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Tag: Gulf of Mexico

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 12/9/2017

by on Dec.09, 2017, under Bradenton and Sarasota, Siesta Key to Boca Grande, Tampa Bay, East and South Shore

Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing false albacore (little tunny) and tripletail in the coastal gulf on flies and trout and pompano in Sarasota Bay on CAL jigs with shad tails during the past week.

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Michael Robb, from Buffalo, fished the coastal gulf with me on Monday and had good action catching and releasing several albies on a fly. In addition he also caught and released his first tripletail on a fly. Michael’s dad, Larry, joined him on Wednesday but despite a stable weather pattern, the action with albies in the coastal gulf ended as baitfish moved on.

Walter Poxon, from MN, and Bill Poxon, from Sarasota, celebrated Bill’s birthday with their annual fishing trip with me on Tuesday in Sarasota Bay. They had steady action catching and releasing numerous trout and a nice pompano on the west side of the bay on CAL jigs with shad tails.

With the passing of this weekend’s front, water temperatures will plummet and fish will move. Migratory species could reappear following the front depending on conditions. After the weather stabilizes, there should also be good action with trout, blues and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Shallow water action for snook, 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.

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 11/26/17

by on Nov.26, 2017, under Bradenton and Sarasota

Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released false albacore (little tunny) and tripletail in the coastal gulf on flies during the past week. Conditions and water temperature have been ideal, most of the time, for migratory species in the coastal gulf and action has been great!

PeterRyan1stflyalbiejpg

Lynn Skipper, from Apollo Beach, fished with me on Tuesday. We had wind and clouds that day so conditions were tough in the gulf. However, despite poor visibility we found several tripletail and Lynn caught and released his first tripletail on a fly. Great job!

Jim Collins, from Bradenton, and Peter Ryan, from CO, fished the coastal gulf with me on Wednesday. Conditions were great and fish responded accordingly. They had non-stop action catching and releasing albies to more than 10-lbs and Peter also caught and released a tripletail on a shrimp fly pattern!

PeterRyan1stflytripletail

The action continued on Saturday when Mike Perez, from Sarasota, fished the coastal gulf with me. He also had great action catching and releasing numerous albies and a couple of tripletail on a variety of glass minnow fly patterns. Rod bending, drag screaming action, love this time of year!

With the water temperature in the low 70’s, action with Spanish mackerel, albies, tripletail and cobia in the coastal gulf should continue. There should also be good action with trout and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Shallow water action for snook, trout and reds is improving due to cooler water. Fishing lighted docks and bridges in the ICW for snook with flies and DOA Lures 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 11/4/2017

by on Nov.06, 2017, under Bradenton and Sarasota, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

JimCollinsSBUltraHairClouserflybluefish

Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing trout and bluefish in Sarasota Bay and tripletail, Spanish mackerel and false albacore (little tunny) in the coastal gulf on flies, CAL jigs with shad tails, jerk worms and DOA Shrimp during the past week. As anticipated, with the water temperature down to the mid 70’s, action turned on in the coastal gulf.

Fly anglers Jim Collins, from Bradenton, FL and Dave Graham, from Evergreen, CO, fished with me on Tuesday and Thursday. We worked deep grass flats on the east side of Sarasota Bay on Tuesday and they had steady action catching and releasing numerous trout and several nice bluefish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies. We fished the coastal gulf on Thursday and it was on fire! They had great action catching and releasing Spanish mackerel and 7 or 8 albies on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. Although you usually have to work hard for them, the fish stayed up all day long, blitzing glass minnow schools and giving us steady action. Jim’s last fish of the day was a 12-pounder that took him deep into his backing, around a crab trap float and around the boat several times!

Massimo Giardina and Tatiana Migliaretti, from Switzerland, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday morning. They had good action catching and releasing trout on CAL jigs with shad tails and 4” jerk worms and Ultra Hair Clouser flies in the morning. We fished the coastal gulf in the afternoon and they had good action catching and releasing numerous Spanish mackerel and a couple of nice albies on CAL jigs with shad tails and Ultra Hair Clouser flies. They finished the day with a 5-lb tripletail on a 2.75” DOA Shrimp!

