Sarasota Fla. Report 2/14/99

From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 15 Feb 1999
Remote Name:


February 14, 1999. Sarasota Fla. Fishing Report.

By Capt. Bob Smith

The artificial reefs and rock piles along Longboat Key and Lido beach kept us busy all week. We found large schools of cobia, keeper gag grouper, small flounder, sheephead, Spanish mackerel and some bluefish in the 18 to 25 foot depths.

Live shrimp and sardines were the baits to use and there was plenty of baitfish to net around New Pass. In fact, it was better to use a small castnet to prevent over loading of the bait well. We used large live shrimp most of the time so that we would be open to a larger variety of fish.

Some of the most fun we had was Thursday when I lost my best spots to other guide boats who had gotten out earlier than us. Hence, “The early bird gets the worm” :-). This was Lost reef and as I said last week , Lost reef is not lost any more. I decided to go 4 miles north of New Pass to a rock pile about 100 feet long in 18 feet of water, another unrecorded dump of concrete rubble off of Longboat key. We found no one there, just a large school of cobia on top. We were able to drift the reef over and over for about two hours while trying to cast to the largest cobia in the pack. Sight fishing is always a rush for me.

I did jump out to thirty feet of water and tried to fish some small natural ledges for grouper but found swarms of trigger fish on them. Trigger fish are very good eating and give a good fight for a small fish but will take the edge off your knife quickly when cleaning due to the rough skin. You need to fillet and skin this fish. In some of the Islands they let the skin dry and use it to scrub pots and pans. The local name on some islands is “Pot Scrubber”.

The “M” reefs in 50 to 60 feet of water are loaded with Barracuda and they are taking Tube Lures. Casting Tube Lures to cuda is something I love to do. A striking cuda is loud and wet. When hooked, the acrobats can be anything from backwards cartwheels, tail walks to long forward leaps. If you haven't tried it, you need to. And remember I said casting Tube lures, not trolling them. Both will work but you will see and feel more when sight casting.

Enjoy and Protect