Sarasota Fla. Report 4/4/98

From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 05 Apr 1998
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Sarasota Florida Fishing Report.

By Capt. Bob Smith

April 4, 1998

It was a very good week for inshore and offshore fishing, but we did have a few dead spots. For the most part it was great! In the middle of the week, the inshore reefs were full of keeper cobia and large Spanish mackerel along with some small black tip sharks. Free lining live shrimp was all you needed to do to fill the box. Lures, pinfish and grunts worked as well for the cobia.

I also jumped one tarpon while drifting a live pinfish over some structure in 18 feet of water off Longboat Key beach. This is not the tarpon run that starts in May, but just some singles you will find along the beaches and bay during March and April. By Friday the cobia and mackerel action had slowed down, but it is not over with. By Friday we found that snapper had started to replace the sheephead on the inshore reefs. This is real good news if you are not a sheephead lover. The sheephead take over for a while every year and it is hard to get any thing else off the bottom with live shrimp.

Pompano and spotted sea trout have been very hot on the grass flats all over the bay, but will shut down from time to time. This week I found that using a tipped 1/4 oz yellow pompano jig gave us the best results for a mixed bag of large trout and pompano. My best spot on the bay this week was Ringling grass flats. That is when the wind would let us fish it. We drifted the flats while casting with the wind and popping the rod as we retrieved. This method also produced a few cobia up to 30 inches and Spanish mackerel. I need to say again that although it was a good week, we did have times when nothing would work for hours and then turned back on as quickly as it stopped. The on and off times did not hold to a pattern that could be predicted.

I do expect the kingfish to show up in our area this week, but the kings have very little respect for my opinion :).

Enjoy and Protect!