This should be just the start of good action with Spanish mackerel, albies, tripletail and cobia in the coastal gulf. There should also be good action with trout and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Shallow water action for snook, trout and reds is improving due to cooler water. Fishing lighted docks and bridges in the ICW for snook with flies and DOA Lures 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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November 2017 Crystal River Fishing Report from Capt. Kyle Messier

by on Nov.02, 2017, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

 

 

 

Great Weather and Epic Fishing along the Nature Coast

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With sunrise pushing to almost 7:30AM as November is upon us, it’s clear that shorter days are on their way, and that fall is on our doorstep. Generally speaking, this is good news as a variety of species come into range for the inshore/near shore fisherman during this time of year. For starters, the difficulty of finding good live baits will diminish as our local weather begins to stabilize into its Fall pattern. September and October made finding good live shrimp and pinfish a challenge due to the passing Hurricanes and high winds, but now that we are easing into November, schooling shrimp will once again be prevalent for our bait shrimpers and the pinfish will also congregate making trapping them easier for our every day fishing trips.

The only difficulty created by having an abundance of bait and an increased amount of species in November is deciding what to go fish for. Although most Cobia are long gone by now, there are numerous near shore species available, ranging from Gag Grouper, Spanish Mackerel, Mangrove Snapper and Bonita. Occasional appearances of other species such as Bluefish, Flounder and large Jacks should be expected as well. All of these fish can be caught by anchoring over some of the rocky areas and near shore reefs scattered throughout our coast. The faster species including Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, and Bonita may also be caught by working the edges of large bait schools that have begun to show up a few miles off our coast. Casting ¼-½ ounce spoons on the edges of a bait school will usually single out hungry predatory fish looking for an easy meal. The most effective approach though is one of patience. Set up in a likely area…. the best being one that is both rocky and holding bait…and chum aggressively. Mackerel will usually show within the first 15 minutes typically and other species will progressively be drawn in by the action. The best part about this type of Nature Coast Fishing is that anglers can find consistent action targeting Snapper and Grouper or even non stop action on Mackerel only to be interrupted all of a sudden by a late season Cobia or even a large Bull or Tiger Shark. The non-stop action and limitless opportunities makes this some of the most exciting fishing of the season.

As great as some of our near shore action will be this month, the Late October into November time frame still boasts some substantial tides on the full and new moons making inshore fishing still reliable. Crystal River/Homosassa fishing for large Redfish and Gator Trout has been fairly consistent over the last 3 weeks and with stabilizing weather on the horizon, should continue to be productive. The best fishing by far has generally been found in and around mullet schools. An excellent approach to locating Huge Redfish and Speckled Trout that associate with these schools, is to spread out numerous baits throughout these large schools of Mullet. Although this process can be a bit time consuming, the rewards can be significant as numerous, large fish can be caught in rapid succession. Jumbo Live Shrimp under a cork, free lined live Pinfish, and even cut mullet with a circle hook are the baits of choice for baiting and waiting this time of year.

For those savvy anglers that are looking forward to catching some of the largest Nature Coast Snook of the year, the upcoming Fall months are what you have been waiting for. Although the Nature Coast still features an abundance of Snook our fishing techniques have changed a bit from a few months ago. Snook are no longer stacked up near the mouths of our Spring fed rivers and canals, these fish have spread out and can be found anywhere from the spoil islands to the backwater bayous and creeks. Docks that use to hold dozens of fish will hold far fewer now. Fall fishing requires heavier leaders as hungry Snook now prefer the Mangrove laden shorelines, Oyster bars, and even Deep Rocky Potholes where many Snook will congregate. Casting lures such as Zara Spooks Top waters and Mirrolure Twitch baits will mimic actual baits that these Snook key on. The retrieve of choice consists of erratic movements followed by long pauses. The second the lure begins to move after a pause is usually when the strike occurs.

