Sarasota Fla. Report 5/17/98

From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 18 May 1998
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Sarasota Florida Fishing Report.

By Capt. Bob Smith May 17, 1998 bobsmith@cftnet.com http://www.sarasota-fla-fishing.com

With a week of excellent weather we were able to get offshore every day. We found grouper, permit, snapper and a few king & Spanish mackerel. Of course, it was not hot all of the time which was probably due to the full moon and high pressure, but all in all, it was a good week. As soon as the wind stopped, we found plenty of permit on the artificial reefs "M-3" and "M-7". The permit were taking live free lined shrimp and crabs. Some of the largest permit were more than twenty pounds. The kingfish seem to be dwindling but are still around. The "M" reefs are full of barracuda and jewfish that can give you a lot of fun and they will steal your fish from time to time.

If you are going to catch live sardines for bait, you need to look for them on the way out to the reefs because the bait on the reef has been very nervous and hard to catch with gold hook rigs. You can get some however, but it just takes longer.

Longer offshore trips have been finding dolphin 25 to 40 miles out along with an occasional wahoo.

Yesterday I found grouper up to ten pounds in thirty to thirty- five feet of water just a little more than three miles off Lido beach. The grouper where bunched up on natural bottom structure like small ledges, hard bottom and breaks. You need your bottom recorder to find them and then drop a marker. We had large live shrimp and they worked well, but I would have liked to have had live pinfish. We spent most of the morning trip along the beach looking for tarpon, cobia and snook. We worked our way out to the artificial (I) reefs and still could not find any action. We had large live shrimp and small blue-claw crabs for bait so I decided to check out some of my natural bottom spots in the same area. As soon as I got to the first location I call Grunt, I could see larger blimps on the color fish finder. It takes my paper recorder to show the one and half foot ledge. We dropped down some live shrimp on 12 pound test line. Everyone seems to have a just short gag on and soon someone had a 22" keeper gag. We started to get slammed hard and lose some fish, but it was time to go. In the afternoon we got a late start, so we did not stop to catch some large pinfish. We did start with the 30 pound test line and managed a half dozen nice gags up to ten pounds and one large red grouper. We also caught some mangrove snapper by using live shrimp instead of large pinfish.

Enjoy and Protect!