snookfinaddict

Weekly Fishing Report

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 2/18/2018

Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing trout in Sarasota Bay on CAL jigs with shad tails and flies and snook and blues in the ICW at night on flies during the past week. The best action was with snook and blues in the ICW at night.

Patrick Morrison, from MA, with a trout caught on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Patrick Morrison, from MA, with a trout caught on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Siesta Key and Longboat Key winter residents, Joe Brinkmeyer and Jim Brady, Phil and Brenda Rever, from MD and Bill Morrison, from Anna Maria Island and his grandson, Patrick Morrison, from MA, all fished deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with me on several different trips. They had good action catching and releasing trout and more on CAL jigs with shad tails and flies.

Jerry Poslusny, from Palmetto, FL, with a nice bluefish caught and released on a Grassett Snook Minnow fly while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett during the past week.

Jerry Poslusny, from Palmetto, FL, with a nice bluefish caught and released on a Grassett Snook Minnow fly while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett during the past week.

Jerry Poslusny, from Palmetto, and Rich Hunter, from Longboat Key, fished the ICW with me on Tuesday night. We had a blues invasion as hungry bluefish dominated some of the areas we fished. They caught and released about 20 fish on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly, half snook and half bluefish up to 4-lbs. It was not a problem, since the chunky blues fought as hard as or harder than many of the snook!

Estimated 75-pound Goliath grouper in snook light!

Estimated 75-pound Goliath grouper in snook light!

Martin Marlowe, from NY, with a 27" snook, caught and released on a Grassett Snook Minnow fly while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett during the past week.

Martin Marlowe, from NY, with a 27″ snook, caught and released on a Grassett Snook Minnow fly while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett during the past week.

Martin Marlowe, from NY, fished the ICW at night with me on Thursday. He also had great action with snook to 27” and blues to 4-lbs on the same fly. I saw something that night that I’ve never seen before in more than 30-years of fishing our waters, a 75-lb or larger Goliath grouper in a snook light along with many snook, blues and ladyfish. The big fish took a prominent ambush spot behind one of the outside pilings of a boat lift. Although we caught snook and blues out of the same dock light, the fish never tried to eat any of our hooked fish or our flies. The more time you spend on the water, the more likely you are to see strange things like this!

I was one of the FFI (Fly Fishers International) casting instructors (CI), along with Master Casting Instructors (MCI) Capt. Pete Greenan and Capt. Rex Gudgel for Mangrove Coast Coast Fly Fishers annual fly casting clinic at The Meadows in Sarasota on Saturday. An enthusiastic group of fly anglers showed up for the event. Beginners received basic instruction while more experienced casters fine-tuned their casting. A great event by MCFF, free and open to the public!

There is still time to sign up for CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School next Saturday, Feb 24th. The course, designed for beginning and intermediate fly casters, will focus on basics but also work with intermediate casters on correcting faults and improving casting skills. Cost for the school, which will run from 8:30 AM to 2 PM, is $175 per person and includes the use of Orvis fly tackle and lunch. Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or info@cbsoutfitters.com to make reservations.

There should be good action with trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Fishing shallow water for big trout and reds should also be a good option. Our natural resources are under constant pressure, please limit your kill, don’t kill your limit!

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.
www.snookfin-addict.com, www.snookfinaddict.com and www.flyfishingflorida.us
E-mail snookfin@aol.com
(941) 923-7799

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota & Tampa Bay, FL Fishing Report for 2/11/2018

Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing trout and Spanish mackerel in Sarasota Bay and tripletail in the coastal gulf on flies and reds and trout on CAL jigs with shad tails in the Terra Ceia area during the past week. The best action was with big trout in skinny water in Sarasota Bay, tripletail in the coastal gulf and reds in skinny water in the Terra Ceia area.

Mike Perez, from Sarasota, FL, with a nice trout caught and released on a fly while wading Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Mike Perez, from Sarasota, FL, with a nice trout caught and released on a fly while wading Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Nick Reding, from Longboat Key and Mike Perez, from Sarasota, waded a couple of shallow flats in Sarasota Bay with me on Monday. The action wasn’t fast but they caught and released a few quality trout up to 22” on Grassett Flats Minnow and Clouser Minnow flies.

Alan Sugar, from MI, fished deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday and had some action catching and releasing trout and a Spanish mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies. A couple of classmates from MD and DE whom I hadn’t seen in more than 40-yrs, Jim Willey and Gary Zlock met me at the boat launch at the end of my trip on Weds to say hello. We took a short trip to bend the rod on a few trout and shared a beer and a burger at the end of the day. Great to catch up!

Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, with a red caught on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing the Terra Ceia area with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, with a red caught on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing the Terra Ceia area with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL and Jack McCulloch, from Lakewood Ranch, FL, fished the Terra Ceia Bay area with me on Tuesday. They had great action with several reds and trout on CAL jigs with shad tails.

Martin Marlowe, from NY, with a big tripletail caught and released on a shrimp fly pattern on a 7-wt fly rod while fishing the coastal gulf with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Martin Marlowe, from NY, with a big tripletail caught and released on a shrimp fly pattern on a 7-wt fly rod while fishing the coastal gulf with Capt. Rick Grassett.

The most memorable trip of the week was with Martin Marlowe, from NY, on Thursday. We hunted tripletail in the coastal gulf, found several and he caught and released the personal best tripletail ever caught on my boat! The big fish ate a shrimp fly pattern on a 7-wt fly rod, ran deep into the backing and put on a show jumping. We survived getting wrapped on the crab trap line to bring the fish to the boat. Congratulations Martin!

I was one of the seminar speakers at the 2018 Florida Fly Fishing Expo at the Plantation resort in Crystal River, FL on Friday, 2/9. The Fly Fishers International (FFI) event featured some of the best fly tiers and fly fishing anglers and guides in the state, including legendary Florida Keys fly fishing guide, Steve Huff. The show featured seminars, fly tying and fly casting clinics and demonstrations. I gave a presentation to an enthusiastic, standing room only group on fly fishing for snook at night and deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay.

Fish the windows of stable weather between fronts for the best action. Sunny afternoons and evenings with some protection from the wind should fish better this time of year due to warmer water. There should be good action with trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Fishing shallow water for big trout should also be a good option.

I think it is appropriate to discuss something here that has been bothering me for a while. Not that there’s anything wrong with catching and eating fish, but I think boat limits are needed for both guides and recreational anglers. With numerous species of fish available to catch and bag limits as they currently are for some species, it may be legally possible to keep a total of 30 to 40 or more fish depending on the species and number of anglers on a boat. I don’t think Sarasota Bay and surrounding waters can support that kind of pressure. Some people forget or never knew about the conservation battles that many guides, along with CCA, fought in the past with redfish in the 80’s, the gill net ban in the 90’s, snook regulations and more to get to where we are today.

With an increasing population and more anglers fishing, less habitat due to development and declining water quality due to residential runoff and agricultural pollution, fishing is bound to decline if we don’t all do something about it. Just my opinion, but as a guide for 28-years I promote catch and release fishing and conservation to all of my clients and I think it is important to set that example. I’m not trying to be judgmental, but just because we can legally kill a limit of fish doesn’t mean we have to, to be successful. Everyone is the captain of their own vessel and can set lower limits themselves. Guides are teachers, we can make a difference or have a negative impact. As I say every month in my fishing forecast, please limit your kill, don’t kill your limit!

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.
www.snookfin-addict.com, www.snookfinaddict.com and www.flyfishingflorida.us
E-mail snookfin@aol.com
(941) 923-7799