By: Joe Sheaffer
It has been several weeks since Ian wreaked havoc in SWFL. I really haven’t had many opportunities to fish with all that has been going on down here during the recovery. One Saturday, I had a window during the morning that I could go fishing for a few hours. I headed to Manasota Key to fish along the beach. The island is in rough shape but some of the beaches are open to the public. I love fishing the trough along the surf as I walk the beaches. I didn’t have any expectations on this day, I just needed a beach fix. Spending a morning fishing the beaches doesn’t require a bunch of equipment. Usually, I have a spinning outfit and a small backpack with tackle, lures, water and sunblock. My window was fairly limited, no need to haul a ton of equipment for this type of fishing. I typically start with a jig and paddletail and will adjust depending on the conditions. I like to have a selection of jigs ⅛ oz to ½ oz which usually will help me to adjust depending on the tides and surf conditions. Fishing along the beach is really not much different than other types of fishing. I’m looking for points, blowouts, bait pods, structures that can hold fish along the surf. Whether I catch fish or not, spending a beautiful morning along our beaches is a blessing, one of the many reasons I moved down here after I retired. Luckily this fishing day was successful, I caught snook, flounder, pompano, ladyfish and a few jacks. There were big schools of bait and the fish were hanging around the bait pods. It didn’t take long to figure out how to get a bite. Definitely the beach fix I needed. Hopefully many of you will find a morning or day to get your fix, good luck and keep casting.