I did a primarily inshore trip last Thursday morning on which we caught at least one of each target species, but the overall action was disappointing.
We nailed a well full of beautiful bait with little effort at sunrise. We proceeded to fish the last two-thirds of a huge outgoing tide that bottomed out at around 11 a.m. Our efforts were concentrated on snook and redfish and we nailed a few at the time of a minor solunar period mid-morning.
Thankfully, a spate of activity with mangrove snapper provided some filets for the party along with the one keeper redfish in the cooler. I believe if we had not been so intent on snook and reds we could have done quite well with sea trout on the open grass beds, and a short trip out to a nearshore reef might have produced more snapper, grouper, mackerel, shark and cobia as a trip earlier in the week had.
As mid-September is upon us there will be changes coming just over the horizon. Luckily, we have been free of tropical systems so far and in one month the water temperatures will begin to moderate into the 70- to 75-degree range that is optimum for just about all of the species we enjoy around these parts. Between now and the first hard cold front there will be plentiful bait, cooler days, hopefully benign weather and a wide range of species to do battle with.
The snook and reds that are kind of scattered right now will bunch up, and kingfish, spanish, cobia and pompano will invade local waters, making for some top-notch action. The past several years the kingfish run has been hottest in the fall, although last year's run was abbreviated by a precipitous drop in water temperatures in early November.
We are not out of the woods yet with hurricane season because some of the worst and most destructive storms to hit the Sarasota/Manatee area have been in mid-October, from storms spawned in the western Atlantic and Caribbean. Let's keep our collective fingers crossed that the tropical systems continue to fizzle.
Capt. "Zach" Zacharias
Docked on Palma Sola Bay at Parrot Cove Marina/Sunny Shores
115th Street West and 36th Avenue, Cortez, FL 34215
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