Good Action in Sarasota & Hopedale, LA
<p>Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released trout and flounder on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos in Sarasota Bay, snook and jacks in the ICW near Venice at night and bluefish, Spanish mackerel and false albacore in the coastal gulf on flies during the past couple of weeks. I also went on a road trip to New Orleans to fly fish for reds with several friends.
Walter Poxon, from MN and Bill Poxon, from Sarasota, fished Sarasota Bay on their annual trip with me on Tuesday, 12/8. We fished deep grass flats on the leeward (east) side of the bay where they had steady action catching and releasing trout and a flounder on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos.
Mike Perez, Jon Yenari and I drove from Sarasota to New Orleans on Wednesday, 12/9 and met up with my brother Kirk Grassett, from DE, Nick Delle Donne and Steve Silverio, both from PA, to fly fish the Biloxi marsh out of Hopedale, LA. We fished Thursday through Saturday, 12/10-12/12 with Capts. Al Keller, Jason Rucker and Greg Moon. It was a memorable trip, with most fish between 23 and 28-lbs with at least one over 30-lbs. We sight cast to "floaters", much like laid up tarpon, and cruising reds with large profile flies. The action was fantastic, with everyone catching multiple fish each day. The action got even better as the week went on and everyone had their best day on Saturday! The guides are great and know their fishery well, due to being on the water every day. This is definitely a bucket list trip!
Bill Rhodes, from Hernando Beach, FL, fished dock lights in the ICW near Venice with me on Monday night, 12/14. He caught and released a few snook and jacks on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly and a couple of other glass minnow patterns. We fished the coastal gulf in Sarasota the next day, 12/15 and found tough conditions with a big swell and sea fog. He caught and released a tripletail on a fly and had a couple of other shots before we pulled the plug due to the poor conditions.
Anna Maria Island winter resident, Bill Morrison, fished the coastal gulf with me on Thursday, 12/17. Fish were fired up due to an approaching front and he had good action catching numerous bluefish, Spanish mackerel and a couple of false albacore on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.
False albacore, tripletail, Spanish mackerel and more should still be a good option in the coastal gulf when sea conditions are good. Catch and release snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option. Look for reds, snook and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars in backcountry areas of Charlotte Harbor and lower Tampa Bay.
Capt. Rick Grassett
IFFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide at CB's Saltwater Outfitters
Orvis Outfitter of the Year-2011
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
www.snookfin-addict.com, www.snookfinaddict.com and www.flyfishingflorida.us
Capt. Rick Grassett with a big Louisiana redfish caught and released on a fly while fishing with Capt. Al Keller out of Hopedale, LA.
Anna Maria Island winter resident, Bill Morrison, with a false albacore caught and released on a fly while fishing the coastal gulf in Sarasota with Capt. Rick Grassett.
About The Author: Captain Rick Grassett
Company: Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
Area Reporting: Soutwest Florida
Bio: Capt. Rick Grassett, owner of Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc., is a full time fishing guide and outdoor writer based in Sarasota, FL. He has been guiding since 1990 and is an Orvis Endorsed Outfitter fly fishing guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters in Sarasota. Specializing in fishing with flies and lures on light spinning tackle, Capt. Rick fishes the bays, back country and coastal gulf waters from Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor in his 18’ Action Craft flats boat. He is a Federation of Fly Fishers certified fly casting instructor. Destination fishing trips are another specialty of Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service. Capt. Rick has lead groups of fly anglers to remote fishing locations around the world. Crane Meadow Lodge, MT, Los Roques, Venezuela, Andros Island Bonefish Club and Bonefish Bay Club in the Bahamas are several destinations where he has hosted groups in the past. Capt. Rick is a field editor for Saltwater Angler magazine and a monthly columnist for the Tampa Tribune. He has written articles for The Fisherman magazine and Orvis News. In addition to writing for these publications, he has been featured in articles in Florida Sportsman, Sportfishing, The Fisherman and Fly Fishing in Saltwater magazines. Capt. rick's web site, www.snookfin-addict.com features weekly fishing reports, current photos and and monthly fishing forecasts. He also maintains a second website that is specific to fly fishing and fly casting instruction, www.flyfishingflorida.net.