Tag: fishing report
Anglers fishing Sarasota Bay with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released silver and spotted sea trout and reds on flies and jigs during the past week. Although silver trout are often found in deeper areas along beaches and in dredge holes or channels in bays, we have been catching them consistently at the Marina Jack flat, which is a deep grass flat close to Big Pass.
Anglers fishing the Marina Jack and Miiddleground flats and various deep grass flats along the west side of the bay caught and released silver trout to 15”and spotted sea trout to 19” on CAL jigs with shad tails, DOA Deadly Combos and Clouser flies fished on sink tip fly lines. I spent some time in shallow water hunting for reds and big trout. It paid off when Joe McGurrin, from Stevensville, MD, and Stan Ross, from Virginia Beach, VA, fished with me on Monday. They caught and released 3 reds to 24” on weedless rigged CAL shad tails near Bishop Point. They also caught and released about a dozen trout on CAL jigs with shad tails in deeper water.
Reds and trout may be found along shallow edges of flats and bars or in potholes when the tide is low or along mangrove shorelines when the tide is high. Look for trout over deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. You might find Spanish mackerel in or just outside passes when the tide is moving. Tarpon numbers are increasing daily and may also be a good option in the coastal gulf.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
This week the trout are still very good and had very good catches. Mackeral along with sharks and small cobia are starting to show up. Reds have been good when tides have been right. Cork and jig with plastics or corks along with casting plastics are working well. I’ve been north up to Waccassa mainly on the flats. Of course inside for reds, bars, points, etc. Have seen a few tarpon on the flats.
Some days it seems like staying in bed might be a good idea, particularly when heavy rains, lightning, squalls, and high winds are predicted. And if we totally left it up to weather prognosticators we may have slept in on more than one occasion. But we didn’t, and the redfish action in the lower end of Tampa Bay, Terra Ceia Bay, and Miguel Bay had anglers aboard my flat’s skiff, the Flat Back II, smiling from ear to ear this week. It wasn’t without some frustration in the process. Redfish caught were all in the slot ranging from 18-to 25-inches. Fishing conditions varied all week beginning with light winds, warm sunny mornings and ending up with windy weather that threatened to rain by week’s end. The approaching ‘cold’ front brought a bit cooler temperatures but the water temperature never fell, reaching nearly 81- degrees each day during the peak temperature in the afternoon.
CAL Jigs with Shad tails, MirrOlure Lil’ John jerk baits, Rapala Skitterwalks, MirrOlure Top Dogs, and MirrOdines by MirrOlure garnered much of the action during calmer periods, but once the wind began to blow, the flash of the Eppinger Rex Spoon and the CAL Shad in night glow and gold holographic glitter out-paced the rest of the baits thrown. Both the half-ounce and quarter-ounce gold and copper colored Rex spoons brought fish to the boat.
Friday’s weather forecast was not good and it was touch and go with rain storms all night that hung offshore approaching the Suncoast, only to break up and move off in another direction. High winds remained, however, to limit our range of travel, keeping us inside bays behind the shelter of mangrove shorelines and islands. Water levels rose well above the predicted low tide before sunrise and into the late morning when the tide was supposed to be dropping. The resulting high tide pushed redfish back into the mangroves to feed, where they were out of touch with our lures. It wasn’t until afternoon when the outgoing tide began to drop the level and bring fish out of the bushes.
Targeting normal low tide redfish spots in the early hours only produce a few strikes and one 24-inch redfish on a CAL Shad inside Terra Ceia Bay. Champlain Bayou seemed to be a wasteland, with little to no activity from redfish, and only a few trout. But reds weren’t our only targets for the day. While working shorelines tight to the mangroves we were hit by a half dozen nice snook in Terra Ceia Bay.
Drifting the flats with Top Dogs and DOA Deadly Combos produced some legal trout in the middle of the slot. We worked trout until the last hour of our trip when we came back to give one of my low tide redfish spots another shot. The water level had dropped over a foot from what we saw in the morning, and reds found their way to that special spot we hit in the morning. This time we had redfish fighting over CAL Shads and gold Eppinger Rex Spoons. One nice red that taped out at 25-inches had 3 other larger redfish following it to the boat, all the time trying to steal the lure from its mouth, but the CAL Shad hung tight and the fish was landed, netting 6 redfish, the same number of snook, and a couple dozen trout for the day’s catch.
