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Fly Fishing the Sarasota Bay in Florida

Sarasota Bay summary

Sarasota Bay is a fly fishing location in Florida.
                   

Sarasota Bay reports

Rick Grassett (Capt. Rick Grassett) reported - 1 - Excellent fly fishing: Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 10/23 through 11/4/2017 Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing trout and bluefish in Sarasota Bay and tripletail, Spanish mackerel and false albacore (little tunny) in the coastal gulf on flies, CAL jigs with shad tails, jerk worms and DOA Shrimp during the past week. As anticipated, with the water temperature down to the mid 70’s, action turned on in the coastal gulf. Marshall Dinerman and a guest, both from Atlanta, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, 10/23. We worked deep grass flats on the east side of the bay and they had steady action catching and releasing trout on DOA Deadly Combos. Fly anglers Ken Babineau, from Sarasota, and Mike Mcadaragh, from Longboat Key, fished the coastal gulf with me on Friday, 10/27. It was still breezy following a front earlier in the week, but they had numerous sight casting opportunities at tripletail, hooking a couple and catching and releasing one. Although the fish were small, it is still fun to sight cast to them since it requires pinpoint casting accuracy in sometimes challenging conditions. Hal Lutz, from Parrish, FL and Jeb Mulock, from Bradenton, also got in on the action with tripletail on Saturday, 10/28 with Hal catching and releasing his first tripletail on a fly. They also had some action catching and releasing Spanish mackerel and had a couple of shots at false albacore (little tunny) that were blitzing glass minnow schools. Fly anglers Jim Collins, from Bradenton, FL and Dave Graham, from Evergreen, CO, fished with me on Tuesday and Thursday, 10/31 and 11/2. We worked deep grass flats on the east side of Sarasota Bay on Tuesday and they had steady action catching and releasing numerous trout and several nice bluefish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies. We fished the coastal gulf on Thursday and it was on fire! They had great action catching and releasing Spanish mackerel and 7 or 8 albies on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. Although you usually have to work hard for them, the fish stayed up all day long, blitzing glass minnow schools and giving us steady action. Jim’s last fish of the day was a 12-pounder that took him deep into his backing, around a crab trap float and around the boat several times! Massimo Giardina and Tatiana Migliaretti, from Switzerland, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday morning, 11/1. They had good action catching and releasing trout on CAL jigs with shad tails and 4” jerk worms and Ultra Hair Clouser flies in the morning. We fished the coastal gulf in the afternoon and they had good action catching and releasing numerous Spanish mackerel and a couple of nice albies on CAL jigs with shad tails and Ultra Hair Clouser flies. They finished the day with a 5-lb tripletail on a 2.75” DOA Shrimp! This should be just the start of good action with Spanish mackerel, albies, tripletail and cobia in the coastal gulf. There should also be good action with trout and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Shallow water action for snook, trout and reds is improving due to cooler water. Fishing lighted docks and bridges in the ICW for snook with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option. Tight Lines, Capt. Rick Grassett FFI Certified Fly Casting Instructor Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis Outfitter of the Year-2011 Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. , and (941) 923-7799 (11/04/17)
Rick Grassett (Capt. Rick Grassett) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Capt. Rick Grassett’s Jensen Beach & Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 10/9 through 10/22/2017 Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had some action catching and releasing snook, trout and tripletail on flies in Sarasota Bay and the coastal gulf recently. Fly angler Frank Zaffino, from Rochester, NY, fished a couple of days with me during the week of 10/9. We were hoping to find false albacore (little tunny) in the coastal gulf, but saw only a couple of schools that were up and down very quickly so we didn’t get a shot at them. However with stone crab season now open, tripletail have more structure available and a few small ones have moved in. Frank caught and released several on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. We also fished Sarasota Bay one afternoon and he caught and released a snook on the same fly. I traveled to Jensen Beach on Florida’s east coast on Sunday afternoon, 10/15 to fish the DOA Fishing Lures “Outdoor Writer’s Festival” out of River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp. The annual event features a couple of days of fishing with outdoor writers from around the country and other fishing industry