Good Shallow Water Action with Big Trout, Reds & Snook in Sarasota Bay
<p>Anglers fishing Sarasota Bay 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, snook and reds on flies, plugs, CAL jigs and DOA Deadly Combos during the past week. An angler fishing with me caught and released one of the largest trout ever caught on my boat!
Mark Eddy and Carey Ryerson, from CO, fished with me on Monday. We checked the coastal gulf and found it unfishable due to a 4'-5' swell, so we fished Sarasota Bay. They caught and released trout to 18" on Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails on various deep grass flats near Long Bar and Buttonwood Harbor.
The action was hot on Tuesday when Aledia Tush, owner of CB's Saltwater Outfitters, and Doug Forde, manager at CB's Saltwater Outfitters, fished Sarasota Bay with me. We stayed in shallow water doing some practice fishing for Saturday's Sarasota CCA Photo All Release Challenge. Anglers fish for reds, snook and trout with identical boxes of lures or flies in the popular tournament which raises money for conservation. With light winds, clear water and a rising tide, we found big trout, reds and snook mixed with mullet schools near Long Bar. They caught and released 4 snook to 26", a pair of reds and several big trout on Sebile Stick Shad plugs. Aledia caught and released one of the biggest trout ever caught on my boat, a 29" fish estimated to weigh more than 9-pounds. This is an awesome trout for the west coast of Florida! The only other trout of that size that I've seen before was one I caught and released at a DOA Lures/Outdoor Writers event in the Indian River near Ft. Pierce several year ago. In addition to snook, Doug also caught and released 27" and 29" reds. What a difference a day can make!
We found the action slow in shallow water on a couple of other trips later in the week, but Bill Beauchamp, from Bradenton. FL, and Jim Denoi, from Sarasota, caught and released a red and a snook on surface walking plugs near Long Bar with me on Friday. They also caught and released trout on deep grass flats near Bayshore Gardens and Bishop Point on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms and DOA Deadly Combos.
Bob Parker, from Sarasota and I fished the Sarasota CCA Photo All Release Challenge with my son-in-law, Capt. Andy Cotton, on Saturday. With winds gusting more than 25 mph out of the south and an extreme high tide, conditions were tough for everyone. We caught and released a few small trout and a snook on flies wading shallow water near Long Bar. Andy caught and released a couple of slot sized fish, including a 26" red, which was good enough to win the Grand Champion award of the Fly Division!
Fishing may be tough early next week due to the strong front passing through this weekend. Reds and trout may be found along shallow edges of flats and bars or in potholes when the tide is low or along mangrove shorelines when the tide is high. Catch and release night snook fishing at night in the ICW and cobia, tripletail or false albacore (little tunny) in the coastal gulf should also be good options. Tarpon are becoming more plentiful in the coastal gulf and are also a good option now.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
Doug Forde's Sarasota Bay Sabile Stick Shad 29
Aledia Tush's Sarasota Bay Sabile Stick Shad 29
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.