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Tailing Redfish
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Fishing Report For Southwest Florida

Capt. Kevin Chamberlain

Updated 3/8/05

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Mac and Ross Francis, New York
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The best action on the flats has been with redfish and trout. North Sarasota Bay has been holding good numbers as well as Lower Tampa Bay. Cold Fronts pushing through the area have scattered them, but they regroup a couple of days later, as the water warms. The harder cold fronts should be behind us, but red tide has been putting a hurt on the action from Little Sarasota Bay south to Boca Grande and Gasparilla Sound. 

  Snook are starting to move up on the shallow flats of North Sarasota Bay. Trout, bluefish, flounder and pompano are hitting on the deeper grass flats near the passes. For fly anglers, Clouser Deep Minnows always take their share, but Gurgler surface flies are working, too. For spin anglers, soft plastics and topwater baits will always produce.  

Dan Salmon, Massachusetts
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Brian Pas, Sarasota
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   Top-water baits like the Top Dog Jr. and Gurgler surface flies, along with bendbacks and weedless gold spoons work well for the reds and trout. Snook will move onto the darker bottom in shallow water to warm up and will hit top-water baits and flies, once the temps rise. Best catches have been redfish to 6 pounds, trout to 3 1/2 and snook to 3 pounds.

   In that skinny water, weedless or top-water has been the way to go without picking up too much grass. On the deeper grass, sink tip or intermediate lines with Clouser Minnows for fly anglers and soft plastic baits on 1/8 or 1/4 oz. lead head jigs for spin anglers have been the best bets.

Ed Schlaugies, New York
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   When a tough North wind kicks up after a cold front slides through, accessing the flats can be nearly impossible. Ducking into canals or fishing docks protected from the wind can provide good action for sheepshead, trout, redfish and other species. A jig tipped with a piece of shrimp, or a live shrimp fished on the bottom will almost always get results. 

   As usual this time of year, jacks have taken up residence in area canals and they've been reliable. Most catches have been around 2 pounds, but 4 to 6 pounders are mixed in and will bust most baits. Clouser Minnows, plastic jigs and top-water flies and lures all work well. 

Thanks,
Capt. Kevin Chamberlain

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