From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 26 Jan 1999
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
January 24, 1999 Sarasota Florida Report
By Capt. Bob Smith
During the week, we had plenty of good fishing! There were snapper, flounder and a few nice grouper offshore. Inshore, there were trout, bluefish, redfish, flounder and a few pompano on the bite. Friday morning the wind started to blow hard and that was the end of our fishing. Although the wind would get up to 20 mph Friday, I felt that the bluefish would hold in the passes but we only caught one bluefish and a few jacks in New Pass. Another guide boat was in Big Pass and reported only one pompano. As the morning progressed, the flats south of Bird Key produced a few keeper trout and flounder but not much else.
As soon as the weather calms, I expect the fishing to be back to normal. The trout have been holding up in Zwicks channel and taking live shrimp along the east bank. If the wind is right and I can drift along the east bank free lining live shrimp along the edge of the grass until I find a good feeding point, then I anchor and fish that spot. If the wind is not helping you, anchor your boat so that you can fish the edge of the grass and move around until you find the fish.
In the passes I will be looking for bluefish and pompano. Bouncing jigs or live shrimp along the bottom will work for both. The bluefish and jacks have been closer to the docks and the pompano along the open sand bottom.
Offshore, I will be mostly fishing the bottom with live bait but keeping an eye open for cobia and little tunny on the surface. I have been finding fish on all the structures both artificial and natural from the 20 foot depth out to the 50 foot depth. More snapper as you go out and more sheephead as you fish closer. The grouper may be out or in but more plentiful on the natural bottom, breaks, ledges and hard bottom. Cobia like the coastline and hang around the artificial structures. You may see Little tunny breaking the surface anywhere.
The snapper prefer live shrimp and the grouper will eat anything, but the live pinfish and grunts will last longer on the bottom. Cobia will take any live bait both on the bottom and on the surface. I like to keep a live bait off the back and on a float for cobia, little tunny and mackerel, preferably shrimp or sardines.
Enjoy and Protect!