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Fishing was fair this week as conditions continue to be a bit challenging. Winds have been strong out of the northeast, making it difficult to fish the open water. Grass flats near Big Pass produced trout, snapper, grouper, mackerel, ladyfish, and jacks. Snook and jacks were landed in canals on Siesta Key. All of the fish were caught using live bait, mostly pilchards the threadfin herring.
I started my week off with a last-minute charter with Al Hernandez from Ohio, his daughter Rose, and her children. We left the dock at 11:40, caught bait, and did well for the first two hours chumming grass flats near Siesta Key. Trout, mackerel, snapper, grouper, ladyfish, jacks, and more came to the boat. The last part of the trip was bit slower as the tide quit and it was the middle of the day. We finished up with 60 fish or so, not bad considering the late start.
Terry Mark from Olean, NY fished with me on Tuesday. Terry is my longest tenured client, we have been fishing together for around twenty years now. The tide was still falling as we left Ken Thompson Park at first light, so I ran south to try for snook. I caught bait and anchored up on a drop-off and started chumming. Terry caught a pair of decent snook and several gag grouper and mangrove snapper and a Spanish mackerel. The bite slowed so I ran to a canal and we landed a half dozen jack crevelle along with more snapper. We finished up near Big Pass, catching trout, snapper, and grouper. In all, Terry landed 25 fish, 9 different species, along with some quality fish. Fun morning with a great guy!
I finished off the week on Saturday with Sarasota local Morgan Watkins and her fiance Chris. The bite was tough as we were fishing behind a strong front with a stiff northeast breeze. We caught a few small fish using live shrimp near Bird Key, then I found some bait near Siesta Key. Chumming along a protected shoreline produced several nice jack crevelle and Chris had a 30” snook on for a while that chewed through the leader right at the boat. We made a couple of drifts at Marina Jacks and landed a few trout before calling it a day.