While taking locals is an honor and flattering that they chose Salt Crust Charters for their special day, it can add a little pressure to making sure you, as a guide, perform well. When you live in paradise year-round, the Pelicans, Egrets, Blue Herons, and vast coastal wildlife is less impressive. Even Dolphins can be underwhelming especially when you hear a story of an uncomfortable encounter with them… @ The Wilsons. None the less, I had the privilege of taking my cousin Jake out on his 18th and two days later Brandon Wilson for his 15th birthday.
For Jakes day he brought his dad Anthony who was a huge help when those young men started bending rods, thanks Anthony! Jake also brought three of his friends Luke, Andrew, and Kaleb. The wind was blowing 10-15 mph out of the SSW with gusts up to 20 mph. Since Sarasota Bay runs North and South the whole bay was white capping. We targeted the East and West passes and the little nooks and crannies that kept us out of the wind. At the first stop in the pass, the fellas got a keeper Pompano, two keeper Whiting and a veritable plethora of undersize species. When that bite slowed down we refocused our attention to the docks and rocks. Once we found them there were double and triple hookups with a mess of Sheepshead and a Flounder in the mix. To top it off the guest of honor caught the largest Sheepshead of the day and they all went home with dinner for 6!
For Brandon’s special day, he brought his mom Carmen and his dad Alan. Since Alan is an experienced first mate he couldn’t help himself and was a cleaning machine, even when Carmen caught her huge toadfish with a bleeding tail! Thanks Alan! The wind conditions were the same as Jakes day. We started out in the passes and caught several Sheepshead and another Flounder. We shifted out attention to docks and a marina where the birthday boy hooked a nice Snook on a freelined Pinfish. While he was fighting it, a group of folks eating lunch gathered to watch the spectacle! While Brandon’s day didn’t produce as many keepers as Jakes day, we did catch 11 different species including Snook, Redfish, Flounder, the biggest Pinfish I’ve ever seen in my life, Snapper, Gag grouper, Lady fish, Toadfish, Sheepshead, Puffer, and a Catfish!
While locals aren’t as impressed with the wild life, they all can throw down when it comes to fishing! With little to no instruction from yours truly, in the end, they made my job easier. Thank you all for letting Salt Crust Charters be a part of your special day. Even though y’all were already salty, you have added layers to your already established Salt Crust!