Sarasota Fla. Report 6/14/98

From: Capt. BOB Smith
Date: 14 Jun 1998
Remote Name:


Sarasota Florida Fishing Report.

By Capt. Bob Smith June 12, 1998

Tarpon have been plentiful up and down the beach but hookups have been difficult to say the least. This has been a good year for getting plenty of good bait like crabs, sardines, pinfish and thread herring. We might get as many as ten casts to a school without one bump. Then a school will pop up and take the first one or two baits that hit the water. Unfortunately, the quick bites have been few and far between for the last two weeks. When starting out in the morning, several times this past week I have found tarpon milling around at the last two markers before we got to the New Pass Bell. I have found tarpon from New Pass north along the beach for five miles and fifteen miles to the south at Casey Key.

Tarpon fishing gets a lot of good press and is a great fish to catch but it is not for everyone. You need to be committed to the tarpon and just like bonefish, be willing to spend a lot of time on the hunt. To quote a local angler who lives for tarpon and is able to fish them almost every day, "A good day of tarpon fishing is five hours of boredom followed by one hour of chaos".

Offshore fishing around the "M" reefs has been very active with barracudas, amberjacks, grouper and jewfish. The amberjacks are almost getting to the legal size of 28" and a few nice grouper are coming in on large live bait fished on the bottom. It is best to catch your live bait on the way out because the ones on the reef may be to nervous to take via a gold hook bait rig. I have given up on live shrimp because of the large number of trigger fish living around the reefs now, but shrimp would be best for snapper.

Inshore, the trout and redfish are on the bite and doing well at the north end of the bay along with a few pompano. Live grunts or shrimp on a float are best for trout on the grass flats. Live shrimp, pinfish and grunts fished on the bottom around the docks are productive for redfish. The pompano are on the flats and will take a free lined live shrimp or jig.

Enjoy and Protect