Snook, juvenile tarpon & a dependable tripletail bite were the norm on Quiet Waters Fishing Charters, run out of Sarasota, FL over the last few weeks. Snook and juvenile tarpon were most easily targeted at night around dock lights. Tripletail were caught both during the day and on dock light trips. Anglers looking for easy action during the day, did well fishing over the deep grass.
Large numbers of baitfish can be found just about everywhere in the waters around Sarasota now. With bait spread throughout the water, it can seem difficult to narrow down which areas to fish. Birds have been the best indicator for where to fish. In shallow water, the combination of wading birds and pelicans has been a good sign. Over deeper water, active terns, pelicans, and cormorants have been very good indicators.
Snook have been receptive in shallow water during the day. Flies like the bigly floating minnow, DT special, and EP baitfish patterns worked best. On light tackle, smaller topwater plugs and fluke-style soft plastics on unweighted worm hooks worked best. Redfish have been very sensitive and have not tolerated errant casts, rocking boat wake, or hull slap. Larger seatrout have been shallow on higher tides and closer to edges near bait as the tide slides off.
For anglers who prefer quantity over quality, the deep grass has been the ticket. There are still bluefish over the deep grass as well as seatrout. Schools of jacks have been occasionally blitzing baitfish on the surface. Any fly or lure in the vicinity of these fish is getting eaten.
Tripletail have made excellent targets for fly and light tackle anglers. The best flies have been shrimp and baitfish patterns. On light tackle, shrimp imitations and unweighted soft plastics have worked best. The majority of the tripletail that we’ve encountered have been willing eaters and have made for some great sight fishing fun.
We’re still in the 2-3 month window that I consider to be the most ideal time to target big snook and juvenile tarpon on dock lights. The dock lights this time of year offer the best opportunity for quality fish on fly or artificials. There are A LOT of big snook around and we’re still seeing good numbers of juvenile tarpon. The best fly pattern over the last few weeks has been some variation of an EP baitfish.
Sarasota Bay Environmental News
Sarasota Bay experienced an influx of raw sewage in late August as the result of a break in a utility line near Whitaker Bayou. The area of the bay directly in front of the outflow from Whitaker Bayou still smells. The local government is reporting that a mere 340,000 gallons entered Sarasota Bay – approximately half the volume of an Olympic sized swimming pool.
This is not the first time that our beloved Sarasota Bay has served as a septic tank. In 2020, a much larger volume of sewage entered via Longboat Key. During that spill, it’s estimated that somewhere between 11-26 million gallons of sewage entered Sarasota Bay. The majority of recent spills are the direct result of failing infrastructure. Local governments should prioritize projects and repairs to limit these issues and protect our waters. Will local government show leadership on this vital issue? Only time (and lawsuits) will tell.
Thanks for reading,
Captain Brian Boehm
Quiet Waters Fishing