Sarasota Bay

Tip of the week 
Techniques 

Use floating lines for reds, snook and trout in shallow water and intermediate sink tip fly lines and weighted flies to fish deep grass flats for trout, blues and more. 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 

There should be good action with trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Fishing shallow water for big trout and reds should also be a good option. Our natural resources are under constant pressure, please limit your kill, don't kill your limit!

Conditions 

Capt. Rick Grassett's Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 2/18/2018

Anglers fishing with me, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing snook and blues in the ICW at night on flies during the past week. The best action was with snook and blues in the ICW at night.

Phil Rever, from MD and Bill Morrison, from Anna Maria Island fished deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with me on several different trips. They had good action catching and releasing trout and more on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.

Jerry Poslusny, from Palmetto, and Rich Hunter, from Longboat Key, fished the ICW with me on Tuesday night. We had a blues invasion as hungry bluefish dominated some of the areas we fished. They caught and released about 20 fish on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly, half snook and half bluefish up to 4-lbs. It was not a problem, since the chunky blues fought as hard as or harder than many of the snook!

Martin Marlowe, from NY, fished the ICW at night with me on Thursday. He also had great action with snook to 27" and blues to 4-lbs on the same fly. I saw something that night that I've never seen before in more than 30-years of fishing our waters, a 75-lb or larger Goliath grouper in a snook light along with many snook, blues and ladyfish. The big fish took a prominent ambush spot behind one of the outside pilings of a boat lift. Although we caught snook and blues out of the same dock light, the fish never tried to eat any of our hooked fish or our flies. The more time you spend on the water, the more likely you are to see strange things like this!

I was one of the FFI (Fly Fishers International) casting instructors (CI), along with Master Casting Instructors (MCI) Capt. Pete Greenan and Capt. Rex Gudgel for Mangrove Coast Coast Fly Fishers annual fly casting clinic at The Meadows in Sarasota on Saturday. An enthusiastic group of fly anglers showed up for the event. Beginners received basic instruction while more experienced casters fine-tuned their casting. A great event by MCFF, free and open to the public!

There is still time to sign up for CB's Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School next Saturday, Feb 24th. The course, designed for beginning and intermediate fly casters, will focus on basics but also work with intermediate casters on correcting faults and improving casting skills. Cost for the school, which will run from 8:30 AM to 2 PM, is $175 per person and includes the use of Orvis fly tackle and lunch. Contact CB's Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or info@cbsoutfitters.com to make reservations.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Rick Grassett

FFI 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 or 1/0 Buy from Orvis.com
Lefty's Deceiver olive/white or brown 1 or 2 Buy from Orvis.com
Grassett's Snook Minnow white 2 & 4 Buy from Orvis.com
Grassett's Flats Minnow olive 2 Buy from Orvis.com
Captain Rick Grassett
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