Capt. Bob Smith

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About Capt. Bob Smith

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  • Birthday 07/27/39
  1. December 25, 2009 Sarasota Florida Fishing Report By Capt. Bob Smith Pompano are getting thicker on the Stephen’s Point grass-flats just a little south and off of the Ringling home. Although the fishing has been improving throughout December, we had a slow start Wednesday afternoon. Due to the wind, I opted to fish the east side of the bay for a slower drift and less chop. We fished with live shrimp on and around the Stephen’s Point grass-flats for two hours and hardly lost any bait. Then the wind slowed just a little and the fish started to chew. Pompano, large Spanish mackerel, 3 to 4 pound bluefish and some nice seatrout made our afternoon. We also caught some large ladyfish in the mix. I am sure that my D.O.A. and Silly Willy jigs would have worked just as well as the live shrimp but I didn’t want to take the time to re-rig or change our luck. Earlier in the week I found a large school of Spanish mackerel just outside of New Pass by the small red and green markers. The birds were diving and the fish were boiling as they fed on the schools of baitfish. The macks were mostly small but keeper size. We did well with Silly Willy jigs, especially when we tipped them with a small belly strip from the mackerel we kept. Of course live bait was also working. Over the past few weeks, some the biggest mackerel we caught were in Big Pass, some almost 30” long. There have been reports of some keeper size gag grouper being caught on the bay. I have not targeted them myself lately but I plan to do so soon. My favorite bait for them is fresh caught pinfish, not over night baits from the bait shop. Pinfish will almost always dive to the bottom, so no lead is needed. Most of the water depths you may fish on the bay are only 10 to 20 feet deep. When a pinfish dances on top of the water it is a good sign of predators below. If it is grouper below, you will see your bait simply disappear under the surface, not a surface blast like a bass would do. If your bait disappears, don’t wait more then a few seconds and start cranking like mad until you feel the weight of the fish. Then set the hook hard and keep the fish moving away from the structure. I never like to fish over the structure on the bay. I cast to it so that I don’t run off the larger fish. I may mark a structure by dropping a marker to the side or behind it, out of my way but still giving me a reference point for casting. To have any consistency at bringing keeper size grouper to the boat, you need to use at least 20lb test line, 60lb test mono leader, stout 4/0 to 6/0 hook and lock down your drag. With grouper, you don’t have the option to let them run. Remember, this is for large bay grouper and not deep water offshore grouper. This is a good starter method but not the only method for grouper on the bay. Enjoy & Protect My Website: http//
  2. October 20, 2009 Sarasota Florida Fishing Report By Capt. Bob Smith Finally some cooler weather is coming our way! As we see the Gulf water temperature drop, we should see the fishing improve. When the water temperature is in the low seventies, I think that is the best for all around fishing. For now, we have some seatrout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, Jacks, ladyfish, and an occasional flounder in the shallow water on the Middle Ground grass flats. Live pilchards, shrimp and the DOA artificial 3” shrimp are some of the baits that have been working well. The best methods of fishing the grass have been free-line or popping cork and drifting or anchoring or a little of both. I like the Eagle Claw 202, Size 4/0, Gold Aberdeen hook for fishing with live bait on the flats. About 3 or 4 feet of 30 pound test clear mono leader on 10 to 12 pound test line and you have a very good grass-flats rig. Of course ultra-light and fly also will work well, but you may need to upgrade your skill level. We have had some slow days fishing lately, but on the whole, the summer was good inshore and offshore. More than I can say for the economy. We should see the King mackerel start offshore this month and the pompano and blue action should pickup on the bay. Things start to happen when the weather starts to change. Enjoy & Protect My Website: http//
  3. <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Sarasota</st1:City> <st1:State w:st="on">Florida</st1:State></st1:place> Fishing Report By Capt. Bob Smith <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p> First light Sea trout on DOA artificial shrimp! <st1:PersonName w:st="on">Scott Gifford</st1:PersonName> and his son tied into trout on the Middle Ground grass-flats first thing in the morning. Scott’s fish was 22”. The bay flats and bridges have been producing some nice fish but you may need to cover some ground to find them. Spotted sea trout, bluefish, Gray snapper, flounder and pompano are just some of the fish coming in. Large schools of jacks, ladyfish, and bluefish may start the water boiling at any time. The fish keep moving so you need to keep moving. I find most of my fish along the edge of the deep grass and repeat my drift until they move off. The 3” DOA shrimp are working best for me while holding the pinfish at bay. Pinfish are good for the bay but not good for your live bait. <o:p> </o:p> During the summer, first and last light are best for fishing and night is better than day. None of this is carved in stone and the fish could bite at any time. I am just talking about the probability. I like to start just before daybreak and quit by 10:30am. At night, I like to fish starting just before dusk, an hour before, and an hour after the tide change. This all looks good on paper, but the truth is that those of us who have been bitten by the fishing bug will spend all our free time fishing regardless of what the fish are doing. <o:p> </o:p> <o:p> </o:p> Enjoy & Protect My Website: http//
