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Is it just me, or does the Sarasota Bay fishing suck?

idlerickidlerick Littleton, Colorado & Sarasota, FlaPosts: 236 Deckhand
OK, I'm down here from Nov thru April, and most Novembers/Decembers see colder Gulf water than we've had so far. But I'm averaging 2-3 trout a day when I'm used to catching 25-40. And no ladyfish, no macs, no blues no pomps at all. Not even pecks from the baitfish. Instead I'm seeing dead floating fish carcasses and rafts of gulls and such eating them. And eating sparingly, like they've had their fill.
I read the reports in the HT every week, and I see guides claiming their clients are doing well all over. I just fly fish, so can't address the availability of species like Sheepshead and Grouper. But you'd think even if I were fishing too shallow, or too slow, or too anything I'd run into more action just by accident, the blind pig theory.
I'm seeing no one out. The other morning I was the only boat putting in at City Island. Are others having the same results, or lack thereof? Maybe I should get out into the deeper grass, or head up to the river where the Red Tide hasn't hit.
Any wisdom, or commiseration?
:huh
:)

Replies

  • las10488las10488 Posts: 40 Greenhorn
    Try later in afternoon once water warms up from the cool night.
  • FlatsWreckedFlatsWrecked Posts: 112 Deckhand
    idlerick wrote: »
    OK, I'm down here from Nov thru April, and most Novembers/Decembers see colder Gulf water than we've had so far. But I'm averaging 2-3 trout a day when I'm used to catching 25-40. And no ladyfish, no macs, no blues no pomps at all. Not even pecks from the baitfish. Instead I'm seeing dead floating fish carcasses and rafts of gulls and such eating them. And eating sparingly, like they've had their fill.
    I read the reports in the HT every week, and I see guides claiming their clients are doing well all over. I just fly fish, so can't address the availability of species like Sheepshead and Grouper. But you'd think even if I were fishing too shallow, or too slow, or too anything I'd run into more action just by accident, the blind pig theory.
    I'm seeing no one out. The other morning I was the only boat putting in at City Island. Are others having the same results, or lack thereof? Maybe I should get out into the deeper grass, or head up to the river where the Red Tide hasn't hit.
    Any wisdom, or commiseration?
    :huh

    We have fished Sarasota Bay for the last 8 years. We have usually done fair to very good with the trout. The Red Tide really screwed up the Bay in my opinion . Middle section of the bay seemed worst hit to me.

    We are catching much fewer trout since the Red Tide. Will try again after Christmas.
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 1,055 Officer
    red tide, sewage, plus your garden variety pollution, no rain, too many people/boats all play a role in the deteriorating ecosystem. Reports indicate birds being impacted by the red tide outbreak. Hopefully it gets better, not worse. But after seeing what has occurred in the Indian River around Merritt Island areas with the lethal brown alga taking over as a result of too much septic and fertilizer pollution and St. Lucie area to the South w/ the festering cyanobacteria/BlueGreen Algae flushed from Lake O, we should be concerned...
    Trout fishing to the north has been recovering from Red Tide a couple years back. Used to catch LOTS of Big trout, not this year, yet anyway. Numbers do seem down as do silver trout and whiting catches, for me anyway.
  • Icatcher22Icatcher22 Posts: 320 Deckhand
    Sarasota redfishing isnt easy. Takes consistent time on the water to get it dialed in on a weekly basis.
  • idlerickidlerick Littleton, Colorado & Sarasota, FlaPosts: 236 Deckhand
    Not talking about reds - just trout, pomps, blues, anything. The place has been a dead zone.
    :)
  • sk018sk018 Posts: 2,958 Captain
    The trout are very thin. We found a handful wading the other day until the dolphins showed up.
    But, the snook are all over the place. Wading East side of the bay the snook are munching on bait around pelicans diving...Most have been on the smaller side 20-25 inches
  • jbsrqjbsrq Posts: 222 Deckhand
    Overall the bay fishing has been very slow the past few weeks. I have seen very little bait at usual bait spots. The recent red tide may have had something to do with it. There is another front coming through later this week that will hopefully stir things up a bit though it will take a while to come back after it passes. One thing I can say is the offshore diving has been awesome!
  • FlatsWreckedFlatsWrecked Posts: 112 Deckhand
    Just checking to see if anyone had a better update for Sarasota ?
    We were at LBK for 7 days mid January, never took the boat off the lift due to high winds.
  • The Kellogg KidThe Kellogg Kid Posts: 21 Greenhorn
    Not exactly a current update but I visit Sarasota Bay once a month. Last time I was there (Jan 9-14th) my buddy and I caught 223 fish over a 3 day period. 40% of them were decent size trout (not huge but eatin size), 40% ladyfish, 20% bluefish-snook-jacks. Most were caught on MirrOdines. We were fishing mostly east side grass beds 3-5ft deep and were fishing from 1030am-530pm. And no I don't agree that Sarasota bay fishing sucks I have caught more fish in the last 6 months then I ever have but I will admit that many times it has been more luck than my skill for sure.
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 743 Officer
    Not exactly a current update but I visit Sarasota Bay once a month. Last time I was there (Jan 9-14th) my buddy and I caught 223 fish over a 3 day period. 40% of them were decent size trout (not huge but eatin size), 40% ladyfish, 20% bluefish-snook-jacks. Most were caught on MirrOdines. We were fishing mostly east side grass beds 3-5ft deep and were fishing from 1030am-530pm. And no I don't agree that Sarasota bay fishing sucks I have caught more fish in the last 6 months then I ever have but I will admit that many times it has been more luck than my skill for sure.

