Sarasota Fla. Report 2/8/99

From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 08 Feb 1999
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February 8, 1999, Sarasota Florida Fishing Report

By Capt. Bob Smith

As the sun was coming up and the sea was calm, I let the boat slide over one of the unrecorded artificial reefs I call Lost. Lost is off of Lido Key in about 25 feet of water and is about 100 yards long running north to south. I was looking for a spot just fifty feet off of the north end that I call Twin Peaks. I called it Twin Peaks due to the way the two pylons looked on my paper recorder. I marked the end of Lost and then the Twin Peaks with a float. I anchored the boat so that the Peaks would be just astern of us and tied a block of frozen chum off the bow to float on top.

After about fifteen minutes, the first cobia of the day was on. Then after a few runs around the boat and back and forth under the anchor line, we landed a nice 25 pounder on 12 pound test line. This was the largest fish we put in the boat but we lost some big ones. The cobia kept coming back for the full six hours we fished and some times all three passengers would have fish on. At one time, two passengers had one fish on under the boat and didn't know they both had the same fish hooked. Where's the Camcorder when you need it? When the cobia action slowed, I moved the boat to my other marker at the end of Lost. We caught some nice flounder up to four pounds along with keeper gag grouper, snapper and sheephead. The cobia came back following the chum slick along with some schools of Spanish mackerel. The Spanish mackerel were taking live shrimp free-lined in the slick but would also take a small jig. The cobia and all the other fish were caught on the bottom with live shrimp, or should I say just off the bottom by two to six inches. This day we used to ounce weights on 12 to 20 pound test line and 50 pound leader. Saturday we didn't see the cobia on top but some of the other days we saw some nice schools of about dozen fish from 10 to 40 pounds.

The Twin Peaks is one of my favorite spots for cobia due to the high profile that will draw cobia, but you will also lose a lot of fish on the pylons as they cut you off. I found the reef when I first came to Sarasota about twenty years ago. I called it Lost because none of the other local guides knew of it and it was not on any charts. It is not lost anymore and you can see boats fishing it from any of the other artificial (I) reefs. The reef is made-up of concrete ruble and that was probably dropped by mistake when making one of the other reefs.

Longer offshore trips are doing very well with grouper. I like the natural bottom for grouper. The 40 to 80 foot depths are working well and along with the grouper you can expect plenty of mangrove snapper action. Take or catch live bait if you can but cut bait will work.

You can find some bluefish, trout, redfish on the bay but the weather has been so good and the fish so close offshore that I haven't spent much time inshore.

Enjoy and Protect