Good Snook, Red and Trout Action in Sarasota Bay & Gasparilla Sound
<p>Anglers fishing Sarasota Bay and Gasparilla Sound with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action with catch and release snook, reds, speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel and bluefish on flies and jigs during the past couple of weeks. The best action was with reds and trout in skinny water and with snook at night in the ICW.
Keith McClintock and Barry Slee, both from Lake Forest, IL, fished Gasparilla Sound in Charlotte Harbor with me on Monday, 2/6. They had a good day catching and releasing 5 reds to 5-pounds and numerous trout to 3 ½-pounds on CAL jigs with shad tails. Action was best in the afternoon when they caught most of their reds in shallow backcountry areas. Dick Striano, from MA, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday, 2/7. Action was slow to start but I found some fish on the windy side of the bay near Whale Key where Dick caught and released about a dozen trout and a sharpnose shark on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly.
It was breezy on Wednesday, 2/8, when Parrish winter resident, Dave Wahl, fished Sarasota Bay with me. Dave caught and released a few trout and a couple of jacks on my Grassett Deep Flats Bunny and Ultra Hair Clouser flies. I poled some very skinny water at the top of the tide where he got some shots at trout in potholes and connected with a nice red on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly.
Sarasota winter resident, Phil Rever, and his brother, Jack Rever, from VA, fished the ICW near Venice with me on Thursday night, 2/9. They caught and released 8 or 10 snook to 28" and about a dozen trout on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. With the forecast of a front with windy conditions for Saturday, I was able to rearrange my schedule to take advantage of favorable conditions ahead of the front. It paid off when Terry Antoniuk, from Calgary, Alberta, and his brother, David Antoniuk from Sarasota, fished north Sarasota Bay with me on Friday afternoon, 2/10. Terry caught and released 2 reds on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly and he and David caught 8 or 10 trout to 3 ½-pounds, with most fish in the slot or above, on the same fly and a weedless rigged CAL shad tail. We found the fish in skinny water in potholes and over shallow grass at the top of the tide.
Tony Wheeler, from Wheeling, WV, fished Little Sarasota Bay with me on Monday afternoon, 2/13. He caught and released 3 snook on a Clouser fly while fishing docks near Spanish Point. He also caught and released several trout and ladyfish on an Ultra Hair Clouser over deep grass in the same area. Tom and Frank Wright, both from OH, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday afternoon, 2/14. They caught and released a pair of reds to 5-pounds and an over slot trout on CAL jigs with shad tails and weedless rigged CAL shad tails near Bishop Point.
Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, and Steve Liska, from NJ, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday afternoon, 2/15. They caught and released 8 or 10 trout to 22" and a red on CAL jigs with shad tails near Bishop Point and Long Bar. Larry Shedden, from Lakewood Ranch, FL, did an instructional fly fishing trip with me on Thursday, 2/16. He went from never having a fly rod in his hand to casting 50' or 60' of line well by the end of the trip. He put it all together when he sight fished a 4-pound trout out of a pothole in skinny water on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly!
Jerry Scranton, his cousin, Gary and stepson, Jeff, all from IL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday, 2/17. They had good action with numerous silver trout to 16", speckled trout to 19", Spanish mackerel, bluefish and a black sea bass on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails.
Next week's negative low tides in the morning will concentrate reds and trout in potholes of Sarasota Bay as we head away from a new moon. Fish should move over shallow grass at the top of the tide, especially on sunny afternoons. 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
Phil Rever's Venice Grassett Snook Minnow fly snook caught and released with Capt. Rick Grassett
Tom Wright's Sarasota Bay CAL jig red caught and released 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.