Sarasota fishing charter

Bottom fishing best bet for anglers fishing Lido Key

We are defintely experiencing a "real" winter here in Sarasota Florida.  Severe cold fronts have dropped the water temperature into the mid to upper 50s, resulting in local fish populations settling into winter habits.  Cold, dirty water will move fish off of the flats, seeking deeper water.  Bottom fish such as sheepshead, snapper, and grouper are less affected by these conditions and persistent anglers will achieve success fishing shrimp on the bottom near docks, bridges, rocks, and other structures.  On a recent Sarasota fishing charter repeat clients Louise and Curtis Knepper from PA has a decent afternoon as we worked several areas in Big Sarasota Pass, working live and frozen shrimp on the bottom in depths from 7' to 18' of water.  Gag grouper, sheepshead, mangrove snapper, and a nice lane snapper came to the boat.  The sheepshead run will build and peak in March, providing good action and table fare until April.

Lido Key fishing charter

Fishing remains steady in Sarasota, though it is still quite warm.

Clients on fishing charters experienced good action on grass flats in 6' to 10' of water, catching Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano, speckled trout, grouper, snapper, jack crevelle, sharks, and ladyfish.  Summer has been hanging on in Sarasota, despite what the calendar states  Live pilchards and shrimp worked well, as did Bass Assassin Sea Shad baits on a 1/4 ounce jig head.  Tropical Storm Nate brought breezy conditions and a huge tide, and the best bite was on the beginning of the tide change.  Snook are still in the passes, but are starting to spread out onto the backcountry flats.  A good cold front should get the inshore Gulf bite going.

Sarasota fishing charters

Still summer in Sarasota; fishing is hot as well!

It has been quite warm in Sarasota of late, with "feels like" temperatures in the low 100's.  But despite that, fishing has been very good as the fish slowly ease into their fall patterns.  Bait remains plentiful on the flats and out on the beaches.  Speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks, grouper, ladyfish, and more were landed by anglers fishing Lido Key casting jigs and using live bait fish.  Snook are still in the passes and migrating into the bays and backwaters.  Spanish mackerel schools were found at Pt. Of Rocks and the inshore artificial reefs.  Action should only get better as the water cools off a tad.

Lido Key fishing charters

Good Fishing on Lido Key after Irma

Hurricane Irma swept through Florida, bringing strong winds and dumping a bunch of rain on us.  The water is still pretty low in salinity, but bait is plentiful and the fish are biting!  Snook are scattered out from the beaches to the inshore mangrove shorelines.  Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, snapper, grouper, and more were landed recently by clients on Sarasota fishing charters.  The best bite is early as it still is getting quite warm by noon.  Live pilchards work well, but artificial lures such as Rapala X-Raps and Bass Assassin jigs caught fish as well.

Lido Key fishing charters

Action in Sarasota resumes after tropical weather passes

Fishing in Sarasota and Lido Key picked up towards the end of the week.  We experienced a lot of rain and some wind as a tropical wave moved through the area.  That resulted in a lot of fresh water along with stirred up water mixing in Sarasota Bay.  The key to catching fish under these conditions is to find the cleanest water possible, which in this case was up near Buttonwood Harbor.  Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, bluefish, jacks, snapper, grouper, sharks, ladyfish and even a tarpon were hooked by clients casting jigs, flies, and using live bait.  The action should continue to get even better as water quality improves.

Sarasota fishing charters

Snook moving back inshore in Sarasota

Snook are starting to move back inshore after finishing up their annual spawning run out on the area beaches.  These fish are still plentiful in the passes but are slowly spreading out in the mangrove shorelines and flats.  Snook will feed at these locations for several months; it is a great time of year to target them using both live and artificial baits.  Rapala plugs, Bass Assassin jigs, and live shrimp and pilchards will all catch fish.  Outgoing tides early and late in the day as well as at night are the prime times to catch a snook.

Sarasota fishing charters

Great snapper fishing in Sarasota!

Mangrove snapper fish has been very good lately.  These tasty saltwater panfish are plentiful around structure in and near both New Pass and Big Sarasota Pass.  Bridges, docks, and rocky shorelines are holding good numbers of fish.  Clients on Sarasota fishing charters also did well on mangrove snapper on the open grass flats.  These fish are schooled up as they prepare to migrate out into the Gulf of Mexico.  Live baitfish and live shrimp are the most effective baits, snapper will take an artificial lure occassionaly.  This action should continue for a month or so until the next full moon.

Sarasota fishing charters


Hot weather and fishing in Sarasota!

It was VERY hot in Sarasota and on Lido Key, Florida this past week.  Getting out on the water and fishing until late morning was the best approach.  The deep grass flats from Lido Key north to Buttonwood produced speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, jack crevelle, gag grouper, bluefish, ladyfish, and more for anglers going out on a Sarasota fishing charter.  Jigs were effective early then live bait did well later in the morning.  Big Sarasota Pas and New Pass are holding good numbers of snook as well.

Sarasota fishing charters

Great week of fishing in Sarasota!

The weather finally settled down into the normal summer pattern, and the fish really responded.  The deep grass flats surrounding Lido Key were thick with schools of small baitfish, which in turn attracted the game species.  Clients on Sarasota fishing charters landed speckled trout, bluefish, pompano, jacks, grouper, snapper, flounder, and loads of ladyfish casting jigs and free lining live bait.  I did cast net bait this week as well, and even though it was small, the fish did not care.  Chumming with live bait is a deadly technique in the warmer months.  Also, snook are abundant in both Big Pass to the south and New Pass to the north of Lido Key.  Live bait works best.

Sarasota fishing report

Weather continues to be the story in Sarasota.

The odd weather patterns continued of late, with tropical weather bringing wind and some rain.  The main problem has been the muddy, churned up water that coming into the Sarasota Bay on the incoming tide.  The key was finding "clean" water, especially flats with bait on it.  Anglers who were persistent achieved success using live shrimp and jigs at the Middlegrounds and Buttonwood Harbor.  Speckled trout to 20", gag grouper, mangrove snapper, jack crevelle, bluefish, and ladyfish were landed by clients on Lido Key fishing charters this week.  Action really picked up towards the end of the week as the water cleared up.

Sarasota fishing