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Captain Favorite's Fishing Forum: Aug. 4, 2014



Derek Harmer, from Orlando, FL, caught and released this snook on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing lighted docks in Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett. Capt. Rick Grassett photo.

BRADENTON – Amberjack and gray triggerfish season reopened Aug 1 in Gulf state waters. A front will come in from the north but winds and seas are expected to remain below headline criteria. Capt. Rick Grassett recommends looking for reds and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars early during the the day. He says catch and release snook fishing should also be good in passes and around docks and bridges close to passes.



Amberjack, gray triggerfish reopen Aug.1 in Gulf state waters

  • The recreational harvest of greater amberjack and gray triggerfish in Gulf of Mexico state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles) reopened Aug. 1.
  • In Gulf federal waters, greater amberjack also opened Aug. 1, but gray triggerfish will remain closed through Dec. 31.

In both state and federal Gulf waters, greater amberjack must be larger than 30 inches when measured from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the tail to be harvested when the season is open. There is a daily bag limit of one fish per person.

  • Gray triggerfish must be larger than 14 inches when measured from the lower jaw to the fork of the tail to be taken in state and federal Gulf waters when the season is open. There is a two-fish daily bag limit per person.
  • Seasonal harvest closures, as well as size and bag limits, help conserve Florida’s valuable greater amberjack and gray triggerfish populations and improve opportunities in these fisheries for the future.

Red tide causes large fish kill in northeast Gulf of Mexico

  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has confirmed a large-scale offshore fish kill in the northeast Gulf of Mexico. Citizens have reported observations of thousands of dead and dying bottom-dwelling reef fish, including  grouper, hogfish, white grunt, triggerfish and snapper, as well as sea turtles and crabs, to the FWC’s Fish Kill Hotline. Water quality is poor in the region with several reports of black water.
  • On July 23, FWC Law Enforcement took scientists to collect fish, water samples and water quality data from six locations offshore of Hernando County. Sample analysis confirmed a bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis. Blooms of Karenia brevis in the Gulf of Mexico are naturally occurring and have been documented since the 1700s
  • Satellite images from the Optical Oceanography Lab at the University of South Florida revealed an extensive surface bloom approximately 80 miles long and up to 50 miles wide in waters 40 to 90 miles offshore between Dixie and Pasco counties. Short-term forecasts of bloom movement by the Center for Prediction of Red Tides do not predict considerable movement of the bloom patch in upcoming days.
  • To report fish kills to the FWC, contact the Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511 or submit a report online at Research.MyFWC.com/FishKill. For updated red tide status reports, to track blooms or to learn more about red tide, visit MyFWC.com/RedTide.


Gulf recreational red snapper season closed July 15 in state waters

  • The recreational red snapper season in Gulf state waters closed July 15, with the last day of harvest being July 14. Florida state waters in the Gulf are from shore to 9 nautical miles.
  • To learn more about recreational red snapper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Snapper.”
  • Several workshops on Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper are planned for late July. The public is invited to discuss state and federal management of recreational red snapper and to explore future approaches for managing this fishery. Visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Rulemaking” and “Workshops” to learn more. 


FWC moves to simplify saltwater rules in 3 counties

  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a measure at its June 18 meeting in Fort Myers that will remove several outdated or redundant localized regulations in Gilchrist, Indian River and Manatee counties. These changes will go into effect as soon as possible.
  • The FWC has been working to streamline and clarify saltwater fishing rules since 2009 as part of a marine fisheries rule clean-up process. This includes reviewing existing localized rules known as Special Acts of Local Application and working with county governments to remove them if warranted. Many Special Acts were put in place before the Marine Fisheries Commission, one of the FWC’s predecessor agencies, was created, and are now no longer necessary due to more current, statewide fishing management.
  • The governments from all three counties have been working with the FWC on these changes. The FWC will be working with other counties in the future to help streamline and reduce regulations throughout the state, increasing transparency and consistency while standardizing FWC saltwater fishing management and making it easier for fishermen to access and participate in Florida fishing. The repeal of the Special Acts for these three counties is not expected to have any negative effects on Florida’s fisheries.
  • In Manatee County, seven Special Acts are slated to be removed, including ones that limit the types of gear that can be used within the waters of the county, set aggregate bag limits for saltwater fish on the Manatee River, and authorize Manatee County to regulate the harvest of finfish within the county. Current statewide regulations now address the use of gear and give the FWC the authority to regulate the harvest of saltwater fish. Repealing these conflicting and redundant rules will help clarify and simplify regulations in Manatee County.




Capt. Rick DePaiva, from Ft. Myers, FL, battles a tarpon jumped on a fly while fishing the coastal gulf with Capt. Rick Grassett.


Fly anglers fishing the coastal gulf in Sarasota with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, continued to have action with tarpon during the past week. In addition, spin fishing anglers caught and released snook, blues, trout and mangrove snapper on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos in Sarasota Bay.


Tarpon thinned out in the coastal gulf during the past week, but anglers still had a dozen or more shots per trip at fish on several trips early in the week. One tarpon, an estimated 90-pound fish, was caught and released on Friday.


Tom Harmer, from Sarasota, FL and his son, Derek Harmer from Orlando, FL, fished a predawn trip in Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday. They caught and released 7 or 8 snook to 24” around lighted docks before moving to the flats at dawn. They also caught and released trout, blues and mangrove snapper on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos on deep grass flats on both sides of the bay.


Tarpon are thinning out in the coastal gulf but they are aggressive. Most are singles, doubles or small schools, which are post spawn fish that are hungry. As they thin out in the coastal gulf, they are moving to inside areas where you may find them rolling at first light. You also should find trout, blues and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Catch and release snook fishing should be good in the surf, in passes and around docks and bridges close to passes.

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


Fishing Forecast

A weak area of low pressure will track northward through tonight over the Florida Peninsula before moving away from the area Monday and Tuesday. In the wake of this low...high pressure will again take up position over the central and eastern Gulf of Mexico. Winds and seas will be below headline criteria the next several days although wind direction may be a bit erratic through tonight as the weak low moves northward through the region. Biggest concern will be higher winds and seas near thunderstorms.



Northwest winds around 5 knots then becoming west around 10 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms. Monday night will bring west winds 5 to 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms in the evening.

2014/08/04Mon12:33 AM1.03L

2014/08/04Mon06:38 AM2.28H

2014/08/04Mon02:54 PM0.54L

2014/08/04Mon08:51 PM1.41H



Southwest winds 5 to 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms. Tuesday night will bring west winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. Isolated thunderstorms.

2014/08/05Tue01:19 AM1.18L

2014/08/05Tue07:35 AM2.36H

2014/08/05Tue04:12 PM0.37L

2014/08/05Tue10:45 PM1.42H



West winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms. Wednesday night will bring northwest winds around 10 knots diminishing to around 5 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2014/08/06Wed02:18 AM1.29L

2014/08/06Wed08:39 AM2.47H

2014/08/06Wed05:19 PM0.18L



Northwest winds around 5 knots then becoming west around 10 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Isolated thunderstorms.

2014/08/07Thu12:02 AM1.48H

2014/08/07Thu03:28 AM1.34L

2014/08/07Thu09:44 AM2.59H

2014/08/07Thu06:15 PM0.03L



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