Shallow Water Action Explodes in Sarasota
<p>Action exploded in skinny water during the week of 3/21. Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had great action with reds and trout on shallow grass flats. In addition, we also caught and released Spanish mackerel, blues, trout and pompano on deep grass flats.
Sarasota winter resident, Mike Perez, fished Gasparilla Sound in Charlotte Harbor with me on Monday, 3/21 and had a great day! He caught trout on Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails in a few spots in the morning. We waded a flat and fished potholes in the afternoon and caught and released 4 reds to 28" on an olive Enrico Puglisi crab pattern and my Grassett Flats Minnow fly.
Bill Moore, from Libertyville, IL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday, 3/22. He had steady action with trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and a pompano on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails. We fished the west side of the bay from the Middleground flat to Buttonwood Harbor.
Scotty Heidler, from Hudson, OH, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday, 3/23, and had a banner day. Scotty is an accomplished angler who has been fishing with me for 11years-since he was 5-years old! We fished skinny water all day long where he caught and released more than 50 trout to 5 ½-pounds, 15 reds and a 4-pound pompano. The action heated up in the afternoon when he caught numerous trout and reds on CAL jigs with grubs, shad tails and jerk worms. Although the reds weren't big, some of the trout were huge. About a dozen of the trout were more than 3-pounds with several in the 4 to 6-pound class. A great day!
Betsy and Julian Miraglia, from Bryn Mawr, PA, fished Gasparilla Sound in Charlotte Harbor with me on Thursday, 3/24. They caught and released a few trout and ladyfish on Clouser flies and CAL jigs with grub tails. We fished potholes in the afternoon and had some shots at reds, but no bites.
The best action last week was with trout on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Anglers fishing with me caught and released trout to 19" and a couple of reds on jigs and flies. Sarasota winter residents, Nick Reding and Mike Perez, waded Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday, 3/29. They caught and released a few trout and a pair of reds on Clouser flies on the west side of the bay. Sarasota winter residents, Tom Schalk and Harry Beaty, fished the same area, only in deeper water, with me on Tuesday, 3/30. They caught and released trout, including 5 or 6 in the slot to 18", and ladyfish on CAL jigs with grub and shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos.
A strong front with high winds and heavy rain pushed through on Thursday. Fly anglers Bill Morrison, from Holmes Beach, FL and his friend Gary, from Sarasota, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday morning, 4/1. It was breezy out of the northwest in the morning due to Thursday's front, but fish were feeding. They caught and released about 20 trout to 18" on Ultra Hair Clouser flies near Bird Key. Fly angler George Fitzwater and his wife, Cookie, from Manasota Key, fished with me that afternoon. George was a recent student of mine in a CB's Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school. He caught and released his first saltwater fish, a nice trout, on a fly!
If you are interested in learning to fly fish or improving your skills, I will be the instructor for a CB's Saltwater Outfitter's Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on April 9, 2011. This will be the last school until fall. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to make reservations.
Next week's tides are good early in the week for fishing the flats and in the evening later in the week for night snook fishing, as we head away from a new moon on April 3rd. Fish flies and jigs on deep grass flats for trout, Spanish mackerel and more or in skinny water for reds and big trout. Small white flies, like my Grassett Snook Minnow and Gurglers, CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA shrimp should work well for snook at night.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
Mike Perez's Gasparilla Sound fly red caught while wading with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Scotty Heidler's Sarasota Bay CAL jig 5 1/2-pound trout 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.