New to Sarasota, Need Advice

Thanks for your attention.

I’m new to Florida and will be snow birding until mid-May. I’m in a RV park at I-75 and Fruitville Rd., Sarasota. I have a 17 ft. aluminum deep-V, 70 hp and trailer with me. I’ve already looked at 3 local ramps; Turtle Beach, Centennial Park and Ken Thompson Park. Ken Thompson seems most to my liking. This coming week looks cold and windy so I plan to use it as “sea trials” only for the boat. In a couple of weeks I’d like to start fishing.

With that said, now I need advise. I have about a dozen rods and reels with me covering a 6 to 17 lb. range. What would be a good choice to set-up about 3 or 4 of them? What will I be fishing for over the next 3 months? I do like to eat seafood, so a couple of keepers for dinner would be nice. What baits, rigs, lures, etc… would you suggest I begin to collect?

Feel free to offer whatever advice you choose, again thanks for your attention and time.



  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    If you are launching at Ken Thompson you should be pretty close to the radio tower flats. Fish the grass flats and you should be able to land sea trout which are good for the dinner table. Something simple like live shrimp on a 1/4 or 1/8 oz jig head should do the trick.
  • PmckhPmckh Posts: 199 Officer
    Like RMD said, if you launch at Ken Thompson the radio tower flats are right there as you exit the ramp before you're even allowed on plane. Not even a 1/4 mile north of there you have the middle grounds(patchy grass and sand) which are on the north side of the channel heading west into new pass. Each of those areas are deeper 4ft. The middle grounds you can pick up trout, spanish mackerel, scattered pompano, and mangrove snapper depending on water temp.
  • AndrewSAndrewS Posts: 158 Officer
    Good Info for you so far. If you use lures the DOA Night Glow 1/4 OZ Shrimp is great for trout on the flats. I can show you lures we use in Lemon Bay. Look for grass, or sand/oyster bars. Good Luck!
  • joekat46joekat46 North PortPosts: 2,258 Captain
    Don't forget the simple popping corks and shrimp. Just drift around. Good luck.
  • RMDRMD Posts: 1,796 Officer
    I also like the Middle Grounds. It is a very large area of grass flats with varying depths. There is a nice sandbar to the west that isn't accessible by my boat but I see guys fishing it. Its a great area for sitting and drifting; because its so large you can drift for quite a while without having to move. I always like shrimp for bait and in the winter we get some nice sized shrimps in the bait shops. In the summer months the shrimp are smaller and there seems to be more pinfish so your bait gets destroyed. In the warmer months, I have preferred artificials, I generally like gulp shrimp. However, I don't do as much inshore fishing so the other guys on this thread have more experience than me.
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