Saltwater Fishing

Sarasota offers anglers a multitude of fishing opportunities on a wide variety of species using many different techniques.  Shallow water redfish, speckled trout over the deep flats, pompano in the passes, snook at night, giant tarpon on the beaches, Spanish mackerel in the inshore Gulf of Mexico, big king mackerel over the artificial reefs, and bottom fishing for grouper and snapper are all options depending on the weather and the season. 

Shallow water flats; This is a challenging type of fishing that is best suited for experienced anglers.  Guides stand atop a poling platform and pole the shallow draft skiff across the flats while the anglers cast off of the bow.  Artificial baits are most often used for redfish, snook, speckled trout, and jacks.  This requires patience and skill, but the reward is usually quality fish.

Sarasota Bay; An inshore Sarasota Bay trip is the best choice for families and anglers seeking action and variety.  Drifting the deep grass flats is a very productive technique that anglers of all levels of experience can enjoy.  Speckled trout, pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, flounder, ladyfish, and more are caught regularly on live bait and artificial lures.  Both Big Pass and New Pass connect Sarasota Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.  These “fish highways” can offer non-stop action at times.  Nearby docks, bridges, and other structures hold snook, redfish, sheeshead, snapper, and flounder.

Fishing videos;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j74-jC5jDFM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQQCd-BdFLY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGxmZGRyRGM

Snook; Snook are the prized inshore gamefish in Sarasota.  For anglers seeking numbers of fish, a night snook trip is a great option.  Lights on area docks and bridges attract bait and snook.  Plug casting in creeks, rivers, passes, and along shorelines will produce during the day.  Snook fishing the Myakka River is excellent in the cooler months.  Fishing live bait works very well in the warmer months.  A moderate level of experience is required as success can often be determined by casting accuracy.

Snook fishing videos;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjmeX5kisy0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRarFlLzzoM

Inshore Gulf of Mexico; When conditions are right, “fishing the beach” off of Sarasota can be incredible!  Spanish mackerel and false albacore (bonita) will be working the surface.  King mackerel, sharks, cobia, and tarpon will be feeding underneath.  Spring and fall are prime times to experience this trip.

Inshore Gulf Videos;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imnkcu_RV_M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZcAy7acLK4

 

Reefs; Sarasota County has an extensive artificial reef program.  These are fish magnets that attract and hold king and Spanish mackerel, false albacore, cobia, sharks, and barracuda.  Charter captains also have ledges in the area that get less pressure are best for bottom fishing for grouper, snapper, grunts, flounder, and triggerfish.  This is a great family trip!
Offshore; Large boats will carry clients out twenty to fifty miles in search of grouper, snapper, amberjack, kings, dolphin, and tuna.  This is an expensive trip and best for anglers with experience fishing in open water, but the payoff is big fish and plenty of fillets to take home.
Tarpon; Giant tarpon show up off Sarasota beaches in mid-May and stay most of the summer.  These are the ultimate gamefish!  Very few angling experiences offer the opportunity to sight cast to fish well over a hundred pounds.  Patience is a must, this is really “fish hunting”.  The result may be the fish of a lifetime.
Fly Fishing; Any species than can be caught on a lure in Sarasota will also take a fly.  Tarpon, snook, redfish, trout, ladyfish, jacks, mackerel, false albacore, bluefish, and more will take a well presented fly.  All of the trips listed can be tailored to the angler who enjoys fly fishing.