Sarasota Fla. Report 8/15/98

From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 15 Aug 1998
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Sarasota Florida Fishing Report.

By Capt. Bob Smith August 15, 1998

This week pompano and permit have been on the bite most of the time in Big Pass! As long as the current was flowing well on an incoming or outgoing tide and using 3/8 ounce yellow pompano jigs, we were able to find some pompano. When the current slows in Big Pass, I move to New Pass where the current is a little stronger due to its narrower cut. The grass flats are also holding a few pompano as well as trout. While fishing the passes and the flats, you will see some nice sting rays and spotted rays jumping out of the water, some up to four feet wide. The sting rays will take your pompano jig, so hold on.

The downside is that the passes are full of catfish due to the cloudy water and that is caused by all the rain that has fallen inland this past week. The trout fishing is still best north of the bay from Longbar north. Grunts (Pigfish) on a float are still the best bait and it will stay that way until the grunts get too big.

Top water plugs and jigs are working for both trout and redfish. I enjoy plug fishing for trout and snook with a "52-M" MirrOlure, a Rapala and many others but never a jointed plug. The whitebait is getting larger and is also working well. Snook and tarpon are biting better at first light or at night. You can still find some tarpon along the beach as well as in the bay, although not enough for me to book a charter for tarpon and it be our only target.

Offshore fishing has been steady with Amberjacks, barracuda, grouper and snapper being the mainstay of action. Summertime is also when the Gulf looks its friendliest and lures more small boaters out to the blue water fishing. Dolphin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Tuna and many others all call to us. Although we don't get many of these fish on this coast, the summer is the best time to fish for them out in the blue water about 25 to 50 miles offshore. Dolphins are the most dependable targets after the AJs that hang around most of the reefs, wrecks and the springs. Look for floating debris like a grass line, logs and most any object adrift that will hold dolphin and other fish.

A word of caution to new small boaters for long offshore trips: Leave a float plan at the dock. Make sure you have from 600 to 750 ft of anchor line so that your ratio will be at least 5 to 1. Take extra drinking water. Remember that your VHF radio or cell phone will not reach land so an EPIRB would be a nice addition. Using the two boat buddy system is also a good idea. On this coast VHF ch.14 is used by most charter boats.

Enjoy and Protect!