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Good Action on Lower Tampa Bay Flats

Capt. Rick Grassett
April 14, 2019
Sarasota - Saltwater Fishing Report

Capt. Rick Grassett's Fishing Report for 4/14/2019

Anglers fishing with me recently, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing snook, trout and reds in lower Tampa Bay, reds in Gasparilla Sound, snook and bluefish at night in the ICW and Spanish mackerel in the coastal gulf on flies and CAL jigs with shad tails recently.

AMI winter resident Bill Morrison and Don Morrison, from MA, had some action catching and releasing trout on CAL jigs with shad tails and Clouser flies fished on sink tip fly lines over deep grass in lower Tampa Bay with me. Bill and another guest also had similar action on another trip in the same area. Bill Aucoin, from St Pete, and his grandson Leif, from CO, also had good action with me in that area, catching and releasing trout on Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails.

Click to Enlarge Photo

Dave Reinhart, from MA, fished a couple of days with me and had good action with reds and snook. We fished the backcountry of Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande on one trip and he caught and released several reds on CAL jigs with shad tails. On another trip in lower Tampa Bay he had a great day catching and releasing numerous snook, several nice reds including one over slot and a couple of trout to complete his slam. A great way to end a vacation! I've said this many times before; fishing hard often pays off!

Click to Enlarge Photo

Click to Enlarge Photo

Anna Maria Island winter resident, Bill Morrison, caught and released trout on Clouser flies fished on sink tip fly lines over deep grass with me in lower Tampa Bay recently. Frank Zaffino, from Rochester, NY, fished the ICW at night for snook with me and had some action catching and releasing snook to 26" and a nice bluefish on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. Snook were picky to start but turned on before the bottom of the tide.

Click to Enlarge Photo

Click to Enlarge Photo

Another fly angler had some action catching and releasing Spanish mackerel, also on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly, which is a glass minnow imitation. Baitfish were plentiful and mackerel schools were crashing bait balls!

I was the instructor for a CB's Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School on Saturday. Students received fly casting instruction and also learned leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques. This was the last school for the spring season. Classes will resume in the fall. Contact CB's Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or [email protected] for information on other classes and fly fishing events.

Fishing shallow flats usually requires persistence to find and catch fish but it is worth the effort. You may not catch big numbers of fish but you may catch some good ones. Look for Spanish mackerel and other migratory species in the coastal gulf. Action with trout on deep grass flats is improving as the water warms and baitfish become more plentiful. Catch and release night snook fishing is a dependable option and a good way to beat the heat. Our natural resources are under constant pressure from red tides fueled by agricultural and residential runoff, freezes, increasing fishing pressure and habitat loss and degradation, please limit your kill, don't kill your limit!

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
FFI Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide at CB's Saltwater Outfitters
Orvis Outfitter of the Year-2011

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Capt. Rick Grassett, owner of Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc., is a full time fishing guide and outdoor writer based in Sarasota, FL. He has been guiding since 1990 and is an Orvis Endorsed Outfitter fly fishing guide at CBs Saltwater Outfitters in Sarasota. Specializing in fishing with flies and lures on light spinning tackle, Capt. Rick fishes the bays, back country and coastal gulf waters from Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor in his 18 Action Craft flats boat.

Contact Info:

Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
2447 Waneta Drive
Sarasota, FL 34231
Phone: 941-923-7799
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