Tides and wind can sometimes be a source of frustration, but in the end, patience is the key to getting some of the fish we targeted to move out to feed where we could catch them. But the real bonus was that one of my anglers was on his first saltwater fishing trip and caught a Grand Slam—snook, trout, and redfish, all in the same day, and that was worth getting out of bed for.
Capt. Ray Markham specializes in light tackle charters with artificial lures using sping, plug, and fly tackle. He runs the Flat Back II out of Terra Ceia and can be reached for charter at (941) 228-3474 or via email at Ray.Markham@gmail.com
Hey there folks hope all is well where ya’ll are at. We are having one heck of a spring. The Speckled Tout are biting like crazy on the same Green Moon colors. Look for grass flats in 3 to 5 feet of water and if you catch one use your shallow water anchor or anchor pin to stop you. Right now the fish are schooled up tight so you want to keep casting in the same spot that you catch the first one. The Sand Trout have also started to turn on. We have been catching some real nice ones up to 18″. This size makes a fine meal when there fried up with some hush puppies.
The Red Fish are still a little scattered in our area. There are a few starting to show up around the islands at Cedar Key but not in any big numbers.
The Sheep Head are still biting good on some of the shallow structures in 10 to 20 feet. I’ve heard that Fittler Crabs have been the best choice in bait. Well folks y’all stay safe and we’ll see ya on the water.
Whether or not you think fish are ahead of schedule, only the fish can say for sure. Trout are right in line for a normal spring, and that includes the normal water temperature range for what we ‘normally’ see as an average spring here. Baitfish schools have actually arrived early, by at least a month or so, and so have tarpon. While the big schools of poons that we normally see in June and July have yet to arrive, fish are being caught in some of the usual haunts you’ll find them in June. The Skyway Bridge area has been a hot spot for early birds looking to catch tarpon here.
Along with the baitfish schools, in come Spanish and King mackerel schools, and boy howdy have the shown up! Lots of big mackerel in the 5-pound size range are here. Average fish are running anywhere from 18-to 24-inches in length. From the beaches, to the artificial reefs, to patches of hard bottom scattered over lower Tampa Bay, loads of big macks are being caught on Gotcha Jigs, Clark and Eppinger Rex Spoons, and CAL Jigs with Shad tails. Along with the Spanish, plenty of bluefish are mixed in to provide some action along with lots of cutoffs from their razor sharp teeth. A trace of light wire has helped prevent lure losses but have also slowed the bite just a bit. Long shank jig heads by DOA CAL help prevent some losses. Kings are being caught offshore and all the way out the Egmont Ship’s Channel for trollers dragging both hardware and live baits.
Fly anglers who tie glass minnow patterns on long shank hooks will have a field day with Spanish mackerel, but on occasion, macks will hit the line, and that can ruin an expensive line, so I usually recommend that guys who bring their own fly rods to fish, bring an old floating weight forward or sink tip line to fish these fish. A wire trace can also help prevent cutoffs but the long shank hook is the best bet here. These fish have a lot of spunk and will take you into the backing in no time with a 6 or 8 wt. rod, but rods in these weights are perfect for the majority of the fish we have been encountering.
Inside Terra Ceia Bay, we are catching plenty of trout, with many well over the 20-inch max size limit. An assortment of lures is working. CAL Jigs with Shad tails, DOA Deadly Combos, MirrOlure Top Dogs, MirrOlure MirrOdines, and MirrOlure Lil’ John jerk baits have all produced some nice trout. I still believe some of the biggest speckled trout of the year are yet to come. Fish with roe are just beginning to show and that’s a sign that the spawning fish are moving in. That could increase by this coming Friday around the full moon and over the next month.
Redfish have shown their finicky side on more than one occasion over the past couple of weeks but we’ve usually had some nice mid-slot fish to show for our efforts. CAL Shads and Eppinger Rex gold ½-ounce spoons have been the top red getters this week.
