Fishing Report from Pathfinder Pro Staffer Capt. Jeremy Lee

Temperatures are dropping and the fish are on the move! Inshore and near shore species alike will respond to the cooler water temperatures in a major way this week, and in the coming weeks with approaching cold fronts. This is one of those months where you can head out big pass or new pass and catch tripletail, flounder, cobia, bonita, sharks, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, and many more. The bite out on “the beach” as we like to call it will go off this month. Its already started to turn for the better with smaller tripletail, kingfish, and sharks making an appearance. Gag grouper and flounder are being caught on the near shore reefs as well. A few more pushes of cold air and the bite anywhere inside 35 feet of water is going to get strong in a hurry. Do not be surprised if you run into a big pile of redfish moving down the beach as well.

Inside the bay is as good as out on the beach these days. Large trout in the 22” to 28” range are being caught on the 2-4ft edges of the healthy flats inside Sarasota and Palma Sola bays. The cooler the water gets the more shallow these fish will move. Bait of choice is a live pilchard, sebile stick shad, or Bass Assassin Sea Shad rigged on a 1/8oz jighead. Redfish are schooled up in the bay and are moving into more shallow water. Look for the fish on the edges of the flats on the lower stages of the tide. Gold Spoons, topwater plugs, sebile stick shads, and the bass assassin 5” jerk bait will entice these fish to bite. Fish when the tide is moving for the best success. Big breeder snook, and all the 20” to 24” snook you can handle are being caught in the potholes all throughout Sarasota bay right now. Live pilchards are the best bet, and chumming them up will ensure a bite. The fish will feed well on the outgoing tide this week with the new moon. Last, but not least is the Jack Crevalle. The “Jack” is one of the most overlooked fish on our coast. We have monster schools of jacks in Sarasota bay right now. Some of these schools are pushing 400-500 fish easily, and some of them have 100-200 redfish mixed in the middle of them. A simple jig head and soft plastic is the best bet. On slick calm days look for the fish pushing on the surface of the water. You wont miss it! When the wind is blowing it can be a little tougher to spot, but feeding fish is a dead giveaway. Get there quick. Although these schools stay in the same general area, they do move quickly. Any time you can throw into a school of fish feeding aggressively and they pull drag, its a win win!

The bait is as easy as it gets right now, the fishing is outstanding, and the boat traffic is relatively low. Now is the time to get on it! Tight Lines.

Capt. Jeremy Lee
Pathfinder Pro Staffer

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