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, blues 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. 30. The best action continued to be with blues in the 3- to 5-pound class on DOA's, top-water plugs and flies on deep grass flats on the west side of Sarasota Bay. Large ladyfish and jacks in the mix also kept fly and light tackle anglers busy.
Glenn Elia and son Greg, from Connecticut, fished Stephens Point and near Bishop Point in Sarasota Bay with me Dec. 30. They caught and released blues to 4 pounds and trout on Ultra Hair Clouser flies, top-water plugs and CAL jigs with shad tails. Keith McClintock, from Illinois; his son Steve, from Pittsburgh; and grandson Garrett Anderson, also from Illinois, fished the same areas with me on Dec. 31. They also caught and released trout and blues on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos.
Greg Smith and son Alex, both from Michigan, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Jan. 2. With a front approaching, there was a strong south wind, which gave us some protection along the west side of the bay. They caught and released six or more large blues and a couple of jacks to 4 1/2 pounds on top-water plugs, which are very effective for trout, blues, jacks and more on deep grass flats. Schools of blues are roaming the flats searching for baitfish and the sound of the top-water plug and fly poppers, which simulates a baitfish struggling at the surface, helps them zero in on our lures.
A strong front pushed through on the afternoon/evening of Jan. 2, and the wind blew 20 mph out of the north on Jan. 3. Rusty Chinnis, from Longboat Key, was supposed to fish Sarasota Bay with me that day but we pushed the trip back to Jan. 4. We fished the west side of the bay and caught and released several blues to 5 pounds and Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds on fly poppers and top-water plugs. With an almost 10-degree drop in water temperature, we weren't sure what to expect, but the hearty blues were still feeding aggressively despite the change.
Fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and more should be a good option this week. Also look for big trout and reds in skinny water. They may be in potholes or edges of bars when the tide is low or cruising on shallow grass flats when the tide is high.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.