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Archive for January, 2018

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 1/14/2018

by on Jan.15, 2018, under Bradenton and Sarasota

Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had decent action with trout and bluefish in Sarasota Bay on flies, DOA Deadly Combos and CAL jigs with shad tails and snook and blues on flies in the ICW at night during the past week. Sunny afternoons and calm winds allowed the water to warm back into the 60’s following last week’s strong front and trout moved into shallow water.

Marshall Dinerman, from Atlanta, GA fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday afternoon. With water temperature in the high 50’, action was slow. We caught and released a few trout on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos on deep grass flats. The largest trout was caught on a CAL jig with a shad tail in less than 2’ of water, which was also the warmest water.

Keith McClintock and Victor Feldman, both from IL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday. It was slow to start, but trout turned on in the afternoon as the sun warmed shallow water to as warm as 65 degrees in a couple of spots. Snook also moved onto the edges of bars to warm up.

With water temperatures back in the 60’s after several days of warming, Martin Marlowe, from NY, fished the ICW with me on Thursday night. He had good action catching and releasing snook and several blues around dock lights on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. Fish were actively feeding and swimming away strong. Afternoons and evenings will usually have the warmest water of the day, as the sun warms shallow water that flushes out of bays with outgoing tides.

 

MartinMarloweVeniceGrassettSnookMinnowflynightsnook

Another front pushed through on Friday, beginning a few days of below average temperatures. Steve Kost, from Lakewood Ranch, FL and his son Nick Kost, from NY, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday. It was very windy, rough and tough to find any protected water to fish. Despite the tough conditions, they had some action with bluefish, trout and ladyfish on flies. I worked with Nick on his fly casting and he scored his first fish on a fly, a ladyfish, in 25-mph wind!

The toughest fishing this time of year is usually the day of a front or the day after, when the wind blows from the northwest and cold air comes rushing in causing water temperatures to fall. Water temperatures may drop back into the 50’s next week, so temperature sensitive fish should be avoided at that time. Fish the windows of stable weather between fronts for the best action. Sunny afternoons 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, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Shallow water action for larger trout and reds 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.
www.snookfin-addict.com, www.snookfinaddict.com and www.flyfishingflorida.us
E-mail snookfin@aol.com
(941) 923-7799

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Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 1/7/2018

by on Jan.07, 2018, under Bradenton and Sarasota, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had some action with trout, pompano and reds on CAL jigs with shad tails in Sarasota Bay during the past week. A strong front early in the week, followed by a reinforcing front, forced the cancellation or postponement of several trips last week. However I was able to get out one day later in the week when conditions were better.

Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, Rick Anderson and brothers Garrett and Nate Anderson, also from IL, fished Sarasota Bay with me in a couple of shifts on Thursday.  Action wasn’t fast, but they caught some quality fish. We fished deep grass flats early in the day and they caught and released several trout to 18” on CAL jigs with shad tails. With a negative low tide, some sun and protection from the wind, we fished shallow water in the afternoon and found redfish concentrated in a few spots. They caught several reds to 26” on CAL jigs with shad tails. Nate finished the day up strong by landing a nice pompano also on a CAL jig with a shad tail!

RickAndersonSBCALShadred2

With water temperatures in the mid 50’s, sub-tropical species such as snook shouldn’t be targeted. Other species that are more tolerant of cold water, such as blues, reds, sheepshead and flounder are better options. Sunny afternoons with some protection from the wind should fish best. With high air temperatures in the mid 70’s forecast by the middle of next week, water temperatures will rise and there should be good action with trout, blues, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Shallow water action for larger trout and reds 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.
www.snookfin-addict.com, www.snookfinaddict.com and www.flyfishingflorida.us
E-mail snookfin@aol.com
(941) 923-7799

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West Central Florida Fishing4Cast, January 5-7 2018, Capt. Ray Markham

by on Jan.05, 2018, under TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Kicking off the New Year, frigid weather will make for some tough fishing conditions this coming weekend. A real concern is for the welfare of snook. Many areas have seen low 50’s water temperatures and they are sure to drop even more, putting snook at risk of freezing to death. Under these conditions, it’s best to leave these fish alone until waters warm back up. A bitter flashback of the freeze of 2010 and the snook kill is on the minds of a lot of folks. Fish stunned by the cold may not be dead. Leave these fish alone. A reminder for all that snook season is CLOSED and taking of any snook, dead or alive, is prohibited and is considered poaching. Report violations to FWC’s Wildlife Alert Program at 1-888-404-FWC. To report a fish kill, call 1-800-636-0511.

OFFSHORE

Weather conditions for the weekend don’t look good. Seas may begin to settle, but based on the reports at mid-week, time spent on the water will be uncomfortable at best this weekend. I would suspect a big temperature drop in the shallows out to 60-feet or so, will likely move gags back out deeper and slow the remaining species. But since gag grouper closed the last day of December, it may not matter to folks anyway. Some decent size red grouper should be available beyond 80-feet. Some fresh cut bait will be your best bet for these fish. A combo of cut sardine and cut squid puts out some scent that attracts fish. Triggerfish can get in on the feast if you’re out there. A brief season opened January 1 and only runs through January 15th, but it may give you an opportunity or two to target these tasty fish.

