March 24th

By Red Bailey:

Fishing Friends:

Fantastic first trip with Captain Shawn!!! Met him at the Kingfisher Ramp just over the Manatee Ave drawbridge to Anna Maria Island. He had been out for an hour or two netting live bait. The cold front had hampered his efforts somewhat and we had a cold wind from the northeast to contend with. He would have been happier with double the whitebait in the live well. He gave us the option of CANCELLING the trip if we wanted to. Pete Paris, Joe Dovener, Chris Coffin and yours truly decided to give it a shot. Glad we did.

Capt. Shawn"s boat is new this year, a center console, 4 stroke 225 with a tower, $70k dream machine. His rods were all 8 foot custom Tsunamis, with Shimano reels spooled with 8 pound Berkley Big Game line. He doubles the line with a Spider Hitch and adds a Polycarb leader and a small 1/0 short shank hook. Quality rig and tackle

We headed south on Sarasota Bay and Shawn checked an area on the west side just south of Longboat Pass. He spent 15 minutes looking and decided the fish were not there. Cranked up the 225 and ran to the east side of the Bay near the Sarasota Airport. Liked what he saw and eased the anchor down. Chummed the area with some stunned live whitebait got us all baited with a live one and the catching began.
We ended up with a boat limit of keeper Redfish, some Red's over the slot maximum and some short Snook. He pulled anchor and moved with a push pole 3 or 4 times and we caught fish on each drop. Moved once with the big motor to a "Snook Hole" and caught a bunch of just short, and one keeper snook. We caught fish every where he stopped except one. Pays to fish with a guide that is on the water 6 days a week. Capt. Shawn does not use Artificial's, only uses live bait. Pete and I like to fool them with an artificial now and then. Love to see a snook blast a Top Water. Next time we will take one personal rod with some favorites to throw when the Bite is on.

We need to keep this guys number and make him an Anglers Club approved guide Guys going out next month have a real treat in store.


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