Good Action in Sarasota Coastal Gulf of Mexico & Gasparilla Sound

2015-11-23 09:26:07
Sarasota, Florida - Saltwater Fishing Report
Coastal Gulf of Mexico and Gasparilla Sound
Rick Grassett

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 false albacore, tripletail and Spanish mackerel in the coastal gulf on flies, CAL jigs with shad tails and top water plugs, flounder, black sea bass and jack crevalle on CAL jigs with shad tails in Sarasota Bay and snook, reds and bluefish on flies, CAL jigs with a variety of plastic tails and floating/diving plugs in Charlotte Harbor during the past couple of weeks.

I was the guest speaker with "Reel Animals" TV show and radio host, Capt. Mike Anderson, for a "fishing conversation" at Gator Ford in Tampa on Tuesday evening, 11/10. It was great to speak to an enthusiastic crowd about fly and lure fishing. The guests asked lots of great questions which made the 2-hours go by quickly.

Mike Santangelo, from Naples, FL, fished the coastal gulf with me on Wednesday, 11/11. Conditions were good with good sunlight and a gentle swell and fish cooperated. Mike is an IFFF certified fly casting instructor and a great caster. Since false albacore and mackerel were up and down fast, it is important to deliver a quick cast with minimal false casting and Mike did well, catching and releasing several false albacore and Spanish mackerel on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly and tripletail on a shrimp fly pattern.

Tom Lamb, from Geneva, Switzerland and Sarasota and Roy Glah, also from Sarasota, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday. 11/12. Since I was away the previous week, bonefishing in the Bahamas, I was surprised that red tide was present in the bay. However, due to its nature it is patchy and usually doesn't affect an entire area. The cleanest water we found was at the Middleground Flat, just inside of New Pass, where they caught flounder, black sea bass and jack crevalle on CAL jigs with shad tails.

Anna Maria Island winter resident, Bill Morrison and Sarasota winter resident, Gary Marple, returned for the winter/spring season and fished the coastal gulf in Sarasota with me on Friday, 11/13. It was rougher than anticipated, making it tough to get on the fast moving Spanish mackerel. However, they had a few with mackerel and tripletail and Bill caught and released his first tripletail on a fly!

Bill Todd, from MA, fished the coastal gulf in Sarasota with me on Monday and Wednesday, 11/16 & 18 and caught and released false albacore, Spanish mackerel and tripletail on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly, a shrimp fly pattern and top water plugs. Aledia Tush, owner of CB's Saltwater Outfitters and CB's fly shop manager, Tim Palmer, fished the same areas with me on Tuesday, 11/17. They had good action with Spanish mackerel and tripletail on flies, CAL jigs with shad tails and top water plugs. Weed guards are important on lures and flies when targeting tripletail to avoid snagging crab trap lines. Aledia caught and released her first tripletail on a weedless-rigged CAL shad tail and Tim scored his first one on a shrimp fly pattern!

Jon Yenari and Kyle Ruffing, both from Sarasota, fished Gasparilla Sound and Charlotte Harbor with me on Friday. 11/20. We fished mangrove shorelines in backcountry areas when the tide was high and waded shallow sand bars at the bottom of the tide. They had good action catching and releasing 7 or 8 snook, several reds and bluefish on my Grassett Flats Minnow and EP flies, floating/diving plugs and CAL jigs with a variety of plastic tails.

Capt. Ed Hurst and I were the instructors for a CB's Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Saturday, 11/21. The course, designed for beginning and intermediate fly casters, focused on basics but also worked with intermediate casters on correcting faults and improving casting skills. The next class is scheduled for Jan 16, 2016. Contact CB's Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or to make reservations.

Action with tripletail, false albacore and Spanish mackerel should be a good option now in the coastal gulf when conditions allow it. Snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option. Look for reds, snook and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars in backcountry areas of Charlotte Harbor and lower Tampa Bay.

Tight Lines,

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., and


(941) 923-7799

Fish Species: false albacore, Spanish mackerel, tripletail, snook, redfish & flounder
Bait Used: Flies and DOA Lures
Tackle Used: fly & spin
Method Used: fly fishing & spin casting lures
Water Depth: 4'-30'
Water Temperature: 76
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:
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 CBs 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, 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,

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Rick Grassett