CHEERS! Too beautiful fall weather, great college football and awesome Nature Coast Fishing Action. Life is Good!

Capt. Kyle Messier
(352) 634-4002
WWW.FLORIDAFISHINGADVENTURES.COM
WWW.CRYSTALRIVER-FLYFISHING.COM

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Coexistence–Getting Along With Others During Florida’s Bay Scallop Season

by on Oct.29, 2017, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, Horseshoe Beach, Ozello to Crystal River, Shell Point to Lanark, Ochlockonee Bay, St. Marks, Aucilla and Econfina, Steinhatchee

Big Bend Action Spotter, Florida Sportsman Magazine

September 2017

In last month’s Big Bend Action Spotter, I wrote about getting away from the scalloping multitudes by fishing in places likely less “infested”. This month, let’s consider coexistence!

 

I know lots of anglers who simply give up saltwater fishing in the Gulf of Mexico during Florida’s recreational bay scallop season, which ends this month and includes the busy Labor Day weekend. Many head to the Atlantic side of the state, even to freshwater rivers and lakes. But there are options and complete abandonment of the Gulf isn’t necessarily one of them.

 

Know that for the most part, scalloping goes on in water that’s three to ten feet deep. At the deep end of that range, there are scallops, but only hardy divers with big lungs can get there. Deeper than that, it’s pretty much snorkeler-free. Sea grass flats, especially our big one that starts just north of Anclote Key off Tarpon Springs and ends at St. Marks, can run to the thirty-foot depths, depending on water clarity. And just like the three-foot flats, the deeper ones are peppered with patches of sand and live spongy bottom. Add to that some wrecks, rocky outcrops and ledges, you’ll have a good mental image of what the Gulf’s floor look like.

 

It’s those scattered bottom structures in the ten-foot-plus depths that should be of interest to fin fishermen who want to avoid the last of the 2017 season of “scallop madness”. All summer long, vast numbers of baitfish and yummy crustaceans have been flourishing, all while hiding from predators who lay in wait along the edges of sand patches, behind rocks, under ledges and among wreckage. And, depending on late summer rains or storms that might cloud the waters, it should be clear enough away from shore for you to visually investigate the bottom. Spotted seatrout, flounder, black sea bass, red grouper or mackerel are all good targets and you might even be able to bring home a gag grouper–if you’re in Dixie, Levy, Citrus or Hernando county state waters.

 

From Hernando County, you’ll have to run past the scallopers to get to the deep flats. Reaching the end of the Bayport and Hernando Beach channels drop you into water that’s too deep for the average snorkeler to access. Just beyond the three-mile limit, you’ll start to see good patchy bottom, as well as some big rocks.

 

If you depart Crystal River’s main channel, head northwest from Marker #1A towards the Duke Power channel and look for the “Hump”, a shallow rise in the bottom. It’s a good spot to try for trout before you head farther west to the two Crystal Artificial Reefs. They lie just south of the point where the Duke Power channel takes a turn towards the old Cross Florida Barge Canal channel. These “Fish Havens” are decades old, but still offer some relief and potential for reef fish and pelagics.

 

Cedar Key isn’t necessarily a scalloping destination, but you can find some deep, clear water there. I’d recommend you head south out the Main Ship Channel and drift the grassy top of Seahorse Reef for trout. Then, if you want deeper water or more structure than turtle grass, head west to the live bottom near the Kingfish Hole.   Staying south of the Cedar Keys archipelago will keep you in cleaner water than heading north towards the mouth of the Suwannee River, where the river’s outflow can muddle things.

