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 trout, bluefish and ladyfish on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay and trout in Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande on CAL jigs with shad tails and flies during the past week.
Keith McClintock, from IL and Jack Walker, from WI, fished Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Monday, 2/1. We found the water, which is normally very clear there this time of year, to be very darkly stained due to all the rain we've had lately. They had some action with trout to 18", including several slot-size fish, on CAL jigs with shad tails.
Alan Sugar, from MI, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday, 2/2 and Jeff Syring, from MN, fished the same areas with me on Wednesday, 2/3. We fished deep grass flats and they had some action catching and releasing ladyfish and a few blues and trout on CAL jigs with shad tails and Ultra Hair Clouser flies. Flats close to passes were most productive due to slightly warmer, more stable water temperatures.
Our winter weather pattern continued during the week of 2/8 with wind and rain early in the week, followed by a blast of cold air and a window of good fishing; with sunshine, light winds and bluebird skies, at the end of the week.
Fly and spin fishing anglers fishing deep grass flats on both sides of Sarasota Bay on several trips with me caught and released blues, trout and ladyfish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails. High winds early in the week churned the coastal gulf into muddy water and incoming tides brought the silted water into Sarasota Bay, covering flats close to passes. Unlike previous weeks when these flats were the most productive due to slightly warmer, more stable water temperatures, the best action was in clearer water farther away from passes.
Trout, bluefish and more should be a good option on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. 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. Catch and release snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option as long as water temperatures don't dip too low. Even though snook may still bite, they may become stressed when water temperatures drop into the 50's and may not catch and release well.
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
Joe Brinkmeyer, from Siesta Key, FL, with a bluefish caught and released on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing a Sarasota Bay deep grass flat 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.