Good catches of flounder around 15-to 18-inches were caught by anglers aboard the Flat Back II. Most are coming on DOA Shrimp fished on the bottom and CAL Jigs with curly tails–all in the night glow color.
Capt. Ray Markham specializes in light tackle backcountry, inshore, and nearshore fishing charters using artificial lures with spin, plug, and fly tackle. He runs the Flat Back II, a custom 1820 Action Craft Hybrid, powered by Yamaha out of Terra Ceia.
He can be reached for charter at (941) 228-3474 or via email at Ray.Markham@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anglers fishing Sarasota Bay with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released mostly trout, including numerous slot size trout and some silver trout, on flies and jigs during the past week.
We had a couple of slower days during the week, but in addition to trout we also caught and released a nice flounder, redfish and snook on flies. Although action was slow for us on Monday, we did catch and release a 5 ¼-pound trout on a CAL jig with a shad tail near Whale Key that day. Longboat Key winter resident Nick Reding and Greg Geoffroy, from IA, fished with me on Tuesday. We waded several bars on both sides of Sarasota Bay and they caught and released a few trout and a nice flounder on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly. Bill Moore, from IL, had a good trip when he fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday. He caught and released silver and spotted trout to 18” on CAL jigs with shad and 4” jerk worm tails at the Marina Jack and Middleground flats and near Whale Key.
The action was also good on Thursday morning when Anna Maria Island and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, fished Sarasota Bay with me. We fished the same areas as the day before and they caught and released numerous spotted and silver trout to 18” on Ultra Hair Clouser flies. Despite good action in the morning that afternoon was slow. Longboat Key and Sarasota winter residents, Nick Reding and Mike Perez, waded several spots in Sarasota Bay with me on Friday. We caught and released trout to 18”, a 23” snook and a red on my Grassett Flats Minnow and a Lefty’s Deceiver fly.
Reds and trout may be found along shallow edges of flats and bars or in potholes when the tide is low or along mangrove shorelines when the tide is high. Look for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, ladyfish or pompano over deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Spanish and king mackerel, false albacore (little tunny), tripletail and more may be good options in the coastal gulf.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
It’s great to be able to fish enough that I have a name for a certain school of redfish in the Ozello area because I stop by and visit them so much. My name for the school of reds is “Lessons in Frustration”. I believe the name says it all and I’ve even threaten to get them in non sporting ways, but I have learned from them and enjoy going to they’re classroom.
Some of the things I have learned from these fish is that they are pressured. Some by anglers, some from trolling motors and some from airboats. The best approach to even have the faintest shot at catching one is to drift or pole your boat in. Lesson 1. Don’t rock the boat, slam a hatch lid, wear fluorescence shirts and wave a fishing pole above your head. Lesson 2. Try to read the body language of the fish, are they “flashing” meaning rolling against the bottom because those fish will eat. If you make eye contact do they take off to the next zip code because they’re boogered up. Lesson 3. Use the right bait, if they run from the shrimp it’s pretty obvious shrimp are not going to work. Try a pinfish or a lure till’ you have a positive reaction to the right color.
Today at “Lesson in Frustration” my clients and I caught a redfish there and how we did it was with a Eppinger spoon cast where the water was just slightly darker than the surrounding water. You might say hey Capt. Will your a fool for wasting so much time on fish that won’t eat. Maybe I am, but that one redfish helped us catch 10 more at another location that came to mind because it has the same slightly darker water. Lesson learned!
Trout fishing has been excellent inshore and out in the Bombing Range. With this weeks tides I recommend starting in the Bombing Range using MirrOlure LIL’ Johns and D.O.A. CAL shads on a 1/4 oz. jighead. The rockpiles are holding most of the fish like trout, bluefish, seabass, flounder and spanish mackerel. As the tide moves in, fish the area around the Bird Rack for more trout and then after lunch fish the inside keys to catch some redfish. High incoming tide this weekend will be around 12pm.
Capt. William Toney www.homosassainshorefishing.com
Hey there folks hope y’all had a good week. This has got to be my favorite time of year. The Turkeys are gobbling and the gulf is alive. Man have we been catching the trout. Most of which were caught under the Cajun Thunder Corks. As the tide would get high we would switch to just a plain Saltwater Assassin jig. This technique works well when the water is deeper than 5 feet.
