|Catch of the Week
Amy Carter Mark, of Palmetto, caught and released these two redfish near Cortez using live shrimp and pinfish.
BRADENTON – Bradenton's own DeSoto Heritage Seafood festival which will be held downtown from April 5-7. There should be good action with trout mixed with Spanish mackerel and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay next week. Look for reds and big trout in potholes and on the edges of bars when the tide is low or on shallow flats on sunny afternoons when the tide is high. Catch and release night snook fishing in the ICW from Sarasota to Venice should also be a good option.
DeSoto Heritage Seafood Festival April 5-7
- Old Main Street, downtown
- Bradenton, Florida
- Focus: The 73rd Annual Desoto Heritage Seafood Festival is a major attraction off the Manatee River with fresh seafood, artisans, live entertainment, and arts and crafts.
April 1 marks openings for some groupers, snappers; closing for spiny lobster
- Atlantic vermilion snapper and several species of Gulf of Mexico grouper will be back on the list of fish that recreational anglers in state waters can take home for dinner starting April 1. The first day of the spiny lobster closed season is also April 1.
- Vermilion snapper that are 12 inches total length or longer will be open to recreational harvest in state waters of the Atlantic through Oct. 31. State waters in the Atlantic are from shore to three nautical miles out. Anglers may take up to five fish per day in Atlantic waters; however, the captain and crew of for-hire vessels may not keep the daily limit.
- Gulf of Mexico grouper species that will open to harvest in state waters include red, black, yellowfin, yellowmouth, rock hind, red hind and scamp. This harvest season will remain open through Jan. 31. State waters in the Gulf are from shore to nine miles out. State waters off Monroe County are included with the Atlantic seasons and are currently closed to harvest through April 30.
- Gulf of Mexico gag grouper will also open to harvest April 1 in state waters off the following counties only: Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor, including all waters of the Steinhatchee River, Apalachicola Bay and Indian Pass. This season will remain open through June 30, with the first day of the closure being July 1. Gag grouper will be open to recreational harvest in the rest of Gulf state waters (not including Monroe, Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor) from July 1 through Dec. 3. The season in Gulf of Mexico federal waters also opens July 1 and will close when the annual catch target is projected to be met, which is expected to be sometime between Nov. 11 and Dec. 3.
'Lionfish Control Month' to kick off with Twitter chat, photo contest
- The lionfish have invaded, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants the public to join its Lionfish Control Team for the month of April. This nonnative, invasive species has infiltrated state waters and has great potential to negatively impact Florida’s reefs and wildlife.
- These fish not only prey on native species, they also compete for food with economically important species such as grouper and snapper, and they can disrupt the balance of native populations, ultimately causing a cascade effect that can alter habitats. Have you caught a lionfish? Photographed one? Want to know more about the lionfish problem? Join the FWC’s live Twitter chat from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 28.
- To participate, sign in to Twitter and follow @MyFWClife or #FWCLionfish. The chat will feature experts, including FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management biological scientist Mason Smith and public information specialist Amanda Nalley. During the chat, the FWC will unveil its “Lionfish Control Team” photo contest. Tune in Thursday to find what your reward will be for submitting a photo. Learn more about lionfish at MyFWC.com/Nonnatives; click on “Marine Life.”
Free freshwater fishing day April 6
Free fishing days provide an excellent opportunity for parents who don't yet have licenses to take youth fishing, or avid anglers to introduce a friend to fishing without having to purchase a license. On these days, the fishing license requirement is waived for all recreational anglers (residents and non-residents).
All other rules (e.g., seasons, bag and size limits) apply.
Free freshwater days for 2013
The free freshwater days are set in rule for the first Saturday in April and the second Saturday in June each year.
Free saltwater days for 2013
- Saturday, June 1
- Sunday, September 1
18th Annual CCA Sarasota “Photo All‐Release Challenge” April 19-20
- The Sarasota chapter of Coastal Conservation Association will host their 18th annual “Photo All‐Release Challenge” fishing tournament on April 19 and 20, 2013. This year’s tournament headquarters will be at the Potter Building at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds. There will be a mandatory angler meeting on Friday evening, April 19th at the Potter Building.
