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Try a beach fishing adventure

Are you an accidental angler? Someone who might not be passionate about fishing but who has always wondered what all the hype is about? Maybe you’re an avid freshwater angler from the north unfamiliar with the salt. Whatever your situation, if you want to get a taste of some of the area’s best summer angling with no hassle, beach fishing for snook with Capt. Steve Herich of Beach Fishing Adventures is a terrific option.

Capt. Steve has been fishing almost all his life.

“I started in Canada, fishing freshwater with my uncle Hop. He taught me how to catch frogs and crawfish for bass and how to fillet fish when I was 9 years old. I also fished a lot as a kid with my grandpa in Lake Isabella in California for bluegill and the nearby Kern River for rainbow trout,” he said. “In Florida, I’ve been fishing the local beaches since 1992 and always loved it. I had a boat at one time and went out with friends on their boats, but always gravitated back to shore. After leaving my 17-year insurance career here in Sarasota, I was ready to try something new. In 2011, my old friend Harry was fishing with me one day and an older lady walked up with questions about fishing since her grandsons were visiting and liked to fish. Harry spoke up and said Steve can show you how to fish and the lady booked me the next day. The rest is history and Beach Fishing Adventures was born officially in 2012. It’s been my full-time career since then and I love the opportunity to show folks that you can catch great fish and make wonderful memories, all with no boat in sight.”

Try a beach fishing adventure
Capt. Steve Herich holds a snook that fell for live bait while fishing the beach. – Rusty Chinnis | Sun

I recently had the opportunity to fish with Capt. Steve on the beach near my home on Longboat Key. When I arrived on a beautiful early spring morning, Capt. Steve was busy catching bait from a local pier. After hellos, I took over the bait catching duties. While he prepared the tackle for the day’s fishing, I baited a spinning rod with small pieces of shrimp. Action was fast and in only a few minutes we had a baitwell brimming with small pinfish and whiting. I was impressed with the captain’s homemade rolling beach cart that he had built specifically for fishing the beach. It was equipped with large tires to handle the often soft sands and equipped with rod holders and space for his bait and tackle.

We began fishing around a rock riprap structure along the beach. Capt. Steve approached the structure and quietly entered the water until he had a view of the whole perimeter where he spotted a snook to target. Reaching into the baitwell he hooked a small pinfish through the lips and made a cast to the outside of the structure. He then slowly maneuvered the bait into the path of the snook. Moments later he was hooked up to a 28-inch snook that made a hard run to the structure. Backing up while working the fish away from the structure, I watched as he expertly played the fish to the beach. We then moved farther down the beach where some trees had fallen into the water, providing the perfect habitat for snook. Unfortunately, the beach was filling up with tourists and they were in the water where the snook were congregated. We fished the area anyway and managed a couple of halfhearted strikes before deciding to move back up the beach. At another rock outcropping on the Gulf, Herich spotted a group of fish and made a cast in their direction. Almost as soon as his bait hit the water it was blasted by what turned out to be a fat sea trout.

Herich decided it was getting too crowded and suggested we move to another spot further to the south on Longboat. Unfortunately, I had an obligation and couldn’t join him, but about an hour later he texted me pictures of another fat trout and two snook he had landed. Not bad for a three-hour stint on a Saturday morning. I highly recommend Capt. Steve. He’s personable, prepared and passionate, a perfect fit for anglers wanting to try their hand at catching some of the area’s most iconic fish. The fact you won’t need tackle, any experience, or a boat is icing on the proverbial cake. Book a trip with Herich by visiting his website, www.beachfishingadventures.com. You won’t be disappointed.

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