Photo credit: Jim Klopfer

Photo credit: Jim Klopfer

Update: January Sarasota fishing report and forecast

Captains Jim Klopfer and Rick Grassett out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters report good action in Sarasota Bay and offshore in the Gulf Coast.

January can be a slow month for fishing as water temperatures lower. Prized fish, such as Snook, go out of season and become vulnerable when the weather gets too cold. However, captains out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters report steady action of a variety of species with warmer than usual weather last week.

Captain Jim Klopfer fishing report:

According to Capt. Klopfer, both weather and fishing were outstanding in Sarasota over the Christmas holiday. Sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 80s made excellent fishing conditions.

Visitors fishing with Capt. Klopfer caught a variety of species using different techniques in different conditions. Schools of jack crevelle were seen breaking the surface near Big Pass and further south along Siesta Key.

Speckled trout up to 18 inches, bluefish up to three pounds and ladyfish hit Bass Assassin jigs and free-lined live shrimp at the Middlegrounds — an expansive grass flats area behind The Ringling, in Big Pass, and Nearby Flats. On the bottom of Big Pass sheepshead, grouper, snapper and Key West grunts ate shrimp. Finally, snook and largemouth bass hit gold and blue Clouser patters for anglers fly fishing with Klopfer in the Myakka River,

Learn more about Captain Jim Klopfer’s week of fishing.

Captain Rick Grassett’s fishing forecast:

Capt. Grassett reports that redfish and big trout will be concentrated in potholes of Sarasota Bay this month. Action includes trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, pompano and more on deep grass flats. There should be good catch and release action for snook in rivers, but since they are sensitive to cold-water temperatures, targeting them with the water dips below 60 degrees is not advisable for the health of the fish. In the gulf, tripletail, cobia, false albacore should be around when it’s warm.

Fishing lighted docks at night with lures and flies can be very good this month. Small white flies, like Capt. Grassett’s own Snook Minnow, Gurglers and shrimp fly patterns work well for fly anglers. Spin anglers should do well with CAL jigs with shad tails or four inch jerk worms, DOA Tiny TerrorEyz and DOA Shrimp.

Redfish, snook, sheepshead, flounder and more should be around docks. Work CAL jigs slowly along the bottom for the best action. On the grass flats, try drifting and casting ahead of your drift with CAL jigs and a variety of plastic tails and DOA Deadly Combos.

According to Grassett, January can be one of the toughest months of the year to fish. However, if you choose to fish based on tides and weather, it can be good. Action is usually best when weather fronts approach. Following fronts, fishing may be tough for a couple days. Let the stage of the tide determine where to look for fish. When the tide is low, look for fish tailing on shallow grass or around docks. Look for fish again on shallow grass flats on sunny afternoons when the tide is high. And remember to “limit your kill, don’t kill your limit!”