OUTDOORS | Hotspots Fishing Report for July 19, 2013

July 18, 2013 

The fishing the past couple of weeks has improved with the big pods of white bait that have moved into Terra Ceia Bay. Our main catches have been nice slot-sized trout. With lots of ladyfish and small mangrove snapper in the bay to keep the rods bending. Throw in a few Spanish mackerel, redfish and snook. So with every bite you never know what you might be bringing to the boat. All part of the fun of fishing this time of year. The white bait in the bay is small, so we have been downsizing our hooks and fishing them under a float. With all the rain we’ve been having in the afternoons, we have been concentrating on getting out early getting bait and finding clean water. This past week, I was very fortunate to have Terry Merrifield and Joe Davis fishing on my 24-foot, custom-built pontoon boat. Terry is a member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. As we pushed Terry’s wheelchair onto my boat, you could see how happy he was to have so much room to move around the whole boat to fish. I live for these days to get wheelchair-bound people on the water. The fishing this day was a little slow, but we were able to put some nice 17- to 19-inch trout in the boat for their dinner. It is always an honor to have our servicemen and women with their friends and family on my boat. For you freshwater fishermen, Lake Manatee will be having a bass tournament on Saturday. For details, contact the Lake Manatee Fish Camp at 941-322-8500. Capt. Mike Senecal PontoonBoatCharters.com 941-704-4832

Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff, the Snook Fin-Addict out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had shots at tarpon with a fly in the coastal gulf and had steady action catching and releasing trout, bluefish and jacks on Clouser flies in Sarasota Bay during the week of July 8. Terry Antoniuk and Cornel Yarmaloy, both from Calgary, Alberta, fly fished for tarpon in the coastal gulf several days with me. Although action was slower than expected, they had a few shots each day. We also spent a morning in Sarasota Bay, where they caught and released trout, bluefish and jacks at Stephens Point and near Buttonwood Harbor on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and had a few shots at reds and tripletail. Sight fishing, casting to a fish that you can see and working a fly or lure to entice a strike, is one of the most challenging yet rewarding ways to fish! Although tarpon weren’t very plentiful in shallow water last week, I’m still seeing schools of large tarpon in the coastal gulf which should mean at least a few more weeks of action. Capt. Ed Hurst and I were instructors at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters “Orvis Fly Fishing 101” clinic on July 13. More than 30 people attended the clinic, which included fly casting with premium Orvis fly tackle and fly tackle rigging basics. It was great to see such a turnout! Tarpon fishing in the coastal gulf should be good depending on conditions. Beat the heat by catch-and-release snook fishing before daylight in the ICW and then look for reds and big trout in shallow water early in the day. Fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay for trout, blues, Spanish mackerel and more should also be a good option. Capt. Rick Grassett Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. snookfin@aol.com 941-923-7799

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