Sarasota Fishing Charters
Captain Jack Hartman

Sarasota is a light tackle angler’s paradise offering a year around fishery. From fishing for giant Tarpon in the summer to a family fishing outing for Sea Trout, the Sarasota area has fishing opportunites for  everyone. Check the best times of the year in the chart below for best Sarasota fishing  and the species that you desire.
Spring (Late Feb. to early May)
Snook, Redfish and Trout will be ganged up in the  Backcountry , and Sightfishing the Flats can lead to the “Sarasota Slam” (catching all 3 species in the same day).  Pompano will make their appearance and be very plentiful in the passes and flats, Cobia  will make their appearance in the spring.  Sightfishing off the beaches , grassflats and inshore fishing will all result in catches.  Kingfish will be present off the beaches in large quantities for their annual migration. Grouper and Tripletail will still be current in large numbers as well as Bonito, Spanish Mackeral, Ladyfish, Flounder, Sheepshead , Mangrove Snapper, Bluefish and Sea Bass.

Summer (Late May to September)
Tarpon show up off the beaches from May to late July. Beth's Released TarponThis is Sightfishing at it’s finest!  Fish ranging from 50- 175 lbs. will be schooling and can be  taken by live bait or flies. This is the time to catch absolutely huge fish on light tackle. Snook will move to the passes and the beaches. Although it is catch and release season, Snook fishing is fantastic in the summer. Walking along the beaches and sight casting to schools of Snook is a lifetime experience.  Redfish and Boatside TarponTrout will be on the Flats early and late in the day (especially after rainstorms).  Summer is the time to catch huge Redfish and Trout.  Permit and Pompano will be located on the sandbars and grassflats. Barracuda, Grouper, Spanish Mackeral, Bonito, Mangrove,Yellowtail, and Lane Snapper , Flounder, Ladyfish, Mangrove Snapper, Sheepshead and Spanish Mackeral  will all be in ample numbers.

(Dec. to Feb.)

Snook will be in their winter haunts. Rivers, mangrove creeks and deep basins will hold these fish in Sarasota, Florida. At this time of the year, Snook will be extremely active on warm days .  Redfish and Trout will move onto the Flats and Backwater areas with the tide to enjoy the warmth and feed. Winter is the time to catch large numbers of these fish.  Grouper winter in shallow water and can be caught with  in the bays and nearshore.  Tripletail  and Bluefish are winter  “visitors” that arrive in late October  and will stay until  spring. Tripletail are caught sightfishing the crab trap lines in the gulf and Bluefish will invade the grassflats in large numbers. Flounder, Spanish Mackeral, Silver Trout, Ladyfish, Sea Bass and Sheepshead are also common catches in the winter season.

Fall (Oct. to Dec)
Snook, Redfish and Trout again head for the Backcountry and Flats of Sarasota to feed for the upcoming winter. These fish are plentiful and hungry.  It’s time for a “Sarasota Slam”!  Pompano and Permit will still be around the flats, sandbars and passes in great numbers.  Kingfish and Cobia will make their migration stops around the area for a prolonged period of time.  Tripletail will begin to move to the crab traps in October and in November, Grouper will begin to move into shallow water including the bays.  Bluefish, Sheepshead, LadyFish, Jack Crevalle, and Flounder will increase as the waters cool. While Spanish Mackeral, Bonito, Mangrove,Yellowtail and Lane Snapper are hot in September but begin to leave the area in late fall.

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