 

The Suwannee’s darker waters will eventually dissipate and clear up between Horseshoe Beach and the Pepperfish Keys. The water will stay gin-clear beyond Steinhatchee and Keaton Beach in Taylor County. After navigating through the scallopers from any of those ports, you’ll be able to find lots of good, active grass flats, as well as lots of unmarked rock piles, some only as big as a small boat. You’ll find plenty of trout over the grass, and if you find your next “super secret rock pile” expect red grouper or big flounder to be the winning catch that day.

 

Water clarity to the south and southeast of St. Marks can be iffy. It all depends on recent rains and the dark water flow from the St. Marks, Aucilla and Econfina rivers as well as the many creeks that flow into the Gulf along the Jefferson and Wakulla county coastline. If the water’s clear, there will be lush grass beds and a good trout bite. If you’re looking for reef fish or pelagics that chase bait over rough bottom, search northern Apalachee Bay. It’s the boundary of Florida’s natural Karst geology so there’s plenty of natural structure in the 12 to 20-foot depths. There’s no structure much better than ledges, rocks and small seeping springs when it comes to successful fishing—and there are plenty of them, some undiscovered, there.

 

Moving to deeper flats and the potential of inshore species as well as reef predators and pelagics, you’ll need to change your tactics and tackle. I suggest 3/8 to 1/2-ounce jigs to get to the bottom, and I’d put my money on chartreuse as a good color. Pair jig heads with a D.O.A. 4-inch Shad swimbait (Glow, with a chartreuse tail, is my favorite.) And consider using spinning combos larger than your usual 2500-4000 class gear in these deeper waters. If a grouper or a king mackerel unexpectedly comes to dinner, you’ll be glad you brought your 5000-class tackle!

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2017 bay scallop season in Dixie/Taylor counties set

by on Feb.11, 2017, under Hernando and Pasco Gulf Coast, Horseshoe Beach, Keaton Beach to Fenholloway, Ozello to Crystal River, Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach and St. Joseph Bay, Shell Point to Lanark, Ochlockonee Bay, St. Marks, Aucilla and Econfina, Steinhatchee, Suwannee, Yankeetown and Waccasassa

The 2017 bay scallop season for Dixie County and parts of Taylor County will be open from June 16 through Sept. 10. This includes all state waters from the Suwannee River through the Fenholloway River. These changes are for 2017 only and are an opportunity to explore regionally-specific bay scallop seasons.

These changes were discussed at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) meeting on Feb. 8, where staff was directed to work with local community leaders on selecting potential 2017 season dates and to adopt changes by executive order.

At the Feb. 8 meeting, staff also updated the Commission on the status of bay scallops in St. Joseph Bay in Gulf County, and set a July 25 through Sept. 10 recreational bay scallop season off Gulf County, including all waters in St. Joseph Bay and those west of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County, through the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County.

A prolonged red tide event in late 2015 negatively impacted the scallop population in St. Joseph Bay, which led to modified local scallop regulations for 2016 that included a shortened season and reduced bag limits. FWC researchers conducted a scallop restoration project last year within St. Joseph Bay to help speed the recovery of the scallop population. These efforts have been going well and the scallop population has shown signs of improvement. Staff will conduct similar restoration efforts in 2017.

All other portions of the bay scallop harvest zone will be open from July 1 through Sept. 24. This includes all state waters from the Pasco-Hernando county line to the Suwannee River Alligator Pass Daybeacon 4 in Levy County and from north and west of Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.

Bag and vessel limits throughout the entire bay scallop harvest zone will be 2 gallons whole bay scallops in shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel.

At the December 2017 Commission meeting, staff will review public feedback on these changes and make a recommendation for future management. To submit your feedback on bay scallop regulations, visit MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.

For more information on these changes, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and select “Commission Meetings,” then click on the link below “Next Meeting.”

For information on bay scallop regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”

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Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 10/15/2016

by on Oct.16, 2016, under Bradenton and Sarasota, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Anglers fishing Sarasota Bay with me during the past week, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released trout, jacks and small gag grouper on DOA Lures and flies. Fly anglers also caught and released snook in the ICW near Venice on a night trip. Water conditions in Sarasota Bay were good during the past week; clear water with baitfish present and no signs of red tide in the areas that I fished.

