Sarasota , Florida

March 2, 2001 -- Kirk DeHaven of Virginia started off the week by catching and releasing a 60 pound cobia on 12 pound test line. We were anchored over a pile of rocks north of New Pass in 18 feet of water. Free-lining live shrimp on spinning tackle and throwing a big green fly via fly-rod produced very little for about 3 hours. Then Kirk had a hard strike on a live shrimp and his spinning rod was bent double with the line screaming off. As the spool emptied past the halfway mark with no sign of slowing down, I knew I had to pull the anchor up. Even if the fish stopped now, there were just too many crab trap pots between us and the fish. Cobias do like to run wide. With Kirk on the bow and me at the helm, it took Kirk about 20 minutes to bring the fish to the boat and release him.
The week was filled with large variety of fish and plenty of action. The larger mangrove snapper have moved in to the 40 foot M reefs but it takes live shrimp to catch them. Large schools of 8-10 pound jacks have move into the bay. Spanish mackerel and cobia are scattered around the bay and (I) reefs. Pompano are in the passes and snook around the docks at night. Sheepshead is plentiful on most structures. Long offshore trips are finding plenty of amberjack in 100' plus structures. Keeper size grouper are mixed in with every thing else but hard to target. Tripletail are being found around some of the crab trap markers.

Unless they started today, the only fish we have not seen is the kingfish. The kings can start at any time now but I think we need to tell them that.

Enjoy and Protect
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