Sarasota Bay

Tip of the week 

Intermediate sink tip fly lines are my choice for fishing the deeper coastal gulf waters.Use floating lines for tarpon, reds, snook 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 

Action with tripletail, false albacore and Spanish mackerel should be a good option now in the coastal gulf when conditions allow it. Snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges with flies and DOA Lures should also be a good option. Look for reds, snook and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars in backcountry areas of Charlotte Harbor and lower Tampa Bay.


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 false albacore, tripletail and Spanish mackerel in the coastal gulf on flies and snook on flies in Charlotte Harbor during the past week.

Bill Todd, from MA, fished the coastal gulf in Sarasota with me on Monday and Wednesday and caught and released false albacore, Spanish mackerel and tripletail on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly and a shrimp fly pattern. Aledia Tush, owner of CB's Saltwater Outfitters and CB's fly shop manager, Tim Palmer, fished the same areas with me on Tuesday. They had good action with Spanish mackerel and tripletail on flies, CAL jigs with shad tails and top water plugs. Weed guards are important on lures and flies when targeting tripletail to avoid snagging crab trap lines. Aledia caught and released her first tripletail on a weedless-rigged CAL shad tail and Tim scored his first one on a shrimp fly pattern!

Jon Yenari and Kyle Ruffing, both from Sarasota, fished Gasparilla Sound and Charlotte Harbor with me on Friday. We fished mangrove shorelines in backcountry areas when the tide was high and waded shallow sand bars at the bottom of the tide. They had good action catching and releasing several snook on my Grassett Flats Minnow and EP flies.

Capt. Ed Hurst and I were the instructors for a CB's Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Saturday. The course, designed for beginning and intermediate fly casters, focused on basics but also worked with intermediate casters on correcting faults and improving casting skills. The next class is scheduled for Jan 16, 2016. Contact CB's Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or to make reservations.

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

Must Have Flies 
Grassett's Deep Flats Bunny white/tan 1/0 Buy from
Lefty's Deceiver black/purple or blac 2/0 Buy from
Grassett's Snook Minnow white 2 & 4 Buy from
Grassett's Flats Minnow olive 2 Buy from
Captain Rick Grassett

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