Lido Key fishing report

Decent fishing on Lido Key grass flats

Water temperatures are in the low 70s and the clarity has improved after several weeks of windy conditions. The grass flats in 7' to 10' of water at the Middlegrounds and flats along Lido Key in Sarasota Bay are producing good action on Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, bluefish, and ladyfish. 4" Bass Assassin Sea Shad baits in red/gold and glow/chartreuse produced most of the fish for clients on Sarasota fishing charters. Fly anglers are also scoring with Clouser Minnow patters and live shrimp also fools plenty of fish. Morning incoming tides with a little breeze presents the best opportunity for success.
fishing Lido Key

Good fishing in between fronts on Lido Key, Sarasota, Florida

Well, winter finally showed up here on Lido Key in Sarasota, Florida. The fronts were strong, but not severe, bringing 20 knot winds but no rain, though we could certainly use it. But, fishing rebounded quickly afterwards, with sheepshead and snsapper being caught in Big Pass using shrimp. Clients on Lido Key fishing charters also did well casting jigs in Big Pass, catching loads of ladyfish with a few Spanish mackerel mixed in. The middlegrounds is a deep grass flat just north of Lido Key and produced good action on speckled trout, bluefish, pompano, and loads of ladyfish.
Sarasota fishing report

Winter fishing tactics in Sarasota

It has been a mild winter to this point in the first week of February here for anglers fishing Sarasota Florida. But, fish are still moving towards their winter patterns and habits. The deep grass flats are still producing a lot of fish when conditions are right, which means clean water and water temperatures in the 60s. Speckled trout, pompano, bluefish, and ladyfish hit jigs and live bait. Sheepshead moved into the area on their annual spawning run. Most of the fish that clients are catching are fat and full of roe. The rocky structure in Big Pass at the south end of Lido Key is a very reliable spot, as are the docks along Bird Key. Mangrove snapper and juvenile gag grouper will take a shrimp as well. Snook will be moving up into the creeks and canals and like a suspending jerk bait. The key to angling success this time of year is adapting to the current conditions and taking advantage of the really nice days.
Sarasota fishing

Deep grass flats continue to please Lido Key anglers

The bite remains good on the deep grass flats surrounding Lido Key in Sarasota, Florida. Bait has been pretty easy to catch and chumming with those baits continues to be the most productive technique. Spanish mackerel numbers have been increasing while snapper dropped off a bit. Speckled trout remain steady in Sarasota Bay. Jacks, ladyfish, juvenile grouper, sharks, and other species were also caught daily. Clients on Sarasota fishing charters are averaging 25 fish per person each morning. It is still quite warm, so we are getting out there early.
Sarasota fishing charter

Lido Key beach fishing has been productive!

Fishing has been good off of Lido Key in Sarasota, Florida this summer. Water conditions have been good though the temperatures have been a tad high, up into the lower 90's at times. However, there is a ton of bait around and that has been the key to the good fishing. Large schools of pilchards, AKA scaled sardines, are thick just off the beach. This in turn attracts snook, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish and other predators to come in and feed. Small lures such as white jigs and silver spoons work well and make it easy to move along the surf in search of fish. Live bait is very productive, but a bit more trouble to get and keep alive in the heat. Fly anglers will score using small white Clouser Minnow and D.T. Special patterns.
Fishing ido Beach

Lido Key Fishing Report

Fishing remains quite good on the deep grass flats near Lido Key and New Pass to the north.  Speckled trout to 25" bit well, as did mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, sea bass, flounder, jacks, ladyfish,sharks, and more.  The keys have been getting out there early in the morning and caqtching enough live bait to chum with.Lido Key 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