Anglers fishing around Sarasota, FL with Quiet Waters Fishing found good success with flats species in early July on early morning trips or evening dock light trips. We did very well on snook and found a few redfish while fishing dock lights near the ICW using DOA shrimp and Renosky Mirror Image soft plastics. Finding dock lights with the most current was the key. If you find dock lights where the fish are all facing into the current, then you will have a very good opportunity to catch multiple fish on this light. Working the transition between light and dark is a good bet, but don’t rule out setting up your boat up tide from the light and swinging or dangling lures or flies down to them. Often times, it just takes finding the best angle to present your bait. Once you find this angle, the action can really get hot.
It’s getting pretty warm on the shallow flats. We did best by getting out at or before sunrise and then getting off the water by noon. We did well over grass flats working a Mirrolure Mirrodine XL sporadically with long pauses. This was a good way to move larger seatrout sitting on the bottom looking up and waiting to sabotage an easy meal. Once you locate a few fish, you can move to soft plastics on 1/8 – 3/16 ounce jig heads to thoroughly work the area.
The best fishing continued to be tarpon fishing. We had a few successful backcountry trips for juvenile fish in brackish creeks and rivers. Again, getting on the water early is the key to maximizing your opportunities. Fly anglers did well using smaller baitfish patterns tied in purple, black, or chartreuse. The fish will be pretty easy to locate if you get on the water early and look around. Once you find the fish, it pays to study their activity for a bit to see if there is a pattern to their movement and feeding activities. If you are able to find a pattern and position your boat quietly, then your chances of hooking up greatly increase.
Tarpon fishing at night remained excellent. Most trips ended with fish at the boat and multiple hook ups. On a few nights, we put as many as 15 fish into the air. When fly fishing, large purple or black flies have consistently delivered. The best artificial bait has been the DOA Baitbuster. We use the lightest version they have available and focus on working the top 1 – 3 feet of the water column around shadow lines. These fish feed in windows, so you may need to endure periods of time where they are not eating. But stay in the game and be ready when a feeding window opens up. The action can be intense when they are on the feed.
See you on the water soon!
Captain Brian Boehm
Quiet Waters Fishing
Guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters