Fishing ReportsWest-Central

Sarasota Bay

I was away on a family vacation during the past week so I don’t have a Sarasota fishing report this week. However, I had a chance to fly fish the “low country” in the Charleston, SC area for reds a couple of days. My brother, Kirk Grassett from Middletown, DE and I fished with a couple of guide friends of mine, Capt. Mark Phelps ( and Capt. John Irwin ( and caught and released several reds on flies.


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Photo: The “low country” in the Charleston, SC –

It was great to fish a new area and experience their style of fishing reds in shallow water. With tides of 6’ or more, timing is everything and these guys know their area well. We had a very small window each day when a high tide flooded spartina grass flats and reds tailed and crawled through the grass eating crabs. This is the opposite of tailing reds in southwest Florida where they tail on negative low tides. When the tide dropped, schools of reds cruised shorelines eating shrimp being sucked out of the marsh by the falling tide. The Charleston area is rich in history with great food and fishing!

False albacore should be a good option in the coastal gulf depending on conditions. Tarpon are moving to inside waters of Sarasota Bay, where you may find them around lighted docks and bridges, in passes or in canals and creeks. Snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges close to passes with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option. You may find trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and jacks on deep grass flats, particularly close to passes. Look for reds, snook and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars.

Contact Info:
Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
IFFF 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