Prime fish caught in Sarasota County

Prime Fishing Casts into Sarasota Bay

As the weather cools down and the water temperatures begin to lower slightly, fish become more active, and migratory species start to appear in Sarasota County’s waters.

"This is a good time of the year, water temperatures are coming down," says captain Alan Routh of Magic Fishing Adventures. "Fall fishing is really starting to kick in."

Mason Tush, owner of CB's Saltwater Outfitters agrees.

"Any time the water temperature is in the 70s, it's a great," says Tush. "All the fish are active."

Here are some tips on what to expect for your next trip:

CB's Fishing Charters
CB's Fishing Charters

What's biting

According to Tush, in the near shore you can go after King Fish, Benita, and Spanish Mackerel.

"That's a real fun type of fishing," says Tush."Going off the beach, look for bait fish, birds, you'll normally see those fish feeding."

Tush adds there should be a few Snook left on the beach, as well as Flounder, Lady Fish, and Whiting.

In shore:
In a non-motorized boat or a motorboat not far off shore, Tush says there's schools of Red Fish, Snook moving back in the bay from the beaches, trout, Jack Corville, Pompano, Blue Fish and Spanish Mackerel.

In a motorboat:
"You can go five to 10 miles and catch, (but) the further you go off shore the less amount of boats," says Tush.

Right now, Grouper, Snapper and Amber Jack provide are biting.

What to use

Beach and in shore:
For bait, use live shrimp, Greenback – a small bait fish – or artificial jigs. If using a jig, go for a 1/8 ounce to 1/2 ounce jig head with a Gulp plastic tail, or a D.O.A. C.A.L. lure.

"(It's) also a good time to use top water lures, or hard bait," Tush adds.

Off shore:
To catch those bigger fish, use frozen Sardines, Threadfin, live Pin Fish, and large shrimp, Tush suggests.

No boat, no gear, no experience? No problem!

There's dozens of local outfitters and charters in the area to help those first time fishers, here are few that are sure to get you reelin’ the fish in:

Hart's Landing:
For around $20, you can rent a rod, buy some shrimp and a bait bucket, and then fish right underneath Ringling Bridge. Contact Hart's Landing at 955-0011.

CB's Saltwater Outfitters:
CB's Saltwater Outfitters offers a variety of ways to fish. Rates run between $450 to $750 for the traditional charter trips, or for an alternative, learn to fly fish on an instructional trip for $350. CB's Saltwater Outfitters also offers private fly-casting instructions at $50 an hour.

If you'd prefer to skip the charter, CB's Saltwater Outfitters also provides boat rentals, from $99 to $329, depending on trip length and type of boat. Contact: 349-4400

Economy Tackle/Dolphin Paddlesports:
If you have your own gear and are looking to get out on the water, consider renting a kayak. A great way to do some fishing and get some exercise, Economy Tackle/Dolphin Paddlesports offers rentals at $35 for a solo kayak and $40 for a tandem rental. For a longer trip, Economy Tackle lets you rent your vessel for up to a week. The business will show you some good areas and also offers self-guided tours. Contact: 922-9671

For more fishing tips and advice, as well as recent reports, check out CB's Saltwater Outfitters Facebook Page, and for more information about Sarasota fishing services, visit our website's listings.