An angler holds out a snook for the camera

Wind was a consistent theme on most fishing trips run by Captain Brian Boehm out of Quiet Waters Fishing out of Sarasota, Florida. Trips were run in Tampa Bay, Sarasota, and down in the Venice area. We were able to find plenty of places to fish out of the wind and were only exposed to the wind and sea conditions when we were running. Tides over the last week were high and rose throughout the day. This gave snook and redfish plenty of safe places to hide deep within the mangroves.

Redfish proved to be a wary target for fly anglers. Redfish that were schooled up were especially wary, with our best shots coming on single fish. We found single fish slowly cruising along the shadow line near mangroves while others meandered over deep grass. Fly anglers fed a few of these fish, but were unable to keep them pinned.

An angler fights a snook with a fly rod

Snook were more willing to chase flies throughout the week. Snook were spread out in numerous locations. Like the redfish, some snook were tucked deep within the mangroves on higher water. Other snook positioned themselves farther from shore in sand holes. Fly anglers coaxed the snook away from mangroves with gurglers and the bigly floating minnow. Small baitfish patterns and natural shrimp patterns worked well for the snook that were staged in sand holes.

An angler holds a snook for the camera

Anglers fishing with artificial lures on light spinning tackle used paddletails, fluke style soft jerk baits, and soft plastic grubs to target snook along the potholes. The Aquadream ADL series spoon was put to use on these snook as well. We unfortunately were broken off by two very large snook over the course of the week. Using 20 pound fluorocarbon leaders promotes more bites, but can lead to heartbreak when big snook turn quickly and bolt.

Fishing snook lights at night with a fly rod continued to be the best option for fly anglers looking to catch large numbers of fish. There’s been a high concentration of jack crevalles on dock lights over the last month or so and that continued this week. Fly anglers caught plenty of jacks and snook on night trips. Anglers fishing with artificial lures did well using soft plastic shrimp baits as well as a suspending lipped plug.

An angler holds a seatrout out for the camera

We did not spend much time fishing over the deep grass over the last week, but when we did, we found it to be very productive. When anglers need a break from the demands of sight fishing in shallow water, the deep grass can be a welcome sight. It’s an easy way to bend the rod. The deep grass held seatrout of all sizes, plenty of ladyfish, a few jacks, and the occasional bluefish.

A young angler releases a redfish back into the water after catching it

Friday, I was able to get my son on the water. The night before, I informed him that there was a school of large finicky redfish that he might be interested in. He has had some bad luck with redfish lately and lost a very nice fish on one of our last trips out. So, on Thursday night we sat in our living room and hashed out an approach that we thought might be effective on these fish.

On Friday, the wind blew harder than it had all week. We made a long run through chop to our destination and then quietly scouted the area for the school of large redfish. He connected not long after we arrived and he was able to bring a really nice redfish to the boat. It was a great moment for both of us, affixing smiles to our faces for the rest of our trip.

Capt. Brian Boehm
Quiet Waters Fishing
Sarasota, FL