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Tag: venice

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota and Venice, FL Fishing Report for 4/20/2014

by on Apr.21, 2014, under Bradenton and Sarasota

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 snook, reds, bluefish, trout and flounder in Sarasota Bay on flies, DOA Deadly Combos and CAL jigs with shad tails and snook at night in the ICW near Venice on flies during the past week. Although uncommon for this late in April, several fronts moved through causing wind and rain to be factors during the week.

Jamie Grow, from the Washington, DC area, fished with me on Monday morning. We took a look in the coastal gulf but didn’t find anything so we fished Sarasota Bay. He caught and released a few trout and ladyfish on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly on deep grass flats on the west side of the bay. Anna Maria and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, snook fished with me in the ICW near Venice that evening. Action was slow to start but as the incoming tide picked up, snook turned on. They caught and released more than 15 snook to 23” on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly

It was very windy out of the west when Rick White and Ben Garbowski, both from Apollo Beach, FL, fished Sarasota bay with me on Tuesday. We worked deep and shallow grass flats on the west side of the bay to seek shelter from the wind but action was slow. The action picked up some when Anna Maria and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday morning. They caught and released trout, including a couple of slot size fish, on Ultra Hair Clouser and EP flies on deep grass flats on the east side of the bay. Due to a stalled front with rain and wind, we decided not to snook fish on Thursday evening.

Action picked up on Friday when Stewart Lavelle, from Sarasota, FL and his son-in-law, Justin Goerke, from Manhattan, NY, fished Sarasota Bay with me. We worked mullet schools on a shallow flat on the east side of the bay at the top of the tide and it was on! They caught and released a couple of nice reds, several nice trout, flounder and a snook on CAL jigs with shad tails to complete their boat slam! The biggest trout, at more than 3-pounds, was caught and released on a Zara Spook top water plug.

John and daughters, Caitlin and Megan, from NY, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday. With 15 to 20-mph winds out of the W-NW we fished shallow and deep flats on the west side of the bay where they caught and released a few trout, ladyfish and bluefish on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos. Caitlin caught and released the big fish of the day, a 5 ½-pound trout, on a DOA Deadly Combo! Several over slot trout, all full of roe, were caught and released this week. These big trout, which are usually females, are important to the health of our trout fishery.

Tides will improve towards the end of next week as we approach a new moon. Look for reds, snook and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay.  Fishing deep grass flats for trout, blues, flounder and more should continue to be a good option. In addition to Spanish and king mackerel, false albacore (little tunny) and tripletail, tarpon should start to show any time now in the coastal gulf depending on conditions.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
IFFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis- Endorsed Outfitter Guide
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters-2011 Orvis Outfitter of the Year
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
(941) 923-7799
E-mail snookfin@aol.com
www.snookfin-addict.com

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Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota and Venice, FL Fishing Report for 4/13/2014

by on Apr.13, 2014, under Bradenton and Sarasota

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 and flounder in Sarasota Bay on flies and DOA Shrimp and snook at night in the ICW near Venice on flies during the past week.

Siesta Key winter resident, Frank Watson and his grandson, Eric Watson, both from OH, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday morning. With an approaching front and a strong south wind, we headed south of the Ringling Bridge for some protection. The wind cranked up to more than 20-mph by the end of our trip and they had good action with trout to 18”, a nice black sea bass and flounder caught and released on DOA Shrimp. Anna Maria and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, snook fished with me in the ICW near Venice that evening. We fished only a couple of spots and they caught and released a few snook and ladyfish on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly before a mechanical problem sent me to the dock early.

A front came through on Tuesday with heavy rain and wind and the wind continued to blow above 20-mph all day Wednesday, so we didn’t fish those days. David Morgan, from Sarasota, FL, fished Stephens Point in Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday morning and caught and released a few trout on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly. Mark Wayde, from MI, snook fished with me in the ICW near Venice that evening and had good action catching and releasing numerous snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly.

