Good Action in Sarasota Coastal Gulf & ICW Near Venice, FL
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, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, pompano and ladyfish in Sarasota Bay, trout and redfish in Gasparilla Sound, tripletail in the coastal gulf and snook at night in the ICW near Venice on CAL jigs with shad tails and flies during the past couple of weeks. With water temperatures from the mid 60's to 70 degrees, there was good action on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with trout, bluefish and more, tripletail in the coastal gulf and snook at night in the ICW.
Martin Marlowe, from NY, fished a couple of days in Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, 2/29 and Saturday, 3/5. He was joined by his son, Bruce Marlowe from RI, on Saturday. They had good action with trout to 18", bluefish and ladyfish on CAL jigs with shad tails and Ultra Hair Clouser flies fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Martin also snook fished with me in the ICW near Venice on Sunday evening. 3/6 and had great action catching and releasing snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly.
Joe Polidoro and his father-in-law, Murray Bring, both from Sarasota fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday, 3/1 and had good action catching and releasing trout, ladyfish and a pompano on Ultra Hair Clouser flies. Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, fished Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Wednesday, 3/2. We worked edges of bars and backcountry areas where he had some action with trout and a red on CAL jigs with shad tails.
Steve Kost, from Lakewood Ranch, FL and his guest, John Makovitch, from Pinehurst, NC, fished Sarasota Bay and the coastal gulf with me on Thursday, 3/3. John caught and released his first tripletail on a DOA Shrimp in the coastal gulf and his first fish on a fly in Sarasota Bay! They also had good action with trout and a Spanish mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails on both shallow and deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Shane Nichols, from MA, fished the coastal gulf with me on Friday, 3/4 and had good action catching and releasing several tripletail and getting some shots at others with DOA Shrimp.
I gave a presentation on "Fly Fishing the West Coast of Florida" at the News Channel 8 Outdoors Expo & Boat Show at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa on Sunday, 3/6 and spent some time at the DOA Fishing Lures booth. The new version of the DOA Shrimp and the new DOA Snake were featured at the show and should be a hit!
Mike Roth, from PA, fished a couple of night trips with me in the ICW near Venice on Monday and Wednesday evenings, 3/7 & 9. He had fast action catching and releasing snook to 25" and a small red on my Grassett Snook Minnow and EP flies. Mike's wife, Pam, joined us on Wednesday evening and she also had good action catching and releasing snook on a CAL jig with a glow/silver holographic shad tail.
Mike Perez and Tim Palmer, both from Sarasota, FL, fished the same area with me on Tuesday evening. 3/8 and had nonstop action catching and releasing numerous snook. In addition to glass minnows, we found snook also feeding on large baits so wider profile Clouser and EP flies also worked well. Thursday, 3/10's fly fishing trip was cancelled due to 25-mph winds.
I was the instructor for a CB's Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School on Saturday. The course covered fly casting, line control, leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques. The next school is scheduled for April 2nd. Cost for the school is $150 per person and includes the use of Orvis fly tackle, a text book and lunch. Contact CB's Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make reservations.
Tripletail should be a good option in the coastal gulf when conditions are good. Trout, bluefish and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay and night snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW with flies and DOA Lures should also be good options. Look for reds and big trout mixed with mullet schools or cruising shallow flats and edges of bars in Sarasota Bay and 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
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.