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Captain Favorite's Weekend Fishing Forecast: April 4, 2013


BRADENTON – Bradenton's own DeSoto Heritage Seafood festival will be held downtown from April 5-7. April 6 is the first of this year's license free fishing days. There should be good action with trout mixed with Spanish mackerel and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay next week. Look for reds and big trout in potholes and on the edges of bars when the tide is low or on shallow flats on sunny afternoons when the tide is high. Catch and release night snook fishing in the ICW from Sarasota to Venice should also be a good option.

Fishing Updates

DeSoto Heritage Seafood Festival April 5-7

  • Old Main Street, downtown 
  • Bradenton, Florida
  • Focus: The 73rd Annual Desoto Heritage Seafood Festival is a major attraction off the Manatee River with fresh seafood, artisans, live entertainment, and arts and crafts.

April 1 marks openings for some groupers, snappers; closing for spiny lobster 

  • Atlantic vermilion snapper and several species of Gulf of Mexico grouper will be back on the list of fish that recreational anglers in state waters can take home for dinner starting April 1. The first day of the spiny lobster closed season is also April 1.
  • Vermilion snapper that are 12 inches total length or longer will be open to recreational harvest in state waters of the Atlantic through Oct. 31. State waters in the Atlantic are from shore to three nautical miles out. Anglers may take up to five fish per day in Atlantic waters; however, the captain and crew of for-hire vessels may not keep the daily limit.
  • Gulf of Mexico grouper species that will open to harvest in state waters include red, black, yellowfin, yellowmouth, rock hind, red hind and scamp. This harvest season will remain open through Jan. 31. State waters in the Gulf are from shore to nine miles out. State waters off Monroe County are included with the Atlantic seasons and are currently closed to harvest through April 30.
  • Gulf of Mexico gag grouper will also open to harvest April 1 in state waters off the following counties only: Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor, including all waters of the Steinhatchee River, Apalachicola Bay and Indian Pass. This season will remain open through June 30, with the first day of the closure being July 1. Gag grouper will be open to recreational harvest in the rest of Gulf state waters (not including Monroe, Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor) from July 1 through Dec. 3. The season in Gulf of Mexico federal waters also opens July 1 and will close when the annual catch target is projected to be met, which is expected to be sometime between Nov. 11 and Dec. 3.


Free freshwater fishing day April 6

    Free fishing days provide an excellent opportunity for parents who don't yet have licenses to take youth fishing, or avid anglers to introduce a friend to fishing without having to purchase a license. On these days, the fishing license requirement is waived for all recreational anglers (residents and non-residents).

      All other rules (e.g., seasons, bag and size limits) apply. 

        Free freshwater days for 2013

        • Saturday, April 6
        • Saturday, June 8

        The free freshwater days are set in rule for the first Saturday in April and the second Saturday in June each year.

        Free saltwater days for 2013

        • Saturday, June 1
        • Sunday, September 1


        18th Annual CCA Sarasota “Photo All‐Release Challenge” April 19-20

        • The Sarasota chapter of Coastal Conservation Association will host their 18th annual “Photo All‐Release Challenge” fishing tournament on April 19 and 20, 2013. This year’s tournament headquarters will be at the Potter Building at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds. There will be a mandatory angler meeting on Friday evening, April 19th at the Potter Building.
        • The tournament features a catch‐photo‐release format for snook, redfish and trout with anglers using identical boxes of lures or flies that are provided. Fishing begins Saturday morning and all anglers must turn in their photos at New Pass Grill & Bait Shop by 3:00 pm.
        • Anglers will photograph their catch with their own digital cameras, which must have a removable memory card. Divisions include Grand Slam (largest snook, redfish and trout), Angler (most inches per species), Largest Fish (each species), Lady Angler (largest fish, each species), Fly Rod and Youth. The tournament, which raises money for CCA’s conservation projects, also features an upscale raffle, a silent auction and an awards dinner on Saturday evening. Cost is $95 per angler and $30 for youth anglers (12 years old and younger). Anglers must register in advance. Applications will be available at fishing tackle shops, marinas and boating stores in Sarasota and Manatee counties and online at www.ccaflorida.org/chapters/sarasota.html.
        • Contact Adam Miller at (941) 270‐0895 or Capt. Bruce Burkhart at (941) 922‐3675 for more information.
        To create a forecast specific to

        your zip code visit


        Fishing Forecast 

        A developing storm system will approach from the west on Thursday and move through the area Thursday night and Friday. Winds and seas will increase late tonight as the system develops and then remain high through Friday behind the cold front. High pressure will build back into the region for the weekend with winds and seas subsiding.


        South winds increasing to around 20 knots. Bay and inland waters becoming choppy. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms in the morning, then thunderstorms likely in the afternoon. Thursday night

        will bring southwest winds around 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Thunderstorms likely.

        2012/04/05Thu12:17 a.m.1.85H

        2012/04/05Thu06:48 a.m.0.32L

        2012/04/05Thu12:18 p.m.1.91H

        2012/04/05Thu07:19 p.m.0.0L


        West winds around 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Friday night will bring north winds around 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A slight chance of showers in the evening.

        2012/04/06Fri01:12 a.m.1.8H

        2012/04/06Fri07:18 a.m.0.51L

        2012/04/06Fri12:43 p.m.2.11H

        2012/04/06Fri08:06 p.m.-0.25L


        Northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Saturday night will bring east winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

        2012/04/07Sat02:08 a.m.1.69H

        2012/04/07Sat07:45 a.m.0.69L

        2012/04/07Sat01:11 p.m.2.3H

        2012/04/07Sat08:55 p.m.-0.41L


        East winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Sunday night will bring northeast winds around 10 knots then becoming east after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

        2012/04/08Sun03:05 a.m.1.53H

        2012/04/08Sun08:10 a.m.0.85L

        2012/04/08Sun01:43 p.m.2.45H

        2012/04/08Sun09:48 p.m.-0.48L

        Solunar Forecast


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