CATCH OF THE WEEK
|Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, FL, caught and released this nice sheepshead on a Grassett Flats Minnow fly while wading a Sarasota Bay sandbar with Capt. Rick Grassett.|
Snook season reopened in Gulf waters on March 1. Another cold front is making its way across the state this week. Our contributing captain says to look for reds and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay as we head away from a new moon next week. Fishing deep grass flats for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, pompano and more should continue to be a good option. You may also find tripletail in the coastal gulf when conditions are good.
|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, reds and snook in Gasparilla Sound on CAL jigs with shad tails; redfish, trout, sheepshead and Spanish mackerel in Sarasota Bay and snook and jacks in the ICW at night near Venice on flies during the past week.
I was out of town for a few days and returned on Tuesday night in time for Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, to fish Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Wednesday. We fished hard in shallow water, hunting reds with some success. Keith caught and released a pair of slot reds, several trout and a snook on CAL jigs with shad tails to complete his slam. We also fished a sand bar where he caught and released a few jacks and a 36” blacktip shark also on a CAL jig with a shad tail.
Anna Maria and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday morning. We fished deep grass flats on the east side of the bay where they caught and released numerous trout and a couple of Spanish mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies. Frank Zaffino, from Rochester, NY, snook fished with me in the ICW near Venice that evening. It was cool (50’s) and drizzling rain all night, but the snook bite was hot! He caught and released more than 20 snook to 25” and several jacks in the 3 to 4-pound class on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly.
Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, FL and Mike Perez, from Sarasota, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday. We waded a shallow grass flat on the west side of the bay where they had good action catching and releasing several trout to 4 1/2-pounds, an 8-pound red and a sheepshead on Clouser and my Grassett Flats Minnow flies. A good day!
I gave a presentation, “How to Catch More Fish on a Fly”, at the “Outdoors Expo & Boat Show” (formerly the Frank Sargeant Show) at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa on Saturday and also spent some time with my friends at the DOA Fishing Lures booth. 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 March 8th. The class will cover fly casting basics, shooting line, roll cast, leader construction and saltwater fly fishing techniques. Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 to sign up.
Snook season reopened on Florida’s gulf coast on March 1st and will remain open through April 30th. Bag limit is one fish per angler per day, which must be in a slot from 28”-33”. Fish should be measured horizontally from the tip of the nose (mouth closed) to the pinched tip of the tail. The majority of fish will be undersized, so handle them gently and release them as quickly as possible. If you want a digital image of your trophy, be ready with your camera and support the fish horizontally with two hands for a quick shot. There is a great article on fish handling, including photography tips, on the Florida FWC web site at the following link, http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/fish-handling/. Personally, I will continue to ask clients to release all snook while the population rebounds from the devastating freeze of 2010.
Look for reds and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay as we head away from a new moon next week. Fishing deep grass flats for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, pompano and more should continue to be a good option. You may also find tripletail in the coastal gulf when conditions are good.
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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High pressure across the waters will slide away as a cold front moves into northern waters Monday night...central waters Tuesday...then back north by Wednesday morning. The front then resides along the Gulf Coast and northern Florida through the end of the week...as a strong storm system forms on the front then tracks east along it. This system is expected in the northeast Gulf and northern Florida waters Thursday and Thursday night. Small Craft Advisory conditions will be likely toward the latter half of the week with gale force gusts possible.
South winds around 10 knots then becoming southwest in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Monday night will bring southwest winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth.
Wind variable less than 5 knots then becoming west around 5 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters smooth. A slight chance of showers in the afternoon. Tuesday night will bring north winds around 10 knots then becoming northeast after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
2014/03/04Tue09:41 PM-0.09 L
Northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms. Thunderstorms may increase winds and seas in the morning then a chance of thunderstorms. Thunderstorms may increase winds and seas in the afternoon. Wednesday night
will bring east winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of thunderstorms. Thunderstorms may increase winds and seas.
2014/03/05Wed10:38 PM-0.08 L
Southeast winds 5 to 10 knots then becoming south around 15 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Thunderstorms. Thunderstorms may increase winds and seas likely. Thursday night will bring southwest winds around 20 knots. Bay and inland waters choppy. A chance of thunderstorms. Thunderstorms may increase winds and seas in the evening then a chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms. Thunderstorms may increase winds and seas after midnight.
2014/03/06Thu11:44 PM-0.05 L
West winds around 20 knots. Bay and inland waters choppy. A slight chance of showers.