After a long dismal winter, hopes were high for a break this spring weather wise. Reasonable fishing days have been few and far between, and it looks as if its going to get even worse going into Easter week.
The real kick in the rear is that conditions in the Gulf have been marginal for the small boater just when a long awaited kingfish run is materializing. If it gets as cold as predicted this week it may stall the northward progress of the big macks and hold them in our area awhile longer.
Thankfully the inshore action has been steadily on the improve with pretty solid bites from snook, reds, trout, jack crevalle, Spanish macks, and scatte red pompano. The keeper ratio with the snook has been disappointing, but there are good numbers of them in the 20- to 27-inch range.
Redfishing has definitely improved with good numbers in the 17- to 29-inch range. Some really big gator trout have been boated up to 26 inches. The larger trout have been loners mixed in with the snook and reds in 2 to 3 feet of water. Numerous trout in the 15- to 20-inch slot are still hanging in the deeper grass beds, along with the mackerel and pompano.
There seems to be better numbers of inshore gamefish holding in the areas north of the State Road 64 bridge than south into Sarasota Bay.
When the Gulf has been calm enough to head out there, it has been productive with end of the season sheepshead, Spanish, mangrove snapper, grouper and a handful of hogfish. A couple of anglers I know have been catching some big black drum over the reefs in 25 feet of water.
On the few trips out that way in the last couple of weeks, we have not witnessed any signs of kings or cobia. A few weeks back there were tons of baitfish showing off the beaches of Anna Maria Island, but there has been a noticeable lack of bait schools on the nearshore reefs lately.
One of these days, the sooner the better, we will finally break out of the grip of northern weather patterns and usher in some really top notch fishing action.
Good luck and good fishing - be careful out there!!
Capt. Zach Zacharias "DEE JAY II"
Docked at Parrot Cove Marina/Sunny Shores
115th St. W. and 36th Ave. Cortez, FL 34215 on the shore of Palma Sola Bay
No comments on this item
Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.