Longtime friend, client and Sarasota winter resident, Norm Boardman from CT, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday. We fished deep grass flats on both sides of the bay where he caught and released trout and ladyfish on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly. The action wasn’t fast but it was steady, with some decent trout to 18”.

I was the instructor for an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Saturday.  The school, which was the last one until fall, covered fly casting basics, shooting line, roll casting, leader construction and saltwater fly fishing techniques. Look for information on future Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Schools and Orvis Fly Fishing 101 classes, a 2-hr introductory fly fishing class, at www.cbsoutfitters.com.

With a full moon on Tues, April 15th tides will be good next week, particularly outgoing tides in the afternoon. Look for reds, snook and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay.  Fishing deep grass flats for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, pompano and more should continue to be a good option. There should also be good action in the coastal gulf with Spanish and king mackerel, false albacore (little tunny) and tripletail depending on conditions.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
IFFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis- Endorsed Outfitter Guide
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters-2011 Orvis Outfitter of the Year
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
(941) 923-7799
E-mail snookfin@aol.com
www.snookfin-addict.com

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18 June 2013, Fishing forecast for Venice to Boca Grande ,by Captain Van Hubbard

by on Jun.18, 2013, under Middle Charlotte Harbor, Siesta Key to Boca Grande, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Let see if I can get back on course here with weekly reports.
Life is good and fishing has been even better. Tarpon are the hot ticket right now and they are abundant from Boca Grande Pass south of me to Venice Beach and beyond. Snook have been very good and many larger fish; PS it opens for harvest on the First of September. Trout and reds are around but I haven’t had time to play with them much with the silver kings and snook so cooperative. We do also have fish on the near shore reefs; sharks, barracuda, permit and more, if the wind and seas allow. I have not had much time off the water to take care of things but bookings are slowing down after the Forth of July so it’s time to see if fishing trip fits into your plans. It’s not too soon to line up September and October dates with snook reopening.
Tarpon have kept me busy on and off the water.  Fishing has been good in fair weather. The strong winds can hamper our catching but we have plenty of fish. In fact they seem to be approaching the peak this week with the Full Moon in June. We can expect to enjoy good action for at least another month. We will have some excellent tarpon action into August and even September but it is just not as predictable. If tarpon are high on your Bucket list, like my new friend Gordon McDonald, don’t procrastinate because fishing is great right now and I do have a few days open soon. His day was awesome we got his tarpon of about 125 pounds and then several snook up to almost 40 inches.
Snook have been spoiling us most trips. The weather can mess with us but since we are usually inside the west winds don’t shut us down. Several trips have left anglers with sore arms from catch snook; literally! We have good numbers of smaller fish and I’m excited by the numbers of slot fish, but big trophy fish have enhanced smiles. We are seeing trophy fish from 35 to 40 inches even a few over, every day! So far minnows are available but not getting any easier. Scott Armstrong and family enjoyed a great day of snook action on Tuesday the 11th, they caught fish till the kids were bored and we found some dolphins to watch. Alex’s group wanted food fish and all we could catch was snook most of the time. We did find some trout but mostly smaller we only had a had day to explore. Sunday Don and Lisa joined me to catch some fish and we did. The snook bite was fair and they caught over 20 fish and Lisa got a big one we took photos. I have photos on my Facebook page at Captain-Van Hubbard if you want to see em. Sorry I’m challenged to get them on here but I am updating the web site soon as I get time. Thank you for your patience with me. Waters have cleared up nice since the tropical wave recently but Summer starts now along with evening showers. Get out early, have fun, and let’s get er done.
If you have some patience we can hunt up some food fish. Reds are here just not sitting and waiting like it used to be. Those tournaments keep em running around. Most are slot fish and tons of fun. Trout were great so we have fish they just got lost and I’ve not had enough time to look for them. We have gotten some nice flounder but not consistently.
Spanish Mackerel are around and we should be able to catch a mess if you’re interested? Kings are deeper if you want to chase the bigger fish. I smoked a couple on Sunday after our trip. Sharks are here if you want the big tackle testers. Reef fishing is good and the variety keeps it interesting.
We had our Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Lakeland last Wednesday. It was a long day but we got the issues communicated to our Commissioners and they have passed a proposal recommended by the Staff to be finalized in September. We may finally get rid of the weighted hook rig called a Boca Grande Jig!
On a personal note I adapted a beautiful Golden Retriever from Gulf Coast Golden rescue. She is shy but smart and wonderful; sure to keep me busy! I hope you are well and “if you’re too busy to go fishin’, you are just too busy’! Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard. <www.captvan.com>