sponsors. It’s always good to see old friends and see what’s new in the fishing world. Good friends, good music, good food and good fishing! Anglers fishing with me worked mullet schools in the Indian River where we caught and released trout and jacks on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms. Outdoor writers were matched up with guides and anglers caught and released snook, trout, reds, jacks and tarpon on a variety of DOA Lures. A few anglers headed over to Lake Okeechobee where they had good top water action with DOA PT’s on largemouth bass. Back in Sarasota, I had a chance to do some scouting before Saturday’s 13th annual MCFF “Fall Fly Fishing Challenge”. I found good action with snook around dock lights and trout on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Capt. Andy Cotton and I fished the tournament together on Saturday. We had a good snook bite before dawn, catching and releasing 9 snook on small white flies. After daylight we worked deep grass flats, where we had some action catching and releasing trout on Clouser flies fished on sink tip fly lines. Andy caught and released more than 82” of trout to win the trout category in the open division. Tournament anglers gathered at The Meadows Country Club Community Association building on Friday evening, 10/20 for the angler meeting and on Saturday afternoon, 10/21 for angler check in and an awards luncheon. The tournament benefits the conservation and/or education programs of CCA and Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers. Anglers could fish any water on the west coast of Florida using flies only, in a catch, digital photo, release format fishing tournament for reds, trout, snook and more. All fish were photographed and immediately released. Winners of each division were awarded Orvis Recon fly rod outfits and handsome plaques. Other winners also received plaques and donated gift certificates. The event also featured an upscale raffle and a silent auction. A special thanks to donors to the event; Orvis, CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, Economy Tackle, Chouinard Outdoor Associates/Simms & Umpqua, Andy Thornal Company, Rattlin’ Jack, The Compound, West Wall Outfitters, New Pass Grill and Bait Shop, Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO), Jeff Brue, Steve Gibson (Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing) and Saltflys.com (Craig Smothers). Without them the tournament wouldn’t be possible, so please support them whenever you can. Look for action in the coastal gulf to take off in the coming weeks. There should also be good action with trout and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Shallow water action for snook, trout and reds is picking up due to cooler water. Fishing lighted docks and bridges in the ICW for snook with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option. You should still find juvenile tarpon in canals and creeks and adult tarpon in upper Charlotte Harbor and some areas of Sarasota and Tampa Bay. Tight Lines, Capt. Rick Grassett FFI Certified Fly Casting Instructor Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis Outfitter of the Year-2011 Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. , and (941) 923-7799 (10/22/17)
Rick Grassett (Capt. Rick Grassett) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 9/4/2017 Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had some action with snook around dock lights and trout on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay during the past week. This is a great time of year to beat the heat, by fishing dock lights before dawn, which is the coolest time of day. In addition to snook, you may also find juvenile tarpon, trout and reds in the lights as we head into fall. Labor Day weekend is often “family time” on the water and this weekend was no different as kids had some fun fishing with family members. Fly angler Randy Ritzenhaler and his daughter Elise, from TX, fished a predawn snook/flats trip in Sarasota with me on Thursday. Randy had some action before daylight catching and releasing snook and a nice trout on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly fished on a sink tip fly line. They also had some action catching and releasing trout on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly and a CAL jig with a shad tail on the west side of the bay. Despite all the rain we’ve had, except for tannin stained water, deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay looked good. I had a couple of trips on Saturday and Sunday and the best action was with trout over deep grass flats. Al Ribas, from Miami, FL, and his grandson Michael, from Port Charlotte, FL, had some action catching and releasing trout on CAL jigs with shad tails. You may find juvenile tarpon, trout or reds mixed with snook in dock lights. You should also find juvenile tarpon in canals and creeks and adult tarpon in upper Charlotte Harbor and some areas of Sarasota and Tampa Bay. Fishing lighted docks and bridges in the ICW for snook with flies and DOA Lures should be a good option. This is also a good time frame to sight fish for snook in the surf. Snook season reopened on Sept 1st on the west coast of Florida. Bag limit is 1 fish per person, per day between 28”-33”. Full regulations can be found at . Personally, I will continue to ask that snook be released on my boat. They are a magnificent game fish that hits hard and fights strong and smart. If continuing to release them now means more and bigger snook later, I’m all for that. Tight Lines, Capt. Rick Grassett FFI Certified Fly Casting Instructor Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis Outfitter of the Year-2011 Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. , and (941) 923-7799 (09/04/17)
