Sarasota Fishing Reports

Sarasota fishing reports

Sarasota fishing reports

Sarasota fishing reports is a page dedicated to help anglers catch more fish in Sarasota and out on Lido Key.  Our local waters offer anglers the chance to catch many different species on Sarasota fishing charters.  Speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano, ladyfish, flounder, black sea bass, sharks, catfish and more are available on the deep flats.  Snook, refish, jack crevelle, black drum, flounder, sheepshead, snapper, and grouper are landed near structure and in the back country.  Spanish mackerel, false albacore, sharks, tripletail, tarpon, and bottom fish are taken in the Gulf of Mexico.

Read Capt Jim’s weekly Sarasota fishing report to see trip photos and more!

Capt Jim writes his Sarasota fishing reports on Saturday morning most weeks. Anglers can click the above link to read the latest report, recent reports, along with trip photos.

This week’s Sarasota fishing report

fishing report

I am heading out on vacation, this will be the last report for a few weeks!

I ran 4 fishing charters once again this week, which is really what I try to limit it to as I get a bit older. Fishing was decent, though unspectacular. The best action was on several “jack attacks” as schools of ravenous jack crevalle were encountered on the shallow flats, they will hit almost anything in that situation. Spanish mackerel have thinned out, though clients caught a nice one or two each trip. A lot of speckled trout were landed, though many were small. Ladyfish, jacks, bluefish, and other species were landed as well. Jigs caught most of the fish, but Rapala X-Raps caught a few as well. I also did a little chumming to end the morning on a couple of trips.


Conditions change constantly and my current Sarasota fishing reports reflects the changes that are happening with up to date information.  All reports will feature the species caught, locations, bait, tackle, and other pertinent information.  While patterns tend to hold up throughout the years, there are certainly changes.  Bait availability, water clarity, water temperature, and barometric pressure are all factors.  Weather is a huge factor, as temperature, rain, and other influences will greatly affect my Sarasota fishing reports.

Read Capt Jim’s Sarasota fishing calendar to help plan your trip!

Sarasota fishing reports

One of the great things about fishing is that over time, yearly patterns tend to repeat themselves. Every year is different, of course, but there fish tend to behave the same year after year, unless something significant happens. Capt Jim has been guiding since 1991, and that experience definitely comes into play on Sarasota fishing charters.

Anglers will see several terms repeated in Capt Jim’s Sarasota fishing reports. These include deep grass, flats, passes, residential canals, and more. These terms will be explained in greater detail to help anglers be more successful and understand the report better.

Deep grass flats in Sarasota

Sarasota fishing reports

Much of the fishing done by Capt Jim is on the deep grass flats throughout Sarasota Bay. These are areas between 4 feet deep and 10 feet deep with submerged vegetation on the bottom. This vegetation, or grass, attracts bait fish and crustaceans. This then attracts the predatory game fish. These deep flats are mentioned most weeks on Capt Jim’s Sarasota fishing reports.

This is the primary area where speckled trout are caught. Anglers drift these large areas and cast out lures such as jigs and plugs in search of fish. Live bait can be cast out of drifted behind the boat. Spanish mackerel, pompano, jacks, bluefish, snapper, ladyfish, cobia, sharks, flounder, snapper, sea bass, and other species are caught as well. This is a great option for action and variety.

Fishing the passes in Sarasota

best pompano fishing lure

Anglers reading Capt Jim’s Sarasota fishing reports will often find clients drifting the pass. This is a very effective technique and is easy for novice anglers and kids to do. Jigs or shrimp are bounced along the bottom as the boat drifts with the tide. Pompano, ladyfish, mackerel, bluefish, and jacks are common catches.

Structure in the passes holds a lot of fish as well. Bottom fishing produces a lot of tasty sheepshead in the cooler months. Snapper are found there all year long. Snook school up in summer. The passes are excellent Sarasota fishing spots in all year long.

Fishing for snook, redfish, and jack crevalle in Sarasota

best Sarasota fishing charter

More experienced anglers may choose to target more challenging species. These include snook, redfish, and jack crevalle. These fish are caught in the back country areas along mangrove shorelines, under docks, near oyster bars, in creeks, and any other structure. These are larger fish and success is less predictable. However, it is a rewarding experience when anglers are successful.

fishing for snook

In most cases, anglers are casting artificial lures in this situation. Lures allow anglers to cover a lot more water than they can using live bait. It is also more fun! In the winter, snook and jacks move into residential canals and creeks. This concentrates the fish a bit. The rest of the year, reds and snook will be found all throughout Sarasota Bay. River snook photos show up in the Sarasota fishing reports in the winter.

Fishing in the inshore Gulf of Mexico

Light tackle trolling in Saltwater

When conditions are right, fishing in the Gulf of Mexico right off of the Sarasota and Siesta Key beaches can be world class! The key is the hordes of bait fish that school up there. Predator fish including king and Spanish mackerel, false albacore, sharks, tarpon, and other species will be caught by anglers casting lures and flies, drifting live baits, and trolling.

The great thing about this fishing is that it is often visual. These game fish will be seen feeding aggressively on the surface. This really ads to the excitement as a bite is virtually guaranteed. Several artificial reefs provide structure for these species as well as bottom fish like sheepshead and snapper.

Sarasota tarpon fishing

In the summer, dedicated anglers try for the ultimate game fish; giant tarpon. This can be a tough situation as conditions really dictate the fishing. However, when it all comes together, it is the experience of a lifetime!

In conclusion, this page featuring Sarasota fishing reports will keep anglers up to date on the current conditions and the fish that are biting!