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10/15/01 04:35 AM
Boca Grande / Charlotte Harbor 10/14/01 [Post#: 457 ] Reply to this post

Fishing Report for Charlotte Harbor / Boca Grande
Weekending 10-14-01

This Saturday’s Sarasota Mercury/Ranger Redfish Tour Event kept me off my home waters, all but one day this week, which was spent pre-fishing for the tournament. During which, I located several pods of Redfish holding in the areas of Bull & Turtle Bays. The fish congregated on the edges of the flats on low tide, and worked their way in with the rising tide. There is an abundance of small sardines in the harbor, which seems to be the current prevailing food source for the redfish. A 1/8 oz gold John Silver Minnow worked through the weeds, and made to flutter into the sandy potholes and pockets in the grass should not be refused. A silver flake plastic jerk bait rigged weedless would prove equally deadly. Locate schools of mullet and birds in the same areas, and Redfish will be near by.

North of the Harbor, we pre-fished and scouted the northern end of Sarasota Bay. We concentrated on flats and Oyster Bars adjacent to deep water surrounding Palma Solma Bay and Anna Maria Island. On Friday, we located numerous Redfish following the same patterns as they do in Charlotte Harbor. We worked the deep edges of the flats & bars and potholes on the low tide, followed the fish up on to the flats & bars and under the groves as the tide rose, and followed them back off the flat on the outgo. We were careful not to work the fish hard to avoid disrupting them for the following day’s tournament. The one’s we chose to cast to were very eager to take Gold Spoons, DOA Shrimp and Yozuri Crystal Minnows.

Tournament Day: After seeing all the boats heading south to Gasparilla on Tournament day (Not to mention the stiff wind), we decided to remain in the area and work the fish we saw the previous day. We knew we would put two fish in the boat by running to Gasparilla, but felt confident we could do the same in Sarasota. This decision would have given us an additional three to four hours to put a winning combination of fish together. Our fish were where we had left them. We worked the same two flats for 7 ½ hours straight and casted to the same 20 –30 Redfish, hoping to coax one into taking a lure. Time and time gain, we watched the same fish turn down everything in our box. We did catch two small rat Reds and well over 30 Trout, however, the mature Redfish did not want anything to do with our lures. I’ve only seen Redfish behave like this on a few occasions. This, unfortunately just happened to be one of those days. My guess is that they “Turned on “ their feeding light late in the day. Next year, we will be sure to run north to Tampa or South to Gasparilla.

Reports indicate the majority of the heavy fish came from Gasparilla (Charlotte Harbor), while only a few came from Tampa Bay and the local waters. Two boats that I know of, made it to the northern stretches of Tampa Bay, only to realize they could not make it back to weigh-in in time due to the nasty conditions.

It was a tough event for us, and we hope to make up for it in the Tampa Tournament on 10/27.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Allan B. Beraquit
Coast II Coast Fishing Charters, Inc.
1-866-4-TARPON /

Capt. Allan Beraquit
Coast II Coast Fishing Charters, Inc.

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