Anglers had great action during the week of Dec. 23 with spotted seatrout, bluefish, Jack Crevalle, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish while fishing aboard my Action Craft Coastal Bay boat the O'Fishall out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key.
Monday afternoon's trip with the Schilling family from Michigan produced bluefish to 6 pounds on surface plugs. We drifted the deep grass flats on the west side of Sarasota Bay, and the trio caught and released bluefish, Jack Crevalle and spotted seatrout using DOA CAL Shad tail jigs and MirrOlure She Dogs.
Steve Weiss from Sarasota, treated a couple of his employees, Andrew Barfield and Michael McMullen, to a day of fishing in Sarasota Bay on Dec. 26. Steve started off the morning with a very nice 22-inch spotted seatrout caught in shallow water. This spurred a lot of trash talking between the crew, and we decided to move to the deeper grass flats to see who could catch the most fish. I'm really not sure of the total of fish between the guys, but they all caught spotted seatrout, ladyfish, Jack Crevalle, ladyfish and big bluefish using MirrOlure She Dogs and DOA CAL Shad tail jigs in Figi Chix 441 color.
Simon and Sofia from Saskatchewan fished with me on Dec. 27. This was Sofia's first time saltwater fishing so after a few quick casting lessons and showing her how to use a DOA Shad tail jig, we started fishing the grass flats on the east side of Sarasota Bay. Sofia and Simon enjoyed catching numerous spotted seatrout, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish. The action started to slow, so we moved to a different location that has been producing consistent action with bluefish. Simon and Sofia had fast action catching and releasing several bluefish using MirrOlure She Dogs.
Bluefish are a sporting fish on fly and light spinning tackle. It seems they cruise the flats with intent of destroying any bait that lands in their path, which can make for some exciting fishing. They will take surface plugs and flies with explosive strikes with short powerful runs and jumps. Bluefish have razor sharp teeth and in order to keep from losing expensive top-water plugs, lures and flies I use an 8- to 10-inch piece of wire tied to my flourocarbon leader to help prevent bite-offs. I prefer a tieable wire leader material like Knot 2 Kinky or Tyger wire in 12- or 15-lb. sizes. You can use your regular connection knots with these types of wire, so it's very fast to tie and easy to use.
Capt. Andy Cotton