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 Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano and trout in Sarasota Bay on flies and CAL jigs with shad tails during the week of Feb. 17. The best action of the week was with Spanish mackerel on deep grass flats.
Anna Maria and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, fished with me on the morning of Feb. 17. We fished deep grass flats at Stephens and near Bishop Point where they had steady action catching and releasing numerous Spanish mackerel, a few trout and bluefish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.
Beale Ong, from St. Michaels, Md., and Wright Elliott, from New York, fished Sarasota Bay with me on the morning of Feb. 18. They had good action with Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds, pompano and bluefish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails on deep grass flats near Bishop Point. Tom Lamb, from Switzerland, and Roy Glah and Diane Muhlfeld, from Sarasota, fished the same area with me that afternoon. The action heated up as they had fast action catching and releasing numerous Spanish mackerel to 4-pounds, bluefish and a couple of pompano on CAL jigs with shad tails.
Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, and Tony Merlis, from New Hampshire, fished with me on Feb. 19. We fished deep grass flats and drop offs on the west side of the bay, where they had good action catching and releasing numerous Spanish mackerel to 4-pounds and pompano on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.
Frank Zaffino, from Rochester, N.Y., and his sons, Frank and John, fished with me on Feb. 20. We fished deep grass flats at Stephens and near Bishop Point, where they had steady action catching and releasing Spanish mackerel and trout on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails.
Fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, pompano and more should continue to be a good option. Night snook fishing in the ICW should be good, especially during peak tidal flows. Tripletail should also be a good option in the coastal gulf when conditions are good.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
Fishing was steady aboard my Action Craft Coastal Bay boat, the O'Fishall out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters. Fly and spin Anglers caught pompano, spanish mackerel, spotted seatrout, flounder and bluefish.
On Feb. 18, John Mazzoni from Pennsylvania, fly-fished with me in Sarasota Bay. We started working the deep grass flats on the east side of the bay. John caught and released several spotted seatrout and ladyfish. As the action started to slow we moved to some deep grass flats around Buttonwood Harbor, and the bite picked up. John caught Spanish mackerel and ladyfish using a clouser style minnow tied on a long shank hook.
The Rosenblatt family -- Lawrence, Michelle, Max and Sydney -- fished with me on Feb. 19. They took turns catching and releasing spotted seatrout, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds using DOA CAL Shad tail jigs. The entire family had a great day on the water, fishing, taking pictures and videotaping dolphins.
Peter Kool and his son-in-law Paul fly fished Sarasota Bay with me on Feb. 20. We worked the edges of channels and drop-offs on the shallow flats. Paul started off the trip catching and releasing a nice pompano on fly. We moved on to the deeper flats to look for a little more action and the duo caught several ladyfish and Spanish mackerel to 5 pounds.
Jason Young and Summer DuBose fished with me on Feb. 21 despite the windy conditions. Using the wind to my advantage, we fished the west side of Sarasota bay targeting shallow flats. Summer got a hot hand at first, catching several spotted seatrout, but then Jason started catching up. Jason caught and released a respectable spotted seatrout weighing in at 4 pounds using DOA CAL Shad tail jigs. As the sun was starting to set, we moved on to the deeper flats and ended the trip catching several Spanish mackerel and ladyfish.
Capt. Andy A. Cotton