How do you know if you are a Saltwater Fishing Fanatic?
Is Saltwater fishing in your blood, does your heart rate quicken whenever you smell the sea air and spot seabirds diving for bait fish?
Are you in your element when you can feel the sea lapping around your waders while you're surf fishing the beach, or never happier when you’re heading offshore for an all day fishing session?
Yes? Then there is no doubt about it you too are a Saltwater Fishing Fanatic!
Saltwater fishing is a rewarding and all-consuming passion for many people. From the friendly banter between anglers on a fishing trip to the inner peace enjoyed by a solitary angler on an isolated beach, saltwater fishing has so much to offer. If saltwater fishing is in your blood, you are a very fortunate person.
SALTWATER FISHING FROM A BOAT
When booking a fishing charter with me, we head out to enjoy a wonderful day on the water. Saltwater fishing can bring a lot of different outcomes but one thing is for sure, I try to make your experience a one in a million type of day. The last few times out we have seen big redfish ranging around 19” – 28”, this was during low tide, in the morning, under docks in Sarasota Bay, using a small size 1 hook, 30lb leader and a large live shrimp. We have caught snook and flounder in New Pass and Big Pass, mid-day, outgoing tide, with live white bait we acquired through a cast net. The mangrove snapper bit has been fantastic and we have been landed 20-30 each trip. The bigger snappers are eating small/ medium pilchards. You will hear white bait/ bait fish called many names (pilchards, green back, scaled sardines). Each species is a little different but most are just as effective at catching great fish. These bait fish are found along most beaches, on the sandbars, and grass flats close to New Pass and Big Pass. One good sign is if you see the birds diving there is usually bait to catch. Saltwater fishing can be very rewarding and a great learning experience.
SALTWATER FISHING FROM A PIER
Not all fisherman have their sea legs, nor do they have much intention of getting them. Some of them would only set foot in a boat if it was securely propped up ashore. You don’t always need to get afloat to sink your bait in deep water, as great fishing can often be had from the piers, jetties and breakwaters. Saltwater fishing piers in Sarasota County, Florida:
Causeway Park Fishing Pier – Saprito Pier, 420 John Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota, FL
The Saprito – Causeway Park fishing pier is 560 feet in length with an 80 foot “T” at the end, over the waters of Sarasota Bay.
Humphris Park Jetty Fishing – Tarpon Center Drive & Inlet Circle, Venice, FL
Park entrance is about 900 feet north on Tarpon Center from above intersection. Humphris Park is sitting on 2 acres and offers; fishing jetty that is about 650 feet in length, picnic tables, benches, showers, and restrooms.
Ken Thompson Park Fishing Pier – 1700 Ken Thompson Parkway, Lido Key, FL
This 92 acre park has amenities that include; fishing pier, boat ramp, restrooms, playground, picnicking, kayaking, birding and walking trails through mangrove and restored tidal marsh areas.
New Pass Fishing Pier – 1700 Ken Thompson Parkway, Lido Key, FL
Other side from Ken Thompson Park.
Nokomis Park Fishing Dock – 234 Nippino Trail East, Nokomis, FL
Fishing on rails to trails bridge also, hand launch on site, over the water of where Curry Creek meets Roberts Bay.
North Jetty Park Fishing Jetty – ¾ mile south from the intersection of; Albee Rd West and S. Casey Key Rd, Venice, FL
Fishing jetty about 600 feet in length, surf fishing with respect to swimmers, bait shop, beach access parking, concession, picnic shelter, picnic tables, playground, restrooms, showers and volleyball courts.
Phillippi Estate Fishing Piers – 5500 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL
The Phillippi Estate fishing piers are on the southern shore of the Phillippi River. Pier 1 extends 45 feet over the water and Pier 2 extends 35 feet over the water with a 30 foot “T” at the end. Restrooms and shaded gazebos are on site also.
Whitaker Gateway Park Fishing Pier – 1455 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL
Whitaker Gateway Park offers; fishing pier which is 80 feet in length over the waters of Sarasota Bay, playground, pavilions, picnicking, walking & fitness trail, shoreline fishing from the bulkhead and restrooms.
