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.
Sarasota fishing reports
Capt Jim writes his Sarasota fishing reports on Saturday morning most weeks. Anglers can read the latest report, recent reports, along with trip photos.
This week’s Sarasota fishing report
Fishing continued to be very steady over the last two weeks or so. Speckled trout were plentiful. Spanish mackerel numbers increased, including some action out on the Lido Key artificial reefs. Bluefish, ladyfish, jacks, sea bass, grouper, and other species were also caught. 4″ New Penny Bass Assassin Sea Shad baits fooled most of them, along with a little live bait fishing. I am off to North Carola, so it will be 4-5 weeks before my next report.
I am happy to report that we suffered minimal damage from Hurricane Ian. I got out Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week and was pleasantly surprised to fine decent conditions and fast action! Despite some “color” to the water, the bite was very steady. Anglers casting New Penny Bass Assassin Sea Shad baits caught a bunch of speckled trout and ladyfish, with a few nice bluefish and Spanish mackerel mixed in. All of the deep grass plats held some fish. Bait is plentiful along the shallow bars and flats and I finished up a couple trips chumming, just to mix it up a bit. Live bait produced similar results (though the action was faster with the lures), including hooking a 60 lb tarpon which we had on for a couple of minutes before it jumped off.
Read Capt Jim’s weekly archived Sarasota fishing reports to see trip photos and more!
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!
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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!