Good Action on Sarasota and Tampa Bay Flats

2015-04-26 12:22:36
Sarasota, Florida - Saltwater Fishing Report
Sarasota Bay & Lower Tampa Bay
Rick Grassett

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 Spanish mackerel in Sarasota Bay during the past couple of weeks.

Not much to report this time since I was away for a week and off the water a few more days while having some work done to my boat. I took my 1720 Action Craft to the factory in Cape Coral for some upgrades, repairs and detailing. After that a new 90-HP Evinrude E-TEC was rigged on the boat while the Ameratrail trailer was being rebuilt. Ready to go tarpon fish!

Fly anglers fished deep grass flats on both sides of Sarasota Bay with me a couple of days and caught and released trout and Spanish mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies fished on sink tip fly lines. Mark Nichols, owner of DOA Fishing Lures, his wife Jenny and I fished the 20th annual Sarasota CCA "All Release Challenge" fishing tournament with Capt. Andy Cotton on Saturday, 4/25. Fly and spin fishing anglers fished with identical boxes of flies or lures donated by fishing tackle manufacturers, tackle shops and local fly tiers for reds, trout and snook in a catch, photo and release format. We fished the Terra Ceia area and caught and released trout, snook and flounder (not an eligible species) on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Shrimp. Eligible fish were immediately released with minimal handling after photographing. Thanks to Mark Nichols, owner of DOA Fishing Lures, and numerous other manufacturers and fly tiers for donating lures and flies to the event and to Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers as a sponsor of the fly fishing division.

I think it's a shame that I'm seeing numerous inshore "kill" fishing tournaments lately. I see no reason to kill a fish, especially large breeders, just to see who caught the biggest when a catch, photo and release format can be used to verify catches. Our fishery (and tourism) is as good as it is because of many battles that were fought in the 80's and 90's by CCA members (FCA at the time) to protect reds, snook, trout and more and to eliminate gill nets from our waters. In my opinion, fishing tournaments for inshore species that kill fish are a thing of the past, hopefully we don't go back in that direction.

Look for tarpon in the coastal gulf and reds, snook, flounder and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars in Sarasota Bay. You may find trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, flounder or pompano on deep grass flats, particularly close to passes.

Tight Lines,

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. and


(941) 923-7799

Fish Species: Trout, snook, flounder, Spanish mackerel
Bait Used: Flies and DOA Lures
Tackle Used: fly & spin
Method Used: fly fishing & spin casting lures
Water Depth: 2'-8'
Water Temperature: 83
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:
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 CBs 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, 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,

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Rick Grassett