From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 12 Nov 1998
Remote Name: 18.104.22.168
Sarasota Florida Fishing Report.
By Capt. Bob Smith. November 11, 1998
It has been very hard to pinpoint the action for the last two weeks and then it has been hot and cold. The kings are still here and very hungry about 12 miles offshore but the seas have been about 6' due to the high winds. Trolling spoons has been the best method with the water that rough.
I have stayed within 3 miles of the coastline and on the bay. At times, I found plenty of flounder in 25 feet of water on the (I) reefs and then return to catch only triggerfish and grunts. Occasionally we would find a nice grouper, snapper or cobia but nothing we could depend on. We used mostly large live shrimp for bait and fished on the bottom. We had some very large fish on that were just too big for 12 and 20 pound test line. Bull reds, jewfish, cobia and sharks are along the coast now which can result in sudden death when fishing in heavy structure. If you take the time to catch some nice pinfish for bait, you might be able to hook some big fish.
On the bay, I have caught plenty of black drum and a few redfish using live shrimp around the docks behind Otter Key. I use a #7 split shot with 40 pound leader and a 3/0 O'Shaughnessy hook. Remember that some of these fish can average 10 or 12 pounds and you can't let them take any line back around the pylons. For lots of action on light tackle, the ladyfish and jacks have been raising havoc in Big Pass feeding on small baitfish. Sometimes we saw schools of ladyfish a quarter of a mile wide and frothing the water while feeding on the schools of bait. Live shrimp and jigs of almost any type of jig worked. We did get a few pompano and trout on the grass flats, but not many.
Although the fishing is usually unpredictable, it is more so in the Spring and Fall. You can have too many fish to none, too small or too big, or a species you didn't expect to see but that's what makes fishing fun. Try to keep a few different sizes of rods ready because you never know, when you stop to fish for trout, you might find a large cobia sitting in your spot.
Enjoy and Protect!