We also have been catching fare amounts of Spanish. They were also caught on these techniques.
Our Red Fish have slowed down a bit. No one really knows why but we expect it to pick up any time. If you’re looking to go fishing get in touch with your favorite fishing guide and get a date booked. The weather is nice and they might not have many dates left. Until next time we’ll see you on the water.
Anglers aboard the Flat Back II this week caught snook, trout, and redfish while fishing inside Terra Ceia and south Tampa Bays. Prior to the front that blew in Saturday night and Sunday morning, consistent action with trout, redfish, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and black seabass was the norm. But after the front passed redfish became very picky. Still, it was not a big temperature drop, since water temps in the afternoon on Sunday rose to a lofty 80.7 degrees in parts of lower Tampa Bay.
Throwing an assortment of MirrOlures, Eppinger Rex Spoons, and even my Old Faithful, CAL Shad produced lackluster results immediately after the front, and I attributed it to a drop in barometric pressure that was prolonged. Redfish would hump up on lures and follow them all the way to the boat, but wouldn’t always hit. I will generally switch colors first when fish follow and won’t eat. If that doesn’t work, I downsize my bait to see if that will get the bite going, but after the front, we watched in amazement at least 30 redfish following our lures to the boat without taking them. Snook, on the other hand, did not hesitate to slam the CAL Shad. We caught some spotted seatrout right after the front as by-catch, since we were targeting snook and redfish making a “boat slam”.
Coming off last week’s new moon, we can expect a monster outgoing tide late at night around the midnight hour. This is prime time for nocturnal fish, like snook to come out and feed. Small baitfish patterns like the MirrOlure MirrOdine and CAL Shad produced very well, as did the DOA Shrimp.
Fly anglers experienced a nice bite on topwater poppers and sliders. Red head poppers with white marabou bodies produced well for trout. Most topwater action was early in the day just after sunrise in less than 3-feet of water, but the largest trout came from small potholes in about a foot of water surrounded by grass.
The action should be back to normal after a day or two past the front. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!
Capt. Ray Markham specializes in light tackle and fly fishing with artificial lures. He runs the Flat Back II out of Terra Ceia and can be reached for charter at (941) 723-2655 home, or (941) 228-3474 cell, or email at email@example.com
There is all sorts of great fishing action here on the Nature Coast in Citrus County. If it is a species that roams the nearshore waters of the Gulf then it’s a good chance you can catch it now.
On the high incoming tides redfish are on the rocky points of most keys in the Chassahowitzka NWR, Pea Pass and Fish Creek. Eppinger Rex spoons have been a great bait as with cut lady fish and live shrimp. Before you ice down 2 legal redfish per angler in your boat, take a minute to think about this – do you have the most fun catching that fish or cooking it ? One upper slot redfish will make a great meal for two adults and if we limit our take then I believe we’ll have plenty of redfish for the future.
Trout fishing is as good as it gets and there are two choices on where you can catch them. On the shallow rocks in Homosassa Bay and around St. Martins Keys the D.O.A. 5.5 jerk bait and the MirrOlure She Dog top water plug are getting the big trout. This past week with clients fishing the Black Diamond catch and release photo tournament. We caught a 27″ 7 lb. gator trout on the D.O.A. glow jerk bait sight casting in 15″ of water. The fish was released in excellent condition and was very heavy with roe.
The other trout spot is in the Foul Area and expect the trout to have company like, blue fish, sea bass, flounder, pompano, spanish mackerel, small gag grouper and grey grunts. Long drift’s across broken bottom is the best way to get into the action but if you catch multiple fish in one spot anchor down and stay with them. The best baits have been MirrOlure LIL’ Johns and the new D.O.A. Tandem Rigs.
Reports of a good Kingfish run out in 25′ to 30′ have been coming in along with a spattering of some big cobia. If you do make a offshore run check the stone crab buoys for tripletail, a local stone crabber told me about that! Look for high incoming tide in the morning this weekend. Capt. William Toney www.homosassainshorefishing.com