Trout and Snook Action Hot in Sarasota
<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 reds, snook and trout during the past couple of weeks. Action picked up early in the week of 1/9 with water temperatures up to 60 degrees. Another blast of cold air by mid week dropped water temperatures back to the mid 50's, although it didn't affect the trout and redfish bite that much. Action was good with trout in Gasparilla Sound and Little Sarasota Bay during the week of 1/16. In addition, we also caught and released several reds and ladyfish in the same areas.
Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, and Ted West, also from IL, fished the backcountry of Gasparilla Sound with me on Monday, 1/10. They caught more than 25 trout to 19" and several reds to 31" on CAL jigs with shad tails. Most of the trout were in the slot and the 31" red, which weighed 11-pounds, was one of the larger reds we have caught recently. Keith and Victor Feldman, from Champagne, IL, also fished the same area with me on Friday, 1/14. With water considerably colder following a couple of cold nights, they still had good action. Although the action wasn't as fast as on Monday, they caught 15 to 20 trout to 19", with all of the fish in the slot, and a couple of reds on CAL jigs with shad tails.
Fly angler Chris Cunis, from CO, and his uncle, Venice winter resident Lynn Stuhldreher, fished the ICW near Venice with me on Tuesday evening, 1/11. I monitored water temperature for several days before deciding to move forward with this trip. I am cautious to not target snook during cold snaps when water temperatures plummet. However, during warm ups between fronts, snook may feed aggressively. This was the case on Tuesday evening, with water temperature up to 60 degrees, we caught and released more than 25 snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly and a CAL jig with a glow shad tail.
Isaac Humphrey, from Dayton, OH, and his brother-in-law, Jason, fished Little Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday, 1/18. They caught and released more than 25 trout to 18", several ladyfish and a red on CAL jigs with shad tails. However, a trip on Wednesday in Sarasota Bay near the downtown area was slow. We caught and released only a few trout on Clouser and Grassett Flats Bunny flies.
The action picked up on Thursday, 1/20, when Tom Lamb, from Geneva, Switzerland and John Freeman, Jr., from Venice, FL, fished Gasparilla Sound with me. They caught and released numerous trout to 19", with almost all trout in the slot, and 4 reds to 20" on CAL jigs with shad tails. A front pushed through on Friday and cold air rushed in behind it on Saturday morning, 1/22, but that didn't stop Sarasota winter resident, Nick Reding, and his guest, Greg Geoffroy, from Ames, Iowa, from catching fish. Conditions were challenging that day with winds whipping up into the mid 20 mph range and air temperature dropping throughout the afternoon. We waded a flat in north Sarasota Bay where they caught and released 6 or 8 nice trout to 20" and a small red on Grassett Flats Minnow flies.
This time of the year you can be successful if you fish smart. Fish the windows of good weather between fronts or fish afternoons following fronts for the best action. Low tides should concentrate reds and trout in potholes and along bars.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
Ted West's Charlotte Harbor CAL jig red caught with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Nick Reding's Sarasota Bay fly 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.