From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 26 Dec 1998
Remote Name: 126.96.36.199
Sarasota Florida Fishing Report 12/25/98 By Capt. Bob Smith
Sometimes things happen just the way you want them to! Remington Lawyer is an 8 year old from the Mid-West and this was his first saltwater fishing trip. Monday afternoon he came aboard with his grandfather, Rodney and his mother, Mary. Mary introduced me to Rem and told me he loved to fish but had never caught a big fish. This brought a quick response from Rem "yes I have caught a big fish" he said, not wanting to look like an amateur in front of the Captain. I know how he felt. As we were leaving the dock, an excited father came running over to tell me that his 8 year old son had just landed a large cobia all by him self out on the (I) reefs. I thought to myself, I hope I can do the same for Rem. Rem had only used spin-cast reels but quickly adjusted to the open face reel with 12 pound test line that I handed to him. He had to :-)! Within 5 minutes of reaching the (I-2) reef in 30 feet of water, all three reels were screaming. We had been drifting with live shrimp and hit a school of Bull Reds. Two of the reds got off but Rem held onto his with both hands as the big red pulled off line and then it stopped and boiled the surface. Rem had no problem getting his pull and reel rhythm as I talked him through it. After about a 15 minute and a very hard battle, Rem brought in a 25 pound redfish. We took some nice pictures with grandpa holding the fish because it was too big for Rem to hold up. Rem baited his own hook and set the hook when the fish hit. Then he brought the fish in without help from anyone. I only netted the fish so that it would be a true catch, then we released it.
I fished the artificial (I) reefs most of the week and although the action was not constant, we did catch cobia, snapper, flounder, large sheephead and some grouper. Some boats on longer trips to the Icebox area off of Venice did well on large mangrove snapper and grouper.
Bay fishing has produced some redfish in Big Pass but it was not as good as it had been. There are plenty of fish on the bay, but it has been a mixed bag and hard to pinpoint. Pompano are still being caught in the pass. Sheephead are getting stronger with Spanish mackerel, bluefish and trout scattered around the flats.
In fact, I could fill the report with names of fish because every thing seems to be represented in some small number from tarpon to whiting and jewfish to triple-tail. The only thing is, the fish will stop biting from time to time but they are sticking around and with all this good weather you can't lose.
Enjoy and Protect!