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Captain Favorite's Fishing Forum: April 7, 2014




Pat Redmond, from Sarasota, FL, fished the backcountry of Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with Capt. Rick Grassett. He caught and released a 27 inch snook and followed it up with a 27 inch red on a CAL jig with a shad tail to complete his slam.


Seasonal manatee speed zones in effect statewide 

Now that weather and waters are warming, manatees are disbursing into their popular feeding and loafing areas. To ensure manatee safety, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement officers, along with federal and local law enforcement partners, will be increasing patrols in these areas.

This effort coincides with seasonal manatee zones that went into effect April 1 and run through Nov. 15. The speed zones are intended to protect the state’s official marine mammal from collisions with boats.

Spiny lobster season closed April 1

  • The spiny lobster recreational and commercial season closes to harvest in state and federal waters starting April 1 and will reopen Aug. 6. The two-day recreational sport season is the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July, which is July 30 and 31 this year.


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.


For-hire captain, crew can retain recreational bag limits of reef fish in Atlantic soon

  • For-hire captain and crew can retain recreational bag limits of vermilion snapper, groupers and golden tilefish in state waters of the Atlantic (including all of Monroe County for grouper species and golden tilefish) starting March 13. This change means that for-hire captain and crew will be able to retain recreational bag limits of all species of reef fish caught in Atlantic state waters.
  • This change will make state regulations consistent with Atlantic federal regulations.
  • Similar changes to federal rules became effective Jan. 27. The federal rule was modified because it was not effectively limiting harvest of vermilion snapper and gag grouper as originally intended and it was causing confusion because captain and crew of for-hire vessels could keep recreational bag limits of some snapper and grouper species, but not others. Additional harvest of these species by captain and crew is expected to be negligible and not negatively impact fish stocks.
  • To learn more about this change made at the FWC’s February Commission meeting, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and click on “Commission Meetings.” To learn more about snapper and grouper recreational regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Overview” under the “Reef Fish” header.



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 snook, reds, trout, bluefish and Spanish mackerel in Sarasota Bay and Gasparilla Sound on flies, CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos during the past week. Shallow water action with reds, snook and big trout turned on and a couple of anglers scored slams.


Jake Harms and his dad Randy Harms, both from Toledo, OH, fished the east side of Sarasota Bay with me on Monday. They had good action with trout, bluefish and a nice Spanish mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails.


Jeff Wolber, his young son Will and friend, Cam, all from Cincinnati, OH, fished deep grass flats on both sides of the bay with me on Tuesday. They had good action catching and releasing trout and Spanish mackerel on CAL jigs with shad tails.


Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, FL and Mike Perez, from Sarasota, FL, went on a redfish mission with me on Wednesday. We waded and fly fished a couple of shallow flats on both sides of the bay and caught and released a few trout and a bluefish on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly. Mike caught and released the fish of the day, a 33” red, on a Clouser fly!


Tim Graham, from Nokomis, FL and Pat Redmond, from Sarasota, FL, fished the backcountry of Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Thursday. They caught and released trout to 19”, a 27” snook and a 27” red on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos. Pat scored with the snook around mid day and we worked hard for the big red that he caught at the end of the day to complete his slam!


Bill Beauchamp, from Bradenton, FL, and Doug Manning, from Largo, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday. We fished shallow and deep flats on both sides of the bay where they had good action catching releasing trout, Spanish mackerel, snook and a red on CAL jigs with shad tails. Bill caught and released a nice snook and then followed it with a big trout on a CAL jig with a shad tail. I think it’s very important to release big trout since they are usually females that are full of roe. This one was a perfect example, 24” and weighing 5-pounds due to a belly full of roe. With 2/3 of a slam under his belt we fished hard for a red. He hooked one only to have the hook pull, so we went into overtime and he completed his slam with a 27” red to end the day!


If you’re interested in learning how to fly fish, there’s still time to sign up for the next CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School, which will be on April 12th. The class, which will be the last one until fall, will cover fly casting basics, shooting line, the roll cast, leader construction and saltwater fly fishing techniques. Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 to sign up.


Tides will improve towards the end of the week as we approach a full moon on April 15. 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

To create a forecast specific to

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A cold front will move into the northern Gulf today and into North Florida tonight. The front accompanied by a line of strong thunderstorms will move rapidly southeast across the waters on Tuesday. Winds and seas will increase to Small Craft Advisory levels behind the front. High pressure will build in on Thursday and Friday.



South winds 10 to 15 knots increasing to around 20 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters choppy. Monday night will bring south winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Isolated thunderstorms. Scattered showers after midnight.

2014/04/07 Mon 02:18 a.m. 0.07 L

2014/04/07 Mon 10:15 a.m. 1.28 H

2014/04/07 Mon 12:47 p.m. 1.23 L

2014/04/07 Mon 06:28 p.m. 1.75 H



West winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Widespread showers in the morning. Isolated thunderstorms. Numerous showers in the afternoon. Tuesday night will bring west winds around 20 knots. Bay and inland waters choppy.

2014/04/08 Tue 03:24 a.m. 0.11 L

2014/04/08 Tue 10:43 a.m. 1.38 H

2014/04/08 Tue 03:00 p.m. 1.18 L

2014/04/08 Tue 08:10 p.m. 1.66 H



Northwest winds around 20 knots. Bay and inland waters choppy. Wednesday night will bring north winds 10 to 15 knots becoming northeast 5 to 10 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop.

2014/04/09 Wed 04:20 a.m. 0.14 L

2014/04/09 Wed 11:06 a.m. 1.48 H

2014/04/09 Wed 04:26 p.m. 1.01 L

2014/04/09 Wed 09:39 p.m. 1.64 H



Northeast winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. Thursday night

will bring northeast winds around 5 knots becoming east around 10 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2014/04/10 Thu 05:06 a.m. 0.19 L

2014/04/10 Thu 11:27 a.m. 1.57 H

2014/04/10 Thu 05:23 p.m. 0.8 L

2014/04/10 Thu 10:46 p.m. 1.66 H



East winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth.

2014/04/11 Fri 05:43 a.m. 0.26 L

2014/04/11 Fri 11:45 a.m. 1.67 H

2014/04/11 Fri 06:07 p.m. 0.58 L

2014/04/11Fri11:40 p.m. 1.67H



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