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Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 3/26/2018

by on Mar.27, 2018, under Bradenton and Sarasota

Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had some action catching and releasing trout and blues in Sarasota Bay on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms during the past week. Water temperature warmed back to the high 60’s and action improved.

My brother Joey Grassett and Christine Johnson, both from Seaford, DE, visited for a few days and had some action catching and releasing trout to 20” and blues to about 3-pounds on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms while fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with me.

Fishing shallow water for big trout, snook and reds should be a good option. There should also be good action with trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Fishing dock lights in the ICW at night is always a good option for snook and more. 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

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West Central Florida Gulf Fishing Report, Capt. Ray Markham, 3/23/18

by on Mar.22, 2018, under TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

The official first day of spring was this week, and for much of the Suncoast it was under stormy skies with threats of tornadoes. Tuesday, the day before, had a foggy start that cleared out early in the afternoon, giving way to sunny warming skies that turned on a good bite for the last day of winter. It’s predicted to be clear but just a bit cool on the water so you can look for some fishy action to heat up your weekend.

OFFSHORE/NEARSHORE

Action in offshore and nearshore waters can be dependent on several things, and two factors stand out this time of year. Cold fronts that bring high winds stir up water and create turbid conditions that make it more difficult for baitfish and predators to breathe. Gills that draw oxygen out of the water have issues in turbid conditions. Recent weeks with fronts passing about every 6 days or so, have created those conditions, forcing many species to seek greater depths where cleaner water exists. Pelagic species like Spanish and king mackerel follow bait schools and the bait will move deep on offshore wrecks. Blackfin tunas continue to be caught on Hubbard’s Marina’s 39-hour deep water trips along with a variety of snappers and groupers. Captain Dylan Hubbard, of Hubbard’s Marina noted a slower bite for most species they targeted on the shorter trips that fish nearshore.

Cold fronts can also drop water temperatures in the shallower nearshore waters. Fish that remain in these depths experience a noticeable slowing of metabolism, making for diminished appetites. During periods of prolonged cold, fish that are in these depths will move deeper where temperatures are more moderate and will also see an increase in metabolism, making them look for food again.

At mid-week this week, wind predictions with a northerly direction will blow up to 20-knots but will come down by the weekend. Cooler nights in the 40’s are predicted through Friday with a slow warming trend by Sunday. As we get toward that time frame you can expect better conditions for both nearshore and offshore fishing.

INSHORE

Fishing has been tough inshore with recent fronts dropping water temps into the mid- 60’s. Fog, at times, has created navigation issues for inshore anglers and cool, windy, foggy mornings have been uncomfortable on the water. Many anglers are reporting a very slow bite for redfish, and in some areas guides report seeing fish that just plain won’t eat. Capt. Rick Grassett, out of CB Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key reports this scenario from Sarasota to Boca Grande. Capt. Grassett said that they are on fish that just don’t eat. I’ve seen the same thing while fishing areas of the South Shore of Tampa Bay all the way down to Anna Maria Sound. While red tide down south may contribute to this, I’ve also seen it while fishing lower Tampa Bay on the South Shore and Fort DeSoto area where no red tide is being reported. Snook fishing, on the other hand, has been quite good. Capt. Grassett has been running night snook trips with fly anglers and having good success with some of his glass minnow patterns. Trout fishing for his anglers has also been fair in the deeper grass areas of Sarasota Bay.

Anglers aboard my boat are having good action, mostly past the noon hour when temperatures approach the afternoon peak. Snook and trout seem to turn on when water temperatures approach the 70-degree mark. I’m having good success with CAL Jigs with Shad tails and on topwater MirrOlure Top Dogs with trout up to 28-inches. These bigger fish have been tough to come by in many areas, and quite a few guides are reporting mostly small fish under the minimum 15-inch limit. I’ve also been racking up some respectable numbers of trout on some of the Tidal Surge lures as well as many of the Paul Brown lures.

