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Captain Favorite's Fishing Forum: April 14, 2014




Mark Wayde, from MI, with a snook caught and released on a Grassett Snook Minnow fly while fishing the ICW near Venice at night with Capt. Rick Grassett.


Commission to meet April 15-17 near Tallahassee

  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet April 15-17 at the Florida Public Safety Institute, 85 Academy Drive, Havana. The Institute is west of the city of Midway on U.S. 90. Full-day business sessions Wednesday and Thursday start at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday’s half-day discussions session starts at 1 p.m.
  • The public is invited to all three days and will be provided opportunities to speak.

Highlights of the agenda include:

  • Tuesday’s strategic discussions about the future of conservation: human-wildlife interaction; connecting youths to the outdoors; and increasing participation in conservation.

Commission action Wednesday on these marine fisheries agenda items:

  • Gulf of Mexico red snapper season modifications.
  • Sea cucumber management alternatives.
  • Proposal for a Gulf reef fish data-reporting system.
  • A proposal to prevent harmful, nonnative lionfish from being introduced and to facilitate removal of the predatory fish.
  • Gulf and South Atlantic fishery management council updates.
  • Thursday’s topics: proposed final rule amendments on the deer management units in Zone D in the western Florida Panhandle, draft amendments to alligator management, and staff reports.
  • For the full agenda, go to MyFWC.com/Commission and select “Commission Meetings.” Can’t attend meeting in person? Follow live coverage on Twitter @MyFWC and join in the conversation by using tag #FWC2014. https://twitter.com/MyFWC.
  • Also check the Florida Channel (www.thefloridachannel.org/) for possible live webcast times



Look for gopher tortoises out on a spring stroll

  • A gopher tortoise strolling across a road or through a backyard or field is a common sight during spring in Florida. Yet as tortoises become increasingly active this time of year, they are vulnerable to being struck by vehicles and injured or killed.
  • Don’t forget to look out for these slow-moving reptiles with their bony-plated shells and elephantine legs. They leave their burrows in search of green plants to eat and a tortoise to become their mate. From now through May, females will be laying eggs the size of ping-pong balls in the sandy apron outside their burrows.


Spring means return of Spanish mackerel to north Florida waters 

  • Across Florida there are signs that spring has sprung, from the fine layer of yellow pollen coating everything in the north to folks returning to the water sans wetsuit in the south. Warmer water also means the return of Spanish mackerel, a feisty fish that migrates south when the water temperature dips below 70 and should be returning to north Florida waters right about now.
  • Spanish mackerel are easy to catch, making them a great target for kids and those new to the sport, but their aggressive fighting behavior when on the line also makes them exciting for seasoned veterans.


Beach-nesting shorebirds need peace and quiet to survive

  • During spring and summer on Florida beaches, shorebirds build nests out of sand and shells and hatch chicks that can barely be seen. So well-camouflaged are the nests, eggs and chicks of shorebirds like the snowy plover that they can easily be stepped on or missed unless people know to watch out for them.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is reminding beachgoers to be on the lookout and avoid disturbing bird nurseries on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida. Among the state’s beach-nesting shorebirds facing conservation challenges are the snowy plover, least tern, black skimmer, American oystercatcher and Wilson’s plover.



Capt. Rick DePaiva, from Ft. Myers, FL, battles a tarpon jumped on a fly while fishing the coastal gulf with 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 trout and flounder in Sarasota Bay on flies and DOA Shrimp and snook at night in the ICW near Venice on flies during the past week.


Siesta Key winter resident, Frank Watson and his grandson, Eric Watson, both from Ohio, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday morning. With an approaching front and a strong south wind, we headed south of the Ringling Bridge for some protection. The wind cranked up to more than 20-mph by the end of our trip and they had good action with trout to 18 inches, a nice black sea bass and flounder caught and released on DOA Shrimp. Anna Maria and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, snook fished with me in the ICW near Venice that evening. We fished only a couple of spots and they caught and released a few snook and ladyfish on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly before a mechanical problem sent me to the dock early.


A front came through on Tuesday with heavy rain and wind and the wind continued to blow above 20-mph all day Wednesday, so we didn’t fish those days. David Morgan, from Sarasota, FL, fished Stephens Point in Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday morning and caught and released a few trout on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly. Mark Wayde, from MI, snook fished with me in the ICW near Venice that evening and had good action catching and releasing numerous snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly.


Longtime friend, client and Sarasota winter resident, Norm Boardman from Conneticut, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday. We fished deep grass flats on both sides of the bay where he caught and released trout and ladyfish on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly. The action wasn’t fast but it was steady, with some decent trout to 18 inches.


I was the instructor for an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Saturday. The school, which was the last one until fall, covered fly casting basics, shooting line, roll casting, leader construction and saltwater fly fishing techniques. Look for information on future Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Schools and Orvis Fly Fishing 101 classes, a 2-hr introductory fly fishing class, at www.cbsoutfitters.com.


With a full moon on Tues, April 15, tides will be good next week, particularly outgoing tides in the afternoon. Look for reds, snook and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay. Fishing deep grass flats for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, pompano and more should continue to be a good option. There should also be good action in the coastal gulf with Spanish and king mackerel, false albacore (little tunny) and tripletail depending on conditions.

Tight Lines,

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.

(941) 923-7799

E-mail snookfin@aol.com

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High pressure will continue across the area through Monday ... bringing east to southeast winds to the waters ... except for along the coast where an onshore sea breeze will develop Monday afternoon. A cold front will approach Monday night and Tuesday...then push into the waters Tuesday night before stalling across South Florida Wednesday. The lingering frontal boundary will bring showers and a few thunderstorms to the waters through the end of the week.



Southeast winds around 10 knots becoming southwest in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Monday night will bring south winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2014/04/14Mon01:08 AM1.64H

2014/04/14Mon07:06 AM0.58L

2014/04/14Mon12:35 PM2.04H

2014/04/14Mon07:57 PM0.0L



South winds 10 to 15 knots becoming southwest around 20 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters choppy. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms in the morning then showers likely and a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Tuesday night will bring northwest winds 5 to 10 knots becoming north around 15 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of showers.

2014/04/15Tue01:49 AM1.59H

2014/04/15Tue07:30 AM0.69L

2014/04/15Tue12:58 PM2.19H

2014/04/15Tue08:35 PM-0.15 L



Northeast winds 10 to 15 knots diminishing to 5 to 10 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of showers. Wednesday night will bring northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of showers.

2014/04/16Wed02:32 AM1.53H

2014/04/16Wed07:53 AM0.79L

2014/04/16Wed01:25 PM2.32H

2014/04/16Wed09:17 PM-0.25 L



East winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of showers. Thursday night will bring east winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of showers.

2014/04/17Thu03:20 AM1.44H

2014/04/17Thu08:18 AM0.88L

2014/04/17Thu01:57 PM2.41H

2014/04/17Thu10:03 PM-0.3L



Southeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of showers.

2014/04/18Fri04:15 AM1.35H

2014/04/18Fri08:45 AM0.97L

2014/04/18Fri02:35 PM2.45H

2014/04/18Fri10:56 PM-0.29 L 



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