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Captain Van Hubbard’s Venice to Boca Grande fishing report for January 27, 2013.

by on Jan.27, 2013, under Siesta Key to Boca Grande

When fishing is any thing near normal I can maintain a schedule but this mess has frustrated me to no end! We had a nice trip on Monday I’m just glad I have the Evinrude 200 E-Tec for power because fishing now requires a boat ride. The economy and speed are life savers. Rides are not a bad thing; our Charlotte Harbor area is beautiful now. The winter birds are abundant with hundreds of huge white pelicans, all kinds of wading birds and too many ospreys to count. It’s just gas costs are hard on my budget so I’d much rather catch fish in Lemon Bay and spend more time fishing. Actually I must admit like many of my friends that fish with me, I do prefer catching. Right now catching requires that we cruise around to find happy fish more than usual.
Normally I can put together a game plan and rarely need to alter it. Some stops are hot others are not. My good friend Scotty calls it a mail route and that works for me. These days fishing spots as messed up as our mail system; isn’t e-mail great.  Every day is totally new. At first this bugged me but now I realize that us old salts don’t take new paths unless we are forced to. So I figure this is what it takes to get me out of the old rut and discover; actually rediscover Charlotte Harbor and beyond! Shucks, I just might learn something.
Alright I’ll get to the fishy part. I am finding some quality fish I just never know where to start. After four decades of fishing I have an understanding of what our fish want to do. But between the other folks sharing the fishery and now this red tide mess I am back to the basics. Ride hard until I see mullet and wading birds. They tell me the area is alive; simple but very important right now. Then carefully dial in some desirable fish for my folks to catch. We may start out with anything to bend our rods. Ladyfish are fun and much better than nothing. Trout are abundant but many are small; great for future fishing but not dinner to night. Redfish are looking very good if you have the patience to locate and then stalk these shy flats trophies. Snook have been abundant and biting but catch and release only. I am very optimistic about this springs fishing because I’m seeing a lot of big fish. In side is fine we just need to invest time riding and looking; then make the most of our opportunities!
Near shore has bright spots but is not dependable this time of year; but awesome so far! We have the warmest winter waters I have ever seen now. Mid seventies most days, yes those red tide blooms are totally unpredictable. So while I am not pushing our near shore fishing now we have excellent odds if you are a gambler; nothing ventured, nothing is gained! Spanish and king mackerel are around. Baitfish are frequently available, in quantity too! Cobia are on the wrecks but it’s a ride we only do in fair weather. If we have a trip set up for outside and it’s windy, we do have a backup plan to fish inside protected waters.
I to wish I had a crystal ball to predict this red tide mess, and our weather while I’m at it; yea the Super Bowl too; but that’s not the way it is!
Let’s go fishin’ soon, if you’re up for it? Please get your spring and summer dates locked in soon others are not procrastinating! Thank you for your support.
Captain Van Hubbard <www.captvan.com>

