GO FISHING is a daily look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Rick Grassett.
There has been plenty of action with a variety of species in Sarasota Bay recently. Redfish, snook and big trout in shallow water and trout, bluefish and Spanish mackerel on the deep grass flats have been good options. Anglers fishing with me on the Snook fin-Addict out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key had good action fishing snook around lighted docks before dawn and on deep grass flats. Anglers fishing deep grass flats with me on several recent trips connected with trout to 18 inches, bluefish to 3 pounds and jacks on Clouser flies and DOA Deadly Combos at the Middleground flat, just inside New Pass, and at Stephens Point, near the Ringling Museum. We drifted around bait schools and looked for diving birds to find feeding fish. A fly angler fishing with me before dawn caught and released several snook up to 26 inches on my Grassett's Snook Minnow fly while fishing lighted docks on the north end of Siesta Key.
Captain Jack Hartman of Lucky Dawg Charters and I shared a group of four anglers for a couple of days recently. His anglers had similar action on deep grass flats, and also scored on trout to more than 20 inches with topwater plugs near Stephens Point. In addition, he caught and released a pair of reds to 26 inches on jigs along the west side of Sarasota Bay near Buttonwood Harbor.
Captain Jim Klopfer of Adventure Charters also reported fast action on deep grass flats on Sarasota Bay. Anglers fishing with him caught and released trout to 18 inches, bluefish, small gag grouper, black sea bass and Spanish mackerel on jigs and live bait at the Middleground flat and at Stephens Point.
Fall fishing seems to be heating up earlier than normal this year. With a couple of early fronts, baitfish are schooling to provide great action on the grass flats. This action should continue as days get shorter and the water temperature drops.