February 18, 2005 Sarasota Florida Fishing Report By Capt. Bob Smith
The Red Tide has backed off some in the last few days and the fishing has picked up. The artificial āIā reefs off Lido beach in 25 to 30 feet of water are packed with large sheepshead and small schools of bluefish. You may also hook an occasional keeper size gag grouper, snapper or flounder. Large live shrimp fished on the bottom has been working well.
Longer offshore trips have been finding plenty of snapper and a mixed bag of reef fish in 50ā plus depths on natural and artificial bottom. Live shrimp is still the bait to have if you want a lot of action. I would still take some pinfish along.
We found the action on the bay very good in some spots and null in others. Fishing the grass flats at Country Club Shores and using the DOA Ā¼ ounce shrimp, we had trout on every cast for most of the trip. We used both the float and the free line method. Most all of the trout were under size but an occasional a keeper was caught along with some bluefish and flounder. Some nice trout and redfish were also taken north of Longbar and the Buttonwood Harbor area.
We have not had a major fish kill on the bay due to the red tide this year, but I do feel it is causing the fish to move around to avoid the bad spots. You may need to do the same to find the fish this weekend.
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