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Captain Favorite's Fishing Forum: Sept. 2, 2013


Catch of the Week


Sarasota resident Tommy Mahinis caught and released this snook in the coastal Gulf.

The first of month brought about many changes in recreational fishing. For the first time in three years, snook season opened. However, tarpon and bonefish became catch and release only for the first time. Our contributing Captain Rick Grassett says that reds are schooling in Sarasota Bay. He recommends looking  for nervous patches of water or large wakes to find them.

Fishing Updates
  • The recreational harvest season for Florida’s premier game fish, snook, opens Sept. 1 statewide. Unique to the region, snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World.
  • While the fishery is more than 90 percent catch-and-release, the FWC encourages anglers to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home. Gulf snook populations were negatively impacted by a 2010 cold kill. Gulf snook numbers currently exceed FWC’s management goals but are still rebuilding to pre-cold-kill levels, which is one of the reasons why it is important to handle fish with care in this region and use moderation when determining whether or not to harvest one.
  • When releasing a snook, proper handling methods can help ensure the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come. To learn more about catch-and-release, the best way to handle a fish, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater” then “Recreational Regulations.”


Tarpon, bonefish become catch-and-release only on Sept. 1

  • Two premier recreational fisheries will soon have new protections in place, a measure aimed at ensuring that tarpon and bonefish’s economic and fishing value remain for generations to come. Tarpon and bonefish become catch-and-release only fisheries beginning Sept. 1.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved these proactive management measures at its June 12 meeting in Lakeland. The catch-and-release proposal was adopted in recognition of the fact that the economic and fishing values of bonefish and tarpon greatly exceed their value as food fishes.
  • The following changes will go into effect Sept. 1 in state and federal waters off Florida:All harvest of tarpon will be eliminated, with the exception of the harvest or possession of a single tarpon when in pursuit of an International Game Fish Association record and in conjunction with a tarpon tag.

▪ Tarpon tags will be limited to one per person, per year except for properly licensed charter boat captains and fishing guides.

▪ Transport or shipment of tarpon becomes limited to one fish per person.

▪ There will be a one-fish-per-vessel limit for tarpon.

▪ Gear used for tarpon will be limited to hook-and-line only.

▪ Multiple hooks in conjunction with live or dead natural bait cannot be used to target or harvest tarpon, or to target bonefish.

▪ People will be allowed to temporarily possess a tarpon for photography, measurement of length and girth and scientific sampling, with the stipulation that tarpon more than 40 inches must remain in the water.

▪ Tarpon regulations will extend into federal waters.

▪ The bonefish tournament exemption permit is eliminated. This exemption allowed tournament anglers with the proper permit to temporarily possess bonefish for transport to a tournament scale.

To learn more about tarpon and bonefish, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater” and “Recreational Regulations.”


Tampa Boat Show Sept 6-8
  • This year’s Progressive Insurance Tampa Boat Show, the region’s premier boat show, makes a splash September 6-8, showcasing the best of boating with hundreds of new vessels to shop, plus the latest marine accessories and aquatic attractions for all ages.
  • According to show manager Larry Berryman, the 48th annual event is a three-day boating extravaganza featuring activities for anyone interested in the boating lifestyle. “From fishermen to divers and novice boaters to experienced captains, the Progressive Insurance Tampa Boat Show has a wide range of activities to entertain and educate people of all ages and experience levels, including on-the-water training, a chance to SCUBA, dozens of boating and fishing seminars, and much more.”
Weekly Fishing Report by Capt. Rick Grassett
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, had good action catching and releasing reds, trout, bluefish and jacks in Sarasota Bay during the past week. The best action was with a variety of species on various deep grass flats.


