Action Heating Up in Sarasota Bay & Gasparilla Sound
<p>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, trout, pompano, blues and Spanish mackerel on jigs and flies during the past couple of weeks. Action improved as water temperatures rose to the mid 60's and then slowed a little towards the end of last week as we approached a full moon.
Carter Fox and his guest Gary, both from VA, fished Little Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday morning, 2/8. They caught more than a dozen trout, including several in the slot up to 18", a flounder and ladyfish on CAL jigs with shad tails near Spanish Point. Fly angler Everette Howell, from Nashville, TN, fished the same area with me that afternoon. He had good action catching and releasing large ladyfish on my Grassett Deep Flats Bunny fly.
Fly angler Tom Newman, from VA, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday morning, 2/9. He caught and released numerous trout along the east side of Sarasota Bay on the same fly fished on an intermediate sink tip fly line. Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, and Mike Plaia, from Bradenton, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me that afternoon. With the wind down a little, we fished both sides of the bay where they caught and released numerous trout, including several in the slot, and a red on CAL jigs with shad tails. Keith caught and released a 25", 5-lb trout, one of the larger trout that we've caught lately, on a CAL jig with a shad tail near Buttonwood Harbor.
One of the best trips was on Sunday evening, 2/13, when Sarasota winter resident, Mike Perez, fished with me. We fished the ICW at night near Venice and snook went on a binge! He caught and released more than 40 snook to 29", including several in the 24"-27" class on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. Fish were deep in the water column due to water that is still cool, but they fed aggressively. Martin Marlowe, from NY, fished the west side of Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday afternoon, 2/15. We spent most of our time on shallow flats. Action wasn't fast but he caught and released 6 or 8 trout on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly including an over slot trout that was about 3-pounds.
Keith McClintock and Hal D'Orazio, both from IL, fished Gasparilla Sound with me on Wednesday, 2/16. They caught and released trout to 18" on CAL jigs with shad tails. Action picked up in Sarasota Bay on Thursday, 2/17, when Bill Moore, from Libertyville, IL, fished with me. He caught numerous trout, several Spanish mackerel, blues and a 3-pound pompano on CAL jigs with a gold grub from Stephens Point to Long Bar. Bob Harness, from St. Louis, MO, fished Little Sarasota Bay and Sarasota Bay with me on Friday, 2/18. We found the action slow in Little Sarasota Bay so we headed north to near Big Pass where he caught and released trout, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish on my Grassett Deep Flats bunny fly.
I was the instructor for a CB's Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Saturday, 2/19. If you are interested in learning to fly fish or improving your skills, Capt. Ed Hurst or I will be the instructors for another CB's Saltwater Outfitter's Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Mar. 5, 2011. Located at 1249 Stickney Point Rd., on Siesta Key in Sarasota, FL the school will cover fly casting basics, line control, shooting line and the roll cast. I will also cover leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques. The course, designed for beginning and intermediate fly casters, 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 9 AM to 3 PM, is $150 per person and includes the use of premium Orvis fly tackle, a text book and lunch. Contact me or CB's Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or email@example.com to make reservations.
Action with Spanish mackerel, blues and pompano on deep grass flats and reds and snook in skinny water should continue to improve as days get longer and water continues to warm. Tides will be better early next week, although two tide days towards the end of next week are still strong.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
Keith McClintock's 5-lb Sarasota Bay CAL jig trout caught with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Mike Perez 29 inch Venice night fly snook caught 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.