Trout. Reds and Snook Good Options in Sarasota Bay
<p>After being away for a couple of weeks on a family vacation and hosting a group of clients on my annual trip to Crane Meadow Lodge in Twin Bridges, Montana, it's good to be back home in Sarasota. As beautiful as it is in many other places, returning to the paradise we live in makes the end of a fishing trip or vacation easier to accept. Late summer is typically a slower time of the year with great fishing!
Catch and release snook around lighted docks and bridges, trout and reds on the flats, false albacore (little tunny) in the coastal gulf and late season tarpon are some of the options available now. This time of year I often fish for snook or tarpon around lighted docks and bridges before dawn and then move to shallow flats for reds and trout in the "witching hour", the first hour of daylight. When heat starts to affect fishing, usually before noon, it's time to head for home. False albacore will usually start to become plentiful along beaches or in the Tampa Bay ship channel as bait becomes thick. There may be a few tarpon left in the coastal gulf, although you'll find more in upper Charlotte Harbor right now. Large fish may be feeding in baitfish or ladyfish schools in open water and you might find juvenile tarpon to about 40-pounds in creeks and canals. It's not the clear water, sight fishing that we enjoy along our beaches, but they show up there to eat!
I scouted Sarasota Bay early on Friday and found good conditions. Except for some floating grass, the water was clear and not too warm (85 degrees) for that time of day. I also found good conditions in the coastal gulf and saw lots of bait schools in a tide line close to passes.
I caught and released a few trout on CAL jigs with jerk worms and located some reds along the west side of the bay. The key to finding reds is often finding mullet schools. Reds like to embed themselves in large schools of mullet to feed on baitfish and crustaceans being spooked by the mullet, although it may still require a lot of blind casting to catch them.
Tropical storm/Hurricane Isaac will more than likely affect our weather early next week. However, conditions should improve by the middle of the week and depending on how much rain we get, fishing should rebound quickly. Catch and release snook before dawn and then moving to the flats for trout and reds in Sarasota Bay should be a good option. Tarpon in upper Charlotte Harbor may also be a good option and often an influx of water can make that even better.
Capt. Rick Grassett
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis- Endorsed Outfitter Guide
CB's Saltwater Outfitters-2011 Orvis Outfitter of the Year
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
Dan Bolin, from TX, caught and released this snook on a Grassett Snook Minnow fly while fishing Sarasota Bay at night in early August 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.