,and keeper Red Grouper. All gags were released. Free lining live shrimp and chunking cut sardines put the snapper in the ice box. The grouper were hitting fresh cut Key West grunts and Pinfish in 48 feet of water off Sarasota’s Ice Box area.
I only managed to get out two days this week to chase tarpon for one reason or another. The first trip saw Sarasota brothers Jake and Josh Foss giving the tarpon a try. Both brothers were able to hook into high flying tarpon with older brother Jake being the lucky one who was able to bring his fish to boat side. The fish turned out to be the largest we have boated this year as it had a girth of 38" and was 74" to the fork of his tail. This charted out to be 150 pounds. The fight lasted 19 minutes with a DNA taken and pictures made before the fish was released. Jake’s fish ate a pinfish while Josh’s fish ate a crab. A great way to get the week started.
The next trip saw new locals Brett and Kristal Koppes give tarpon fishing a try. After a slow morning with lots of fish moving through but hard to get a bait in front of them we managed to put the bait in front of a fast moving school. The fish ate the crab but was gone by the time the slack came out of the line. Another cast produced the same results with the tarpon crushing the crab but not hooked up. Undaunted we fished until we were about to head in when a school was spotted right in the mouth of Big Pass. The fish swam under the boat and a crab put in front of the group was eaten. After a 30 minute battle a beautiful 140 pound tarpon was released at boat side to fight another day.
Remember, the best time to go fishing is when you can and be sure to save some for seed!
Well summer is here!! But the fishing is hotter than the temperature out on the water. In the bay anglers fishing with me aboard the Casual Lies had a good week last week. We fished Middle grounds area with silver C.A.L, jigs to fool a veriety of fish. Bluefish up to 5 or 6 lbs, Trout to 22 inches, 18 inch Pompano, Permit and Flounder. With the little kids I had, we hooked up some live shrimp under floats and had some good catches with Ladyfish, Trout, Bluefish, and Mangrove Snapper. The Sharks are still a big hit with the people coming from up north, some have never seen a Shark before and they get a nice picture to take home. The size is still about 15 to 20 lbs but one we had weighed in at 38 lbs.
Out on the beach the Tarpon still willing to eat some crabs, pinfish and threadies. Most of the fish we are getting are only about 85 to 100 lbs but they will still give you some sore muscles. Hopefully they will be around for a few more weeks for people to get a chance at a catch of a lifetime. Thanks Capt Bruce.
Congratulations to David Sugar for winning the 84th annual Sarasota Tarpon Tournament. We fished the tournament yesterday and David won with a 38 3/4" fish that I estimated to weigh 140 lbs... Awesome Job!!!!!
The bay fishing is good right now with nice trout, ladyfish, mackerel and good numbers of 15-40 lb sharks in the bay. I am fishing with live pilchards in the bay. The fishing will continue to get better and better. Hope to see everyone on the water! Capt. Roy.
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 jumping several tarpon and landing a couple in the coastal gulf on a DOA Baitbuster and flies during the past week. Singles, doubles and small schools of tarpon, probably recently spawned fish, outnumbered large schools during the past week.
Harry and Jiske Ong, from Tampa, FL, tarpon fished in the coastal gulf with me on Monday. We had good action for the first couple of hours of the day with numerous schools of tarpon passing by. Harry caught and released an estimated 75-pound tarpon on a DOA Baitbuster. The Baitbuster has been hot this season, often jumping and catching tarpon when they didn’t eat live baits!
Fly angler David Morgan, from Sarasota, FL, tarpon fished with me on Tuesday. It was his first time fly fishing for tarpon and he did well. He had numerous shots at tarpon, but it was his first shot that was the best. He hooked up, jumping and bringing the fish, an estimated 75-pound tarpon, to the boat where it was leadered after a short battle.
We had numerous shots at tarpon with a fly on Wednesday and Thursday. We didn’t hook up on Wednesday but on Thursday we jumped 2 and had another bite. Wind shifted to the west on Friday and tarpon were fewer, deep in the water column and didn’t give us many shots.
Tarpon should school heavily as we head towards a new moon next week. Catch and release snook fishing should also be good in passes and around docks and bridges close to passes. Look for reds and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay or fish deep grass flats for trout, blues and more.