Anglers fishing Pasco and Hernando waters, where there is less fishing pressure, note good action for trout with DOA Deadly Combos with the DOA Shrimp under the float in areas ranging from 3-to 5-foot depths. Areas with sparse grass and sand bottom or with potholes are seeing the best action with larger trout. But the largest trout seem to be holding in the shallows where sun heats the water. The best of these spots are sheltered from wind too. These conditions promote warmer clean water that isn’t turned over and stirred up or cooled by the wind.

In the John’s Pass area, Capt. Dylan Hubbard reported some of the anglers fishing behind the marina catching good numbers of nice sheepshead, black drum, and some big flounder around the jetties and behind their docks. Live shrimp have been the most available bait. When we get some consistent sunny days you can expect to see some fiddler crabs back in the bait shops.

FRESHWATER

Cold windy days have made it tough on anglers doing some bass fishing. But for those who tough it out, some nice fish are being caught. Rattling crank baits like the Rat-‘L-Traps or square bill crank baits are go-to lures for many anglers in the spring when bass are active around structure or hydrilla, but on warmer sunny mornings, look for bass to move up on the shorelines around lily pads and grassy areas. If water temperature nudge up around the 80-degree mark many of the soft plastic frog patterns will produce well here, and big bass hammer these baits in the spring. After fronts many times jerk baits or stick baits like several of the Strike King suspending KVD or Rapala jerkbaits excel. Working these lures with an erratic sharp twitch can trigger strikes in post-frontal conditions.

Eric Bachnik, owner of L & S Bait Company that includes the lines of MirrOlure, Paul Brown Lures, Iland Lures, and Tidal Surge lures, fishes the Bay Area Bassmaster’s series with his daughter, Shelby, who’s a very accomplished angler as well. Shelby says one of her top producing lures right now is the Phenix Pro Series spinnerbait in a 3/8-ounce blue shad with a matching grub added. Her recent observations may indicate that bass have spawned and are in a post-spawn pattern. Some of the areas Eric and Shelby fish are holding shad by hydrilla beds. Here, she may throw the spinnerbait, a square-bill crank bait or even a ½-ounce chrome/blue back Rat-‘L- Trap, while her dad prefers the MirrOlure Lil’ John XL rigged Texas style on an Owner worm hook.

There are many schools of thought on lure choices and there are dozens of effective lures, depending on the given situation. Give some of these lures a shot and see if they don’t produce for you. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray Markham

(941) 723-2655

Ray.markham@gmail.com

www.CaptainRayMarkham.com

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Homosassa Inshore Fishing Weekly Report, 3/19/18, Capt. William Toney

by on Mar.19, 2018, under Ozello to Crystal River

There is much to be said about good fishing. Earlier this week before the cold front most all anglers fishing on the Nature Coast experienced a excellent bite. Oh but what can happen in the time of 24 hours. As to be expected the day or two before a cold front and even during the front fish will turn on. Generally the wind will be from the south west and makes a good tide for our area and after the front it goes north west to north then north east and low low tides.
During the last cold snap I found some trout mid ways in the Little Homosassa River and St. Martins River. What both spots had in common was tall islands that blocked the north wind and the southern sun was shinning against the north side of the rivers, It was the warmest spot I could find for my clients and I , the fish must have felt the same way. It was old school fishing with a popping cork and live shrimp but over the course of a few hours we managed 7 keeper trout and a undersized snook. We dressed for the weather and were comfortable during the warmest part of the day.
Still good action on the nearshore rocks with more spanish mackerel moving in. The redfish bite has picked up on the inside keys at the last hour of incoming tide. Pinfish has been the best bait. Snook are scattered around but when you find then they are in tight bunches. Check around the outside keys with sandy holes to find them. High incoming tide will be in the morning this weekend.

captainwilliamtoney@gmail.com

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Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota & Gasparilla Sound, FL Fishing Report for 3/17/2018

by on Mar.18, 2018, under Bradenton and Sarasota, FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

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

Monday’s trip was cancelled due to wind and cool temperatures as a front moved through that day. Anna Maria Island winter resident Tony Merlis and his daughter, Jen Merlis, from MN, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday and had some action catching releasing trout on flies and CAL jigs with shad tails.