Greater amberjacks have reopened for a brief time through January 26th. For those who don’t have the boat to get out where these fish are, the 12-hour Extreme Trips, running Wednesdays and Sundays for the month of January out of Hubbard’s Marina, are experts at producing these hard fighting reef donkeys. Go to www.hubbardsmarina.com for information on hopping aboard.

INSHORE

Prospects for inshore fishing this weekend are not good and conditions will be very difficult at best with water temperatures plummeting over the week. Cold that moved into the Suncoast are putting a major damper on the bite. Don’t waste your time getting out at the crack of dawn. Fish metabolisms will be shut down until the water begins to warm, but when you do get out, fish live or artificial shrimp, like those from DOA Lures. Work all baits very slowly. Bucktails or jigs with soft plastic curly tails have a lot of action even when sitting on the bottom if there is just a little bit of current. Rigged on a light jig head an eighth ounce or lighter in tandem will allow these lures to fall slowly and trigger strikes from lethargic fish. Smaller baits will likely be more effective. One of the top producing lures much of the year is the MirrOlure MirrOdine. The line of lures has expanded to include a mini version of the lure as well as the “Heavy Dine”, a smaller profile that sinks deeper than the original to get down to the bottom third of the water column where most fish will likely be. Slow, in-your-face presentations will be the best way to entice fish to eat, even if not hungry, but the key to catching fish now is to keep the lure in the very small strike zone as long as possible.

Sheepshead are possibly the most cooperative fish during foul cold weather. Sheepies have been moving into bays and along beaches on artificial reefs lately. A hard blow toward week’s end will stir up nearshore waters, possibly making it unfishable, but area docks, bridges, piers and seawalls are prime spots for sheepshead fishing from now through March. These fish are getting fatter as they prepare to spawn. The average sheepshead will be in the 1- to 3-pound range, but you can expect to find some around 5 to 7-pounds inside the bays now. Smaller baits like a piece of fresh shrimp, clam, oyster, blanched sand flea, barnacle, or fiddler crab are all excellent baits, especially when rigged on small #2 circle hooks. The key to using these hooks is to avoid a hard hook set. Just reel when you feel the fish taking the bait. Use only enough weight to get the bait down and keep it in place. Areas with current may be best fished on or around the slack tide.

Winter trout like this pair held by Lynn Manzella of Apollo Beach, can be caught on the Deadly Tandem, a tandem rigged curly tail combo from DOA Lures.

Strong north winds blowing water out of the bays create pools of deep water where there are potholes and channels. If you have access to some of these deep water spots, you’ll likely find a wad of fish Trout have been moving in on the flats in bigger numbers lately. This is normal for the winter months. They are fairly hearty and can stand cold weather better than many species. Anglers aboard my boat have been catching some nice trout and some flounder as well. Like most all other species, a slow presentation on the bottom has been most productive.

FRESHWATER

This cold snap will slow things down on freshwater as well as salt, but bedding bass may move off and on the beds with weather changes. Crappie fishing is taking off. As we get more consistent cool weather patterns, these fish will form larger and larger schools, making them easier to target. Lake Tarpon has always produced good catches of crappie, a.k.a. speckled perch. Walsingham Reservoir is also a good location for specks. Missouri minnows are possibly the top natural bait for these fish. An assortment of soft plastic jigs is deadly on them as well. Bass Assassin makes a huge variety of small crappie tails. Another popular lure for specks are Hal Flies.

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School-Jan 20, 2018

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, 1249 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL will have an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Sat, Jan 20, 2018. Located on Siesta Key, named Best Beach in America, the school will cover fly casting basics, line control, shooting line and the roll cast. Instructors, Capt. Rick Grassett and Capt. Ed Hurst, will also cover leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques. 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.
It may be a good time to catch up on your fishing shows on the DVR or rig some tackle, clean your reels, or possibly even get out and go hunting. Whatever you do, be safe and have a very happy and productive New Year. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray Markham

(941) 723-2655

Ray.markham@gmail.com

www.CaptainRayMarkham.com

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Legendary Guide Steve Huff Headlines Florida Fly Fishing Expo, Crystal River, Feb. 9 & 10, 2018

by on Jan.04, 2018, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST

The 2018 Florida Fly Fishing Expo in Crystal River on February 9-10 has scheduled legendary Florida Keys guide Steve Huff to show and tell some of his secrets for catching giant permit, tarpon, snook and other trophy gamefish on a fly rod.

Steve Huff

Huff, who has been described as “the top fly fishing guide on the planet,” tops a schedule of more than 20 expert-led seminars and new fly fishing product displays at Plantation on Crystal River on Florida’s west coast. Admission to the two-day expo is $25 but free for those 12 and younger when accompanied by an adult.

