From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 15 May 1999
Remote Name: 220.127.116.11
May 15, 1999
Sarasota Fishing Report
By Capt. Bob Smith
This is the time to go fishing! If you can get the weather on your side, you can pick your fishing. Tarpon, Permit, Kingfish, Barracuda, Grouper, Snapper and Cobia are just a few of the many species you can find offshore from the beach to the 60 foot depths. The fastest action has been around the (M) reefs. The reefs have been holding plenty of baitfish and all you need is a set of gold hooks to keep you fishing for most of the species. However, you will need large live shrimp or small crabs for the permit. The permits are just starting to build up and have not reached their peak but should last through June. We mostly free line our baits except for grouper and snapper. When fishing around the (M) reefs for permit and for bottom fishing, we use mono leader. For all others, we use only 6 inches of number six steel leader wire.
When using live fish for bait, change them as often as you can and do not wait until they are almost dead. You only get a few good runs on a new bait and then you should put a fresh one on. Let them run away from the boat as fast as they want on free spool and watch your line for any changes in the run that could mean you had a hit. If the line stops, reel in all your slack as fast as you can and feel the fish before you strike. If your line picks up speed, you only need to close your free line and the fish will set the hook, most of the time. Your best bet for grouper is live fish, fished on the bottom. Pinfish, grunts and sardines will all work. For the snapper, I like live shrimp or small sardines.
Tarpon are in and along the beaches but it is still more hunting than seeing. The tarpon action will pick up and a little less surf will help. Live crabs or live fish will work and sometimes one will work better than the other will, so I keep both on hand. The trick is to get your bait in front of the tarpon as they move along the beach.
On the bay, the snook are beginning to stack up around some of the docks and will peak in June. This is a good time of year to work the docks for snook and redfish, especially on those windy days. Live shrimp or pilchards are good baits. Chumming with pilchards will get them on the bite but you need to take a lot of bait with you if you like to chum. I do not practice this myself, but it works.
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