Martin Marlowe, from NY, and his son Bruce Marlowe, from SC, fished the ICW me on Wednesday night. It was Martin’s last trip with me before heading back north for the year and they finished strong. Despite cool water and a cold north wind, they had good action catching releasing numerous snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly.

Lynn Skipper, from Apollo Beach, FL, fished the backcountry of Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Thursday and Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL and Stephen Liska, from Naples, fished the same area on Friday. With water temperatures in shallow water in the low 60’s to start, fishing was challenging. We caught and released a few trout and a red on CAL jigs with shad tails.

The fishing world lost a gem when fly fishing legend, Lefty Kreh, passed away a few days ago. He was an author, photographer, outdoor writer and fly casting guru. A world class fly angler and casting instructor, he traveled the world pursuing fly fishing and sharing his knowledge. As rich as he was with knowledge, a conversation with him was like chatting with a family member or neighbor. I was fortunate to have had him as a guest on my boat twice. His wit and down home personality endeared him to many. He will be missed!

Rick & Lefty3aa

Fishing shallow water for big trout, snook and reds should be a good option. There should also be good action with trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Fishing dock lights in the ICW at night is always a good option for snook and more. 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

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West Central Florida Fishing Report, Gulf of Mexico/Tampa Bay–3/2/18 Capt. Ray Markham

by on Mar.01, 2018, under TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Weather changes are ahead of us for the weekend. The change will include some much cooler and needed temperatures. We just came off one of the warmest Februarys in recorded history. Our weather patterns have been more like late spring weather, but an incoming cold front could put us back on a normal track for this time of year.

OFFSHORE

Anglers are catching kingfish and Spanish mackerel, typical of springtime weather patterns, but we haven’t hit spring yet! Air temperatures in the upper 80’s and Gulf water temperature in the low 70’s has bait schools moving closer to shore and pelagics close behind. Most kings, however have been caught offshore on wrecks. But if you are looking for these fish, the incoming front will shift winds to the south and then around to the west and northwest after that passage. By the weekend, we will likely see northeast winds.

Thursday’s full moon may make the catching a little tougher, but improved tides will likely shake things up. Strong currents for anglers doing some bottom fishing will demand some heaver sinkers to pin baits down when currents are running at their peak. During the tide changes, currents will slow, making lighter sinkers the way to go. Just keep enough weight on to keep baits where you want them.

Trolling will be your best bet for locating fish on the move, and with this front on the way down, you can bet they’re going to move. Capt. Dylan Hubbard reported some excellent action aboard one of their 10-hour trips this week with 18 keeper kings being landed. The kingfishing for the next several day s will depend on how stirred up things get in the Gulf. Kingfish do not like turbid water and will run offshore to where the water clears. While bottom fishing, anglers out of Hubbard’s Marina caught some nice red grouper, good numbers of mangrove snapper, vermilion snapper, yellowtail, hogfish, and porgies. Some scamp were also in the catch this week along with blackfin tuna. For more information go to www.hubbardsmarina.com.

Triggerfish season reopens March 1 in the Gulf state and federal waters with some changes. The bag limit is decreased to one fish per person, and the minimum size limit is now 15-inches. Before fishing for triggerfish from a recreational vessel now you must sign up for the Gulf Reef Fish Survey at the GoOutdoorsFlorida.com website.

INSHORE

Some excellent fishing with stronger tides associated with the full moon will be on tap for the weekend. All week long fish have been chewing, and plenty of snook were moving out of backwaters on to open flats to meet anglers for opening day of snook season on Thursday, March 1. With water temperatures in some areas hitting over 79-degrees it’s been game on with top water lures for some of the most exciting fishing going. Rapala Skitter V lures, Zara Super Spook Jr. and MirrOlure Top Dogs are getting blasted. I’ve been fishing the new DOA PT-7 and these big fish are taking the entire bait into their mouths. If not for the big single worm hook on the lure, it could just disappear. But this hook also allows for quick, easy release with little harm to the fish.

