Sarasota Bay was hit hard by red tide last fall. We've had red tides in the past and it just takes a while for things to rebound. I hadn't fished my favorite area (Buttonwood Harbor) since Nov. 6. A friend of mine ventured out there a week ago and reported he caught some trout and snook. That was all it took for me to know it was time to head back out there. If he can catch fish, then things are back to normal!

Got out an hour before daylight and paddled to a canal where there are seven underwater lights around various docks. Saw good numbers of snook and jack crevalle. Caught three snook and several jacks. After daylight, I caught an oversized redfish while blindcasting around pilings.

In two trips since, my clients have caught snook, flounder, redfish, jack crevalle, mangrove snapper and several good-sized black drum. All of them were using spinning tackle.

I won't say the spot has fully recovered, but it's well on its way!