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 Snook, trout, redfish and flounder in Sarasota Bay and false albacore (little tunny) and Spanish mackerel in the coastal gulf off Siesta Key and Longboat Key on lures and flies during the past week.
Capt. Rick Grassett with a 29" Snook caught and released on a DOA Tiny TerrorEyz while fishing a Sarasota lighted dock before dawn. Jan Maizler photo.Rusty Chinnis, from Longboat Key, FL, and I scouted the coastal gulf off Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island in his Hell's Bay flats skiff on Wednesday. We ran some crab trap lines, found 3 tripletail and got some shots at them with a fly. We didn't find much surface activity except for a few mackerel skyrocketing out of the water in a few spots, but nothing we could work with. With not much to cast to on the surface, we looked for fish over structure and hit the jackpot. We found some bait holding over hard bottom and made a drift over it casting fly poppers. We caught and released numerous Spanish mackerel in the 3 to 4-pound class. It was fun watching them blow up on our poppers when they ate!
Outdoor writer Jan Maizler, from Miami, FL, fished Sarasota Bay and the coastal gulf with me on Friday and Saturday. We had good action with Snook on lighted docks before dawn, catching and releasing 6 or 7 Snook to 29" on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms and DOA Tiny TerrorEyz. We often "match the hatch" by duplicating the size and shape of baitfish with our lures and flies and the DOA Tiny TerorEyz is a great choice when fish are eating glass minnows. We also fished deep grass flats in several places on the east side of the bay and caught and released trout to 18" , jacks and a flounder on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms. We fished the coastal gulf off Siesta and Casey Keys on Friday and caught and released numerous small mackerel on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms and had a few shots at a tripletail.
Capt. Rick Grassett with a nice Spanish mackerel caught and released on a fly popper while fishing off Longboat Key.
We fished shallow water in north Sarasota Bay on Saturday and caught and released a "slam" including several Snook, numerous trout and a red, also on CAL jigs with a variety of plastic tails. We finished with a bang, catching and releasing numerous Spanish mackerel in the 3 to 4-pound class and false albacore to more than 10-pounds on top water plugs and CAL jigs with shad tails off Longboat Key. Great action!
Fishing for false albacore (little tunny), Spanish mackerel, tripletail and more in the coastal gulf should continue to get better as the water cools and baitfish schools become more concentrated. Although there have been reports of red tide from Venice south into Charlotte and Lee counties, it is currently clear in Sarasota from Casey Key north. Fish deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and more. Shallow water fishing for reds, trout and Snook should also continue to improve as it gets cooler.
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