Redfish have been scattered, but some areas in the north Tampa Bay area and around Weedon Island have steady action with good reports. Spoons like the Eppinger Rex have been slamming reds wherever there are pinfish flashing on the flats. Some of these areas, like those in lower Tampa Bay around Tarpon and Indian Keys, and Weedon Island are no internal combustion engine zones and outboard motors are not permitted to be in the water. You must raise your lower unit out of the water and either drift, pole, or use a trolling motor to enter and traverse these areas. The areas are clearly posted, so there is no excuse when you are stopped and ticketed by the FWC.

Trout fishing has been on a steady rise along with better catches of larger speckled trout. Many anglers are reporting limits of trout but some of the best recorded catches have come from St. Joseph’s Sound and north to Hernando. Jigs and slow sinking or suspending plugs and hard baits have been working very well with several models of MirrOlures and Rapalas leading the way for big fish. Soft plastic lures like the Saltwater Assassin Sea Shad, CAL Shad and DOA Shrimp have been taking the lion’s share of take home fish.

Look for a cool down by the week’s end. The initial change could affect the fishing on a positive note but after a day after the front passes, things could moderate, so as conditions allow, get out and fish!

FRESHWATER

Bass fishing has been good, but with this incoming front moving south into the area by this weekend, the fishing along with the full moon might be even better. Look for the cooler days with a drop in water temperature to turn bass and crappie back on in area lakes and ponds. Topwater lures will make for the most exciting action. Poppers and sliders for fly anglers using fly rods in the 5 to 8-weight sizes will be a blast. Crappie fishing with jigs or Missouri minnows could be the ticket for an excellent home fish fry for the weekend.’ Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray Markham

(941) 723-2655

Ray.markham@gmail.com

www.captainraymarkham.com

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Homosassa Inshore Fishing Weekly Report, Capt. William Toney, February 13, 2018

by on Feb.13, 2018, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa

This week and last week were some of the best inshore trout and red fishing I’ve had this winter. Remember the year is young and the Nature Coast has experienced mid 70 degree weather. The flats near the outside rocky points are the best areas to target. The key to catching is having enough incoming tide to cover the limestone points so fish will concentrate to feed on the bait fish or shrimp on the rocks. On low water look for deeper depressions between navigable creeks to pole ( the best way ) to catch some of the largest trout of the year. I will admit my clients and I have put a few big trout in the box with no regrets and we have release a few also with high fives. Something I feel strong about is our environment whether it is deer hunting in our woods or catching fish in our waters. Those of us who spend allot of time hunting and fishing understand the importance of making sure the generation that follows us will be able to catch a big trout, redfish, scallops or shoot a nice buck.
The baits I used this week for some of the best trout and redfish were the Eppinger Rex gold spoon. One of America’s oldest lure manufactures, the spoon has caught (whacked) about as many squirrels or rabbits as the 22. riffle. When ask how to work a gold spoon I replied ” nice long cast like pitching a penny to a wall, lively on the retrieve with a steady reeling motion”.  Kid’s who can’t get this “put it close as possible to the mangroves and make it move on a upper water column retrieve”. Sorry to preach this week but just want you youth to be able to catch fish in a excellent enviorment long after the gold spoon has out lived us old salts. High tide will be early morning or late evening. W

 

captainwilliamtoney@gmail.com

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West Central Florida Fishing Report, 1/26/18, Capt. Ray Markham

by on Jan.26, 2018, under TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Changes for cobia are coming next week. Beginning February 1, 2018 the recreational and commercial bag limits for cobia in Gulf state waters will be the same, reducing the commercial limit from two to one fish per person and reducing the recreational and commercial vessel limit in Gulf state waters from six to two cobia per vessel, per day. The minimum 33-inch size limit is unchanged.

Breezy weather for the weekend will challenge some boaters along with greater changes for rain on Sunday. Check the weather before you go and if you do go, leave a float plan with someone.

