Good Action on Sarasota Bay Deep Flats & ICW near Venice
<p>Anglers fishing with me, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had some action catching and releasing trout and bluefish on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay, snook and blues in the ICW at night and snook, trout and pompano on flies and CAL jigs with shad tails in Gasparilla Sound during the past couple of weeks. Fish will usually feed heavily as the barometer falls ahead of a front and that was the case when several fronts moved through and action turned on as the fronts approached.
Bill Poxon, from Sarasota, FL and his brother Walter Poxon, from MN, fished their annual trip with me on Monday, 12/5. We were scheduled to fish on Tuesday, but with a front due to move through on Tuesday morning we backed it up a day. It proved to be a good decision as they had one of their best trips ever with blues and trout on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos.
With another front approaching on Thursday night, Martin Marlowe, from NY, fished Sarasota Bay with me that morning, 12/8. He also had good action with blues and trout on CAL jigs with shad tails, DOA Deadly Combos and a fly popper/dropper rig. A smaller, lightly weighted fly is tied on 24"-30" behind a Banger style popper. Works well! Saturday's coastal gulf trip was canceled due to conditions.
Martin Marlowe also fished with me on Monday evening, 12/12. We fished dock lights in the ICW on a night trip in Blackburn Bay. He had good action catching and releasing snook and jacks on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly fished on a sink tip fly line. Anna Maria Island winter resident, Bill Morrison and Sarasota winter resident, Gary Marple, fished the same area with me on Wednesday evening, 12/14. Although conditions were about the same, the action was slower. However they managed to catch and release a few snook, several jacks and a nice bluefish on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly.
Tom Lamb, from Geneva, Switzerland and Roy and Diane Glah, from Sarasota, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday afternoon, 12/15. A front had passed through that morning and conditions were challenging. With a brisk north wind, it was tough to find a protected area to fish. However, Tom caught and released the big fish of the trip, a 4-lb bluefish, on a CAL jig with a shad tail.
Jon Yenari and Kyle Ruffing, from Sarasota, fished the backcountry of Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Friday, 12/16. They had some action catching releasing a snook and a few trout on flies and CAL jigs with shad tails. Jon caught a 4-lb pompano on a CAL jig with a shad tail to end the day as we hit a deep grass flat for trout on the way in!
Trout, blues and more on deep grass flats and snook, reds and larger trout in skinny water should be good options. Catch and release night snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option. With water temperature still close to 70 degrees, there still may be some action in the coastal gulf with false albacore (little tunny). Tripletail should also be a good option depending on conditions.
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
Martin Marlowe, from NY, with a snook caught and released on a Grassett Snook Minnow fly while fishing the ICW near Venice at night with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Tom Lamb, from Geneva, Switzerland, with a 4-lb bluefish caught and released on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Sarasota Bay 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.