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Captain Favorite's Fishing Forum: May 13, 2013

Catch of the Weekhttps://www.thebradentontimes.com/clientuploads/fishing/051313bonefish.jpg

Mike Perez, from Sarasota, Fla., caught and released this big bonefish on a Mantis Shrimp fly pattern while fishing the south area of Andros Island out of Andros South bonefish lodge. 


BRADENTON – Alas, stone crab season is coming to a close on Thursday, so be sure to quench your crab claw fix early on this week. Several fishing tournaments are scheduled throughout the month, and contributing Captain Rick Grassett says that tarpon season has come on strong. Besides tarpon, reds, trout and snook on shallow grass flats of Sarasota Bay are also a good angling option this time of year. An unexpected cold front is supposed to move in on Monday, then dissipate mid-week. 

Fishing Updates

Stone crab season closes May 16

  • The commercial and recreational harvest of stone crab claws in Florida closes on May 16, with the last day of harvest on May 15. This closure occurs each year during the species’ peak spawning season to help protect and sustain Florida’s valuable stone crab resource. Stone crab season will reopen on Oct. 15.
  • Commercially harvested stone crab claws may be possessed and sold during the closed season but only if they have been placed in inventory prior to May 16 by a licensed wholesale or retail dealer.
  • Stone crab traps must be removed from the water within five days after the close of the stone crab season unless a special extension is granted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
  • Learn more about the stone crab harvest season by visiting MyFWC.com/Fishing and clicking on “Saltwater” and then either “Recreational Regulations” or “Commercial.”

37th Annual Blue Water Open Dolphin Mania Charity Fishing Tournament

  • May 17-18, 2013 - Fort Pierce, Florida
  • The 37th Annual Blue Water Open Dolphin Mania Charity Fishing Tournament will be held the weekend of May 18 out of Fort Pierce City Marina. The Treasure Coast-wide dolphin-only tournament is sponsored by Exchange Club of Indian River Foundation. First prize for the largest dolphin weighed in is $5,000, second prize is $2,000, and third prize is $1,000. Five Bounty Booty Winners will receive $400 each. Proceeds benefit local projects for the prevention of child abuse.
  • Contact: John Binkley, bluewateropen@gmail.com, 772-532-9375.

ECISMA 4th Annual Everglades Non-Native Fish Round Up

  • May 18, 2013 - Miami, Florida
  • The Round Up will be a one day event open to all anglers (shore or boat) fishing in the Everglades area. CASH PRIZES will be awarded for largest fish, largest aggregate catch (weight), and will include a junior division. We also will award a “Slam” prize to the angler that catches the greatest number of non-native species.
  • Contact: Shea Bruscia, shea_bruscia@partner.nps.gov, 305-252-0347.

Florida Keys Dolphin Championship

May 24-26, 2013 - Florida Keys, Florida

  • Registrations and weigh-in's in five locations from Key Largo to Key West. First place prize is guaranted $15,000. Catch the largest dolphin over 55 lbs. and win a $75,000 Sea Hunter Bay Boat. Catch it on a Sea Hunter Boat purchased within 72 months of these dates from an authorized dealer and win $50,000 more. Cash and prizes payed out 30 places. This is an open event. Chareter boats welcome. Angler substitutes are allowed each day before lines in.
  • Contact: Jim Sharpe Jr, jimsharpejr@aol.com, 305-395-8712.


FWC scientists discover new bass species

  • Scientists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have uncovered a new species of black bass in the southeastern United States. Scientists have proposed naming the new species the Choctaw bass and recommended the scientific name ofMicropterus haiaka. They revealed their discovery at a meeting of the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society earlier this year.
  • FWC scientists first noted a DNA profile that did not belong to any recognized species while testing a bass specimen from the Chipola River in 2007, as part of a broader genetic study of bass.
  • “We didn’t set out to find a new species,” said Mike Tringali, who heads the genetics laboratory at the FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. “It found us.”
  • After confirming the initial discovery, scientists searched for the DNA profile in bass caught in nearby rivers to determine the species’ range. They found that the Choctaw bass inhabits coastal river systems in Alabama and along the western Florida panhandle, including the Choctawhatchee River.


Wildlife ‘rescues’ can do more harm than good

  • Winter is finally over. Trees and flowers are blossoming, birds are building nests and critters are being born.
  • This is also the time of year when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) begins getting calls about “abandoned” animals that folks believe may be in need of rescue. The fact is that rescuing these seemingly abandoned youngsters interferes with the very processes that ensure their survival in the wild.
  • After giving birth, adult wildlife must forage to provide food for themselves and their young. This means leaving their newborns for short periods.
  • Having some basic knowledge of wildlife and the survival skills animals use can help avoid attempting to rescue animals that don’t need rescuing.
  • Common targets of misplaced rescues are baby deer, temporarily left in a safe place while their mother feeds nearby. Many people who find fawns mistakenly assume they have been abandoned when, in reality, their parents are in the process of ensuring the infants’ survival.
Weekly Fishing Report by Capt. Rick Grassett
Bill Miller, from MS, caught and released this 20 inches trout on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