OFFSHORE/ NEARSHORE

Breezy weather continues through much of the weekend as it has for much of the past couple of weeks. A low pressure area in the Gulf may move up the Florida coast bringing wind and rain for Sunday. But the past week has allowed a day or two for anglers to get on the water. Cold conditions, however, have dripped water temps to levels that slow the bite wherever you are. Under these situations, fresh cut bait seems to produce best, since fish don’t have to chase a bait down to eat it.

Nearshore options have been limited due to cooler water temps, but Capt. Dylan Hubbard reports a fairly decent hogfish bite. A few lane snapper have been caught, but the best action has been on the all day trip with fair action on the half days.

Hubbard’s 12-hour Extreme trips offshore have crushed the amberjacks; however, the weather hasn’t allowed many trips. Some big red grouper have been caught in 150-to 200-feet of water. Some nice scamp grouper are being pulled in as well. Last weekend’s 39-hour trip was killer. The loaded the boat with AJ’s including on tipping the scales at just over 100-pounds, caught by Roger Poulin. The boat landed with porgies, red and scamp grouper, mangrove, vermilion, yellowtail, mutton, and dog snappers along with tuna. The next 44-hour trip is slated for February 2. For info on hopping aboard, go to www.hubbardsmarina.com.

INSHORE

Cold water temperatures have made for a tough bite. But still, persistence pays off when trying to put a few fish in the boat. Flounder fishing has been tough. Most fish have been small and barely legal, but if you concentrate on working lures on the bottom you’ll find them. Look near passes where there is moving water. Tides should pick up by next Tuesday’s full moon. With north winds, expect some exceptionally low tides. This will be a prime time to do some exploring and find those potholes on the flats that will hold trout and possibly redfish. Bring a camera to document bottom irregularities like oyster bars, debris, rocks, and rubble for future reference.

Some larger trout are moving in and out of the bays in waves. Reports say the last of the outgoing tide has been the most productive. Jerk baits like the CAL 5.5 and the Zoom Superfluke in pearl or glow colors are working best for the big gators. MirrOlure’s new 37MR49 MirrOdines, the largest model, have been taking some monster trout.

Big trout are being caught up in Clearwater and Dunedin near the passes and on the south sides of the spoil islands near Honeymoon and Caladesi Islands. CAL Deadly Tandem Jigs are working well along with MirrOlure TTRCH twitch baits for the larger fish. An assortment of suspending models of Unfair Lures is doing a good job.

Sheepshead fishing has been good. This is the normal time of year for this species to crank up and get chewing. They will be spawning next month and into March. The tail end of the outgoing to slack tide is best for these fish. Knocker rigs with just enough weight to hold baits down are productive. Fiddler crabs, shrimp, and sand fleas are top baits, but barnacles, clams and brined oysters also work well. Some anglers find small circle hooks effective. A 2/0 size seems to work well.

Some reds are showing up again for anglers fishing the Fort Desoto area. Wade fishing around the maintenance shack has been productive for redfish, trout, flounder, and sheepshead using live shrimp under popping corks. Weedon Island and Master’s Bayou off Gandy Bridge are holding some nice reds. Anglers fishing live shrimp or whitebait, when you can get it, are doing well in these areas.

Most anglers have held off targeting snook due to the cold water conditions, since these fish don’t fare well in the cold. But several reports say some monster snook are holding up in Riviera Bay in the deep holes and around Big Island in the upper Tampa Bay.

Last weekend’s Old Salt Johnny Kellar Tournament showed that Tampa Bay still holds some monster black drum. Several near the 40-pound class were hoisted on the scales. Look for the bay bridges to hold these fish, primarily the Gandy and Howard Franklin.