    You really counted 223 fish? Lmao
  • The Kellogg KidThe Kellogg Kid Posts: 21 Greenhorn
    Yeah, my buddy and I are pretty competitive, we count our fish to see who buys the beer after fishing.:Glass
  • PapaJoePapaJoe Posts: 14 Greenhorn
    My son and I caught some nice snook on the back side of Lido Key a couple weeks ago. We live in Pinellas but we've always had great luck in Sarasota Bay.
  • SargasSargas Posts: 59 Greenhorn
    yeah I agree with you, the bay is def unimpressive imo. however, the nighttime snook fishing in Sarasota is red hot, I mean they are just infested on almost any docklight along the intercoastal
  • former bluefishinnyformer bluefishinny Posts: 1,492 Officer
    Ill chime in.... I have not been in approx 5 months, since my son was born. BUT.... This is where I fished the most. I am (was) lol - pretty friggin die hard. I wade fished on avg 150-175 trips a year. During week, 2 to 3 days a week after work. The fishing in Sara bay far from sucks...... Ive had trips in an evening solo - 25+ plus snook, few reds thrown in.... Here is a sample of a report.

    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?121958-Round-2-Jeff-and-I-wading-Tues-eve

    I can dig up dozens and dozens of reports like this.... yeah, ive been skunked... But also had banner days.... Enjoy a few pics all from the Bay:
  • idlerickidlerick Littleton, Colorado & Sarasota, FlaPosts: 236 Deckhand
    All the inputs/opinions/posts are interesting and much appreciated. But I'm not talking about last year, or once-upon-a-time. I mean this winter, Nov and Dec, fly or artificial fishing, for trout and the like. I haven't been out lately, I'm ashamed to say. The Red Tide persists and I have better places to fish. I just wondered of others were having the same results out in the Bay as I've had? Sounds like it's pretty consistent on the trout, but snook and a few others are holding on despite the unusually warm water and RT.
    Here's to a quick recovery and a better winter in 2017.
    :)
  • former bluefishinnyformer bluefishinny Posts: 1,492 Officer
    idlerick wrote: »
    All the inputs/opinions/posts are interesting and much appreciated. But I'm not talking about last year, or once-upon-a-time. I mean this winter, Nov and Dec, fly or artificial fishing, for trout and the like. I haven't been out lately, I'm ashamed to say. The Red Tide persists and I have better places to fish. I just wondered of others were having the same results out in the Bay as I've had? Sounds like it's pretty consistent on the trout, but snook and a few others are holding on despite the unusually warm water and RT.
    Here's to a quick recovery and a better winter in 2017.

    Gotcha, like I said..... I went from die hard / to darn not fishing lol. I was out 2 weeks ago with Mark (Mayfer on here)..... First stop, a dock we pulled three snook. Second stop was Stephens point.... One drift we got 2 trout, and ever present ladyfish. Next spots were docks around Bird key and we put 'meat" in boat - sheepy/snapper.

    A few buddies of mine have been wading the East bay with - lets say - minimal results, but they are catching a few... Nothing great. BUT - it is February. If I had to pick 2 months of of the year as an inshore guy - when NOT to fish - it would be January and February. If March yields the same results.... Here's to a quick recovery and a better spring 2017... As March / April is usually - productive - very
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