Quiet Waters fishing charters – run out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters in Sarasota, FL – found quality snook and redfish on both day & night trips. We found a fair amount of seatrout in mid depth flats and over deeper grass. A few anglers found some nice sized seatrout over deeper grass. Bait continues to be plentiful and that has helped to supercharge the fishing activity despite warm water temperatures. Night fishing around dock lights in Sarasota continues to be the best bet to consistently target large snook and tarpon.
Snook have been active on the flats. Early morning topwater presentations have worked well for snook in skinny water. Points with consistent current and transitions from deep to shallow water have been good place to find snook. The night snook bite continues to be unbelievably good. Snook in good numbers is the norm with some areas holding extremely large snook.
Anglers fishing for snook at night with Quiet Waters did well on both artificial lures and on flies. The best artificial lures have been rapala’s SXR-8 slashbait and very small artificial shrimp lures. Two inches seems to be the most productive shrimp size going right now. We hooked snook so large on the rapala that they straightened hooks and, in some cases, destroyed the plug.
Fly fishing for snook around dock lights has been just as productive as artificial lures. One of the best flies has been a tiny clouser minnow that can pass as a shrimp or a glass minnow. The fly that has been producing very large snook is an EP pinfish fly. We lost a few snook over 40 inches on this fly over the last few weeks.
Deeper potholes and trenches along mangrove lined shorelines have been holding redfish during the day. Probing potholes with a ¼ ounce jig tipped with a soft plastic has been a solid approach. Paddletails have been very effective on redfish. The Aquadream spoon has been a great redfish bait as of late.
At night, we’re still seeing plenty of redfish on dock lights. There are generally far fewer redfish on dock lights than snook. Redfish really like clouser minnow flies over dock lights. It must have something to do with the action of the fly. They will eat the same size flies as snook, but if you’re specifically targeting redfish, it doesn’t hurt to go up a hook size so the fly is a little more visible. The same rapala SXR-8 slashbait that works for snook has been doing the job on redfish as well.
Sarasota’s seatrout fishery has really come back. We’re seeing all different sizes of seatrout over deeper grass. In transition zones and on the shallow flats we’re finding the occasional large seatrout. We found larger seatrout over deeper grass as well. The deep grass is a great place to go if you’re an angler that needs constant action.
Seatrout move around quite a bit from day to day, but they don’t move far. Once you find a fish, you will generally find more in the area in the same size-class. A paddletail on a jighead is probably the best way to target these fish. We did well by straight swimming the paddletails and by jigging them off the bottom. Right now, baitfish colored paddletails or white paddletails will be tough to beat.
There are a lot of tarpon around right now. Most are juvenile fish, but we are seeing and hooking the occasional adult. If you can find the juveniles rolling early in the morning you should have a decent shot. At night we’re seeing tarpon show up in a variety of areas near dock lights. We’ve hooked a bunch over the last few weeks and boated a few. We target these fish primarily with flies.
Shallow water fishing should improve as we slowly transition to cooler weather and shorter days. Dock lights should continue to produce tarpon and large snook into the immediate future. We have been seeing bluefish over the deep grass and that should be a trend that grows stronger.
See you on the water!
Captain Brian Boehm
Quiet Waters Fishing
Guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters
Sarasota, FL 34242