The Florida Fly Fishing Expo is put on annually by the Florida Council of Fly Fishers International. President Tom Gadacz said, “We are so pleased to have Steve Huff coming to the Expo. This guy has a bank-vault of knowledge about catching big fish on the fly and he’ll share some hard-earned insights.”

After earning a marine biology degree at the University of Miami in 1968 Huff started guiding in the Florida Keys. He pioneered fly fishing for tarpon, permit and snook in the Keys and also led clients to IGFA record tarpon near Crystal River and Homosassa. Sandy Moret, his good friend and a fellow fly fisher, once described Huff as “without question, the top fly fishing guide on the planet.”

On Friday, Feb. 9, Huff will present a tutorial about how to locate and catch permit on the fly. On Saturday he will discuss the importance of and how to make quick fly casts in all directions. As the featured speaker at the Expo’s closing banquet on Saturday Huff will share insights he has learned from 50-years of guiding fly fishers to saltwater trophy gamefish.

More than 20 other sessions about how-to fly fish, fly cast and tie flies are scheduled indoors and outdoors at the spacious, waterfront resort of Plantation on Crystal River. They include:

Fly Fishing for snook at night by Capt. Rick Grassett

Paddleboard fly-fishing by David Olson.

Fly casting tutorial for women by Mona Brewer, youth fly casting by David Lambert, emergency casting clinic by Pat Damico, and casting games led by John Hand and Jim Patchet.

Beginner and intermediate fly casting demonstrations by Capt. Pete Greenan.

Fly fishing for warm water fishes in North Florida by Tom Logan

Wading the flats by Leigh West.

History of women in fly fishing by Jen Ripple.

DIY bonefishing in the Keys and Bahamas by Capt. Bryon Chamberlin.

Fishing Mosquito Lagoon secrets by Capt. Frank Catino.

Fly fishing for baby tarpon in the Indian River Lagoon by Capt. Eric Davis.

Effortless fly casting by Joe Mahler.

Fly fishing the Everglades by Ed Tamson.

Fly tying with synthetics by Dave Schmezer.

Register online

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CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School-January 20, 2018

by on Jan.02, 2018, under Bradenton and Sarasota

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, 1249 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL will have an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Sat, Jan 20, 2018. Located on Siesta Key, named Best Beach in America, the school will cover fly casting basics, line control, shooting line and the roll cast. Instructors, Capt. Rick Grassett and Capt. Ed Hurst, will also cover leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques. 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.

CaptsRickGrassettandEdHurstOrvisflyfishing101class2

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Homosassa Inshore Fishing Weekly Report. 1/2/18, Capt. William Toney

by on Jan.02, 2018, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Hernando and Pasco Gulf Coast, Ozello to Crystal River

Well this weeks New Years weather will remind us thin blood Floridians that in can be down right cold here. I will have to say that it will be tough fishing for the time being but if you have to go this is what I would do. Getting on the water early will not do anyone no good so stop and eat some breakfast first. Live shrimp is the next stop if they can be found. ( call ahead ) River fishing will lend the best action, start at the mid point of the Crystal River or Homosassa and work towards the east until you find biting fish. This may not happen until an angler meets the warm fresh waters flowing from the springs. Warm water means life and survival during extreme cold conditions. Shrimp on the bottom might get the bite and possible suspending plugs in deeper water as well as jigs. Offshore I would believe the sheepshead bite should be starting although I would recommend waiting until better weather.
One other option is bank fish. Citrus County has many options on the west side to cast a line without launching a boat. Homosassa has a few spots and down Mason Creek. Going north is Ozello Trail, Ft. Island Trail, the Barge Canal and on the other side try the Follow That Dream road way. Good thing about bank fishing is a warm vehicle is not to far away. Incoming high tide will be early morning or late evening this weekend.

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Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 1/1/2018

by on Jan.01, 2018, under Bradenton and Sarasota, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing trout, blues and pompano on flies and CAL jigs with shad tails on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay during the past week. Hefty bluefish provided great action for fly anglers!

Alan Sugar and Ray Hutchinson, both from MI, had good action fly fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday. They caught and released trout and several nice bluefish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.

Indy Kimura and Mireya Castillo, both from Salt Lake city, UT also had some action on their first saltwater fly fishing trip in Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday. They had good action catching and releasing numerous trout and several big blues on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.

 

MireyaCastilloSBClouserflytrout2

Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, Victor Feldman, from Champagne, IL and Steve McClintock, from Pittsburgh, PA fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday.  We fished skinny water in the morning and they caught a couple of nice trout and a 5-1/2-pound pompano on CAL jigs with shad tails. We fished deep grass flats in the afternoon where they had good action with blues, also on CAL jigs with shad tails.

Barry Slee and Maria Horvat, both from Lake Forest, IL, fished deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday. They had good action catching numerous blues and trout on CAL jigs with shad tails.

There should be good action with trout, blues, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Shallow water action for larger trout and reds is improving due to cooler water. Fishing lighted docks and bridges in the ICW for catch and release snook with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option after the weather stabilizes following today’s front. I would like to thank the many long time, repeat clients that fished with me during 2017 and wish a happy 2018 to all.

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

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