Posts Tagged ‘Sarasota’

FLORIDA: Good Flats & Coastal Gulf Action in Sarasota & Charlotte Harbor

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

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 false albacore (little tunny), Spanish mackerel, trout, flounder, redfish and snook in Gasparilla Sound and the coastal gulf in that area during the past couple of weeks. We also caught and released numerous Spanish mackerel on fly poppers off of Longboat Key one day.

Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, and Jack McCulloch from Englewood, FL, fished Gasparilla Sound with me on Friday, 9/28. They started the day off with a bang landing a couple of 10-pound false albacore on CAL jigs with jerk worms and shad tails in the coastal gulf before we headed for the back country. They had steady action catching and releasing trout, flounder, redfish and snook on CAL jigs with a variety of tails. Jack finished the day strong with a 27″ snook on a CAL jig with a shad tail.

I was away visiting family in Delaware from 9/29-10/6, so I don’t have a Sarasota fishing report for that time frame. However, I did have an opportunity to fish Tangier Sound in Chesapeake Bay a couple of days while I was there. My brother Joey Grassett and I fished with our brother, Kirk Grassett, on his Jones Brothers 18′ Cape Fisherman, a perfect boat for those waters. One day we launched at Hooper’s Island, MD and another day we began our trip out of Crisfield, MD.

We had good action both days catching and releasing numerous striped bass (locally know as rockfish or stripers) and spotted sea trout on flies and jigs. It was great to have good action with trout! That area is at the northern extreme of the spotted sea trout’s range. We caught more than 15 trout with many of them from 18″ to 22″. The larger stripers were about the same size and very scrappy. We also caught and released a couple of blues and 3 small reds.

Rusty Chinnis, from Longboat Key, FL, and I scouted the coastal gulf off Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island in his Hell’s Bay flats skiff on Wednesday, 10/10. We didn’t find much surface activity except for a few mackerel blasting out of the water in a few spots, but we couldn’t get them going. With not much to cast to on the surface, we looked for fish over structure and hit the jackpot. We found some bait holding over hard bottom and made a drift over it casting fly poppers. We caught and released numerous Spanish mackerel in the 3 to 4-pound class. It was fun watching them blow up on our poppers when they ate!

Back at home in Sarasota, fishing for false albacore (little tunny), Spanish mackerel and more in the coastal gulf should continue to get better as the water cools and baitfish schools become more concentrated. Although there have been reports of red tide from Casey Key south into Charlotte and Lee counties, it is currently clear in Sarasota from Siesta Key north. Fish deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and more. Shallow water fishing for reds, trout and snook should also improve as it gets cooler.

Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Srv
p: 941-923-7799


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FLORIDA: Night Snook Action Hot in Sarasota!

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Catch and release night snook action has been hot! 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 snook, reds, trout and Spanish mackerel during the past couple of weeks. Fly anglers fishing the ICW at night near Venice averaged more than 20 snook to 27″ on several trips. Action slowed a little on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay following recent rains and wind. Anglers fishing Sarasota Bay with me caught and released trout and Spanish mackerel on Clouser flies, CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos.

Tom Allen, from Sarasota, and Jim Madson, from Phoenix, AZ and Bozeman, MT, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Sunday, 4/3. They caught and released numerous trout to 18″ and a couple of Spanish mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies along the east side of Sarasota Bay. Anna Maria Island winter resident, Dick Stevens, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, 4/4. He also caught and released trout to 18″ on Ultra Hair Clouser flies along the east side of the bay. Pierre Fortier and his friend, Alex, both from Quebec, snook fished with me that evening. They caught and released more than 20 snook to 24″ on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly in the ICW near Venice.

Denis Clohisy, from Hudson, WI, and Brian McInnis, from Sarasota, also fished a couple of night snook trips with me that week. They caught and released more than 20 snook per trip to 27″ on my Grassett Snook Minnow and Gurgler flies. They also fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday where they caught and released numerous trout to 18″ on Clouser flies, CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos.

Everette and Sherry Howell, from Nashville, TN, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday afternoon, 4/8. The action wasn’t fast, but they caught some quality trout to 2 ½-pounds in skinny water on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly and CAL jigs with shad tails along the west side of the bay. I was the instructor for a CB’s Saltwater Outfitter’s Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Saturday, 4/9. Due to the busy season ahead of us, this was the last school until fall. If you are interested in learning to fly fish or honing your skills you can contact me for private instruction or info on future schools.

