Catch & Release Snook & Tarpon Good Options in Sarasota Area
<p>The best action continues to be catch and release night snook fishing and tarpon are becoming plentiful in the coastal gulf. 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, reds, trout, Spanish mackerel, flounder, jacks and a tarpon on jigs and flies during the past couple of weeks.
Alain Dumouchel and Cindy McPherson, both from Montreal, Quebec, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, 4/18. They caught and released trout to 2 ½-pounds and a couple of reds on CAL jigs with shad tails and Clouser flies. The biggest trout and the reds were in skinny water on the west side of the bay. Pete Walacko, from MI, fished deep grass flats near Bird Key and at Stephens Point with me on Tuesday morning, 4/19. He caught and released several trout and a Spanish mackerel on Clouser flies fished on an intermediate sink tip fly line.
One of the best trips of the week was when Norm Boardman, from Sarasota, fished the ICW on Tuesday night, 4/19, near Venice with me. He caught and released more than 15 snook to 24" and a couple of trout on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. George Aylesworth, from Englewood, FL, and his brother-in-law, Mike from IN, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday afternoon, 4/20. The action wasn't fast, but they caught and released trout to 17" and a small red on CAL jigs with grubs and shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos along the west side of the bay.
John Wolfstaetter and his dad, Paul Wolfstaetter, both from NY, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday, 4/21. John is an accomplished fly angler and sight fishing reds was our game plan. He had some shots at fish in potholes and on top of sandbars throughout the day. Even though we showed them numerous flies, he had a few follows but no takes. They caught and released a few trout along the way and Paul caught an 18" flounder on a CAL jig with grub.
Kurt Tenenbaum and his father-in-law, Don McGovern, both from NY, fished Sarasota Bay with me last Saturday, 4/23. We fished deep grass flats at Stephens Point and on the west side of the bay where they caught and released trout on Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails. Bill Morrison, from Anna Maria Island, and Gary Marple from Sarasota, snook fished with me on Monday evening, 4/25, in the ICW near Venice. They caught and released more than a dozen snook to 22" on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly.
I scouted the coastal gulf for tarpon on Tuesday, 4/26, and was pleasantly surprised. We saw numerous tarpon, mostly singles, doubles and small schools, moving both north and south. Anglers on my boat had 8 or 10 shots at fish and landed an 80-pounder on a black Deceiver fly.
First fish of the season!
Ed and Louise Martin, from Ontario, fished Charlotte Harbor with me on Wednesday, 4/27. With a south wind gusting to 20-mph, the water in Gasparilla Sound and most of the backcountry was very dirty. It was tough to find a place to fish, but Ed caught and released a couple of trout and jacks on a Clouser fly
Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL and a guest fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday morning, 4/28. It continued to be very windy, but they caught several trout to 18", a Spanish mackerel and a red on CAL jigs with shad tails on the west side of the bay. Seth Koch, from MD, and Bill Miller, from MS, snook fished with me in the ICW near Venice that evening. The wind dropped a little and with the approaching front, snook fed aggressively. They caught and released more than 20 snook to 23" on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. We were met by rain and wind at the boat ramp the next morning, so after waiting it out for about an hour we cancelled the trip.
Congratulations to CB's Saltwater Outfitters who was named Orvis Outfitter of the Year at the 25th annual guide & dealer rendezvous in Casper, Wyoming last week. This is a very prestigious award that is earned by providing the high level of quality and service that Orvis is known for. CB's has been an Orvis dealer and outfitter on Siesta Key in Sarasota for more than 15 years. The winner is chosen from among numerous Orvis-Endorsed Outfitters in destinations around the US.
Tides will be good early next week, particularly the outgoing tide in the evening, as we approach a new moon on May 3rd. Night snook fishing, tarpon in the coastal gulf and trout and Spanish mackerel on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay should all be good options.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
Cindy McPherson's Sarasota Bay CAL jig trout caught with Capt. Rick Grassett
Paul Wolfstaetter's Sarasota Bay CAL jig flounder 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.