An angler fly fishes in Sarasota, FL

Anglers had success in shallow water, open water, and on dock lights on Quiet Waters Fishing Charters, run out of Sarasota, FL. Hurricane Ian came through at the end of September and ended up becoming a storm that won’t soon be forgotten by the people of Southwest Florida. Sarasota received plenty of damage, but fared well in comparison to towns and cities to the south. If you feel like helping out, here’s how you can help.

Before the storm we were doing well fishing tripletail and found a few cobia in deeper water, which is always fun. We had a brief encounter with a large cobia that we fed a fly. Bluefish continue to be around the bait and we found a few nice blues on fly.

An angler holds a bluefish up for the camera

We were able to fly fish down south out of Placida before the storm came in. There was a significant amount of bait piled up on the wind-blown shorelines of mangrove islands and snook were keyed in. We used surface flies and caught as many snook as we wanted for over an hour. It’s a real joy when everything lines up and you’re able to effortlessly feed flies to fish.

An angler holds up a snook for the camera caught while fly fishing

After the storm, water clarity suffered. The influx of storm water runoff reduced visibility and tannins stained the water. Water clarity has since improved, though the tint of tannins is still present in the water. This made sight fishing in some areas a real challenge, while other areas with better clarity, fished like normal.

In the back country, snook have been the most reliable target. Smaller snook (less than 25”) are schooled up in some areas where small bait has been trapped against mangrove shorelines. After our first serious cold front rolled in, we found larger snook piled up near creek mouths. These fish were sluggish and getting them to move towards a fly was difficult. Though the water temperatures were still in the snook friendly range, these fish thought otherwise.

A happy angler holds out a snook for the camera.

At night, dock lights continued to provide excellent opportunities for larger snook and even juvenile tarpon. Our first serious cold front came through a little over a week ago and moved the fish around. Many of the dock lights tucked in areas with warmer water suddenly had more fish. Downsizing lures and flies immediately following cold fronts is usually a wise move and worked well for us.

An angler holds out a large snook for the camera

Water clarity will continue to improve in the coming weeks. As temperatures continue to trend downward, fishing in the back country should improve. We’re not too far from winter fishing, but we will enjoy the fall while we have it.

Thanks for Reading,

Captain Brian Boehm
Quiet Waters Fishing
Sarasota, FL