Alain Dumouchel and Cindy McPherson, from Montreal, Quebec, fished 3 days with me last week. They were students of mine in the CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school and they put their skills to test on the water with me during the past week. We fished Sarasota Bay on Monday, 4/11, Little Sarasota Bay and the ICW near Venice on Wednesday, 4/13 and the Terra Ceia Bay area on Friday, 4/15. They caught and released small trout on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay on Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails on Monday, snook to 24″ and trout to 18″ on my Grassett Snook Minnow flies and CAL jigs with shad tails around lighted docks in the ICW near Venice on Wednesday and trout and 3 reds to 5 1/2 -pounds on CAL jigs with grub and shad tails and Clouser flies in the Terra Ceia area on Friday.

Andrew Stiles, from Richmond, VA, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday afternoon, 4/14 and caught and released trout on Clouser flies along the west side of the bay. Lewis Hanan and Al Katz, both from Sarasota, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday morning, 4/16. They caught and released numerous trout to 17″ and a Spanish mackerel on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos at Stephens Point and near Bird Key. The wind came up out of the southwest that afternoon and Wes Demmon, from Chicago, IL, fished the west side of Sarasota Bay with me. We focused on skinny water where Wes caught and released a pair of reds to 8 ½-pounds and several trout to 3 ½-pounds on CAL jigs with shad tails. Despite challenging conditions the largest red was sight fished on top of a bar!

Next week’s tides are good early in the week as we come off a full moon on Monday. There should be good action on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with trout, Spanish mackerel and more, with reds and trout in skinny water and in the ICW near Venice for snook at night.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Srv
P: 941-923-7799


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FLORIDA: Sarasota – Springtime Action Heating Up

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

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 cbsoutfitters@verizon.net 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.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Srv
p: 941-923-7799


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FLORIDA: Sarasota & Charlotte Harbor – Good Trout & Red Action

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011


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. Afternoons may fish better when it is cold due to warmer water.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service
p: 941-923-7799


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FLORIDA: Snook, Reds & Trout Action in Sarasota

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Anglers fishing with me on my flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released tarpon, snook, reds, trout, bluefish and Spanish mackerel during the past several weeks. I traveled to Stuart during week of 7/18 to fish the 11th annual DOA Outdoor Writers Festival. It is a fun filled event that matches guides with outdoor writers from around the country. The area is known for its big snook and trout and this year was no exception.

Snook to 44″ were caught and released in the St. Lucie Inlet on DOA shrimp and TerrorEyz. There were also a pair of trout in the 10-lb class caught and released on DOA baits in the Indian River near Ft. Pierce. Anglers fishing with me waded a couple of flats close to the inlet one day and fished the inlet another day. We caught and released several snook to 30″ on CAL jigs with shad tails and rootbeer DOA TerrorEyz in the St. Lucie Inlet.

Back in Sarasota, Clark Keator, from Orlando, FL, jumped his first tarpon on a fly and had another bite on a trip in the coastal gulf. Dean Hannemann, from Sarasota, FL, had good action jumping several tarpon and landing one on flies on another trip. Joe and Mitchell White, from Tallahassee, FL, fished a pre dawn/flats trip in Sarasota Bay with me and landed several snook around Siesta Key docks and more than 30 trout to 4-pounds, bluefish and ladyfish near Whale Key on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos. David Hilton, from the UK, also fished a pre dawn/flats trip with me recently and caught and released several snook to 24″, trout to 18″, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish on flies near Bishop Point. Anglers on another trip in the coastal gulf had only a few shots at tarpon but jumped 2 and had another bite on flies.

I was gone again for a family vacation to NC but returned in time to take Vic Cook, from Columbus, OH, out for a morning of fishing on Sunday. We fished a couple docks before dawn on Siesta Key where Vic caught and released several snook, trout and ladyfish on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. We moved to deep grass flats near Bishop Point at dawn and found the action slow. We caught only a few ladyfish and trout on a fly popper/Clouser Combo before moving on. With a flood high tide that was dropping fast, we hunted for reds in skinny water near Long Bar. It wasn’t long before we found them and Vic was hooked up to a big red on an Enrico Puglisi Everglades Special fly. He landed the 28″ red and hooked another, to complete his Sarasota Bay slam (red, snook and trout) with a fly!

Tarpon are thinning out in the coastal gulf but they are aggressive and are still worth taking a look. They are moving into Sarasota Bay around bridges and on deep grass flats in many of the same areas where we find trout, blues and mackerel. With the water temperature at 89 degrees in now in Sarasota Bay, there is a narrow window for a few hours in the morning when action is best. Predators have been herding glass minnows into “bait balls” and feeding heavily in them. The action usually starts with ladyfish and the longer it lasts, trout, blues, Spanish mackerel and tarpon will join the frenzy. This happens shortly after the sun rises and only lasts for a couple of hours before the bait and predators go deep.

This time of year I often snook fish for a couple of hours before dawn, which is the coolest time of day, and then move to the flats for fast action with trout, blues, mackerel, tarpon and more.

Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
P: 941-923-7799

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