Sarasota Fla. Report 10/11/98

From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 11 Oct 1998
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Sarasota Florida Fishing Report.

By Capt. Bob Smith October 11, 1998

The Fall run has started! Spanish mackerel, cobia, pompano and permit are just a few of the fish you can expect to catch. The Spanish mackerel were thick offshore from the beach out to about the thirty-foot depth (3 miles) and could be seen crashing into the bait-fish as the birds attacked from above. The macks have also moved inshore to Hart's reef. We used only Diamond jigs by Bead Chain (W2X 1/3 to 1/2 oz.)with 50 pound mono leader. I am sure that most small spoons and jigs will work as long as you use a fast retrieve when casting. How fast? I always say, you can't retrieve too fast for mackerel when using small reels. When trolling for the Spanish mackerel, a medium speed is fine.

Cobia have been caught on the artificial reefs along the coast in 18 to 30 feet of water and also a few in the bay. Live pinfish, grunts, pilchards and large shrimp are the best baits and can be fished on the bottom, free-lined or on a float. It all depends on the cobia. I start on the bottom and keep a rod ready without a weight in case I see them on top. While fishing the bottom, you may catch a flounder, grouper or snapper but there are a lot of hungry trigger fish down there too, so take plenty of bait with you.

Larger snapper and grouper have been caught with live bait on hard bottom in 65 feet of water. This is a place that a good chart recorder and/or the drift and mark method works. Mangrove and some mutton snapper along with the gag and red grouper have made up most of the catches.

Pompano and permit have been on and off all around the bay taking jigs and live shrimp. Look for them in the pass, on the flats and along the surf. When you find one, work the same area for some more and it may get hot for a while. The passes have also had cobia, small tarpon and jacks up to ten pounds. Working the fenders of the New Pass Bridge can give you a workout with the big jacks, if nothing else. You can find some nice redfish around the docks during the day but, the snook are still better at night.

On the down side, the bay is full of rays and catfish, so be careful when wading. Catfish can hurt as badly as rays and I think they may be attracted by the foot shuffling used to disperse the rays.

Enjoy and Protect!