Sarasota Bay

Tip of the week 

Use floating lines for tarpon, reds, snook and trout in shallow 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 should be good with Spanish mackerel and false albacore (little tunny) in the coastal gulf and Tampa Bay depending on conditions. Snook season is closed now on the west coast of Florida, but catch and release night snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW with flies should also be good. You might also find a few juvenile tarpon and reds in the lights along with snook. In addition, there should be good action with trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay.


Capt. Rick Grassett's Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 8/27/2016

Fishing can be good in late August and September as long as you fish smart. For most species this usually means fishing early in the day, before heat is an issue. There are also some seasonal things that start to happen now, such as false albacore (little tunny) and tripletail, which could be a good option later in the day when visibility is better. Since this is an "in between" time of year when there aren't a lot of people around, it gives me a chance to fish personally.

Rusty Chinnis, from Longboat Key, FL, invited Steve Traves, owner of Anna Maria Island Outfitters and me to fish with him on Monday. Conditions were great; not much wind and sunny. We had fast action with false albacore in Tampa Bay, each catching and releasing several albies on a variety of Clouser, EP and my Grassett Snook Minnow flies. There were also lots of Spanish mackerel in the mix but we avoided them in lieu of their larger cousins, some of which were as big as 12-pounds.

Baitfish are plentiful in the coastal gulf now and it is usually just a matter of time before this kind of action is happening up and down our coast. False albacore are one of my favorite fly rod species; right up there with tarpon, snook, bonefish and reds. They hit hard and easily strip off 100-yds or more of backing on smoking runs. It's also very visual, with these speedsters annihilating tiny baitfish on the surface!

Although structure isn't that plentiful this time of year, I find some tripletail in various places. Look for them around channel markers, buoys, crab trap floats or floating debris, such as palm fronds. Once you've found one, it's a sight-fishing game with them, too. An accurate cast with a variety of fly patterns usually works well.

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 chartreuse/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

Add Content