Sarasota Fla. Report 4/12/99

From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 13 Apr 1999
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April 12, 1999

Sarasota Florida Fishing Report

By Capt. Bob Smith

King mackerel have been on the bite all week! We have been catching plenty of kings, some up to 40 pounds and they are just about a mile south of Big Pass in 25 feet of water. The kings have been feeding on the large schools of thread herring that are holding in the area. Along with the kings are large Spanish mackerel up to 7 pounds and keeper size cobia. It has been very easy to catch the herring on the gold hook rigs. In fact, you need to be fast to keep them from destroying your gold hook rig. Do not let them load up! Drift or slow drag the herring around the schools of baitfish. I use 6 inches of number 6 steel leader and a number 5/0 hook. Above the wire, I add 4 foot of sixty-pound mono leader and no less than twenty-pound test line. There are too many crab traps and boats for lighter line. The herring are a little large for the Spanish mackerel, but live shrimp and jigs will work on them. No problem for the cobia and little tunny, they will eat it all.

There have been plenty of mangrove and Lane snapper on the artificial reefs and ledges with an occasional keeper size grouper. The inshore reefs have held some large schools of cobia and Spanish mackerel. The fishing has been so wild at times that I had to fish the anglers one at a time.

I would like to apologize for the lack of reports. Between all the good weather and good fishing, I have been out every day and most of my days are 12 to 14 hours long. Fishing and fixing.

The coastal water is very clear now and that is probably due to the drought that we are having. This could also be one of the reasons the kings are running so close to the beach, but whatever the reasons, we are having a banner year. Don't forget the run of large gag grouper we had on the bay a few weeks ago, they can still start up again.

The (M) reefs in 40 to 60 feet of water are covered with barracuda and lots of bait-fish. Schools of large jacks are moving around the reefs and are real tackle testers. Next month we start looking for tarpon along the beach and schools of permit on the reefs. The snook have already started to stack up around the docks and passes and sea trout have been good north of the bay.

Enjoy and Protect!