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 Spanish mackerel, tripletail, flounder, snook, reds and trout on flies, CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos in Sarasota Bay and the coastal gulf waters during the past week.
Frank Zaffino, from Rochester, NY, fished the coastal gulf off Sarasota with me on Monday. Our goal was false albacore (little tunny), Spanish mackerel and tripletail on fly. Albies were elusive that day only showing themselves briefly a few times so we caught and released a few mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and moved on to tripletail. Conditions were good and tripletail were plentiful that day. He had numerous shots and caught and released 2 on my Grassett Flats Minnow and EP Shrimp flies. Fish were being picky but we showed them different flies and presentations and he did a great job finessing them into eating!
Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, FL, fished the coastal gulf with me on Tuesday. Despite an east wind, there was a big chop coming straight up the beach out of the southeast making conditions tough. We had shots at a couple of tripletail and decided to fish the bay starting at the bottom of the tide. We waded a shallow flat, hooked 3 reds and caught and released 2 on my Grassett Flats Minnow and Flats Bunny flies. A great afternoon!
Mike Clancy and Mik Mikitik, both from Olympia, WA, were the successful bidders on a trip that I donated to the International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF) for their 2014 International Fly Fishing Fair in Livingston, MT. They fished the coastal gulf with me on Thursday and had good action with tripletail, getting numerous shots at them and catching releasing 2. Although tripletail haven’t been big lately, it’s great way for fly anglers to hone their sight casting skills!
Outdoor writer, Jan Maizler and photographer, Allen Williams, both from the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area, fished with me on Friday and Saturday. A front passed through early Friday, so fishing the coastal gulf was not an option. I poled a shallow flat in Sarasota Bay on Friday and they caught and released several snook on CAL jigs with shad tails and top water plugs. We also drifted a deep grass flat and caught and released trout, flounder and bluefish on DOA Deadly Combos and CAL jigs with shad tails. With 25 to 30-mph winds and cool air rushing in on Saturday morning, conditions were extremely tough. We fished oyster bars, mangrove shorelines and docks in Little Sarasota Bay and caught and released several jacks, a couple of snook and a nice flounder on CAL jigs with shad tails.
Tripletail, Spanish mackerel and false albacore in the coastal gulf should be one of the best options now depending on conditions. Look for bait schools, diving birds or breaking fish to find albies and mackerel. Trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, flounder and more should be good options on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Snook fishing should be good around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW at night or on shallow flats of Sarasota Bay. You might find reds and trout along with snook on lighted docks this time of year. Also, look for reds on shallow flats mixed with mullet schools.
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.