Sarasota Fla. Report 8/1/99

From: Capt. Bob Smith
Date: 01 Aug 1999
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August 1, 1999

Sarasota Fla. Report

By Capt. Bob Smith

The best action has been offshore at the "M" reefs. Spanish mackerel, little tunny and barracuda have kept anglers busy. Limiting out on large Spanish mackerel has not been hard, especially if you are using small, live pilchards for bait. You can find these bait fish along the beach and in the passes. A castnet will work best in the shallow water. 12 to 15 pound test line is working well for this size fish but there are still some big guys around. In fact, one sailfish was caught this week in the same area. Free-lining your bait out and letting it run as fast as it can will get results but you can also slow pull your bait when the wind stops. For the small pilchards, I like to rig with 6" of light wire and a 3/0 hook. If you do not use wire, use a long-shank wire hook (202, 4/0). For the larger baitfish, I use a 5/0 hook. I back it all up with a 40-pound mono leader and double my line with a Bimini twist. You can still find a few nice grouper on the bottom but it will take a lot of bait to run through the shorts.

The best action inshore has been snook at night but remember they are out of season until Sept. Some spotted seatrout, redfish and occasional pompano have been the fish of the day. The most fun has been the large schools of 3-6 pound jacks in the passes. Except for the pompano, a live pilchard has been the most productive bait on the bay. At this time of year, due to the difficulty of accessing good live-bait, it is a good time to hone your artificial bait skills. Do not be afraid to tip your jigs and spoons with shrimp and strips of fish or squid.

Enjoy and Protect