Good Action on Sarasota Bay Flats & 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 snook at night in the ICW near Venice on flies, trout and ladyfish in Sarasota Bay and Gasparilla Sound and trout and redfish in Terra Ceia Bay on flies and CAL jigs with shad tails during the past couple of weeks. The best action was with snook at night and big trout in skinny water on flies.
Sarasota winter resident Tom Lamb and Roy Glah, also from Sarasota, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday, 2/16 and had good action catching and releasing trout to 18", including several slot-size fish, on CAL jigs with shad tails. Annmarie Alberino, from RI, fly fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday, 2/17 and caught and released a few trout on a variety of flies.
Keith McClintock and Hal D'Orazio, both from IL, fished Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Thursday, 2/18. We worked edges of bars and backcountry areas where they had some action with trout to 18" and a snook on CAL jigs with shad tails. Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday, 2/19. We waded a couple of bars and had good action catching and releasing 23" to 24" trout on my Grassett Flats Minnow and Flats Bunny flies.
Capt. Ed Hurst and I were instructors for a CB's Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Saturday, 2/20. The course covered fly casting, leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques. Designed for beginning and intermediate fly anglers, we focused on basics but also worked with intermediate casters on correcting faults and improving casting skills. The next class is scheduled for Mar 12th. Contact CB's Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or email@example.com to make reservations.
Jerry Poslusny, from Palmetto, FL, fished the ICW near Venice with me on Monday night, 2/22. He caught and released more than 20 snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. We were in a good weather window between fronts and with a good tide, snook responded well by gorging themselves on glass minnows and they ate our flies just as well.
Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL and Jack McCullough, fished the Terra Ceia Bay area with me on Tuesday, 2/23. We worked edges of bars and backcountry areas where they had some action with trout and a red on CAL jigs with shad tails. The next 2 days were blown out as a front passed and the wind blew 20 to 30-mph on Wednesday and Thursday, 2/24 & 25.
Frank Zaffino, from Rochester, NY, and his son, Frank, from Pittsburgh, PA, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday, 2/26. With the wind still at 15 to 20-mph out of the north, we headed south into Roberts Bay where they had steady action catching and releasing ladyfish and trout on Ultra Hair Clousers and my Flats Bunny flies.
Ryan Pflugner, from Sarasota, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday, 2/27. I found some big trout in skinny water and he had good action sight fishing them. He caught and released a couple of over slot trout and had some shots at others on my Grassett Flats Bunny fly. With bright sun and crystal clear water, it was fun to watch the trout eat a nicely presented fly!
I will be at the News Channel 8 Outdoors Expo & Boat Show (http://wfla.com/outdoors-expo-boat-show/), at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, next Sunday, March 6. Formerly the Frank Sargeant Outdoors Show, the show is now hosted by Capt. Mike Anderson of the "Reel Animals" TV show and is the largest outdoors show in Florida. I'll be giving a presentation on the main stage at 11:30 AM on "Fly Fishing the West Coast of Florida". I'll also be at the DOA Fishing Lures booth giving my friends Mark Nichols and Capt. Ed Zyak a hand, so stop by to say hello and check out the latest from DOA.
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 night snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW with flies and DOA Lures should be a good option. Trout, bluefish and more should also be a good option on deep grass flats of Sarasota 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
Capt. Rick Grassett waded a Sarasota Bay flat and caught and released this trout on a Grassett Flats Bunny fly.
Jerry Poslusny, from Palmetto, FL, with a snook caught and released on a Grassett Snook Minnow fly while fishing the ICW at night near Venice, FL.
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.