Sarasota Bay

Techniques 

Intermediate sink tip fly lines are my choice for fishing the coastal gulf waters.Use floating lines for reds and trout in skinny water and intermediate sink tip fly lines and weighted flies to fish deep grass flats for trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, flounder and pompano. Fish the ICW at night for snook with intermediate sink tip fly lines and Grassett Snook Minnow flies or Shrimp Gurglers on a floating line.

Seven-day forecast 

With a full moon on Tues, April 15th tides will be good next week, particularly outgoing tides in the afternoon. Look for reds, snook and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay. Fishing deep grass flats for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, pompano and more should continue to be a good option. There should also be good action in the coastal gulf with Spanish and king mackerel, false albacore (little tunny) and tripletail depending on conditions.

Conditions 

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 ladyfish in Sarasota Bay and snook at night in the ICW near Venice on flies during the past week.

Anna Maria and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, snook fished with me in the ICW near Venice on Monday evening, 4/7. We fished only a couple of spots and they caught and released a few snook and ladyfish on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly before a mechanical problem sent me to the dock early.

A front came through on Tuesday with heavy rain and wind and the wind continued to blow above 20-mph all day Wednesday, so we didn't fish those days. David Morgan, from Sarasota, FL, fished Stephens Point in Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday morning and caught and released a few trout on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly. Mark Wayde, from MI, snook fished with me in the ICW near Venice that evening and had good action catching and releasing numerous snook on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly.

Longtime friend, client and Sarasota winter resident, Norm Boardman from CT, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday. We fished deep grass flats on both sides of the bay where he caught and released trout and ladyfish on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly. The action wasn't fast but it was steady, with some decent trout to 18".

I was the instructor for an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school at CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Saturday. The school, which was the last one until fall, covered fly casting basics, shooting line, roll casting, leader construction and saltwater fly fishing techniques. Look for information on future Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Schools and Orvis Fly Fishing 101 classes, a 2-hr introductory fly fishing class, at www.cbsoutfitters.com.

Must Have Flies 
Grassett's Flats Minnow olive/white 1 or 2 Buy from Orvis.com
Grassett's Deep Flats Bunny tan/chartreuse 1/0 or 2/0 Buy from Orvis.com
Grassett's Snook Minnow white 4 Buy from Orvis.com
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