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 

Trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, jacks and more should be good options on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Look for reds and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats. Catch and release night snook fishing in the ICW is also a good option now. Fish peak tidal flows for the best action. Tripletail and false albacore should be good options in the coastal gulf depending on conditions. Look for albies feeding near the surface and tripletail around crab trap buoys.


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, Spanish mackerel and pompano in Sarasota Bay on flies during the past week.

Anna Maria Island and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday morning. A front passed through on Monday and it was cool and windy. We fished deep grass flats on the east side of the bay and despite tough conditions they managed to catch and release a few trout to 17", Spanish mackerel and ladyfish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies fished on a sink tip fly line.

I gave a presentation at the Charlotte Harbor Fly Fishers ( in Punta Gorda on Wednesday evening on fly fishing the coastal gulf for tripletail and false albacore and night snook fishing. If you are in that area, you should check them out. Their members fish some of the most fertile waters in the state.

My friend Capt. Rick DePaiva, from Ft. Myers, FL, invited me to fish Pine Island Sound with him on Thursday. Conditions were right for reds to tail and they didn't disappoint. We had numerous shots at tailing reds with a fly, hooked a couple and Rick landed a beautiful over slot fish on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly. A great fishery!

Chuck and Chase Banta, from Sarasota, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday. It was overcast and cool, but the action was good. We fished deep grass flats on both sides of the bay where they caught and released trout, Spanish mackerel, pompano and ladyfish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies. It was Chase's first time fly fishing in saltwater and he did well, catching and releasing nice pompano and mackerel!

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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