Monday, January 11, 2010

Sarasota Fishing Report 1-11-10

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 12/26/2009 through 1/9/2010

Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released redfish, Spanish mackerel, blues, flounder, pompano, trout and ladyfish on flies and jigs during the past couple of weeks. We’ve been catching some of the biggest blues (up to 5-pounds) that I’ve seen in years. However, we are also experiencing some of the coldest weather that we have seen in quite a while which has affected fishing lately.

Denis Clohisy, and his son, Denis, from WI, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday morning, 12/26. The tide was poor, but they still managed to catch several nice blues, a Spanish mackerel and a nice trout on CAL jigs with shad tails and Ultra Hair Clouser flies. Jack McCulloch, from Englewood, FL, and his son, Mike, from St. Louis, MO, fished Gasparilla Sound with me on Monday, 12/28. They caught and released trout and blues around spoil islands in Gasparilla Sound on CAL jigs with shad tails. They also caught several reds, a snook, flounder and numerous trout in skinny water in Bull and Turtle Bays.

With the water temperature hovering in the mid 50”s, we had some action with blues and trout on CAL jigs with shad tails and Clouser flies on several other trips in Sarasota Bay later that week. We also caught and released scattered Spanish mackerel and pompano. The best trip of the week was on New Year’s Eve day with Scott and Scottie Heidler, from Hudson, OH. With a strong front approaching, we fished the Middleground flat for more than 5-hours and had nonstop action catching and releasing blues, Spanish mackerel, trout, pompano and ladyfish on CAL jigs with shad tails. We spent the last couple hours of the day in skinny water catching several nice trout, a pompano and hooked a snook that couldn’t be turned!

I had to cancel several trips from Friday through Monday (1/1 through 1/4) due to wind and cold. However, with the water temperature in the low 50’s I got back on the water later in the week on Thursday with Kevin Graham and his wife, Beverley, from Ontario, Canada. We fished Longboat Key canals looking for warmer water and found more than 20 dead or dying jacks due to cold water. Fortunately, we didn’t see any snook or other species that were being affected by the extreme cold. They caught a pair of trout, one on a fly and the other on a jig, on a deep grass flat near Bayshore Gardens. Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL and Victor Feldman, from Champagne, IL, fished Little Sarasota Bay with me on Friday, 1/9. Despite tough conditions, they managed to catch 3 reds to 30”, including a pair of nice slot-size fish, and a pair of trout to 16” on CAL jigs with shad tails.

With water temperatures now in the low 50’s, subtropical species such as snook and members of the jack family are now in a survival mode. The good news is that due to a series of fronts, the water temperature came down slowly, so fish have been able to move to safer (warmer) areas. However, if it gets much colder they still could be in trouble. In the meantime, you may be successful by changing your tactics or targeting species that are more tolerant of cold water, such as bluefish, sheepshead, trout or reds. Fish protected shorelines on sunny afternoons and you should have more action due to slightly warmer water.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.

FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
(941) 923-7799
E-mail and

Denis Clohisy, from WI, caught and released this nice trout on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Scottie Heidler, from OH, with a nice Spanish mackerel caught on a DOA Deadly Combo while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Victor Feldman, from IL, caught this nice red on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Little Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

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