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    Default Good Action on Sarasota Bay and Gasparilla Sound Flats

    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 and pompano in Sarasota Bay on flies, CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Shrimp, snook at night in the ICW near Venice on flies and trout, snook and redfish in Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande on CAL jigs with shad tails during the past couple of weeks.

    Tony Merlis, from NH, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, 2/16. We fished deep grass flats on both sides of the bay where he caught and released trout and ladyfish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies. One of the best trips of the week was on Tuesday, 2/17 when Frank Zaffino, from Rochester, NY, and sons John and Frank, fished Sarasota Bay with me and had great action catching and releasing numerous Spanish mackerel to 5-pounds and trout to 18”on CAL jigs with shad tails and Ultra Hair Clouser flies. With an approaching front and a stiff south wind, fish turned on!

    Wednesday’s instructional fly fishing trip was cancelled due to winds above 20-mph. Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, fished Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Thursday, 2/19. With a strong NW wind, we were hopeful that we could find some protection in the backcountry. With very little water it was tough, but he had good action with trout to 18” and a snook on CAL jigs with shad tails. Friday’s trip was canceled due to the arctic air that blasted us with temperatures in the 30’s following the latest front and I was the instructor for a CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School on Saturday, Feb 21st.

    Anna Maria Island winter resident, Bill Morrison and Sarasota winter resident, Gary Marple, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday afternoon, 2/23. We fished deep grass flats on both sides of the bay where they caught and released trout and a nice pompano on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.

    Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, and Ron Shay, from VA, fished Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Tuesday, 2/24. Sea fog rolled in on us early in the day and made it a cool, damp day despite a forecast for sunny and warmer. However, they had good action with trout to 18” and a red on CAL jigs with shad tails.

    Sarasota winter resident, Mike Perez, snook fished with me on Wednesday night, 2/25. We fished lighted docks in the ICW near Venice and he caught and released 8 or 10 snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. Without much tidal flow due to an outgoing tide being negated by a strong wind blowing the opposite direction, snook were being very picky. Mike finessed them into eating by dead drifting his fly deep in the water column. There aren’t many places where the wind blows 20-mph in dense fog!

    Tom Lamb, from Geneva, Switzerland, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday afternoon, 2/26. We fished deep grass flats on both sides of the bay and caught and released a few trout on CAL jigs with shad tails, DOA Shrimp and DOA Deadly Combos.

    I was a seminar presenter at the News Channel 8 Tampa Outdoors Expo & Boat Show (formerly the Frank Sergeant Outdoors Expo) at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday, 2/27 & 28. Billed as the largest outdoor and boat show in Florida, the show draws big crowds every day. Almost 50 seminars on everything from fresh and saltwater fishing, fly fishing, boating, kayaking, hunting, dog training and more were given by top outdoor experts. I gave presentations on “Saltwater Fly Fishing”, which covered saltwater fly fishing tactics, fly tackle rigging and fly selection and spent some time with my friends at DOA Fishing Lures in their booth.

    There are still some spots available in CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School next Saturday, Mar 7th. I will be the instructor for the school which will cover fly casting basics, line control, shooting line and the roll cast. 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. Leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques will also be covered. 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.

    Snook season reopens on the west coast of Florida on Mar 1, although many snook will be under the 28”-33” slot so handle them gently and release them quickly. Full regulations can be viewed at www.myfwc.com .You may find trout, blues, pompano or flounder in channels, troughs, basins or edges of flats, particularly when the tide is low. Look for reds and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars. Afternoons may fish better than mornings when water is cooler.

    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
    www.snookfin-addict.com, www.snookfinaddict.com and www.flyfishingflorida.us E-mail snookfin@aol.com
    Last edited by Capt. Rick Grassett; 03-02-2015 at 07:26 AM.

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