Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weather is hot, but so is the fishing in Sarasota Bay

Spotted seatrout have been the most consistent species over the past month, with many of the fish ranging from 20 to 25 inches. We’ve been taking quite a few “over-the-slot” fish on D.O.A. CAL Jigs with gold paddle tails, D.O.A. Deadly Combinations, Clouser Deep Minnows and Gibby’s Big Eye Baitfish.

Most of the action has been taking place along the west side of Sarasota Bay over grass patches in 4 to 6 feet of water and along grass edges.

In addition, we’ve been getting Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jack crevalle and loads of feisty ladyfish.

On calmer days, anglers fishing with Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing have been getting shots at tarpon. The silver kings are feeding around school s of ladyfish. It’s a case of where you have to be in the right spot at the right time. Most of the tarpon are running in the 30-pound class.

I fished the east side of Sarasota Bay on a scouting trip as fared well. I caught and released a 32-inch snook right before daylight. I drifted the deep grass and managed 15 spotted seatrout. Most were small, but two were above the slot. I also caught a 36-inch shark.

Cameron Knox, a detective from Scotland, joined me on a beach snook expedition and fared well. Knox had never caught a saltwater fish on fly, but that drought ended when he landed a 20-inch snook on Gibby’s D.T. Variation. He was very happy, but even more ecstatic when he later landed a 27-inch snook.

Randy Ruskey of Illinois, his daughter, Abby, and her friend, Stephanie, fished with me near Buttonwood Harbor. The tide didn’t move for most of the morning, but we still caught fish through hard word. We caught spotted seatrout to 24 inches, ladyfish and jack crevalle. The highlight of the day was when we got to observe a pair of manatees close-up near the launch at the end of the day.

Ruskey fished the beach with me the next day and caught his first snook on fly in terrible conditions. He caught the snook on a Gibby’s D.T. Variation. Persistency and desire were the keys to success.

Dave Barlow of Clearwater, Fla., and daughter Hannah (click on photo to enlarge) fished a half day in Sarasota Bay and caught a number of spotted seatrout to 25 inches, ladyfish and jack crevalle. All fish came on CAL Jigs with gold paddle tails.

Austin Lohmann of Lakeland, Fla., joined me for a half-day outing in Sarasota Bay. Lohmann, an architecture student at the University of Missouri, caught spotted seatrout, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel on Clouser Deep Minnows and Gibby’s Big Eye Baitfish.

We’ve got some good tides coming up, and that’s important. The more water movement, the better the fishing.

Spotted seatrout should continue to cooperate. For those who don’t mind getting out early, snook are a definite possibility in Sarasota Bay.

Beach snook action should really heat up this month. Last year at this time, I did extremely well, with snook up to 39 inches.

I fish out of Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5s. They’re the best fishing kayaks around. I wouldn’t fish out of them if I didn’t think so. They’re roomy, comfortable, stable, track well and are fairly fast. Check them out at

I’d like to thank my sponsors. Without them, this would be a very tough business. They include Native Watercraft, D.O.A. Lures, Temple Fork Outfitters (fly rods and spinning rods), Peak Vises and Dri-Grip Sunscreen.

It has been very hot out, but we combat that by getting out early. When you’re catching fish, you don’t seem to mind at all.

Give me a call at (941) 284-3406 if you want to have some fun!

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