Consistent cold fronts moved through our area over the last couple of weeks. Water temperatures in the morning following the first and second days of the front have been cold. Snook have been sluggish in the morning, seeming to care more about absorbing sunlight, than eating. The snook that we have managed to hook earlier in the morning, have come around docks or over mud bottoms. By mid to late morning, the snook bite has turned on. We enjoyed some very good snook fishing down in Little Sarasota Bay in very skinny water.
Sheepshead of all sizes are everywhere on the flats. They have been more aggressive towards artificial baits over the past week. Snook, seatrout, & small redfish have been bunched up in troughs, creek mouths, and canals first thing in the morning. The seatrout and small redfish don’t seem to be as bothered by the cold morning temperatures and have been feeding early. When you find one, there are usually many others in the same area. We’ve done really well catching numbers by picking apart small areas with artificial baits and flies in the morning.
The larger redfish have not been bunched up. We’re finding larger redfish swimming solo on these negative morning tides, patrolling the outside edge of sandbars. Large redfish can be frustrating at times. We had many healthy reds follow baits all the way back to the boat, only to refuse our offerings at the last second. That’s fishing and it will give us a greater appreciation for the next time a big redfish comes to hand.
Jerk shads and paddle tails worked well for us in 3 – 5 ‘ of water. The seatrout were particularly fond of the jerk shad in the new penny and watermelon colors. Using DOA shrimp in the clear red color was effective around docks in clear water in the morning. Larger weighted shrimp patterns and the reliable clouser minnow were the best flies during the day. At night, we went down as small as size 6 for glass minnow and shrimp patterns around dock lights.
See you on the water soon.
Captain Brian Boehm
Guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters
Quiet Waters Fishing