Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Offshore Fishing in the Gulf off Manasota Key

A grownup Red Grouper from the Gulf of Mexico
Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands like Manasota Key can be found on the Southwest coast of Florida. Summer is considered the off season in SW Florida and great values and fun times can be found in this area between Tampa Bay and Fort Myers. Miles of mangroves and pristine waterways convey their commitment to conservation, and the saltwater fishing for grouper in the Gulf can be sizzling hot.
We used Sabiki rigs to catch live bait

Electing for a day of offshore fishing with Kingfisher Fleet, we left out of Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda for a two-hour cruise into the Gulf. Captain Rick Paolillo positioned our 35-foot vessel over live bottom, anchoring up so that our group of anglers could drop down a variety of baits looking for snapper and grouper. My rod received a mighty tug and was doubled over as angler and grouper entered in test of wills.

A long day on the water was followed up with a fresh fish supper at one of the many restaurants found on Manasota Key. The Lock and Key establishment welcomes anglers to bring their fresh catch with them so that the chef can prepare it either grilled, pan-seared, fried or blackened. The fellowship after a day spent on the water makes any angler thankful for the experience after encountering the productive bottom fishing found off of Southwest Florida.

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past entries about SW Florida click on Field Notes - Sustainable SeafoodGulf Islands - 2009 Fishing - TIDE magazine
This is a keeper-size Lane Snapper

A Sunday evening beachfront Drum Circle
completed our sunrise until sunset agenda this day

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