Good Action on Sarasota Bay & Gasparilla Sound Flats
<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 snook, redfish, trout, pompano and blues in Sarasota Bay and trout, blues and redfish in Gasparilla Sound on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos and snook in the ICW near Venice at night on flies during the past couple of weeks.
Keith McClintock and Victor Feldman, both from IL, had good action in Gasparilla Sound with me on Wednesday, 1/6. They caught numerous trout to 18", bluefish to 4-lbs and several reds on CAL jigs with shad tails. Chuck Hempfling, also from IL, joined Keith for a trip in Sarasota Bay on Friday. 1/8. They had great action in skinny water catching numerous reds and snook to 26" and trout to 23" on CAL jigs with shad tails. They also had some action catching and releasing trout and blues on deep grass flats also on CAL jigs with shad tails.
Martin Marlowe, from NY, fished dock lights in the ICW near Venice with me on Thursday night. 1/7. We had a good tide and he had steady action catching and releasing snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly.
Mike Manning, from Sarasota, FL and his son Adam, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday, 1/9. They had great action fishing deep grass on the east side of the bay with trout, bluefish and a pompano on CAL jigs with shad tails. We moved to skinny water and they kept it going with a couple of big trout, snook and a red also on CAL jigs with shad tails. Adam scored his first slam!
Dean Fields, from IN, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, 1/11. We fished deep grass flats on the east side of the bay where he had some action with trout and bluefish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies. We worked some baitfish being dive bombed by pelicans and were surprised to catch a legal-sized, 22" gag grouper on a fly out of the fray!
Longboat Key winter resident Nick Reding and I waded and fly fished in Sarasota Bay on Tuesday. 1/12. As much as I dislike cooler weather, it has finally pushed some larger trout into skinny water. We did well, catching and releasing 6 or 7 trout to 25" on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly.
Anna Maria Island and Sarasota winter residents Bill Morrison and Gary Marple had a good day on Wednesday, 1/13. We worked deep grass flats on the east side of Sarasota Bay where they had good action catching trout, jacks and about a dozen blues on Ultra Hair Clouser flies fished on sink tip fly lines. Good action!
Despite an approaching front and a strong tide, Thursday's trip was slow and Friday was rained and blown out. Capt. Ed Hurst and I were instructors for a CB's Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Saturday. 1/16. The course included fly casting, leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques. Designed for beginning and intermediate fly casters, we focused on basics but also worked with intermediate casters on correcting faults and improving casting skills. The next class is scheduled for Feb 20th. Contact CB's Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make reservations.
Look for reds, snook and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars in Sarasota Bay and backcountry areas of Charlotte Harbor and lower Tampa Bay. Trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and more should be a good option on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Catch and release snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option.
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
Chuck Hempfling, from IL, with a nice red caught on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Gasparilla Sound with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Capt. Rick Grassett with a big Sarasota Bay trout caught and released on a Grassett Flats Minnow fly while wading a sandbar.
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.