Sarasota Fla. Report 4/27/98

From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 28 Apr 1998
Remote Name:


Sarasota Florida Fishing Report.

By Capt. Bob Smith April 27, 1998 bobsmith@cftnet.com

Last week ended with a great weekend for live bait fishing offshore. Saturday morning on the way out to the artificial reef called M-3, I found the water almost flat with just a small swell, although I did not see any bait-fish on the surface. I did see one kingfish rocket out of the water about four miles out, which is half way to M-3. It was 8:00 a.m. when we got to the reef. Two boats were already there and they were drifting. There was still no bait-fish on the surface, so we free lined some large live shrimp in the hope of picking up a permit. I rigged the 12 pound test spinning tackle with a 3/0 Lazer hook and 40 pound leader. Kings will also take the shrimp on this rig but usually will cut you off without a short wire leader.

We drifted around the structure for 20 minutes and never got a hit. So I decided to anchor up while I could still get my choice spot on the structure. After adding about a 3/4 oz clip-on lead to the permit rigs, we fished the bottom and found some really nice mangrove snapper and a hogfish. We did get a lot of short grouper on the shrimp, but not one hit on the live pinfish we had down.

After about an hour at anchor, the bait-fish came up around the boat and I caught a few on the gold hook bait rig I had ready. I put a live sardine on a 20 pound test spin tackle I had rigged with six inches of #6 steel wire and a 5/0 lazer hook. We then free-lined the bait off the back of the boat and immediately had a light hit that took the bait. The second bait out immediately hooked up with a twenty pound king. Next, someone else hooked up with a permit under the boat using shrimp. Soon after that, an eight foot shark crashed into some permit just off our bow. Barracudas don't seem to bother permit, but they are number one shark food.

I quickly pulled up the anchor and we started to sight fish the permit with the live shrimp. The permit stayed up until about 12:30 and we had a blast. A twelve pound permit will knock your socks off on light tackle and pump up your arms as it runs you around the boat. So will the kingfish as one of my customers commented, "I have caught a lot of kings on a troll but never had as much fun as I did with that 20 pounder on light tackle."

Enjoy and Protect!