Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota & Gasparilla Sound, FL Fishing Report for 2/19/2017
Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released snook, jacks and blues at night in the ICW near Venice on flies and trout and reds in Gasparilla Sound on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms during the past week. The best action was catch and release snook fishing in the ICW at night.
Jerry Poslusny, from Rochester, NY, and Rich Hunter, from Longboat Key, FL, fished dock lights in the ICW near Venice with me on Sunday night. They had steady action catching and releasing snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly and Rich caught his first snook on a fly!
Mark and Sarah Phelps, from Charleston, SC, fished the same area with me on Monday evening. Mark is a great fishing guide in the Charleston area and also guided in our area when they lived in Bradenton several years ago. Action was slower than the night before to start, but turned on later in the trip. In addition to snook, they also caught and released several jacks and a nice bluefish. Sarah had some action with a CAL jig with a shad tail on spinning tackle and Mark finished the night with a nice snook caught and released on a glass minnow fly pattern with a 6-wt.
Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL and Jack McCulloch, from Lakewood Ranch, FL, fished the backcountry of Gasparilla sound near Boca Grande with me on Friday. Although fish in shallow water were very spooky, they caught trout to 19” and a couple of reds on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms.
I was one of the instructors, along with IFFF Master Certified Fly Casting Instructors Capt. Pete Greenan and Capt. Rex Gudgel, for the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers annual free fly casting clinic on Saturday morning at The Meadows. The event was well attended and introduced some new anglers, including several youngsters, to fly fishing. Ashley Jade Little and Walt Plasson of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, Capt. Josh Greer of West Wall Outfitters and The Compound, were on hand with numerous brands of fly tackle available for participants to try out. Kayak fly fishing guide, Steve Gibson of Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing, was also there to demonstrate fly fishing out of a NuCanoe Pursuit kayak. A great event!
If you are interested in fly fishing, there are still some spots left in CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School next Saturday, Feb 25th. The comprehensive course, designed for both beginning and intermediate fly casters, will focus on basics but also work with intermediate casters on correcting faults and improving casting skills. The school also will cover leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques. Cost for the school, which will run from 8:30 AM to 2 PM, is $150 per person and includes the use of Orvis fly tackle and lunch. Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters (941) 349-4400 or email@example.com or to make reservations or for more information.
Fish in shallow water have very spooky due to clear water and calm conditions, making them tough to catch, although you should find snook, larger trout and reds there when conditions are good. Wading with a fly rod or making long casts with spinning tackle are good tactics for fishing shallow water. Catch and release night snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW with flies and DOA Lures continues to be a good option. Trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, pompano and more should also be good options on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay.
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