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Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 1/20/2013

by on Jan.20, 2013, under Bradenton and Sarasota

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, Spanish mackerel, blues, flounder and snook in Sarasota Bay on lures and flies during the past week.
Marshall Dinerman, from Atlanta, GA, and Roy Katz, from Greenville, SC, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Sunday. They had steady action with trout to 19”, several Spanish mackerel to more than 3-pounds, a flounder and a snook along the west side of the bay from Stephens Point to Long Bar on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails.
Cam Dilley, from Tampa, FL, and Steve Ritchie, from Bradenton, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday. They caught and released several blues to 3-pounds and trout on Ultra Hair Clouser flies fishing deep grass near Buttonwood Harbor.
Sarasota winter resident, Tom Lamb, and Diane Muhlfeld and Roy Glah, also from Sarasota, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday afternoon. They caught and released trout, Spanish mackerel to 3-pounds, bluefish and a flounder on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails along the west side of the bay from the Middleground flat to near Buttonwood Harbor.
Chris Lewington, from the UK, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday. We started the day by fishing docks in Roberts Bay where he caught and released 4 snook to 24” and a black drum on CAL jigs with shad tails. With a fast approaching front, we moved to deep grass flats along the west side of the bay from the Middleground flat to Bishop Point where Chris caught and released trout, Spanish mackerel to 4-pounds and bluefish on CAL jigs with grubs.
Friday was cool and windy, so we bumped that trip back to Saturday which turned out to be a good move. Marshall Dinerman, his son Michael Dinerman and son-in-law, Alex Medeiros, from Atlanta, GA, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday afternoon. They had steady action with trout, including several in the slot, and a Spanish mackerel on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos.
You might find reds on shallow flats on sunny afternoons and trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Also look for reds around docks, in potholes and on the edges of bars when the tide is low. Catch and release snook fishing in the ICW at night should also be a good.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis- Endorsed Outfitter Guide
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters-2011 Orvis Outfitter of the Year
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
(941) 923-7799
E-mail snookfin@aol.com
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com

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Fly-Fishing Events at CB’s Outfitters, Sarasota, February 2013

by on Jan.20, 2013, under Bradenton and Sarasota

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Fly Fishing Day, February 9, 2013

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, 1249 Stickney Pt. Rd. (Siesta Key), Sarasota, FL will hold a day of free fly fishing activities on Saturday, Feb 9th from  10 AM-3 PM. Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing guides will be on hand for fly casting instruction, Walt Plasson will demonstrate fly tying and there will be a raffle for all participants. Capt. Rick Grassett will do a seminar on saltwater fly fishing in our area at 10:30 AM. There will also be a fly casting competition at 1 PM with a $100 CB’s gift certificate for the winner. Attendees will receive a 20% discount coupon (excluding sale items) and a $20 discount on future Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing schools. Stop by and see the latest fly fishing products from Orvis, Lamson and Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO). Call (941) 349-4400 for more information.

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School, Feb 16, 2013

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, Orvis Outfitter of the Year for 2011, 1249 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL will hold an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Feb. 16, 2013. Located on Siesta Key, named Best Beach in America for 2011, the schools will cover fly casting basics, line control, shooting line and the roll cast. Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Casting Instructor, Capt. Rick Grassett, 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 schools, which will run from 9 AM to 3 PM, is $150 per person and includes the use of premium Orvis fly tackle, a text book and lunch. Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or info@cbsoutfitters.com to make reservations.

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Capt. Rick Grassett’s Southwest, FL Fishing Report for 12/22/2012

by on Dec.22, 2012, under Bradenton and Sarasota, Upper Charlotte Harbor

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 and redfish in Gasparilla Sound on lures, snook and blues in the ICW near Venice and tripletail in the coastal gulf on flies during the past week.

John Freeman Jr. with a nice red, caught with Capt. Rick Grassett

Sarasota winter resident Tom Lamb and John Freeman, Jr. from Osprey, FL, fished Gasparilla Sound in Charlotte Harbor with me on Monday. They caught and released trout to 18”, including several slot sized trout, and a couple of reds on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos.
Bill Rhodes, from Hernando Beach, FL, fished the ICW near Venice with me on Tuesday night. He caught and released 7 or 8 snook to 26” and a couple of blues to 5-pounds on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly.  We fished the coastal gulf on Wednesday where he caught and released a couple of tripletail on shrimp fly patterns and had numerous other shots at tripletail. Great sight casting opportunities!
A strong front moved through on Thursday evening and with the wind at 35 mph out of the northwest on Friday morning, we rescheduled that trip. Fishing may be challenging for a couple of days following the front, but shallow water fishing for reds and big trout should be good next week as we approach a full moon. Look for them in potholes and on the edges of bars when the tide is low or higher on shallow grass flats at the top of the tide. You should also find trout, bluefish and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Tripletail should remain a good option in the coastal gulf when conditions are good.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis- Endorsed Outfitter Guide
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters-2011 Orvis Outfitter of the Year
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
(941) 923-7799
E-mail snookfin@aol.com
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com

