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 Spanish mackerel in Sarasota Bay during the past couple of weeks.

Not much to report this time since I was away for a week and off the water a few more days while having some work done to my boat. I took my 1720 Action Craft to the factory in Cape Coral for some upgrades, repairs and detailing. After that a new 90-HP Evinrude E-TEC was rigged on the boat while the Ameratrail trailer was being rebuilt. Ready to go tarpon fish!

Fly anglers fished deep grass flats on both sides of Sarasota Bay with me a couple of days and caught and released trout and Spanish mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies fished on sink tip fly lines. Mark Nichols, owner of DOA Fishing Lures, his wife Jenny and I fished the 20th annual Sarasota CCA ďAll Release ChallengeĒ fishing tournament with Capt. Andy Cotton on Saturday, 4/25. Fly and spin fishing anglers fished with identical boxes of flies or lures donated by fishing tackle manufacturers, tackle shops and local fly tiers for reds, trout and snook in a catch, photo and release format. We fished the Terra Ceia area and caught and released trout, snook and flounder (not an eligible species) on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Shrimp. Eligible fish were immediately released with minimal handling after photographing. Thanks to Mark Nichols, owner of DOA Fishing Lures, and numerous other manufacturers and fly tiers for donating lures and flies to the event and to Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers as a sponsor of the fly fishing division.

I think itís a shame that Iím seeing numerous inshore ďkillĒ fishing tournaments lately. I see no reason to kill a fish, especially large breeders, just to see who caught the biggest when a catch, photo and release format can be used to verify catches. Our fishery (and tourism) is as good as it is because of many battles that were fought in the 80ís and 90ís by CCA members (FCA at the time) to protect reds, snook, trout and more and to eliminate gill nets from our waters. In my opinion, fishing tournaments for inshore species that kill fish are a thing of the past, hopefully we donít go back in that direction.

Look for tarpon in the coastal gulf and reds, snook, flounder and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars in Sarasota Bay. You may find trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, flounder or pompano on deep grass flats, particularly close to passes.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
IFFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide at CBís Saltwater Outfitters
Orvis Outfitter of the Year-2011
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. and
(941) 923-7799