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, pompano, trout and bluefish in Sarasota Bay on flies and CAL jigs with shad tails during the week of March 3.
Venice winter resident Chub Bortz and his guest, Woody Boyce, fished Sarasota Bay with me on March 3. We fished deep grass flats on both sides of the bay where they had steady action catching and releasing Spanish mackerel and bluefish to 4 pounds, trout and ladyfish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.
Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, waded several flats and bars on the west side of the bay with me on March 4. We caught and released several pompano and a nice trout on my Grassett Flats Minnow and Flats Bunny flies.
Tides will improve toward the end of this week as we approach a full moon. Fishing deep grass flats for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, pompano and more should continue to be a good option. Look for reds and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay. You may also find tripletail or false albacore (little tunny) in the coastal gulf when conditions are good there.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
I have started my transition from freshwater fishing at Lake Manatee back to the saltwater as water temperatures have stayed around 70 degrees (give or take a degree or two) for awhile now. Bait is thick around the Skyway Pier, and although it can be a long ride there to get the bait it is well worth the trip.
This past week, the fishing has been outstanding. Snook seem to be everywhere as they make their way out of their wintertime habitats and are feeding aggressively after a cold winter. There are lots of under-slot fish around, ranging in size from 22 to 26 inches with a few slot-size snook mixed in. This is a great sign that the snook are making a comeback in our area after three years of not very good numbers here.
Redfish also are hitting whitebait and cut bait. Redfish have been a hit-or-miss fish this week. One day, we'll hit them good with some nice slot-size fish to take home, and then the next trip out we can't find them. Big, healthy trout also are eager to hit white bait now. We've caught nice, fat upper-slot trout on every trip this week.
I had the pleasure of having my brother, Doug, down from frigid Massachusetts to fish with me Tuesday afternoon, and he had a great day fishing Terra Ceia Bay with me. He was able to boat a 30-inch snook, a 22½-inch redfish and a beautiful 25½-inch trout to put a smile on his face. He also caught several under-slot snook, several under-slot redfish and some nice sized upper-slot trout to take home to eat.
We finished up the day at the Rod and Reel Pier and had fun watching people catch many sheepshead that have invaded the pier right now. They were catching the sheepshead on a variety of baits, including shrimp, sand fleas and fiddler crabs.
Capt. Mike Senecal