Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sarasota Fishing Report- 11-23-2011

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report

Action was good in Sarasota Bay and in the coastal gulf during the past week. 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 trout, reds, flounder, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and albies (little tunny) on DOA and CAL lures and flies.

“What is an albie?” a couple of people have asked recently. They are little tunny, known as false albacore or albies to anglers from the Carolinas to New England and called bonito in Florida. There is a pilgrimage of fly anglers every fall to Harker’s Island, NC (Cape Lookout) where hundreds of anglers gather to fly fish for false albacore or albies, which is where I was introduced to fly fishing for them. They are one of my favorite fish to catch on a fly and we also have a great fishery for them here in the fall and spring. Unlike some other areas, we also have good options for bay and flats fishing if sea conditions in the coastal gulf are rough.

Tony Ryan, from Osprey, FL, and Rich Carroll, from North Port, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me last Saturday (11/12). Following a front the day before, it was cool to start but it warmed up quickly. They caught and released trout, blues, flounder and a nice red on CAL jig with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos at Stephens Point and near Buttonwood Harbor. Bill Moore and his son Mark Moore, from the Chicago area, fished the same areas with me on Sunday. They had good action with trout, blues and Spanish mackerel on CAL jigs and DOA Deadly Combos.

Wes Demmon, also from the Chicago area, fished Sarasota Bay with me on a foggy morning early in the week. We caught and released trout on CAL: jigs with shad tails near Bird Key while we waited for heavy fog to lift enough so we could go into the coastal gulf. He caught and released a few mackerel on flies and Diamond jigs and had some shots at albies. Wes also had a shot at a big tripletail as we ran a crab trap line on our way back.   

Denis Clohisy, from WI, and Pat DeCastro, from OH, fished several days with me from Thursday through Saturday. With an approaching front, we were still able to get out into the coastal gulf on Thursday. They had good action with Spanish mackerel and ladyfish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies in Big Pass and then we went and hunted albies in the coastal gulf. We located some feeding fish but they were still being picky like they were earlier in the week. We stuck with them and they had 3 hookups, one on a Clouser, one on a Crease fly and one on my Snook Minnow fly and landed one that day. The action ended that day with 2 or 3 big bait balls being crashed by mackerel, albies and sharks. An awesome sight!

Friday was very windy and we weren’t able to fish the gulf that day so we fished the east side of Sarasota Bay. Despite winds gusting more than 20 mph they still had decent action. They caught and released numerous trout, 4 reds and a couple of flounder on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad and grub tails. Conditions improved on Saturday and we were able to get back into the coastal gulf. Albies were plentiful and in a better mood that day, staying up longer and giving us a chance to get a fly in front of them. They hooked 6 fish and landed 4, all on a tan Grassett Snook Minnow. The fish were mostly in the 10-lb class and went deep into their backing. A good day!

Conditions should be good next week for more of the same. Tides will improve towards the end of the week as we approach a new moon on Nov. 25th, so deep and shallow flats of Sarasota Bay should also fish well.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
(941) 923-7799
E-mail and

Tony Ryan, from Osprey, FL, caught and released this nice red on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Bill Moore, from the Chicago area, caught and released this Spanish mackerel on a DOA Deadly Combo while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.


Pat DeCastro, from OH, caught and released this nice albie (little tunny) on a tan Grassett Snook Minnow fly while fishing the coastal gulf with Capt. Rick Grassett.

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