From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 11 Sep 1998
Remote Name: 220.127.116.11
Sarasota Florida Fishing Report.
By Capt. Bob Smith. September 10, 1998
Variety was the word to describe last week's fishing and we didn't need to go very far. I only had two places that worked well for me. One was inshore and the other was offshore. The Ringling grass flats produced most of the action. There were sea trout with some of them measuring more than 20 inches, pompano up to 4 pounds, an occasional bluefish, Spanish mackerel, small grouper and snapper, stingrays, ladyfish and jacks up to eight pounds.
We found that as the tide increased speed, the fishing got better and a light wind helped a lot. Fishing with large live shrimp was the easiest and caught the bigger fish but lures worked well especially on the trout. I used 8lb test line with a 20 pound leader and 4/0 202 gold hook for the live shrimp. You can free- line the bait before or after the drift of the boat, but you need to periodically drop a loop of slack line out if dragging the bait. Then let the drift of the boat pull the slack out.
We didn't need to go far offshore to find some nice fish! The (I) reefs about two to three miles offshore in 30 feet of water held some nice mangrove snapper, flounder and an occasional keeper cobia or grouper. The latter not being too plentiful was there if you had the patience. Our small live grunts did not do much but when we put down some large live shrimp we had plenty of action. Using 12 pound test line was enough for most of the fish but we had to move up to at least 20 pound test to pull the larger fish out of the reef structure. We used 40 to 60 pound mono leader with a 1/4 ounce to a ½ ounce of lead. I use a 3/0 hook for shrimp and a 5/0 hook for small grunts and pinfish. Cobia were widely scattered and mostly being caught while bottom fishing with live bait but you need to keep an eye open for them on the surface. People unfamiliar with cobia usually mistake them for a shark. Cobias are attracted to all large floating objects including your boat, reef structures, manatees, large rays and smaller fish being caught. Cobia will take most live bait and artificial lures. Like all fish, never bring your bait or lure in from behind the fish, always cross its path or present it in front of the fish.
Enjoy and Protect!