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.
Look for Spanish mackerel and false albacore in the coastal gulf. Trout, blues, Spanish mackerel and more should be good options on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Look for bait schools, diving birds or breaking fish to find them. You may find reds schooling on edges of bars or shallow grass flats when the tide is low. Snook fishing should be good around lighted docks and bridges at night or on shallow flats early in the day. You might also find reds and trout along with snook on lighted docks this time of year.
Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing false albacore (little tunny), Spanish mackerel, trout and a tarpon on flies and DOA Lures in Sarasota Bay during the past week.
I participated in the Florida Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF) 2014 "Fly Fishing Expo" at the Plantation Resort in Crystal River, FL last Friday and Saturday. I did presentations both days on "Fly Fishing the Coastal Gulf for False Albacore, Tripletail and Cobia". The annual event, with headliners Bob Clouser and Wanda Taylor, featured presentations on numerous fly fishing topics, fly tying workshops and fly casting clinics. Fly fishing industry vendors displayed the latest innovations in the industry. Fly tying guru, Enrico Puglisi, was on hand displaying his latest products and tying his creations. Local fly tiers Craig Smothers and Les Fulcher also tied flies at the event.
John Garcia, from San Francisco, CA and Dan Olson, from Sarasota, FL, fished the coastal gulf with me last Sunday. They had fast action catching and releasing 8 albies to 12-pounds and numerous Spanish mackerel on Clouser flies and CAL jigs with 3" shad tails and 4" jerk worms. The action was fast and furious and even attracted some sharks into the frenzy. Unfortunately a bull shark attacked one of our fish and was briefly hooked before biting through the leader. Great action!
We caught and released a few trout and a bluefish on flies on Monday's trip in Sarasota Bay. John Evans traveled all the way from the UK and fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday. He had some action catching and releasing trout on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly near Buttonwood Harbor. We found some juvenile tarpon working in an area and John caught and released his first tarpon on an Enrico Puglisi fly. Even though it was a small one the thrill was big!
Capt. Ed Hurst, Capt. Kelly Stilwell, Capt. Andy Cotton and I were instructors in CB's Saltwater Outfitters Orvis "Fly Fishing 101" class on Saturday. The introductory fly fishing class covered fly casting basics and fly tackle rigging. Participants also had an opportunity to cast Orvis fly tackle. Look for future Orvis "Fly Fishing 101" classes and Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Schools at CB's Saltwater Outfitters. The next Orvis-Endorsed school will be held on Nov 22nd. Fly casting basics, line control, shooting line, roll cast, leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques will be covered in the course. With a focus on basic fly casting principles, we will also work with casters on correcting faults and improving casting skills. Cost for the school, which will run from 8:30 AM to 3 PM, is $150 per person and includes the use of Orvis fly tackle, a text book and lunch. Contact CB's Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make reservations.