Good Snook and Flats Action in Sarasota Bay & Gasparilla Sound
<p>I was away on a family vacation during the week of 9/12 so I don't have a Sarasota fishing report for that week. However, I had a chance to fly fish the "low country" in the Charleston, SC area for reds a couple of days. My brother, Kirk Grassett from Middletown, DE and I fished with a couple of guide friends of mine, Capt. Mark Phelps (shorethangcharters.com) and Capt. John Irwin (flyrightcharters.com) and caught and released several reds on flies.
It was great to fish a new area and experience their style of fishing reds in shallow water. With tides of 6' or more, timing is everything and these guys know their area well. We had a very small window each day when a high tide flooded spartina grass flats and reds tailed and crawled through the grass eating crabs. This is the opposite of tailing reds in southwest Florida where they tail on negative low tides. When the tide dropped, schools of reds cruised shorelines eating shrimp being sucked out of the marsh by the falling tide. The Charleston area is rich in history with great food and fishing!
Back in Sarasota 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 and Spanish mackerel in Sarasota Bay on flies and snook, trout and flounder in Gasparilla Sound on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms during the past week.
Steve Kost, from Lakewood Ranch, FL, fished a pre-dawn snook/flats trip with me in Sarasota Bay on Tuesday, 9/22. He caught and released 5 or 6 snook and a red on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly before daylight, then we moved to the flats where he finished his slam with a few trout on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly.
Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, and Stephen Liska, from Naples, FL, fished the backcountry of Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Thursday, 9/24. They caught and released a few trout, snook and a flounder on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms. Many of the fish that we caught had a golden hue due to the dark, tannic water in that area.
Lynn Skipper, from Apollo Beach, FL, fished a pre-dawn snook/flats trip with me on Saturday morning, 9/26. He caught and released snook, trout and Spanish mackerel on my Grassett Snook Minnow and Clouser flies.
Fall is here and action will heat up as days get shorter and water cools down. False albacore should be a good option in the coastal gulf especially after another front cools the water and schools baitfish up. Snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges close to passes with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option. Tarpon are moving to inside waters of Sarasota Bay, where you may find them around lighted docks and bridges, in passes or in canals and creeks. You may find trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and jacks on deep grass flats, particularly close to passes. Look for reds, snook and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars.
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
Steve Kost, from Lakewood Ranch, FL, with a snook caught and released on a Grassett Snook Minnow fly while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, with a fat trout caught and released on a CAL jig with a jerk worm while fishing Gasparilla Sound 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 CBís 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 18í 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.