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Sarasota Florida Report
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Capt. Bob Smith
Posted: Jan 16 2005, 06:01 AM


January 15, 2005

Sarasota Florida Fishing Report
By Capt. Bob Smith

It looks like this coming week will be a blowout! A few days ago, I was able to get on to some keeper gags just three miles off of Lido Key. I had not been out for a few days and the captains that had, told me that the gags had gotten hard to find.

We left the dock a little late that day but we passed the other boats by the bell buoy still catching bait for a long run offshore. We had plenty of large live shrimp on board and I had planned to fish closer in with light tackle. I went to a small two foot high ledge in about thirty feet of water that I call the grunt hole. The ledge runs about 200 feet parallel with the beach and then dog legs towards the beach at the north end. Close to the dog leg is my favorite spot.

I was glad I had my old X-16 paper recorder on board. My color sonar was in for repairs. Lowrance stopped making the X-16 paper recorder, so I baby it. My first pass over the ledge was one digit off of my GPS and the bottom was clear. I came back over on zero and saw the beautiful sharp inverted “V’s”. By their size, they tell me that we have a few large fish on the bottom with plenty of small dashes all around for the smaller grunts, etc.

I threw a marker buoy on the spot and started with a drift. The drift was slow and the water calm. I put two ¼ ounce split-shots on, just above the 3/0 hook. This was enough to take the twelve pound test lines with the live shrimp down to the bottom. You also need to lock the drags down when fishing grouper. We did not catch a keeper gag on the drift but found the fish hitting only close to the marker. I anchored the boat and fished that small spot. We soon had our first keeper gag. We spent the morning catching plenty of husky short grouper, numerous reef fish and one more keeper gag. We also lost some good ones. I checked via VHF with the boats fishing the “M” reefs further offshore and found that no keeper grouper had been caught that morning. I did see one six pound flounder come from that area. It wasn’t a great day anywhere that morning, but my group of four went home with enough grouper for one big fish fry that night.

The bay grass flats have been producing plenty of sea trout but most are small. Black seabass are one of the perks while fishing the artificial reefs in the bay. Black seabass are at the top of my menu for frying. We are also finding sheepshead, snapper, and gag grouper in the same areas. Live shrimp or DOA works for all.

Enjoy & Protect
My Website: http//www.sarasota-fla-fishing.com
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