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, bluefish and Spanish mackerel in Sarasota Bay on DOA Deadly Combos, CAL jigs with shad tails, flies and top-water plugs, during the week of Dec. 23. The best action continued to be with blues in the 3- to 5-pound class, Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds and trout on DOA's and flies on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay.
Jack McCulloch, from Lakewood Ranch, sons Jack and Mike and 6-year-old grandson, Canon, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Dec. 23. We fished deep grass flats on the west side of the bay, where they caught and released trout to 20 inches and jacks on DOA Deadly Combos and CAL jigs with shad tails.
The action continued after Christmas when Joe Murphy and his son, Zach, from Ponte Vedra Beach, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Dec. 27. Chris Cunis, from Colorado, and his father-in-law, Bill Watson, from Lake Placid, also had good action in Sarasota Bay with me on Dec. 28. Although the water was rougher on the west side of the bay, that's where we had the best action with big blues and Spanish mackerel on CAL jigs with shad tails and flies. Chris finished the trip strong, catching and releasing several blues in the 4- to 5-pound class and large ladyfish on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly fished on a sink-tip fly line. It's a lot of fun to catch fast-swimming, strong fish on flies and lures, particularly fly poppers and top-water plugs. A Spanish mackerel or large ladyfish can quickly take you to the end of your fly line or into the backing. Bluefish can slug it out with the best of them and they jump, too!
Fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and more should be a good option this week. Negative low tides as we approach a new moon should concentrate reds, snook and trout in potholes or the edges of bars and flats. Reds may also tail on shallow grass flats under the same conditions. With water temperatures still close to 70 degrees, look for false albacore and tripletail in the coastal gulf when conditions are good.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.