Sarasota Bay

Tip of the week 

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 

Night snook fishing in the ICW is a good option now. Fish peak tidal flows for the best action. Trout, blues, flounder and more should also be good options on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Look for reds and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats. Tripletail and false albacore in the coastal gulf should also be a good option depending on conditions. Look for tripletail on crab trap buoys and search for bait schools, diving birds or breaking fish to find albies.


An angler fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had great action catching and releasing snook at night in the ICW near Venice on flies during the past week.

Bill Todd, from MA, fished several trips with me. We fished the ICW near Venice on Wednesday evening and it was on fire! With the water temperature in the mid 60's that evening and a strong tide, snook went on a glass minnow binge. He had fast action catching and releasing snook to 25" on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly.

He also caught and released a few trout on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly fished on a sink tip fly line over deep grass in north Sarasota Bay. We hunted albies and tripletail in the coastal gulf and reds in skinny water, but conditions were tough with clouds, wind and cold water. Water temperature plummeted to 57 degrees in the shallows by Friday morning, a drop of more than 10 degrees over a few days.

Capt. Ed Hurst and I were the instructors for an Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School at CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Saturday. We had a large, enthusiastic class of students eager to learn to fly fish, which makes it a lot of fun. In addition to fly casting, students learned leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques. Contact CB's Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or to make reservations for future classes.

Must Have Flies 
Lefty's Deceiver white/tan 1/0 Buy from
Grassett's Deep Flats Bunny chartreuse/olive 1/0 Buy from
Grassett's Snook Minnow white 4 Buy from
Captain Rick Grassett

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