Sarasota Fla. Report 3/20/98

From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 20 Mar 1998
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Sarasota Florida Fishing Report. By Capt. Bob Smith bobsmith@cftnet.com March 20, 1998

Regardless of the frog strangling down pours with lots of wind, the fishing has been great. Pompano fishing has been nonstop when we could get out and making your limit was not hard to do. The pompano have been all over the bay with the heaviest concentration in Big Pass. We drifted along the south east bank of the pass and jigged with yellow 1/4 oz jigs tipped with bits of shrimp.

The best bait of all for pompano is live sand fleas. Sand fleas are crabs that can be found along the edge of the surf. Sand fleas are about an inch long and resemble half of a miniature egg with legs. They are caught with an oblong basket made of hardware cloth and used like a rake. When the surf goes out, the sand will go through the hardware cloth and leave the sand fleas behind. The fishing rig is a double drop leader with the lead about six inches below the bottom leader. Two 1/0 or 2/0 short shank, strong live bait hooks are used on the two drop leaders. We saw someone in the pass getting two pompano at a time with this rig. This rig was meant for surf fishing or somewhere you won't get hung up. Sand fleas work well on a jig.

We spotted a few more cobia on the bay and along the beach but no schools yet. The trout are large but not plentiful. Sheephead are everywhere and are the biggest just offshore on the artificial reefs. Snook and redfish are being caught, but not in large numbers, one here, one there.

Offshore you still need to run out about eight miles before you start getting some nice snapper and grouper. Make sure you take some live bait if you can. I have been spending most of my time inside on the bay because of the weather.

Enjoy and Protect.