Sarasota to Bonita Beach
Includes Siesta Key, Venice, Englewood, Boca Grande, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Pine Island, Cape Coral, Captiva, Sanibel and Fort Myers
We’ve had some beautiful weather through November and early December, but that’s about to change. I’m afraid the forecast for this weekend is not so rosy.
If Friday is an off from work day you might want to hit the water very early. I’d be cautious about venturing out too far because winds are supposed to ramp up in the afternoon. Be sure to check the weather before casting off. A huge cold front is headed out way and the lowering barometric pressure will surely cause the fish to feed.
I’d look for red grouper in the 30-foot range on hard bottom. In the mix there should also be a good number of snapper. Both like cut baits fished close to the bottom as weather approaches. Go with circle hooks with just enough weight to get the offering to the bottom.
Trolling for gag grouper would also be in the cards. As I’ve mentioned before in previous forecast, a deep diving lure trolled in about 25-feet of water near manmade structure is a good way to get a grouper dinner. The color purple is a favorite in our area along with dark greens and blues.
Sorry to say this, but the chances of getting offshore on Saturday and Sunday doesn’t look too promising.
Good tides are are hanging in there even though the moon is waning. That combined with the dropping pressure ought to make for fantastic fishing in the backcountry.
Seatrout are biting very well on open flats in about 2 to 3-feet of water. There are lots of ladyfish and jacks hanging out with them. Popping cork rigs will find them, but switching to a jig and soft plastic lure will catch the bigger ones.
Redfish, sheepshead and black drum were mixed together this past week in most locations and that should hold true this weekend. We are going to have low tides about midday during my forecast period. That should bunch them up in deep cuts near oyster bars and along the deep edges of mangrove islands and shorelines. All love live shrimp so make sure to have plenty on board.
Colder weather is at our doorstep which means the water temperatures are going to drop like a rock early next week. Although the weekend may feel a lot cooler to us, the fish pattern probably won’t change all that much through Sunday. However, by next weekend I’d be thinking pompano, sheepshead and seatrout. Those species love cooler water.
Have a safe weekend and please take a kid fishing!
Capt. Rob Modys