I spent a couple of days scouting both shallow and deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay, catching and releasing trout and bluefish on DOA Deadly Combos, CAL jigs with shad tails and top water plugs. I also spent a few hours in the coastal gulf one afternoon, saw a few tarpon and had a couple of shots with a fly. The best action was when Seth and Lauren Jaeger, from Louisville, Ky., fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday. We fished lighted docks before dawn where they caught slot trout and redfish on CAL jigs with shad tails. They also had good action fishing deep grass flats on both sides of the bay, catching and releasing a variety of species including trout, blues, mangrove snapper and black sea bass on DOA Deadly Combos, CAL jigs with shad tails and top water plugs.


Capt. Andy Cotton, also out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, was scouting that day and called to let me know he’d found a large school of over slot reds so my clients could get in on the action. Most fish in the school were 30 inches and larger, mixed with large blues and jacks. Seth and Lauren caught and released numerous fish including redfish to 11 pounds, blues to five pounds and jacks to 10 pounds. A great way to end the trip!


Snook season will reopened on the west coast of Florida on September after being closed since a devastating freeze in Jan 2010. Anglers may keep one fish per person, per day between 28 inches and 33 inches from now through November 30. With so many other edible fish available on any given day in our waters, I’m going to continue to ask my clients to catch and release snook on my boat. They are one of our premier gamefish species and an important part Florida tourism. Regulations for all saltwater species can be found atwww.myfwc.com .


Reds are schooling in Sarasota Bay. Look for nervous patches of water or large wakes to find them. Large tarpon in upper Charlotte Harbor and  juvenile tarpon from 10 to 30 pounds are good options in creeks, canals and basins at this time. Tarpon are also still an option in the coastal gulf if you’ve got the patience for it. Beat the heat by catch and release snook fishing before daylight in the ICW and then look for reds, trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, tripletail and more in Sarasota Bay.


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

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Fishing Forecast 

Surface high pressure across South Florida will drift north to the Central Peninsula through the upcoming week. This will result in light winds and seas over the Gulf waters through the period...with a sea breeze developing along the coast each afternoon.


Southwest winds around 5 knots then becoming west around 10 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms in the morning then isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. Monday night will bring west winds around 5 knots in the evening then becoming variable less than 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. Isolated thunderstorms.

2013/09/02 Mon 12:35 a.m. 1.75 H

2013/09/02 Mon 05:31 a.m. 1.28 L

2013/09/02 Mon 11:20 a.m. 2.41 H

2013/09/02 Mon 06:55 p.m. 0.43 L


Southwest winds around 5 knots then becoming west around 5 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters smooth. Scattered thunderstorms. Tuesday night will bring north winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. Isolated thunderstorms.

2013/09/03 Tue 12:52 a.m. 1.8 H

2013/09/03 Tue 06:14 a.m. 1.14 L

2013/09/03 Tue 12:02 p.m. 2.44 H

2013/09/03 Tue 07:24 p.m. 0.49 L


Northeast winds around 5 knots then becoming north around 10 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Isolated thunderstorms. Wednesday night will bring north winds around 10 knots then becoming east around 5 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Isolated thunderstorms.

2013/09/04 Wed 01:05 a.m. 1.86 H

2013/09/04 Wed 06:53 a.m. 0.98 L

2013/09/04 Wed 12:41 p.m. 2.43 H

2013/09/04 Wed 07:49 p.m. 0.57 L


Southeast winds around 5 knots then becoming west in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters smooth. Isolated thunderstorms. Thursday night will bring north winds around 5 knots then becoming east after midnight. Bay and inland waters smooth. Isolated thunderstorms.

2013/09/05 Thu 01:19 a.m. 1.96 H

2013/09/05 Thu 07:30 a.m. 0.82 L

2013/09/05 Thu 01:19 p.m. 2.4 H

2013/09/05 Thu 08:13 p.m. 0.67 L


Southeast winds around 5 knots then becoming southwest around 5 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters smooth. Isolated thunderstorms.

2013/09/06 Fri 01:35 a.m. 2.08 H

2013/09/06 Fri 08:08 a.m. 0.67 L

2013/09/06 Fri 01:57 p.m. 2.33 H

2013/09/06 Fri 08:37 p.m. 0.78 L


Solunar Forecast


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