- The tournament features a catch‐photo‐release format for snook, redfish and trout with anglers using identical boxes of lures or flies that are provided. Fishing begins Saturday morning and all anglers must turn in their photos at New Pass Grill & Bait Shop by 3:00 pm.
- Anglers will photograph their catch with their own digital cameras, which must have a removable memory card. Divisions include Grand Slam (largest snook, redfish and trout), Angler (most inches per species), Largest Fish (each species), Lady Angler (largest fish, each species), Fly Rod and Youth. The tournament, which raises money for CCA’s conservation projects, also features an upscale raffle, a silent auction and an awards dinner on Saturday evening. Cost is $95 per angler and $30 for youth anglers (12 years old and younger). Anglers must register in advance. Applications will be available at fishing tackle shops, marinas and boating stores in Sarasota and Manatee counties and online at www.ccaflorida.org/chapters/sarasota.html.
- Contact Adam Miller at (941) 270‐0895 or Capt. Bruce Burkhart at (941) 922‐3675 for more information.
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School-Apr 13, 2013
- CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, Orvis Outfitter of the Year for 2011, 1249 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL will hold an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Apr. 13, 2013. Located on Siesta Key, named Best Beach in America for 2011, the schools will cover fly casting basics, line control, shooting line and the roll cast. Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Casting Instructor, Capt. Rick Grassett, 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 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM, is $150 per person and includes the use of premium Orvis fly tackle, a textbook and lunch. Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or email@example.com to make reservations.
Tony Merlis, from NH, with a nice Spanish mackerel
caught and released on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly
while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett
Weekly Fishing Report by Capt. Rick Grassett
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, trout and flounder in Sarasota Bay on lures and flies during the past week.
Mike Perez, from Sarasota, Fla., fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday. It was a cool and very, windy day but reds were in an eating mood. We fished shallow water in north Sarasota Bay and caught and released a pair of reds, each 27 inches and about eight pounds, and hooked another red on CAL jigs with shad tails.
Scott Heidler, from Ohio, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday. We fished both shallow and deep grass flats on both sides of the bay where he caught and released trout and a couple of flounder on CAL jigs with shad tails.
Anna Maria Island and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday. We fished deep grass flats along the west side of the bay where they caught and released trout on Ultra Hair Clouser flies fished on sink tip fly lines. Gary also caught a flounder on a Clouser fly while fishing the edge of a sand bar.
There should be good action with trout mixed with Spanish mackerel and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay next week. Look for reds and big trout in potholes and on the edges of bars when the tide is low or on shallow flats on sunny afternoons when the tide is high. Catch and release night snook fishing in the ICW from Sarasota to Venice should also be a good option.
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
High pressure across the waters will slide east today as a cold front approaches then stalls just north of the waters. This front washes out tonight and early Tuesday as high pressure builds in from the north Tuesday and Wednesday. Low pressure forms in the western Gulf mid-week then tracks northeastward...with a cold front sweeping across the waters Friday.
Southwest winds around 10 knots then becoming west in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of showers. Monday night will bring west winds around 5 knots in the evening then becoming variable less than 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. Patchy fog after midnight.
North winds around 5 knots then becoming west around 10 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Patchy fog in the morning. Tuesday night will bring northwest winds around 10 knots then becoming northeast around 5 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
Southeast winds 5 to 10 knots then becoming south around 15 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A slight chance of showers in the afternoon. Wednesday night will bring east winds 5 to 10 knots increasing to around 15 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A slight chance of showers.
Southeast winds 10 to 15 knots then becoming south around 20 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters choppy. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Thursday night will bring south winds around 20 knots then becoming southwest 10 to 15 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters choppy. A chance of showers.
West winds around 20 knots. Bay and inland waters choppy. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms.