From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 11 Apr 1998
Remote Name: 18.104.22.168
Sarasota Florida Fishing Report. By Capt. Bob Smith April 11, 1998
Kingfish have been in all week but due to the high winds, so have we for the last part of the week. The kings were on all the (M) reefs but were not alone. Sharks of all sizes along with a few grouper were taking our live bait faster than the kings. The first chance I had to fish for kings was Tuesday afternoon on (M-3) and it was the last nice day of the week for comfortable offshore fishing. I had heard form a morning charter that the bait was hard to find, so they had to troll and found the kings scattered. I had some extra large live six to seven inch long shrimp for free-lining and few pinfish, if we wanted to fish the bottom. I did setup one gold hook bait rig on a light rod for Spanish sardines, cigar minnows and thread herring. About halfway out to (M-3), I found myself in about an acre of large sardines and minnows and quickly put a dozen and a half in the bait well feeling I would find more on the reef. I was not sure how good the action would be to justify spending a lot of time loading up on bait. I did not find any bait fish on the surface around the reef, but the action was hot. As soon as we drifted over the reef, we put a 12 pound king in the box. The king gave a good fight on the light spinning tackle, but I was very surprised not to see barracuda in hot pursuit that close to the reef. The next eight drifts found us hooked up to more fish than we could handle on 12-20 pound test line. Unlike kingfish, the large fish took our bait on top and dove down into the structure cutting us off, no contest. We did hook a few more kings and had a few cut offs on top, by that time we were out of bait and it was time to go home.
The next morning the forecast was for 20 knots SW, not a good day for offshore fishing. When we left the dock, the wind had not yet come up. So we went outside thinking about fishing cobia along the beach. I had just past the bell buoy off New Pass and found a large school of thread fin herring, so I stopped and used the gold hooks to put a few in the bait well. I knew I could ride the through of the waves and stay on plane out to (M-3), so we went for it. By the time we got to (M-3), it was 3-5 and the wind had not started yet. Another guide was anchored over the reef so we took a couple of long drifts. None of the boats had a good hit and the wind started to come up. We figured we would get back while we could still run on plane and stay dry. I fished the bay for the rest of the time until Friday when the wind got too high for comfortable bay fishing. We caught fish but it was slow on the bay for the rest of the week.
Enjoy and Protect.