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Capt. Thom Smith
Bradenton Area Report
April 1, 2001

OFFSHORE: Wind conditions again this week have limited offshore fishing with Monday though Wednesday being the most fishable days. They were still windy, but the wind had a tendendancy to lay down in the afternoon. I'll be glad when windy March blows out of here! Offshore anglers that were able to get out reported nice catches of gag grouper up to 32". Action on "schoolie size" kingfish was also reported. The area around the 7 Mile Artificial Reef has been producing a few permit, near the structure. Pompano action has picked up at the 3 Mile Artificial Reef as well as near Longboat, New and Big Pass in Sarasota. Doc's Jigs and shrimp have produced on the pompano.

INSHORE: This week, I concentrated my efforts in the Longbar area of Sarasota Bay and by staying in the canals of Longboat Key and around Tidy Island, we were able to avoid the wind, wait for the tide to fill in and still be able to catch redfish, trout and some snook, until the wind laid down. After the wind subsided, we were able to fish the deep grass flats, by using the wind and tide to drift the grass fingers for trout, mackeral and ladyfish.

A nice added attraction was cobia. We're still seeing more cobia throughout the area from So. in Sarasota Bay to Joe's Bay and Bishops Harbor to the North & East. Cobia are often just a bycatch, but it pays to be ready with a rig that can handle a big fish, especially when you're jigging for trout and all of a sudden a 30 pounder cruises right by your boat.

Redfish have perked up this week. We did get some back in the canals, but they were smaller ones up to about 21 - 22 inches or so. In Terra Ceia & Miguel Bays, some reports of oversized Reds are being caught, mostly on the lower tide that makes them drop into deeper holes and concentrates them. In cases like that, it's nice to have live bait, but not necessary . They are eager to take an artificial like a Cotee Root Beer Chubby Grub, Swirltail, DOA Shrimp or a hard lure like a MirrOLure Plug.

Snook have been OK during the day, but better at night under the lights around docks and piers. The most productive technique is live pinfish, whitebait, or artificial lures like Bucktails or plugs like MirrOLures, YoZuri or Rebels in Magnum size worked in the shadow line on a moving tide. Mackeral are still around the Skyway Piers and Reefs and the Ships Channel. These are the best places to look, but keep an eye on the wind and weather.

Whitebait is still difficult and again the Skyway Piers are the best spot. Maybe some of the river markers may be holding bait, but far and away, the Skyway is the spot.

GOOD FISHING, CAPT. THOM SMITH OF FLATS LADY CHARTERS & ANGLER'S REPAIR, Bradenton, Fl 941-795-6711 & 776-1187 e-mail


Capt. Thom Smith
Flats Lady Charters
Angler's Repair
(941) 795-6711 or
(941) 776-1187

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