Stewart Lavelle, from Sarasota, FL and David Lavelle, from Venice, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me last Sunday. We fished the east side of the bay, which had good, clean water. They caught and released a few trout and jacks on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and DOA Deadly Combos. Sarasota winter resident Tom Lamb and Roy and Diane Glah, also from Sarasota, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday afternoon. They caught and released trout, including a couple of slot-size fish, and small gag grouper on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Shrimp.

David Weber, from Memphis, TN and Dudley Sandifer, from MS, fished the ICW near Venice with me on Wednesday evening. We had a good tide but snook were being very picky and tough to get to eat our flies. However they persisted and caught and released a few snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly.

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters had a good turnout for their Orvis Fly Fishing 101 introductory fly fishing clinic on Saturday. I was one of the instructors for the clinic, which gave students an opportunity to fly cast and understand the principles of fly fishing. Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or info@cbsoutfitters.com for info on upcoming Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Schools.

I look for action in the coastal gulf with false albacore (little tunny) and Spanish mackerel to take off as the water cools down and baitfish become more plentiful. Tripletail will also become a good option since stone crab traps are now in the coastal gulf, increasing the amount of available structure for them. Night snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW with flies and DOA Lures should be a good option. You might also find a few juvenile tarpon and reds in the lights along with snook. In addition, there should be good action with trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
IFFF 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 Bay, FL Fishing Report for 10/1/2016

by on Oct.01, 2016, under Bradenton and Sarasota

Anglers fishing Sarasota Bay with me during the past week, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released juvenile tarpon, trout and jacks on flies. Although there is red tide in some areas of Sarasota Bay, particularly close to passes, there are areas that are fine. Red tide may actually concentrate fish in some areas as fish move away from affected areas.

Marshall Dinerman, from the Atlanta area, fished deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with me on Monday. He had good action catching and releasing trout and jacks on Ultra Hair Clouser flies. We also fished a backwater area where he caught and released a juvenile tarpon on my Grassett Flats Bunny fly with a 6-wt. His first tarpon on a fly!

I had an instructional fly fishing trip in Sarasota Bay on Tuesday. We worked on basics and were shooting line and catching and releasing a few fish before the end of the trip. This is a good option for beginning fly anglers, since it is different when fishing from the deck of a boat with different fly lines and weighted flies as opposed to casting on grass or from the shore of a lake.

I look for action in the coastal gulf with false albacore (little tunny) and Spanish mackerel to take off as the water cools down and baitfish become more plentiful. Tripletail will also become a good option as stone crab traps hit the water next week, increasing the amount of available structure for them. Night snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW with flies and DOA Lures should be a good option. You might also find a few juvenile tarpon and reds in the lights along with snook. In addition, there should be good action with trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
IFFF 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 & Gasparilla Sound, FL Fishing Report for 3/6/2016

by on Mar.07, 2016, under Bradenton and Sarasota, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, pompano and ladyfish in Sarasota Bay, trout and redfish in Gasparilla Sound, tripletail in the coastal gulf and snook at night in the ICW near Venice on CAL jigs with shad tails and flies during the past week. With the water temperature up into the mid 60’s, there was good action on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with trout, bluefish and more, tripletail in the coastal gulf and snook at night in the ICW.

Martin Marlowe, from NY, fished a couple of days in Sarasota Bay with me on Monday and Saturday. He was joined by his son, Bruce Marlowe from RI, on Saturday. They had good action with trout to 18”, bluefish and ladyfish on CAL jigs with shad tails and Ultra Hair Clouser flies fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Martin also snook fished with me in the ICW near Venice on Sunday evening and had great action catching and releasing snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly.

