Springtime Action Heating Up in Sarasota
<p>Action continues to improve in Sarasota Bay as water temperatures have warmed to the high 60's. 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 big trout, redfish, Spanish mackerel, blues and pompano during the past couple of weeks. The best action was with big "gator" trout in skinny water.
Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, and his son, Steve McClintock from Pittsburgh, PA, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Sunday, 2/20. They had good action at Stephens Point and on the west side of the bay near Buttonwood Harbor with trout, Spanish mackerel and a couple of reds on CAL jigs with shad tails. Fly anglers Reagan Whitlock, mom Amy Whitlock and Reagan's friend Lewis Steele, all from GA, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, 2/21. They had good action with trout, including a 26", almost 6-lb "gator" that Lewis caught and released, and Spanish mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad and grub tails.
One of the best trips of the week was when Longboat Key winter resident, Nick Reding and I, waded a couple of sand bars in Sarasota Bay on Tuesday, 2/22. He caught and released a redfish and about 20 trout, most over the slot, including several in the 4 to 6-pound class on a crab Clouser fly (olive, tan and white). It is some of the best fly fishing action for "gator" trout that I have seen in quite a while!
Tides shifted to 2 tides towards the end of the week and action slowed a little. Sarasota winter resident, Harry Beaty, and his grandson Ryan, from Ontario, Canada, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday, 2/23. They had steady action with trout and Spanish mackerel on CAL jigs with shad tails on deep grass flats on both sides of the bay.
Bill Cody and sons, Will and Ned, from Syracuse, NY, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday, 2/24. They caught trout to 18", Spanish mackerel, and pompano on CAL jigs with shad tails fishing deep grass flats on both sides of Sarasota Bay. Fly anglers John and Linda Baker, from Anchorage, AK, fished the Terra Ceia area with me on Friday, 2/25. We were on a redfish mission and although we saw a few, we didn't get them to eat our flies. They caught and released trout and ladyfish on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly and a CAL jig with a shad tail.
Martin Marlowe, from NY, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, 2/28. We fished an area that held big trout the week before, but the big girls had moved on. However, he caught and released several small trout on a Clouser fly. We also fished a shallow flat on the west side of the bay where Martin caught and released 3 reds on a CAL jig with a shad tail.
I spent another day scouting from Longboat Pass to the mouth of the Manatee River. We found a few Spanish mackerel in Longboat Pass and got them to eat a fly popper. We also found a few reds and trout in skinny water mixed with mullet schools. Wind cranked up to the mid 20 mph range on Thursday, 3/3, forcing the cancellation of an afternoon fly fishing trip.
I was at the Tampa Tribune Outdoors Expo at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Friday, 3/4, speaking on "Saltwater Fly Fishing" at 4:30 PM on the casting pond. I will also be speaking on "Fly Fishing for Tarpon" on the "Wear It Florida" Safe Boating stage on Sunday, 3/6, at 1:30 PM.
If you are interested in learning to fly fish or improving your skills, Capt. Ed Hurst or I will be the instructors for another CB's Saltwater Outfitter's Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Sat, Mar. 19, 2011. 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.
Action with trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and pompano on deep grass flats, reds and snook in skinny water and snook at night in the ICW should continue to improve as days get longer and water continues to warm. Also, check the coastal gulf when conditions are good for Spanish mackerel, little tunny, tripletail and more. Tides will still be good early next week as head away from last week's new moon.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
Lewis Steele's 26
Nick Reding's Sarasota Bay 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.