I hosted a group of seven anglers; Mike Perez, from Sarasota and Richmond, Ind., Les Fulcher, from Longboat Key, Joe Bursel, from Sarasota, Tony Johnson, from Venice and Seth Koch and Lon Rubin, from Philadelphia, Pa., on my annual trip to Andros South Bonefish Lodge last week. Managers Jeb Hall and Adam Kryder did a great job with making things run smoothly with my group. One of the best things about Andros South is the variety of options that are available. You can fish the vast sand flats and scattered mangrove keys to the south or head west through several creeks to fish remote backcountry areas consisting of large flats, mangrove shorelines and smaller creeks.


Tony and Joe had a couple of great days early in the week. They headed west one day with guide Norman and caught and released 9 or 10 fish each. We had west winds most of the week, which made for an easy trip south so we all fished in that area for a few days. Joe and Tony spent a couple of days fishing the south and caught and released about 10 fish each on their best day, including a 4.5pounder by Joe and an 8-pound fish for Tony! Joe ties a crawfish fly pattern that works very well and we also had great action with a Mantis Shrimp pattern.


Mike, Les and I rotated around and fished together on several days during the week. Mike and I went south with guide Charlie one day and west with guide Ellie another day. We caught and released five or six fish each up to five pounds or more on each trip on the Mantis Shrimp fly pattern. Mike fished a creek with guide Sparkles that was like an aquarium filled with rays, turtles, ‘cudas and sharks. In addition to lots of bonefish that day he also had fast action with numerous snapper out of a deep hole for a change of pace. Mike also had a couple of good days fishing the west side with Les and guides, Josie and Freddie.


Les and I fished together a couple of days and had a great day with guide Charlie. One day started with thunderstorms, the only weather issue all week, so we stayed close to the dock that day. I had a seven pound fish that day, but the most rewarding were a couple of tailers that I waded to in ankle deep water! I fished a day with another guest at the lodge, Sean from N.Y., and he also caught and released a seven pound fish. Les fished with guide Freddie a couple of days and caught and released four or fivee fish each day. Seth and Lon had good day on the west side with guide Charlie one day catching a releasing 5 bonefish each and Lon caught a nice ‘cuda on a tube lure ‘cuda rig on spinning tackle another day. A nice fish!


I have been hosting a group at Andros South in late April or early May for the last 8 or 9 years. This an annual trip for me, so if you have an interest in going on a future trip feel free to contact me for more info. Andros Island is quick and easy to get to and is very safe. I am also considering adding a fall trip to Andros South. Advantages of fall fishing are bigger fish and fewer bugs. Additional images from this year’s trip are available for viewing on the photo gallery of my web site at

http://www.snookfin-addict.com/photos.html .


Back in Sarasota, tarpon fishing is coming on strong. Look for schools of fish at first light in the morning in deeper areas along beaches. Spin anglers should score with live crabs, pinfish, DOA Baitbusters, Airheads and Swimming Mullet. Fly anglers should do best fishing shallower water later in the day with baitfish fly patterns such as Lefty’s Deceiver and EP flies. Reds, trout and snook on shallow grass flats of Sarasota Bay should also be a good option.

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


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Fishing Forecast 

A cold front moves south across the waters tonight into Monday. An area of high pressure builds back into the region from the north Monday through midweek.


North winds 5 to 10 knots then becoming northwest around 15 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A slight chance of showers in the morning. Monday night will bring northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2013/05/13Mon04:39 a.m.1.32H

2013/05/13Mon08:21 a.m.1.14L

2013/05/13Mon02:19 p.m.2.4H

2013/05/13Mon10:49 p.m.-0.14L



North winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Tuesday night

will bring east winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2013/05/14Tue05:25 a.m.1.32H

2013/05/14Tue09:01 a.m.1.17L

2013/05/14Tue03:00 p.m.2.3H

2013/05/14Tue11:34 p.m.-0.06L



East winds around 10 knots then becoming north in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Wednesday night will bring northeast winds around 10 knots then becoming east in the late evening and overnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2013/05/15Wed06:16 a.m.1.35H

2013/05/15Wed09:57 a.m.1.21L

2013/05/15Wed03:47 p.m.2.17H



East winds around 10 knots then becoming northwest in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Thursday night will bring north winds around 10 knots then becoming east in the late evening and overnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2013/05/16Thu12:21 a.m.0.03L

2013/05/16Thu07:07 a.m.1.42H

2013/05/16Thu11:16 a.m.1.23L

2013/05/16Thu04:43 p.m.1.99H



East winds around 5 knots then becoming northeast late in the morning, then then becoming northwest around 10 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2013/05/17Fri01:11 a.m.0.13L

2013/05/17Fri07:53 a.m.1.52H

2013/05/17Fri12:54 p.m.1.2L

2013/05/17Fri05:54 p.m.1.8H


Solunar Forecast


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