|CATCH OF THE WEEK
|Steve White, from Raleigh, NC, caught and released this nice blue on a Grassett Snook Minnow fly while fishing the ICW at night near Venice with Capt. Rick Grassett.
FWC is reporting signs of red tide off the Sarasota coast. Our contributing captain, Rick Grassett, recommends fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and more should continue to be a good option. Catch and released night snook action in the ICW should also be good option during warm ups as long as water temperatures don’t dip below 60 degrees.
|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, blues and Spanish mackerel in Sarasota Bay on flies, CAL jigs with shad tails, DOA Deadly Combos and top water plugs and snook and blues at night on flies in the ICW near Venice during the past week.
Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday. He caught and released trout, blues and ladyfish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies near Bishop Point. Anna Maria and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, also fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday morning. They had steady action fishing deep grass flats with Spanish mackerel and trout at Stephens Point on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.
The warmest water of the day is in the evening, especially when an outgoing tide flushes out water that is warmed on shallow flats by the afternoon sun. That was the case on Wednesday evening when Phil Rever, from Sarasota, FL and Steve White, from Raleigh, NC, fished the ICW near Venice with me. They caught and released a dozen or more snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. With the water temperature in the low 60’s that night, snook were happy, healthy and swimming away strong when released. They also caught and released 5 or 6 blues in the 3 to 4-pound class and lost flies to a few others. Blues are often encountered in the cooler water that we have in winter in the same areas that we find snook at night. They are sometimes so aggressive in a spot that they can push the snook out, although it’s not a problem since the blues fight as good as or better than the snook!
I monitor water temperature closely this time of year and when the water temperature dropped a little more on Thursday, we decided it was best to cancel that night’s snook fly fishing trip. Since snook may become stressed when water temperatures drop into the 50’s, I avoid catching them at that time. More cold air poured in as another reinforcing front passed through on Friday morning and it was cold and windy. Since my fly fishing clients for that day are regulars who are here for several months we decided to wait for more civilized conditions.
It was a little warmer and less windy on Saturday when Marshall Dinerman, from Atlanta, GA, fished Sarasota Bay with me. We fished deep grass flats on both sides of the bay where he caught and released numerous trout and a few blues on CAL jigs with shad tails, DOA Deadly Combos and top water plugs.
Fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and more should continue to be a good option. Look for reds and big trout in potholes on negative low tides as we approach a new moon this week. They may also feed on shallow grass flats on sunny afternoons when the tide is high.
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.
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A nearly-stationary frontal boundary will meander across the coastal waters through Monday. A reinforcing cold front will then approach the northern Gulf waters on Tuesday and will move slowly south across the waters Tuesday night and Wednesday with gusty winds and building seas in its wake. Surface high pressure will build in over the northern Florida Peninsula during Thursday and Friday with lighter winds and seas expected. Higher dew point air overriding the cooler Gulf shelf waters may produce some sea fog over the coastal waters into Tuesday.
Southwest winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of rain. Monday night will bring south winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. A slight chance of rain. Patchy sea fog after midnight.
Southeast winds around 5 knots then becoming southwest in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters smooth. Patchy sea fog in the morning. A chance of rain. Tuesday night will bring southwest winds around 5 knots then becoming east after midnight. Bay and inland waters smooth. A slight chance of showers.
North winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of rain. Wednesday night will bring north winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A slight chance of showers in the evening.
North winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Thursday night will bring north winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
Northeast winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth.
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