Lido Beach fishing charter

Excellent fishing on Lido Key!

Recent afternoon showers have resulted in the water temperature dropping down to 83 degrees and the fishing has been very good!  Clients on Lido Key fishing charters landed Spanish mackerel, bluefish, speckled trout, jack crevelle, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, ladyfish and more using both jigs and live bait fish.  The deep grass flats near Lido Key were the best spots.  Along with the drop in water temperature, baitfish are abundant on the flats, and this attacted the gamefish.  An early start was important as it is still quite warm by lunch time.

Sarasota fishing charters

Stable weather results in good fishing on Lido Key, Sarasota, Florida

The weather has been the story this year, with some unusual patterns challenging anglers. Sarasota experienced normal summer patterns over the last week, with light east winds in the morning shifting to an afternoon sea breeze. Grass flats in 6' to 10' of water produced speckled trout, pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, snapper, and ladyfish for clients on Sarasota fishing charters. Bass Assassin jigs in red/gold shiner produced well, as did live shrimp. Fly casters scored on the same species using heavy Clouser patterns in red/gold and chartreuse/white. It looks like we have another week of tough weather coming this week.
Spanish mackerel

Snook and speckled trout hitting in Sarasota, Florida

The bite has been good for anglers on Sarasota fishing charters out of Lido Key in Sarasota with me of late. The best pattern has been to hit shorelines in Robert's Bay that have schools of glass minnows on them, casting shallow diving plugs for snook, trout, snapper, and jacks. This has been an early bite. Once the sun rose, moving to the deep grass flats and casting live shrimp under popping corks and Bass Assassin jigs produced speckled trout to 21", bluefish, jacks, mackerel, and ladyfish. Big Pass on the south end of Lido Key has been full of ladyfish with a few other species mixed in.
Sarasota fishing

Sheepshead bite is strong on Lido Key, Sarasota, Florida

We are right in the heart of the sheepshead spawning run in Sarasota Bay. There is a lot of structure in Big Sarasota Pass which borders the south end of Lido Key. Clients on Lido Key fishing charters with Capt Jim are landing good numbers of these tasty saltwater fish using shrimp fished on the bottom. Mangrove snapper and gag grouper are also being caught as well. Docks and bridges throughout the area are also holding plenty of fish. Also, the deep grass flats are producing trout, bluefish, pompano, and ladyfish for anglers casting jigs.
Sarasota fishing report

Good fishing in Sarasota between fronts

While it is winter here on Lido Key in Sarasota, Florida, the temperatures are still running ten degrees or so above normal, and that has kept the gamefish feeding up on the grass flats. Speckled trout, pompano, bluefish, and loads of ladyfish are hitting jigs in 6' to 10' of water. Weekly fronts slow down the bite for a day or two as they bring strong winds, but the action has been bouncing back quickly. The sheepshead spawning run is in full swing and rocky structure in Big Sarasota Pass, which lies at the south end of Lido Key, is full of these tasty panfish. A live shrimp fished on the bottom works best.  That is my weekly Lido Key fishing report.

Sarasota fishing

Good fishing into the new year on Lido Key

We were fortunate to have fantastic weather here in Sarasota, Florida over the holiday and into 2017, and the fishing was just as good as the weather! Big bluefish were the highlight of most charters, with anglers catching blues to 4 pounds on most trips. Plenty of ladyfish were landed as well, along with some pompano and speckled trout. Bass Assassin baits fooled most of the fish. The grass flats at the south end of Lido Key in Big Sarasota Pass have been the most productive spots. Structure in Big Pass held decent numbers of mangrove snapper and small bluefish for clients on Lido Key fishing charters bottom fishing with shrimp. Our first severe front is moving through this weekend and should prompt the fish to move towards their winter patterns.Sarasota fishing report

Hot summer fishing in Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota Fishing Charters

Visiting anglers often times think that the fishing is slow in the summer due to the heat.  Nothing could be further frrom the truth!  The reason for the good fishing is simple; groceries.  In the summer, Sarasota Bay fills up with schools of bait fish, locally called "whitebait".  These are small, shiny fish, mostly pilchards (scaled sardines) but also threadfin herring and spanish sardines.  It is usually pretty easy to fill the well with live bait in pretty short order with a cast net.


The next step is to anchor up wind and up tide of a likely grass flat in around six feet of water.  Then, handfulls of live fish are tossed out behind the boat.  Sometimes the baits are squeezed, crippling them.  This drives fish crazy!  It does not usually take very long before gamefish hone in on the helpless prey and start devouring them.  Anglers then cast hooked baits into the melee and it is "game On"!

Lido Key fishing charters

Speckled trout such as the one pictured above are a daily catch in Sarasota.  Most charters produce around eight different species, sometimes more.  Spanish mackerel, bluefish, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, jack crevelle, black sea bass, flounder, ladyfish, sharks, and more are commonly caught using this technique in the summer time.

Lido Key fishing report

The rig is very simple.  Double the line using a Spider Hitch, add 24" of 30 lb shock leader, then a #1/0 live bait hook.  If the current is strong or if birds become a problem (they like the free bait, too) a small split shot can be untilized.  This is a very "family friendly" method of fishing.  On many charters I have had clients who never fished before do quite well.  There are extensive grass flats surrounding Lido Key on the bay side, all of which are productive at one time or another.   Capt Jim