Fishing is improving slowly, but surely with the water warming up. In just the last couple weeks I have seen temperatures as low as 56 degrees, and in the back waters as high as 76 degrees. You know it's getting better when you hook up with snook—three were caught aboard the Reelin' & Chillin' this week with one at 31 inches. Also, redfish in the slot are starting to show up. After a couple months of rat reds it was nice getting several in the slot recently. A 22-inch black drum was a nice addition to the live well on one trip, and schools of sheepshead are still around for some great light tackle action and dinner on the table.
Off shore sheepshead and key west grunts (white grunt) are still bending rods. On a special birthday trip with my son Jesse and daughter-in-law Shelly we caught plenty of grunts, a 7lb sheepshead, and the special treat was a 16-inch hog fish. We were fishing an artificial reef approximately seven miles out of New Pass.
Ray Ribaric fished his last and final trip for the season before heading back to Hixson TN and what a Blast-Last trip. Ray started out landing a 31-inch snook on his light tackle rod that was released after a quick photo. Then hitting several locations we found an area that was turned on with plenty of rat-reds, two reds in the slot and a 22-inch black drum.
I used my standard outfit on these trips:
Offshore it was an Okuma 7.5' Guide Select rod with the Okuma Selena SA55 reel. Line used was 15lb test from the reel, a thirty-pound test mono leader
and a #2 Owner circle hook; #4 split shot sinkers were added as needed according to the current.
Inshore it was a St. Croix 7.5' Tidemaster rod with the Okuma Selena SA30 reel. Line used was 10lb test from the reel, a twenty-pound test
fluorocarbon leader, and a #4 Owner circle hook; #4 split shot was used at times to keep the bait in the target area.
Bait used was live hand-picked shrimp from Hart's Landing Bait located at 930 John Ringling Causeway in Sarasota Florida.
Tight Lines & Good Times