Sarasota Fla. Report 3/28/98

From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 28 Mar 1998
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By Capt. Bob Smith bobsmith@cftnet.com March 28, 1998

The weather has improved and so has the fishing! Pompano are all over the bay and as of Friday had developed a few feeding patterns. Big Pass has been best in the late afternoon on the out going tide between the channel and Lido park, so we started our drift at marker "15" and "15 A". Along with the pompano, we caught a few Spanish mackerel up to three pounds. I am sure that the mackerel action will pickup very fast. We were not targeting the mackerel and caught them on pompano jigs. The Middle Ground grass flats were best on the last of the incoming tide. There were also a few mackerel and trout.

Offshore from the beach out to the sixty foot depths, all the artificial reefs are covered with sheephead. They love shrimp, but by using live grunts and pinfish, you can get some nice grouper up to eight pounds or better. Fish the live fish on the bottom but just above the reef so that you don't get hungup. Some keeper cobia have been taken on live bait, so keep an eye open for them on top. Keeper grouper and cobia have been caught on the (I) reefs in 25 feet of water.

Kingfish have been seen and the bait fish are coming in, but I have not seen any meat in the box yet. You surely will want to take your gold hook bait rigs with you when going offshore from now on! And remember that drifting large live shrimp will also work. I only troll for kings in rough water.

Just a short note here on drift fishing for the novice. When you see a number of boats drifting and catching fish, you are not going to catch more fish nor make any friends by throwing out your anchor in the middle of their drift. The arm waving and hand gestures you see are not for good luck or the number of fish they caught :).

Enjoy and Protect.