After last week's complete blowout of fishing trips due to the cold fronts and high winds that accompanied them, this week's weather has stabilized. The fishing has picked back up, and we are putting good numbers of crappie in the cooler.
I will say the fishing has not been quite as good as the incredible fishing we experienced in October and early November but is still very good. Ron's Fish Bites and Ron's Zip Jigs are still providing the action for me with blue and yellow being the top colors this week.
The fish are suspending 2-3 feet off the bottom in 9-14 feet of water. Water temperatures are all over the place the last couple of weeks with a high temp of 77 degrees and the bottom falling out to a temp of 66 degrees. When this happens, it will sometimes shock the fish and the bite gets a little tough until the water temperatures stabilize.
When water temperatures drop like they have, I tend to slow everything down. As the sun comes up and warms the water, the fish will rise off the bottom to a temperature that they feel comfortable in. This is the time of year to move around and try different depths of water if you are not catching fish where you're at.
Glen Pla from "The Average Angler Adventures" TV show was back out to the beautiful Lake Manatee to film some more on Wednesday afternoon and informed me the show will be airing at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.
Capt. Mike Senecal
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 in Sarasota Bay on flies during the week of Nov. 25. A strong front with winds above 20 mph pushed through earlier in the week, so with a broken trim and tilt module on my outboard and in need of maintenance, I put my boat in the shop for service.
John Nelson, from Tampa; his son, Mark; and son-in-law, Chris, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Nov. 29. With three fly anglers, our plan was to wade shallow flats, but with a 10-degree drop in water temperature we didn't find anything in that zone.
We drifted deeper grass flats near Stephens Point where they caught and released trout on intermediate sink tip fly lines and Ultra Hair Clouser flies. Mark and Chris each caught and released his first saltwater trout on flies!
Fishing deep grass flats for trout, blues and more or reds and trout on shallow flats of Sarasota Bay should be good inshore options next week. Look for false albacore, tripletail and Spanish mackerel in the coastal gulf when conditions are good. There should also be good action with snook around lighted docks in the ICW.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
Anglers caught and released multiple species of fish during the week of Nov. 25 aboard my Action Craft Coastal Bay boat the O'Fishall out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key.
Despite heavy winds and a temperature drop from a cold front moving through the first part of the week we had great action fishing the grass flats throughout Sarasota bay. With anglers catching and releasing spotted trout, Spanish mackerel, jacks and bluefish.
Richard Berkes and his son, Brandon, from Fort Lauderdale and his nephew, Rob Formino from New York, fished the grass flats on the east side of Sarasota bay with me on Nov. 29. We started in the shallow water looking for redfish, but with the water temps dropping 10 degrees from a front earlier in the week, these fish were being finicky. We moved out in to the deeper water, and the trio caught and released Spanish mackerel, spotted seatrout and jacks using combination of Logic Plastix baits, DOA CAL jigs.
On Nov. 30, I took my uncle, Johnny Cotton, from Haines City Florida, my cousin Chris Cotton and his two boys Brice and Avery from Charlotte, NC fishing. We fished the grass flats around the north end of Sarasota Bay. Avery caught his saltwater fish, it was a keeper Spotted Seatrout on the Logic Lures Tandem rig! He is only 7 yrs old and very competitive in nature. He was also score keeper all day and kept track of how many fish we all caught. The finally tally was a total of 75 Spotted Seatrout to 19" and 2 Ladyfish that were caught using Logic Lures Tandem rig in Chicken/Charteuse and DOA Cal Shad tails in Figi/Chix on 1/8th oz chartreuse jig heads.
On Sunday, Capt. Doug Fisher fished the potholes on the shallow flats in Sarasota Bay using top water plugs and Logic Plastix lures. We caught and released several respectable sized spotted seatrout and Bluefish mixed in with the Mullet schools.
Keeper-size spotted seatrout are showing up on the grass flats in Sarasota Bay. Look for reds and trout in the potholes on the shallow flats. Fish the deeper flats, and you should have plenty of action with spotted seatrout, flounder, Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Look for mackerel and false albacore in the coastal gulf; also keep an eye open for tripletail around floating debris and crab floats.
Capt. Andy Cotton