Good Action on Sarasota Bay Grass Flats and ICW near Venice at Night
<p>Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had great action catching and releasing trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and cobia on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay and snook at night in the ICW near Venice on flies, CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos during the past couple of weeks. With water temperatures bumping up into the mid 70's, action turned on with a variety of species in Sarasota Bay.
Anna Maria Island and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, fished the ICW near Venice with me on Monday evening, 3/14. They had good action catching and releasing snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow flies. Alan Sugar, from MI, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday afternoon, 3/15. He had some action catching and releasing trout and Spanish mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies fishing deep grass flats on the west side of the bay.
Mathew Gray, his dad Bob Gray and uncle, John Gray, all from Ontario, Canada, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday. 3/16. We fished deep grass flats on the east side of the bay and they had great action catching trout, Spanish mackerel and a cobia on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos. Tony Merlis, from NH and his daughter Jen, from MN, fly fished the same areas with me on Thursday, 3/17 and caught and released trout, Spanish mackerel and bluefish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.
I participated in the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers (MCFF) fly casting clinic as an instructor at the Meadows Community Association property in Sarasota on Saturday, 3/19. Sponsors CB's Saltwater Outfitters, Economy Tackle, West Wall Shallow Water Outfitters and The Compound displayed their lines of fly tackle for participants to cast. This a great benefit for MCFF members and the event was well attended with 40 to 50 members participating.
My brother, Joey Grassett and Chris Johnson, both from Seaford, DE, fished several days in Sarasota Bay with me during the week of 3/21. We fished deep grass flats and they had good action catching trout and bluefish on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos.
There will be two more CB's Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Schools, next Saturday, April 2nd and Saturday, April 16. There are still some spots available in the schools, which will be the last ones until the fall. The course will cover fly casting basics, line control, shooting line, the roll cast, leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques. Designed for beginning and intermediate fly casters, we will focus on basics but also work with intermediate casters on correcting faults and improving casting skills. Cost for the school, which will run from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM, is $150 per person and includes the use of Orvis fly tackle, a text book and lunch. Contact CB's Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make reservations.
Trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay and night snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW with flies and DOA Lures should be good options. Look for reds, snook 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. Tripletail should also be a good option in the coastal gulf when conditions are good.
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
Sarasota winter resident, Gary Marple, with a snook caught and released on a Grassett Snook Minnow fly while fishing the ICW near Venice at night with Capt. Rick Grassett.
John Gray, from Ontario, Canada, with a nice cobia caught and released in Sarasota Bay on a CAL jig with shad tail while fishing 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.