Joe Polidoro and his father-in-law, Murray Bring, both from Sarasota fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday and had good action catching and releasing trout, ladyfish and a pompano on Ultra Hair Clouser flies. Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, fished Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Wednesday. We worked edges of bars and backcountry areas where he had some action with trout and a red on CAL jigs with shad tails.

Steve Kost, from Lakewood Ranch, FL and his guest, John Makovitch, from Pinehurst, NC, fished Sarasota Bay and the coastal gulf with me on Thursday. John caught and released his first tripletail on a DOA Shrimp in the coastal gulf and his first fish on a fly in Sarasota Bay! They also had good action with trout and a Spanish mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails on both shallow and deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Shane Nichols, from MA, fished the coastal gulf with me on Friday and had good action catching and releasing several tripletail and getting some shots at others with DOA Shrimp.

I gave a presentation on “Fly Fishing the West Coast of Florida” at the News Channel 8 Outdoors Expo & Boat Show at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa on Sunday and spent some time at the DOA Fishing Lures booth. The new version of the DOA Shrimp and the new DOA Snake were featured at the show and should be a hit!

There is still time to sign up for CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School next Saturday, March 12. The school will cover fly casting basics, line control, shooting line and the roll cast. Leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques will also be covered in the class. 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 3 PM, is $150 per person and includes the use of Orvis fly tackle, a text book and lunch. Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or info@cbsoutfitters.com to make reservations.

Tripletail should be a good option in the coastal gulf when conditions are good. Trout, bluefish and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay and night snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW with flies and DOA Lures should also be good options. Look for reds and big trout mixed with mullet schools or cruising shallow flats and edges of bars in Sarasota Bay and backcountry areas of Charlotte Harbor and lower Tampa Bay.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
IFFF 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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Chilling thoughts for winter fishing–By Capt. Ray Markham

by on Jan.16, 2016, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Fish have to deal with the cold every day during winter. But being cold-blooded, cold weather doesn’t have the same effect as it does on humans. Living in sunny Florida, most of us don’t give much thought to the possibility of developing hypothermia. But with winter weather finally upon us, dressing appropriately for being on the water can be a matter of life and death, particularly if you fall into the water. The body loses heat 25-times faster in water than it does with exposure to the air. This is all the more reason to wear a personal flotation device in the event you do fall overboard.

Cold fronts that have been hitting us at about a weekly basis or more often have been driving the water temperature downward for the past couple of weeks. Sitting in the mid-sixties now, and with wind on the water, the wind chill factor drops the ‘feels like’ temperature even more. It’s important to dress in layers of clothing. Shivering is probably the first sign of the onset of hypothermia as the body core temperature drops. It’s better to have more clothing than you need, since you can always remove some as the days warm up.

Find areas out of the wind. Those spots will be more comfortable for both you and the fish. Warmer areas will also mean that fish appetites will be on the rise. Unlike cold-blooded creatures, we still need to eat on a regular basis. Fish eat when they feel hungry or the opportunity presents itself. Sheepshead are working the pilings around bridges, docks, piers and around most any structure. Most recently flounder are appearing in holes on the flats on these negative tide days. Dragging CAL Curly tailed jigs across the holes slowly will catch flatties. With the falling water temperature, snook are moving up inside the rivers. All of the Tampa Bay’s rivers are holding snook. Look for the power plants in the area to produce a plume of warm water around the outflows. Apollo Beach and Anclote Key both produce warm water on the coldest days. The most recent weather prediction is for the coldest days yet this winter to be the first part of next week. Cobia, snook, trout, pompano, sharks, ladyfish, jacks and more will be found around these plants. Warmer water will move up to a half-mile away from the power plant on still days.

Fish extra slow during cold weather and remember to dress for the occasion to stay comfortable and keep warm. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray Markham specializes in fly and light tackle fishing with artificial lures, charters out of the Tampa Bay area, and may be reached via his website at www.CaptainRayMarkham.com, email at ray.markham@gmail.com, or at (941) 723-2655 for charter.

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