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Looking For GPS Numbers for Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida?

by on Nov.27, 2012, under TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

I’ve had lots of requests on the site for GPS coordinates of reefs, wrecks and offshore fishing holes.  The list is too long to print, so it’s time to “belly-up” and get your very own copy of my latest (2012) book, The Saltwater Angler’s Guide to Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida.  Click the link to the right (on the sidebar) and you’ll be magically taken to Amazon.com, where you can get a copy at a discounted price.

In addition to GPS numbers, the book also has essential information regarding fishing from all ports from Bayport (in Hernando County) to Chokoloskee (at the top of the ‘glades).

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Fishing The Cool 2012 Fall Months in Placida, Englewood and Venice–From Capt. Van Hubbard

by on Nov.01, 2012, under Siesta Key to Boca Grande, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Obviously our fishing will be different now that it’s cooled off some. The transition is in progress from summer to winter. Baitfish should remain far awhile if it warms up as expected. The other water issues are probable blown away by the storms but only time will tell.  But the best news is that trout have been abundant and are open year round now! This weather is perfect to bunch specks up in the deeper areas and offer excellent catches of good eating fish. Redfish bite better now also. We may want to use more artificials now but if baitfish are around we’ll fish with them; lures by God are my first choice. Fish feed aggressively now because they know food will be scarce when it gets cold.
Outside fishing will depend on the weather and we’ll make the best of what we have. Gag grouper are closed now but mackerel should be abundant awhile longer if winds allow us to get at em? Have faith and make the best of our opportunities. The world is going crazy so let’s be thankful for whatever we do have. While sad for friends that are suffering up north; be glad to live here in paradise.  Take advantage of any break we get; it will get colder soon. Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard.  <www.captvan.com>

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The Saltwater Angler’s Guide to Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida is now available!

by on Oct.02, 2012, under Bradenton and Sarasota, Dunedin, Clearwater and Largo, Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva, Hernando and Pasco Gulf Coast, Marco and The 10,000 Islands, Middle Charlotte Harbor, Naples, Old Tampa Bay--Above the Bridges, Siesta Key to Boca Grande, St. Pete Beaches, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, Tampa Bay, East and South Shore, Tampa Bay, West Shore and St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, The Sunshine Skyway and Beyond to Egmont, Upper Charlotte Harbor

The Saltwater Angler’s Guide to Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida is now available!

It’s been a long time coming, but the University Press of Florida has just released my second fishing book.  If you’re a native and wanting more information on the Gulf of Mexico coastline from Chassahowitzka to Chokoloskee, you need this book.  If you’re planning to winter in Florida, you need this book.  Everyone needs this book. The Table of Contents is outlined below.

To order, simply click on the link on the sidebar to the right of this page and you’ll be taken to Amazon.com.  Thanks–and enjoy!

Part One–The Destinations

1.  Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida

2.  The Upper Suncoast-Hernando and Pasco Counties

3.  Tarpon Springs and North Pinellas County

4.  St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Peninsula

5.  Old Tampa Bay, Tampa and The Bay’s Eastern Shore

6.  Manatee and Sarasota Counties-The Gateway to Tropical Florida

7.  Charlotte Harbor and Her Gulf Islands

8.  Fort Myers, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva

9.  Naples, Marco and The Ten Thousand Islands

Part Two–Practical Matters

10. It’s All About The Fish…

11. …And How to Catch Them

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