I am relatively new to offshore fishing in the Sarasota area. I have hit the artificial reefs and they are OK. I understand they are probably overfished and it would be more ideal to find natural bottom structure. Does anyone have any recommendations for fishing spots?
I realize people are very protective of their numbers and this post may get me absolutely nowhere. However, I live out of state and only fish down here 6-8 times per year. I would not be fishing here often.
If anyone is knowledgeable in offshore fishing and interested in sharing some of this experience, I have a great boat and would be more than willing to take you on my boat and pay for all of the fuel expense. You just show up, drink beer, and catch fish on my boat. Just tell me where to go.
Welcome to the forum, I grew up in Sarasota. I have fished the gulf for 30+ years. What do you want to target? What dates will you be here? What size boat? Fuel capacity? Electronics? Always willing to assist, just ask away!
Thanks for the reply Northern Exposure. At this time, looking to target anything that is edible. I enjoy fishing the reefs for snapper, grouper, amberjack. Pretty much open to anything, but don't enjoy trolling as much as reef fishing.
I have a Whaler 320 Outrage. twin 300 verados. twin raymarine E140 fishfinders. fuel capacity around 300 gallons.
I knew snook has been closed for over a year now, as I have been fishing the bay for the past few years. My trip is planned for tomorrow and I just found out they closed AJ and gags on June 1. I know they opened red snapper but I am not sure how realistic it is to think I would find any of those. We were offshore last month at some common locations and artificial reefs that have numbers published online. Caught plenty of gray snapper and grunts and had a great time. Also caught some red grouper but none were quite keeper size. I am all for getting out on the water and having a good time. If all I catch is some grunts, gray/mangrove snappers, red grouper, and maybe get lucky with a few big sheepshead or a cobia- I am totally cool with that. I live in Wisconsin and its 55 degrees outside right now. The weather is atrocious here right now. So for me, the worst day fishing is still better than the best day working!
Last edited by rdopirak; 06-10-11 at 11:33 PM.
With a boat that size you should be able to get far enough out to get all the snapper to fill the livewell & then some ! Just look on the fishfinder for ledges & they don't have to be much more than a 2' drop. Last weekend permit & pompano were at the reefs about 25 miles off Boca Grande biting crabs & a fishing friend said they didn't have any, just lots of threadies & pins. Going to give him a few tarpon sized crab flies for extras.
There is endless good bottom between Sarasota and Boca Grande and most new anglers believe they must have "Secret Numbers" from another source before heading out. There isn't a day offshore that we don't find a "New" hotspot.
You mentioned that trolling is not at the top of your priority list, but we typically spend the first few hours of the day trolling for wahoo, tuna and sailfish. While doing that, we are diligently studying the bottom. As we see something, we mark it and come back to it when the trolling slows down and drop baits for our bottom species. Doing this definately provides some variety to the day.
While gags and ARS are out of season for now, there is still a lot of opportunity for meat fish while trolling and it is certainly a way to build your fishing spot list.