  4. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p> </o:p> <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Sarasota</st1:City> <st1:State w:st="on">Florida</st1:State></st1:place> Fishing Report By Capt. Bob Smith <o:p> </o:p> The offshore waters have been inundated with red snapper for the past month! Look for them around most of the deep artificial reefs and good bottom. Light tackle with a small jig and tipped with shrimp has worked very well. Keeper size red grouper are hitting good in a hundred feet of water or better. Live pinfish or grunts fished on the bottom will do the job. <o:p> </o:p> Inshore fishing has been good with a mixed bag of fish coming in. Large spotted sea trout is the most abundant species on the grass-flats. Along with the trout we are catching pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, snapper, flounder and much more. Around the docks and bridges it has been redfish, snook, large jacks, snapper, sheepshead, and occasional tarpon. <o:p> </o:p> Live bait will work but is very hard to keep on your hook with all the pinfish and other small fish attacking it. I do very well wit the DOA 3” Near Clear Shrimp, #312. This artificial works so well that my only problem with it is that the fish like to swallow it. Then it can be hard to get the hook out of the fish. The DOA is so easy to use that just drifting the flats with my rods in the rod holders can produce fish. Some times you need that on a guide boat.J <o:p> </o:p> Enjoy & Protect My Website: http//
  5. June 14, 2009 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p> </o:p> <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Sarasota</st1:City> <st1:State w:st="on">Florida</st1:State></st1:place> Fishing Report By Capt. Bob Smith <o:p> </o:p> The weather had been what I call, a little squirrelly but now has smoothed out. A light east wind in the morning will make it a lot easier to spot the tarpon schools running the beaches. <o:p> </o:p> This has been an excellent year on the bay for gray snapper. The average size is about 14” and a few have been up to 16 and 18 inches. They like to hang out around docks, rocks and bridge fenders. I have found the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">New</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Pass</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Bridge</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> very productive for the larger snappers. They move around in schools close to the bottom and love live shrimp drifted past them. If you hook one, you should get more in the same spot however, they will move around. I like to let my bait drift past the spot with only a quarter ounce split shot attached just above the hook. I fish my line loose so that it will drop. Then I watch the line closely for any subtle pickup. You could get a snag but my motto is, “Treat all snags like fish and you lose nothing. Treat a fish like snag and you could loose a good fish.” <o:p> </o:p> We are also getting Spanish mackerel, large jacks and occasional tarpon around the bridge. Snook and redfish can be found around some of the docks this time of year. Snook are also being caught in the surf and are best at first and last light. <o:p> </o:p> Most of the grass-flats around the bay are producing some nice seatrout and it is not hard to get a mixed bag of fish. We have also caught pompano, flounder, mackerel, bluefish and many more different kinds of fish on the grass-flats. I like to use the 3” DOA shrimp with a popping float or on a free line. Work this lure slow if at all. Sometime just a few pops of the line is all it takes. The fish actually eat this lure, so give them time. They very seldom drop it and run away, maybe when a bigger fish is looking at them. <o:p> </o:p> Enjoy & Protect My Website: http//
  6. May 25, 2009 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p> </o:p> <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Sarasota</st1:City> <st1:State w:st="on">Florida</st1:State></st1:place> Fishing Report By Capt. Bob Smith <o:p> </o:p> The tarpon run is on and the fishermen were out in droves. Before all the rain, most of the action for tarpon had been north of us near <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Tampa</st1:place></st1:City>. Now the water is very cloudy on the bay from all the runoff. This should pass soon and we will be back to normal and our good spring fishing. <o:p> </o:p> Drifting the grass flats around the bay on Sunday, we found some nice trout but it was hard and the pinfish had no trouble finding us. The big ten pound jacks accompanied by some Spanish mackerel have taken up residence under the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">New</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Pass</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Bridge</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>. Drifting along the center pilings with weighted live bait will get you in to some great light tackle action. A ¼ oz. split shot should do the job. There was too much boat traffic Sunday for me to take advantage of that. <o:p> </o:p> This is our best time for catching a large variety of fish both offshore and inshore. Little tunny and Spanish mackerel have been caught just off the beach. It is also the time you could hook-up with a Sailfish in fifty feet of water off shore or find a school of small dolphin in the same area. I won’t go down the long list of possible fish you could catch, but it is a good time to go fishing and a mixed bag of good fish is not uncommon during April, May, and June. <o:p> </o:p> Enjoy & Protect My Website: http//
  7. January 6, 2009 <o:p></o:p> <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Sarasota</st1:city> <st1:state w:st="on">Florida</st1:state></st1:place> Fishing Report By Capt. Bob Smith <o:p></o:p> Kingfish are being caught offshore! That is not normal in January but they are scattered around and can be found. Most of the action offshore has been Grey snapper on jigs tipped with shrimp. Natural bottom in 40’ to 60’ has been best. There are too many predator fish on the artificial reefs. Goliath grouper love to wait until you hook the snapper so that they don’t have to run after them. Keeper gags and red grouper are also being caught on live pinfish. <o:p></o:p> It has been spotty on the bay with spotted sea trout on the grass-flats. Pompano, snapper, bluefish, black seabass, sheepshead, ladyfish, and lots of short grouper are scattered all around the bay and passes. We have found some slack times but most of the time we can keep the rods bent. This is also the time that keeper size grouper start coming into the bay, so hold your rod tight. <o:p></o:p> Fresh caught live pinfish and grunts make excellent bait on the bay for the larger fish like grouper. On the bay, I like to free-line my pinfish. Pinfish normally dive to the bottom, but if you see him dancing on top, you know you’re on a good spot. <o:p></o:p> Enjoy & Protect