An angler holds a snook up to the camera

Winter fishing is coming to a close in Sarasota, FL. There are still a few weeks left, but the warmer weather of March is right around the corner. This winter has produced below average temperatures and above average precipitation which has had an impact on fishing. Traditional winter honey holes have not produced like years past, but there have still been plenty of places to find fish.

Snook fishing has been solid during the day and even better at night on the dock lights. During the day, the location of snook has been extremely dependent on weather conditions. On warmer days, snook have been on points, in potholes, and other traditional locations. During colder weather we’ve found most of our snook bunched up in areas with a dark muddy bottom and good wind protection.

An angler holds up a big snook that he caught while fly fishing the dock lights in Sarasota, FL

Dock light fishing continues to be the most consistent way to target snook this winter. The majority of our night trips have been as far north as Sarasota and as far south as Snook Alley. Snook have been active feeders at night on the dock lights. The best fishing has coincided with the best tides. On light tackle, we’re doing best using suspending lipped plugs and very small shrimp imitations in natural colors. Small flies that blur the line between shrimp and minnow have been the best bet when fly fishing.

Redfish are less impacted by cooler temperatures and have stayed active throughout the winter. Light tackle fishing for redfish has been strong as far north as lower Tampa Bay and as far south as Charlotte harbor. We’ve found redfish tailing over grass and snooping around in back country ponds, as well as roaming open flats. Smaller finesse style baits have worked best when sight fishing, but paddletails have been the best search bait. We’ve had a few really nice days fly fishing for redfish. Smaller flies have been the ticket over the last month.

Two anglers hold a redfish up for the camera


Seatrout fishing has been best in shallower water where we’re finding aggressive fish of good size. Many of the deeper grass flats where class size seatrout usually group up have not produced like past winters. We’re seeing more seatrout caught on the dock lights this winter. Due to cooler water temperatures, we’re finding that smaller soft plastics have outproduced larger size baits this winter. Fly anglers are still doing best fishing sink tip lines with a simple clouser.

Thanks for Reading,

Captain Brian Boehm
Quiet Waters Fishing
Sarasota, FL