What a difference a week makes. Even though the water is still a bit cool for the time of year, there has been an absolute surge of action in the area.
Bait of all sizes, shapes, and species has invaded the inshore flats of Manatee County and is very easy to get. Action in the nearshore gulf off Anna Maria and Longboat Key has been phenomenal. The strong easterly winds of the early week kept the charter fleet plying the gulf no more than a mile offshore but there was a plethora of kingfish, spanish mackerel, pompano, cobia, bluefish, and occasional bottom fish like grouper, snapper, black sea bass, and Key West grunt.
We fished a few protected in shore spots after returning from the gulf and caught mostly sea trout. Some of the specks ran up to the mid twenties in length and all were of a good average size.
We have not been targeting snook, but several nice ones have been brought in for release.
Redfish have been a problem for me the past week but there are a lot around, and this summer and fall look to be a banner year for reds in the Sarasota Bay estuary. The only thing missing is any big schools of baitfish in the gulf to hold the kingfish, cobia, and mackerel in the neighborhood.
The water temps are low and it appears that the 75 degree mark may not come until late May, so don't expect any big time tarpon for several weeks yet.
Good luck and good fishing. Be careful out there!!
Capt. "Zach" Zacharias "Dee Jay II" 941-795-5026
Docked on Palma Sola Bay at Parrot Cove Marina/Sunny Shores
115th St W and 36th Ave, Cortez,Fl 34215
***Local outdoors writer G.B Knowles passed away this past week. G.B. was an exceptionally gifted writer and his passion for the marine resources of the state of Florida was exceptional. His take on the state of sport fishing and related resources will be sorely missed. Ave, Atque, Vale G.B.!
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