SALTWATER FISHING FROM THE SHORE
Fishing is great on Florida beaches. All public beaches allow fishing from the shore and it is quite common to see people with their poles and cast nets working the calm surf. You can catch most inshore fish from the beach such as snook, pompano, shark, snapper, flounder, mackerel and redfish.
Most beaches have lots for parking, pavilions, and picnic areas, many with barrier islands and tidal pools. Sometimes a short hike will bring you to more secludes fishing spots with the added benefit of wildlife viewing and some spectacular views. You can fish the inshore tidal pools or the open water surf. You can also reach may outlying beach areas by boat.
Fishing from the shore and beach requires equipment that will get your bait out where the fish are. Some anglers have a rod and reel for each fishing situation - fishing from the beach, fishing from a pier, and fishing from a boat. Depending on your budget and the frequency of each fishing situation, you have the choice of one all purpose rod or many specialized rods.
Remember, surf casting requires long rods that are not suitable for fishing off piers or boats. A heavy 6 foot rod designed for pier fishing will not cast into the surf. Very heavy, 10+ foot rods are designed specifically for long casting into the surf. If you want an all around rod go with an 8 foot rod of medium weight.
Using live bait is by far the best way to catch fish! Yes, artificial lures, spoon, and other contraptions work just fine, but nothing beats fresh bait. Cast netting for bait fish is a common activity at the beach and a lot of fun. The beach is also a good place to learn the trick to throwing these nets. Find yourself a vacant area on the beach and toss away. Catching bait in the morning on the Gulf when the sun is at your back will reveal bait schools glimmering in the sun.
Nothing beats a kayak for getting to fishing marks that are beyond the reach of the most able and totally inaccessible to conventional fishing boats. Whether you are a kayaker turned fisherman or fisherman turned kayaker, a high degree of competency is a must to stay safe. Particularly when coupled with this potentially hazardous way of fishing afloat. Kayak angling is the fastest growing branch of saltwater fishing and it’s not difficult to see why, relatively inexpensive, environmentally friendly and a great form of exercise. Kayak fishing has a lot going for it.
WEATHER & TIDES
The weather ahead of cold fronts will lead to favorable fishing conditions due to lower pressure, because fish are good at sensing changes in pressure, they will often increase their activity in the days before a cold front moving in which creates good conditions for catching fish. Paying attention to the weather, moon phases, and tides are just as important.
GMZ853-251630- Coastal waters from Englewood to Tarpon Springs FL out 20 NM- 346 AM EDT Fri Oct 25 2019
TODAY East winds around 15 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon.
TONIGHT East winds around 15 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A slight chance of thunderstorms. A chance of showers toward morning.
SATURDAY South winds around 15 knots with gusts to around 25 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms.
SATURDAY NIGHT South winds around 15 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms.
SUNDAY South winds around 10 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Showers likely in the morning. A slight chance of thunderstorms. A chance of showers in the afternoon.
SUNDAY NIGHT South winds around 5 knots then becoming southeast around 10 knots after midnight. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms.
MONDAY Southeast winds around 10 knots then becoming south around 5 knots in the afternoon. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms.
MONDAY NIGHT Southeast winds around 10 knots. Seas 2 feet. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms.
TUESDAY South winds around 10 knots. Seas 2 feet. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms.
Today Friday, 25th of October of 2019, the sun rose in Sarasota at 7:37 am and sunset was 6:52 pm. In the high tide and low tide chart, we can see that the first low tide was at 5:31 am and the next low tide will be at 6:08 pm. The first high tide will be at 11:03 am and the next high tide at 11:35 pm. Today we have 11 hours and 15 minutes of sun.
What Fish are Biting Around Florida?
Whether you choose to fish on land or by boat, the fishing can be fast and furious year-round in Florida. But not all saltwater fish are here year-round. Water temperature varies by season and spawning takes place at different times of the year motivating each species of fish to migrate with the seasons. Weather also influences fish feeding. After the first couple cold fronts the water temperature will drop and the offshore gag grouper will be coming into the shallow bays. Kingfish and Little Tunny will be moving to the closer offshore reefs and along the beaches.
Study our regional calendars to learn the best months to catch your favorite saltwater fish species.