Catching Convicts (AKA Sheephead)...
Sorry its been a couple months since my last report, I commercial fish for Mullet in the months of December and January every year. Well lets start out with how well the commercial mullet fishing season was. This mullet season was better than the 2015 season, but still was slower than average. Record high temperatures in December left the fish feeling confused and left me thinking it was July or August as pools of sweat dripped from my clothes. We ended up with over 60,000 lbs of mullet for the season which wasn't bad.
Now onto fishing, the moderate water temperatures this month has been excellent for Sheephead, Black Drum, Pompano, and Permit fishing. We were catching a lot of nice Sheephead and Black Drum around Egmont Key and nearshore reefs off Anna Maria Island up in till the water temperature started surpassing the 67-68 degree mark. Pompano and Permit were mixed in the same areas and could be sight fished on clear days. Towards the end of February I started moving Inshore when the water temperature rose to 68 degrees, which seems to be the magic number for the Snook, Redfish and, Trout. The Snook bite has been very good (Picture) as long as the tide is moving and the sun is up. The Redfish bite (Picture) has been a little easier on the high part of the tide cycle, on the lower water the bite seems to slowing down. The Trout have been mixed in while we are Snook and Redfish on shallow grass flats of Sarasota Bay and Lower Tampa Bay. The Trout that we have been catching have been anywhere from 18" to 25+" fish, which can be classified as "Gator Trout".
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