Fishing out of Island Discount tackle on beautiful Anna Maria Island has been excellent this past week with many species being landed on my 23 foot Hydrasport Bay Bolt.
Shiners and pinfish have been my bait of choice .My clients have been battling schools of redfish, snook, and speckled trout this past week. We literally had the fish feeding at the back of the boat and were throwing baits at the predators as they cruised thru the crystal clear water on the flats.
Redfish are on the flats feeding as the tide is on the move . Using a popping cork and making it gurgle will draw the fish to your bait offering .My clients are shocked to see the giant swirls of the predators gulping down their bait offering after they do the popping cork method. Using a piece of cut bait rigged with a splt shot will also draw strikes.
Snook have been mixed in with the redfish and feeding on the same baits. On a recent trip we had some amazing snook action with some big fish coming to the party. Using big baits and making long throws away from the boat has enticed the "wise ones" to chew.
Looking forward to next week, the tides will be low in the AM with a strong incoming in the afternoon. The key to successful fishing will be take advantage of the moving water and be at your spot when the tide starts flowing. Until next week keep the slack out of your line and learn to feel the thump of the predator inhaling the bait.
Capt. Mark Howard
SumoTime Fishing Charters LLC
I hosted a group of seven fly anglers at Mars Bay Bonefish Lodge in South Andros, Bahamas during the week of Nov. 10. Mike Perez and Stewart Lavelle, from Sarasota; Les Fulcher, from Longboat Key; Steve Coburn, from Wisconsin; and I drove to Fort Lauderdale, where we met up with Bill Crelin, also from Wisconsin, and traveled to Congotown, South Andros, with Air Flight charter service. Kirk Grassett, from Middletown, Del., and Richard Moxley, from Lancaster, Pa., met us at the lodge via Western Air through Nassau.
One of the best things about Mars Bay Lodge is the variety of options available. Its location, as the southernmost lodge on South Andros, means less time spent running to fishing areas and more time fishing. You can fish the vast sand flats and scattered mangrove keys to the south or head west through several creeks to fish remote backcountry areas consisting of large flats, mangrove shorelines and smaller creeks. There is also a very nice wadeable flat in front of the beach at the lodge where Fulcher caught a few bonefish one day.
The staff of guides did a great job putting us on fish. We fished from flat skiffs and waded and fished everything from large schools of bonefish to cruising or tailing singles and doubles. Many bonefish caught and released were in the 3- to 5-pound class. Several anglers caught and released bonefish in the 7- to 8-pound class, and we had shots at and hooked a few double-digit bonefish. Top producing flies during the week were Veverka's Mantis Shrimp, Peterson's Spawning Shrimp, Greg's Flats Fly and Gotchas. I caught and released a couple of cudas and hooked a 60- to 70-pound blacktip shark on a fly popper one day, and Moxley caught a big cuda on a top-water plug with spinning tackle another day.
Back home, tripletail, Spanish mackerel and false albacore in the coastal gulf should be good options now depending on conditions. Look for bait schools, diving birds or breaking fish to find albies and mackerel. Look for reds and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats. Trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, flounder and more should also be good options on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.