Capt. Rick Grassett’s Jensen Beach & Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 10/22/2017
I traveled to Jensen Beach on Florida’s east coast last Sunday, 10/15 to fish the DOA Fishing Lures “Outdoor Writer’s Festival” out of River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp. The annual event features a couple of days of fishing with outdoor writers from around the country and other fishing industry sponsors. It’s always good to see old friends and see what’s new in the fishing world. Good friends, good music, good food and good fishing!
Anglers fishing with me worked mullet schools in the Indian River where we caught and released trout and jacks on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms. Outdoor writers were matched up with guides and anglers caught and released snook, trout, reds, jacks and tarpon on a variety of DOA Lures. A few anglers headed over to Lake Okeechobee where they had good top water action with DOA PT’s on largemouth bass.
Back in Sarasota, I had a chance to do some scouting before Saturday’s 13th annual MCFF “Fall Fly Fishing Challenge”. I found good action with snook around dock lights and trout on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Capt. Andy Cotton and I fished the tournament together on Saturday. We had a good snook bite before dawn, catching and releasing 9 snook on small white flies. After daylight we worked deep grass flats, where we had some action catching and releasing trout on Clouser flies fished on sink tip fly lines. Andy caught and released more than 82” of trout to win the trout category in the open division.
Tournament anglers gathered at The Meadows Country Club Community Association building on Friday evening, 10/20 for the angler meeting and on Saturday afternoon, 10/21 for angler check in and an awards luncheon. The tournament benefits the conservation and/or education programs of CCA and Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers. Anglers could fish any water on the west coast of Florida using flies only, in a catch, digital photo, release format fishing tournament for reds, trout, snook and more. All fish were photographed and immediately released. Winners of each division were awarded Orvis Recon fly rod outfits and handsome plaques. Other winners also received plaques and donated gift certificates. The event also featured an upscale raffle and a silent auction.
A special thanks to donors to the event; Orvis, CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, Economy Tackle, Chouinard Outdoor Associates/Simms & Umpqua, Andy Thornal Company, Rattlin’ Jack, The Compound, West Wall Outfitters, New Pass Grill and Bait Shop, Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO), Jeff Brue, Steve Gibson (Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing) and Saltflys.com (Craig Smothers). Without them the tournament wouldn’t be possible, so please support them whenever you can.
Look for action in the coastal gulf to take off in the coming weeks. There should also be good action with trout and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Shallow water action for snook, trout and reds is picking up due to cooler water. Fishing lighted docks and bridges in the ICW for snook with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option. You should still find juvenile tarpon in canals and creeks and adult tarpon in upper Charlotte Harbor and some areas of Sarasota and Tampa Bay.
Capt. Rick Grassett
FFI 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.