FRESHWATER

Its’ time to dust off your flipping sticks and hit the freshwater lakes for some spawning bass. Big bass will be found in the shallows fanning beds on warmer sunny days. Creature baits like salamanders, eels, and snakes that are a menace to bedding bass will be great lures to toss at these fish. Males that will be protecting the beds will attack these baits whether they are hungry or not, just to protect their territory. Bad weather tends to move fish off the beds, but with next Tuesday’s full moon approaching, look for some good action on the beds after the front passes that will approach us on Sunday. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray Markham

(941) 723-2655

Ray.markham@gmail.com

www.CaptainRayMarkham.com

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West Central Florida Fishing Report, 1/19/18, Capt. Ray Markham

by on Jan.21, 2018, under TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

OFFSHORE/ NEARSHORE

There hasn’t been much going on offshore due to the inclement weather. Even nearshore waters have been fairly rough with the cold front pattern that’s been blowing out so many trips. However, Capt. Dylan Hubbard, out of Hubbard’s Marina (www.hubbardsmarina.com) reports decent action for the conditions near shore for anglers fishing with them. They only got out once this week, on Tuesday, but managed to get a handful of hogfish, grey snapper, lane snapper, porgies and black seabsss. Black seabass are excellent on the table and make an excellent fish sandwich.

Gag grouper are closed, but anglers working well offshore on one of the 39-hour trips out of Hubbard’s managed to catch some nice AJ’s on the special opening that closes January 27 at 12:01 a.m. They have another 39-hour offshore trip scheduled this weekend, and so far it’s a light load, so if you want to get out this weekend, here’s an opportunity to get on the boat where you might not be rubbing elbows with the guy next to you. Recent trips have brought in red grouper, scamp, kingfish, blackfin tunas, mangrove and yellowtail snapper, and triggerfish. However, the brief opening of triggerfish has ended.

INSHORE

The trout bite in most areas has been on fire. But the extreme cold of the past few days will probably slow things up until some warmth heats up the shallows in some of the bays. In the meantime, you’ll likely find some decent action in depths ranging from 4 to 6-feet where dark shallow flats drop off into channels and big potholes. Some exceptional action with suspending baits has been happening for those anglers tossing the 17MR MirrOlure MirrOdine, Unfair Lures Rip n Slash, or Rapala Twitch ‘n Rap. These lures will sit in the strike zone for great lengths of time until a fish decides to eat them. All that’s needed is a slight twitch of the rod to trigger a strike. Your best bet this time of year might be soft plastic CAL curly tail jigs with lightweight jig heads ranging from 1/8 to ¼-ounce or the same jig heads with soft plastic tails like the 3-inch CAL Shad, MirrOlure Marsh Minnow, or the Saltwater Assassin Sea Shad.

Winter cold makes most fish sluggish. But sheepshead are very active. They are preparing to spawn over the next couple of months or so and are feeding to put on weight for the spawn. Find them around most any pilings on docks, bridges, seawalls, and rock piles. A piece of fresh shrimp, clam, or oyster or a live fiddler crab or sand flea all work well. A 2/0 circle hook takes the work out of setting and makes for a higher ratio of hook ups.

Silver trout have made an appearance just off the beaches from Blind Pass to Clearwater along with a few whiting. Live shrimp cast beyond the surf have been taking these fish, but for some of the best action on silvers, get just off the beaches near the Blind Pass Drop and fish about the 14-foot depths there with tandem rigged jigs.

It’s been tough fishing because of the cold temps, but some of the anglers hitting Sarasota Bay are finding some bluefish, ladyfish, and trout. Capt. Rick Grassett is one of them. He’s been using CAL Jigs as well as some of the flies he ties for his fly anglers.

Capt. Dylan Hubbard reported some snook turning belly up that were either dead or stunned Thursday morning from the cold. As a reminder, snook season is closed and even picking up dead snook is prohibited.

Until water temperatures move way back up you’ll have to slow lure presentations down radically to get a bite. Shrunken strike zones mean you’ll have to get your lures closer to the fish without spooking them. So, longer fluorocarbon leaders just as light as you can make them without breaking off will be the name of the game now.

FRESHWATER

“Green fish”,(largemouth bass), are hunkered down in grass beds hoping to soak up some of the sun’s warming rays. Look for bass in deeper water and fish it slow. Crappie will be schooling in 6-to 10-feet of water on lakes Tarpon and Manatee. Bring some Missouri minnows and drift until you catch them. Chuck out a marker and keep your rods bent! ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray Markham

(941) 723-2655

Ray.markham@gmail.com

www.CaptainRayMarkham.com

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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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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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