Sarasota Fla. Report 10/20/98

From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 21 Oct 1998
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Sarasota Florida Fishing Report.

By Capt. Bob Smith Oct. 20/98

The kingfish are in and running along the beach! We have been fishing in 20 to 30 feet of water using live greenbacks and sardines for bait. Drifting, slow trolling and at anchor have produced some nice kings and a few cobia when using live bait. It has not been a real heavy run, but when they do come through, all your rods may get hit at the same time. Some of the kings are over 30 pounds. It is not common to have the kings run within a mile of the beach and it may be better well offshore, but with the high NE wind it has been very rough out there. The coastal water was calm out to two or three miles due to the offshore wind and we found plenty of bait fish. Spanish sardines and cigar minnows were the best bait but the hardest to find. They would hug the bottom while the greenbacks stayed on the surface and made up most of our bait along with some small blue runners. I have been fishing with 12 to 20 pound test line and rigging with 40 to 50 pound test mono leader, 6 inches of #6 wire and a 5/0 hook.

Flounder, redfish, trout, pompano, Spanish mackerel and a few bluefish have been coming in off the bay. The flounder have been best in the passes and the trout, pompano, mackerel and bluefish have been on the grass flats. Pat Ricciardi of Longboat Key caught one pompano that went 5 pounds on live shrimp. Most of the redfish have come from around the docks. The live shrimp are a good size now and will work well if you can keep the pinfish away :). Most of the popular lures and flies have been getting some good action but the wind has been hard on the fly fishermen. Middle Ground grass flats, Ringling grass flats and Helicopter bar have been some good spots for me.