Sarasota Fla. Report 11/22/98

From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 22 Nov 1998
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Sarasota Florida Fishing Report November 22, 1998

By Capt. Bob Smith.

Although my reports have been slow getting out this month, the fishing has been good!

Spanish mackerel are thick along the beaches and hitting on jigs as well as live shrimp. Most of the mackerel have been small but keeper size with a few up to three pounds. Diamond jigs (3/8-1/2 oz) are my favorites for mackerel because of their lack of feathers and long casting ability. Large cobia have also been roaming the beach and around the reefs in the18 to 30 foot depths. Don't look for them to hang around long, so have some fresh 12 to 20 pound test line spooled and ready if you want to do them on light tackle. Cobia will hit on the bottom as well as the top but you must put your bait in front of them if you see them on top.

Large flounder have been around the edges of the reefs offshore and that is probably the best place to fish for them. You also can find them most any place on the bay. Flounder love live bait and will take a jig

Pompano are still being caught in the passes but you need to move around when the tide changes. Yellow jigs, live shrimp and sand-fleas fished on the bottom are the best method. You can still find redfish and black drum around the docks.

Further offshore on the "M" reefs in 40 to 60 feet of water, we are still getting some kingfish with the live bait we catch on the gold hook bait rigs. The barracudas like the same bait but they also like the kings, so be quick :). We found plenty of snapper on the bottom and most were just legal. We hooked plenty of grouper but most were short.

If you want to take a lot of fish home, the best bet has been along the coast out to the 30 foot depth fishing for Spanish mackerel, flounder, cobia and small snapper. If you would like some kings and cuda action, you will need to go further offshore to the "M" reefs in 40 to 60 feet of water. If you are going offshore, plan on using live bait if you are serious and keep an open mind on whether to fish top or bottom. With a new weather front coming in, who knows what it will do to our fishing. Drifting the live sardines on a free-line over the reefs has been working for kingfish and cuda. I use only six inches of #6 steel leader and if I don't get a strike, I take off the steel just to pickup the action

Enjoy and Protect!

PS The reason for a late report is that I was moving into a new computer, the "Dell Dimension XPS R450".