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    Default Good Snook & Flats Action in Sarasota Bay & Gasparilla Sound

    I was away on a family vacation during the week of 9/12 so I don’t have a Sarasota fishing report for that week. However, I had a chance to fly fish the “low country” in the Charleston, SC area for reds a couple of days. My brother, Kirk Grassett from Middletown, DE and I fished with a couple of guide friends of mine, Capt. Mark Phelps (shorethangcharters.com) and Capt. John Irwin (flyrightcharters.com) and caught and released several reds on flies.

    It was great to fish a new area and experience their style of fishing reds in shallow water. With tides of 6’ or more, timing is everything and these guys know their area well. We had a very small window each day when a high tide flooded spartina grass flats and reds tailed and crawled through the grass eating crabs. This is the opposite of tailing reds in southwest Florida where they tail on negative low tides. When the tide dropped, schools of reds cruised shorelines eating shrimp being sucked out of the marsh by the falling tide. The Charleston area is rich in history with great food and fishing!

    Back in 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, redfish, trout and Spanish mackerel in Sarasota Bay on flies and snook, trout and flounder in Gasparilla Sound on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms during the past week.

    Steve Kost, from Lakewood Ranch, FL, fished a pre-dawn snook/flats trip with me in Sarasota Bay on Tuesday, 9/22. He caught and released 5 or 6 snook and a red on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly before daylight, then we moved to the flats where he finished his slam with a few trout on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly.

    Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, and Stephen Liska, from Naples, FL, fished the backcountry of Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Thursday, 9/24. They caught and released a few trout, snook and a flounder on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms. Many of the fish that we caught had a golden hue due to the dark, tannic water in that area.

    Lynn Skipper, from Apollo Beach, FL, fished a pre-dawn snook/flats trip with me on Saturday morning, 9/26. He caught and released snook, trout and Spanish mackerel on my Grassett Snook Minnow and Clouser flies.

    Fall is here and action will heat up as days get shorter and water cools down. False albacore should be a good option in the coastal gulf especially after another front cools the water and schools baitfish up. Snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges close to passes with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option. Tarpon are moving to inside waters of Sarasota Bay, where you may find them around lighted docks and bridges, in passes or in canals and creeks. You may find trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and jacks on deep grass flats, particularly close to passes. Look for reds, snook and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars.

    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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