Good Action on Shallow and Deep Grass Flats of Sarasota Bay
<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 trout, blues, sheepshead, snook and Spanish mackerel on jigs and flies during the past couple of weeks. Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, 1/23. We waded and fly fished several bars on both sides of the bay. Reds were elusive for us that day, but Nick caught and released a few trout on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly.
Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL and Gary Roberts, from Bradenton, FL fished Gasparilla Sound with me on Tuesday, 1/24. They caught and released more than 40 trout to 17" and a snook on CAL jigs with shad tails, DOA Deadly Combos and DOA Deadly Tandems. With shallow water temperatures reaching close to 70 degrees in backcountry areas, we saw a few snook moving onto the flats to feed in the afternoon.
Tom Newman, from Oakton, VA, fished the coastal gulf and Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday, 1/25. We found a few false albacore (little tunny) working off Siesta Key, but they were up and down very fast. Tom got a fly in them a couple of times, but we couldn't get right with them before they disappeared. We went back into Sarasota Bay where he caught and released about a dozen trout and a 4-pound Spanish mackerel on my Grassett Deep Flats Bunny fly at Stephens Point and Bishop Point. The biggest trout came out of a pothole in skinny water.
Pete Walocko and Richard Ives, both from MI, fished the same areas with me on Thursday, 1/24. With an approaching front wind was an issue, but they managed to catch and release a few trout and ladyfish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.
Martin Marlowe, from NY, fished with me on Monday and Friday, 1/30 and 2/3 and it was windy on both trips. Monday was the windiest day, so we fished Little Sarasota Bay to get some protection from it. The action wasn't fast, but Martin caught and released a few trout and ladyfish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies. We fished the east side of Sarasota Bay on Friday and he caught and released trout, ladyfish and a sharpnose shark on the same flies.
Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday and Thursday, 1/31 and 2/2. Nick often invites me to fish along with him, which is a real treat. We waded several bars on both sides of the bay and caught and released a pair of reds and an over slot trout on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly on Tuesday. We caught and released a couple of sheepshead to 5-pounds and several trout, including a 6-pound, 27" trout, on Thursday! The big trout was caught and released on my Flats Minnow fly with a 6-weight rod.
Parrish, FL winter resident, Dave Wahl, fished with me on Wednesday, 2/1. We spent a couple of hours in the coastal gulf hunting for false albacore (little tunny) and tripletail. Despite great conditions, we didn't find anything so we spent the rest of our trip fishing Sarasota Bay. Dave caught and released several trout, blues and Spanish mackerel on Grassett Deep Flats Bunny flies.
Next week's negative low tides in the morning should concentrate reds and trout in potholes of Sarasota Bay. Fishing shallow grass flats for reds and trout and deep grass flats for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and pompano should be good options. Catch and release night snook fishing in the ICW should also be a good option.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
Tom Newman's Sarasota Bay Grassett Deep Flats Bunny fly Spanish mackerel caught and released with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Capt. Rick Grassett waded a Sarasota Bay sand bar and caught and released this 6-lb trout on his Grassett Flats Minnow fly.
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.