Rick Grassett (Capt. Rick Grassett) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 8/26/2017 I was away on a family vacation recently, so I don’t have much to report locally. However, I did get out for a trip after we returned. A fly angler fishing Sarasota Bay with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had some action catching and releasing snook, jacks, mangrove snapper and ladyfish on flies on his first ever saltwater fly fishing trip. Greg Whitledge, from IL, fished a predawn snook/flats trip with me on Friday morning. That trip, which gives anglers a good chance for snook and tarpon on a fly around dock lights before moving to the flats at the best time of day, is a great option this time of year. He did well, catching and releasing several snook before daylight on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. Just as we were wrapping up the snook fishing, a school of jacks erupted in a frenzy, trapping bait along a seawall. He added a few more species to his tally by catching and releasing mangrove snapper, jacks and ladyfish out of the fray! You may find juvenile tarpon mixed with snook in dock lights or in canals and creeks during the day. You may also find juvenile and adult tarpon in upper Charlotte Harbor and some areas of Sarasota and Tampa Bay. Fishing lighted docks and bridges in the ICW for snook with flies and DOA Lures should be a good option. This is also a good time frame to sight fish for snook in the surf. Remember that snook season is closed on the west coast of Florida until Sep 1st. Please handle them gently and release them quickly. Tight Lines, Capt. Rick Grassett FFI Certified Fly Casting Instructor Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis Outfitter of the Year-2011 Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. , and (941) 923-7799 (08/26/17)
Rick Grassett (Capt. Rick Grassett) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 8/5/2017 Fly anglers fishing with me recently, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, continued to have some action with tarpon. Despite poor conditions with the passing of Tropical Storm Emily, we got out for a couple of trips. When fish were high in the water column and visibility was good, we had the best action. We had about a dozen shots and jumped one tarpon on one of the trips. Tarpon fishing in the gulf should still be an option depending on conditions. You should find juvenile tarpon in creeks, canals and turning basins. This is also a good time frame to sight fish for snook in the surf. However, snook season remains closed on the west coast of Florida until Sep 1st, so please handle them gently and release them quickly. Fishing lighted docks and bridges in the ICW for snook and tarpon with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option. Tight Lines, Capt. Rick Grassett FFI Certified Fly Casting Instructor Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis Outfitter of the Year-2011 Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. , and (941) 923-7799 (08/05/17)
Rick Grassett (Capt. Rick Grassett) reported - 2 - Good fly fishing: Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 7/23/2017 Fly anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, continued to have some action with tarpon recently. We had numerous shots at tarpon each trip, jumping several fish. Conditions were good some days, however we dodged thunderstorms and fished windows of good conditions on other days. When fish were “happy”, high in the water column and moving slowly, we had the best action. Days when fish were deep or moving fast, combined with poor visibility were tough. Tarpon fishing should be good next week as many fish are post spawn and should be aggressive. This is a good time frame to sight fish for snook in the surf. However, snook season remains closed on the west coast of Florida until Sep 1st, so please handle them gently and release them quickly. Fishing lighted docks and bridges in the ICW for snook with flies and DOA Lures also continues to be a good option. Tight Lines, Capt. Rick Grassett FFI Certified Fly Casting Instructor Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis Outfitter of the Year-2011 Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. , and (941) 923-7799 (07/23/17)
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