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Captain Favorite's Fishing Forum: April 8, 2013

Catch of the Weekhttps://www.thebradentontimes.com/clientuploads/fishing/030813_redfish.jpg

Mike Perez, from Sarasota, Fla., caught and released this big red on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing a shallow Sarasota Bay grass flat with Capt. Rick Grassett.


BRADENTON – If you catch a lionfish, send the pic to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and they will send you a free T-shirt! Our contributing captain Rick Grassett is hosting a fly fishing school on April 13; then April 19-20, the Sarasota Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association will host their 18th annual photo all-release challenge. Mariners should anticipate winds becoming locally onshore the next couple of afternoons near the coast with the development of the sea-breeze.

Fishing Updates

    '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.

      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 info@cbsoutfitters.com to make reservations. 


      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.



      Weekly Fishing Report by Capt. Bob Wattendorf

      April showers bring May flowers, but in Florida there is already an abundance of blooms and a bonanza of freshwater fishing opportunities that began earlier this spring. All across the state, anglers have reported great catches of a  variety of freshwater fishes. Anglers especially target sunfishes moving into the shallows to spawn in spring.

      Black crappie (specks), redbreast sunfish and largemouth bass begin spawning when water temperatures get over 62 degrees. Crappie will stop spawning before bass, which continue to work the beds until it warms up to about 75 degrees. They are followed by redear sunfish (70- to 80-degree waters) and bluegill (75-85). Research and angler lore indicate these fish key their peak activity to a few days before and after full and new moons during spring.

      April is a favorite time of year for freshwater anglers, not only because fish congregating in the shallows provide great catch rates with lots of quality-size fish, but also because temperatures tend to be comfortable for an outdoor expedition. Another reason is that the first Saturday in April each year (April 6, this year) is a license-free freshwater fishing day across the state. People are exempt from needing a license that day, so it is a great opportunity to reach out to people who don’t have a freshwater fishing license and show them how much fun a day on the water can be. Or, perhaps you have children who have been bugging you to go, and you haven’t wanted to buy a license to accompany them. Now is your chance.

      In Florida, nearly everyone is within 45 minutes of a fishing hole. For help finding a location or fishing tips and seasonal fishing forecasts, check out MyFWC.com/Fishing (under “Freshwater Fishing,” choose “Sites & Forecasts”). Quarterly forecasts by biologists are supplemented with links to local bait-and-tackle shops, marinas or guides for even more timely updates.

      Florida’s Big Catch Angler Recognition Program provides an opportunity for anglers to commemorate impressive freshwater catches with a certificate and having their photo posted online. Thirty-three different species are included in the program, and all it takes to participate is a photo of a fish that exceeds either a specified length or weight. It’s a great incentive for youth, who can qualify by catching fish that are roughly 25 percent smaller than qualifying measures for adult anglers. Visit MyFWC.com/BigCatch for more details and to enroll.

      However, the ultimate challenge is the race for the biggest trophy bass of the year. Florida’s fame as a bass-fishing destination lies in an abundance of lakes and rivers that consistently produce trophy-size bass. To document locations and frequency of bass catches over 8 pounds, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) launched TrophyCatch (TrophyCatchFlorida.com) in October with support from industry partners. The goal is to enhance and sustain trophy bass fisheries and to promote Florida as the Bass Fishing Capital of the World, based on documented catches.

      To participate, catches must be verified by the FWC for the angler to earn awards. For Lunker Club (8 to 9.9 pounds) and Trophy Club (10 to 12.9 pounds), verification requires photos of the entire bass showing its length and weight, and then the bass must be released. Photos are submitted via the website. For Hall of Fame bass, which earn for the angler a free replica valued at $500 and an additional $500 in other prizes, the fish must be caught before the end of April and weighed on certified scales by an FWC representative. If you catch one, keep it alive and call 855-FL-TROPHY. From May through September, bass over 13 pounds can still be photo-documented as Trophy Club bass, but they won’t be entered into the Hall of Fame, to prevent undue stress from warmer waters.

      The biggest bass of this season (ending Sept. 30) verified by TrophyCatch will earn a $3,000 championship ring provided by the American Outdoor Fund. The biggest bass caught in Osceola County and verified by TrophyCatch will take home $10,000, courtesy of Explore Kissimmee. If a registered guide helped, the guide earns a $2,500 bonus (see website for details). So register now, check out the rules, grab a rod-reel, camera, scale and tape measure, and go catch yourself a lunker, document it and then release it. By the way, just registering gets you into a drawing for a Phoenix bass boat powered by Mercury.

      The biggest fish of the year currently is a 13-pound, 14-ounce monster caught by Bob Williams, while fishing wild shiners on Rodman Reservoir, with guide Sean Rush (Trophy Bass Expeditions). Check out YouTube.com/TrophyCatchFlorida to see a video of the current leaderboard, including Williams’ catch.

      Now it’s your turn! Enjoy the great freshwater fishing Florida has for you this spring. Make memories and celebrate them through Florida’s angler recognition programs at TrophyCatchFlorida.com, and if you release a lunker bass, you’ll be able to say “My Trophy Swims in Florida!”


      To create a forecast specific to

      your zip code visit


      Fishing Forecast 

      The eastern Gulf of Mexico will remain on the southern side of a ridge axis extending off the GA/SC coast through the next several days. Resulting gradient will provide a general easterly flow to the region...however mariners should anticipate winds becoming locally onshore the next couple of afternoon near the coast with the development of the sea-breeze. The next front will not approach the region until the latter portion of the week with southeast and south winds increasing ahead of this system.


      Southeast winds around 10 knots becoming variable 10 knots or less in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Monday night will bring northeast winds 5 to 10 knots then becoming southeast 10 to 15 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light to moderate chop.

      2013/04/08Mon12:14 a.m.1.74H

      2013/04/08Mon06:38 a.m.0.35L

      2013/04/08Mon12:21 p.m.1.89H

      2013/04/08Mon07:16 p.m.0.18L


      Southeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Tuesday night will bring east winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a light to moderate chop.

      2013/04/09Tue01:04 a.m.1.67H

      2013/04/09Tue07:04 a.m.0.51L

      2013/04/09Tue12:40 p.m.2.02H

      2013/04/09Tue07:55 p.m.0.01L


      Southeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Wednesday night will bring east winds 5 to 10 knots then becoming southeast around 15 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop.

      2013/04/10Wed01:48 a.m.1.58H

      2013/04/10Wed07:26 a.m.0.64L

      2013/04/10Wed12:59 p.m.2.13H

      2013/04/10Wed08:31 p.m.-0.1L


      South winds around 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A slight chance of thunderstorms. Thursday night will bring south winds around 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of thunderstorms.

      2013/04/11Thu02:29 a.m.1.49H

      2013/04/11Thu07:47 a.m.0.75L

      2013/04/11Thu01:21 p.m.2.22H

      2013/04/11Thu09:07 p.m.-0.16L


      South winds around 20 knots. Bay and inland waters choppy. A chance of thunderstorms.

      2013/04/12Fri03:09 a.m.1.4H

      2013/04/12Fri08:09 a.m.0.84L

      2013/04/12Fri01:46 p.m.2.28H

      2013/04/12Fri09:45 p.m.-0.18L

      Solunar Forecast


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