I have managed to get out only two times this week due to the wind blowing 15 knots or more. As I sit here at my desk, the weatherman is calling for the coldest front of the season to push through tonight with lows in the upper 40s over the weekend. With the colder temperatures and the shorter days, the fish have moved into their winter hunts as the water has cooled off.
The flounder bite has been awesome the past two weeks with catches of 12 to 15 a trip ranging from 14 to 24 inches. I am working the hard bottom ledges just off the grass flats in 4 to 6 feet of water. Also try using a1/4-ounce split shot just above your hook so you can get the white bait down to the bottom where the flounder live and feed.
For those of you looking for bait, the Skyway Bridge is loaded with shiners and threadfins. Just make sure you have a fast-sinking net when the tides are ripping. The snook and redfish bite has still been amazing when you find them; also, you may need to chum them heavy to get the fish feeding, so carry lots of white bait. Good fishing and keep an eye on the wind till next week.
Capt. Art Weaver
There was good action on both shallow and deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay during the week of Oct. 31. Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released trout to 4 pounds, reds to 9 pounds, flounder to 3 pounds, blues, Spanish mackerel, sheepshead and a pompano on jigs and flies. The weather turned toward the end of the week as a front pushed through and slowed the action a little.
Fly angler Patrice Camillieri, from France, fished Sarasota Bay with me Oct. 31. It was rainy for a couple of hours in the morning and then windy, but we hung in there and caught several quality fish. We waded a sandbar on the east side of the bay, where Patrice caught and released several trout, including a couple in the 2½- to 3-pound class, on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly. His last fish of the day was a 9-pound, overslot red that he caught and released on a Clouser fly!
Bonita Springs winter resident Jay Sandza and his friend, Ed, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Nov. 2. They caught and released trout, a couple of reds and a Spanish mackerel on CAL jigs with shad tails at Stephens Point and near Bayshore Gardens. Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, and Mike Perez, from Sarasota, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Nov. 3. We waded and fly-fished all day and caught a variety of species, including a few quality fish. They caught and released trout to 4 pounds, a pompano, a sheepshead and a nice flounder on weighted flies.
Bill and Scott Moore came down from Chicago to fish with me on Nov. 4. It was rainy and windy as a front pushed through that morning and we were limited as to where we could fish. I used a drift anchor, which is invaluable when fishing in the conditions we had that day, to slow our drift to a manageable speed. With a strong northwest wind we fished the west side of the bay near Bishop Point where they caught and released trout on DOA Deadly Combos and CAL jigs.
It was cool on Saturday morning, and the wind wasn’t too bad when John Freeman, from Venice and his daughter, Chris Ryan, from Osprey, fished Sarasota Bay with me. They caught and released trout, bluefish and a couple of flounder along the east side of the bay on CAL jigs with a variety of plastic tails and DOA Deadly Combos.
Jon Grimes, from Longboat Key, and his dad, Jim Grimes from Virginia, fished the same areas with me in the afternoon. They caught and released trout on Ultra Hair Clouser flies, CAL jigs and DOA Deadly Combos.
Tides were good this week as we approached a full moon Thursday. Look for reds in potholes and deep edges of flats on negative low tides in the morning. Action with Spanish mackerel and false albacore (little tunny) should explode in the coastal gulf when sea conditions calm down.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
After a great week of deer hunting in South Carolina last week it, was time to get back on the water for some fishing this week. Unfortunately, so far the windy conditions have made that a little tough this week. When we were able to sneak out in the early mornings, the fishing has been good.
Fresh water fishing at Lake Manatee has really kicked into high gear with the crappie biting very well on minnow tipped jigs. Some big slabs over 16 inches are being taken. Also, a very welcome site is the appearance of the sunshine bass. These fish are infertile fish incapable of spawning. The sunshine bass that are being taken are small, 8-10 inches for the most part. Because these fish are stocked fish, I’m hoping anglers catching these smaller fish will release them to grow bigger. These fish resemble a snook in the way they absolutely kill a bait on the hit and are very good fighters. Largemouth bass are also cooperating. We have been catching them on live shiners. Artificial baits are also working well with plastic worms and spinner baits being a good choice.
On the salt water side, we are still catching good numbers of redfish. With the dirty waters from the wind, our success has been best with a chunk of ladyfish or pinfish. Trout as always is an easy fish to catch, and there are plenty around to keep you busy. Hope your day on the water is a great one.
Capt. Mike Senecal
Pontoon Boat Charters.com