Fly and spin fishing anglers fishing with me out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key are having good success sight fishing the shallow flats along mangrove shorelines and oyster bars for redfish from lower Tampa bay to Charlotte harbor.
Fly anglers are sight fishing or blind casting these areas using redfish crack fly patterns. Spin anglers are scoring with DOA jerk baits rigged weedless or on an 1/8th oz jig head in copper crush color #321 and gold or white spoons.
The deeper grass flats are holding spotted seatrout, mackerel, bluefish and pompano use deep clouser minnow patterns on fly and DOA shad tails on 1/4 ounce jig heads fished close to the bottom during cooler days.
Flats fishing in the inshore waters around CB’s Saltwater Outfitters in Sarasota, FL continues to provide exciting action for anglers fishing on charters with Quiet Waters Fishing.
We connected with some large jack crevalle while throwing plugs on the flats on a recent trip.
Jacks have been moving down the ICW and spilling out onto flats where they ravage mullet and other small forage fish. These fish are powerful and fast and the commotion they make while feeding is quite a sight to see.
When they hang around for a bit, you have the opportunity for multiple hookups on light tackle.
Snook fishing has been best at night on dock lights and in the day up our brackish rivers. Dock lights continue to be a great place to catch snook right now. Anglers willing to go out after dark in search of these fish are being rewarded with snook of all sizes. This is the time of year when a fly rod can really out fish traditional tackle on dock lights. We’re still doing well with snook using gurglers in the back country. The few snook we encountered on the flats were caught on jigs with paddle tails.
Redfish of all sizes continue to be plentiful in the waters around Sarasota, FL. We found them in a variety of locations over the last week. Broken edges of mangrove islands, sandbars, and potholes all held fish. Getting skinny in our brackish rivers is not a bad option either. Mirrolure lil johns and paddle tails on jig heads were better options than spoons over the last week. Redfish remained on dock lights and are best observed either vacuuming the bottom or charging through the lights. They are normally willing eaters on dock lights.
We’re still catching Seatrout on the Mirrolure Mirrodine XL, but paddle tails on jig heads produced higher numbers. The Mirrodine XL seems to work best on bigger fish, it does a great job of triggering larger seatrout to come off the bottom too eat. If you’re into numbers, then go with soft plastics and fish the deeper grass. We found areas of deep grass holding good numbers of class-size seatrout. If you’re working to find big seatrout, then go with an XL or a soft plastic profile that offers a larger meal. The pattern on larger seatrout changed during the warm up and they were more difficult to find. The fresh cold front, currently ripping through our area, should put larger seatrout into more predictable patterns.
This cold front should send fish back into winter patterns. Delaying fishing departure times until later in the morning can make a significant difference. Waiting for the sun to get a bit higher in the sky gives the shallow water more time to warm up and for the fish to become more active. Deeper canals should provide some decent action on cold mornings. Shallow water with dark bottom will warm quickly on cold mornings and some areas will be holding fish. Redfish and seatrout will be less impacted by the cold than snook.
Anglers fishing with me recently, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action with trout, blues and Spanish mackerel on deep grass flats and reds in skinny water. Fly anglers fishing deep flats with me scored with trout, bluefish and Spanish mackerel and snook in the ICW at night. Spin fishing anglers also had some action on deep flats and with reds in shallow water on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails.
Todd Horiuchi and sons Ashton and Tyler, from Sarasota, fished deep grass flats with me and had good action catching and releasing trout, Spanish mackerel and blues on Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad and grub tails. Bill Poxon, from Sarasota and Walt Poxon, from MI, also had some action with trout on another trip with me.
Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL and Brian Nafzinger, from Rehoboth, DE, each had great action on different trips catching and releasing numerous reds to 28” on CAL jigs with shad tails and grubs in skinny water. Rich Hilser, from NC, fished dock lights with me at night and had some action catching and releasing snook and a bonus red on a fly.
I was the instructor for a CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School on Saturday, Jan 18. I had a full class of enthusiastic students that received instruction in fly casting and saltwater fly fishing techniques.
Future schools will be held on Feb 8 and 22 and Mar 14, 2020. Cost for the 6-hr class is $195 per person and includes the use of premium Orvis fly tackle, workbook and lunch. Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 to sign up.
Fishing shallow flats for catch and release reds and snook should be a good option now. Fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay is a good choice for action with a variety of species including trout, pompano, blues and Spanish mackerel.
Our natural resources are under constant pressure from red tides fueled by industrial, agricultural and residential runoff, freezes, increasing fishing pressure and habitat loss and degradation, please limit your kill, don’t kill your limit!
We seem to be ladyfish crazy as the new year 2020 gets off to a great start. Many of the half day guided trips out of CB’s Outfitters have produced close to one hundred fish in just four hours. Of course you can’t eat them but they’re certainly tons of fun for the kids.
Mixed in with all these fish are some bluefish, trout, lizardfish, and every kids favorite the porcupine puffer. Grab your kids and book a trip while the weather is as beautiful as it’s been this time of year.
Please limit your kill, don’t kill your limit!
Flats fishing in the inshore waters around CB’s Saltwater Outfitters in Sarasota, FL continues to provide exciting action for anglers fishing on charters with Quiet Waters Fishing. We found good numbers of redfish and seatrout in all sizes over the last few weeks. Snook fishing remains steady with the best action still coming at night on dock lights.
Snook have been active in waters around Sarasota, FL and can be found in a variety of locations this time of year. Brackish rivers and creeks have been a great place to find them. Fly fishing anglers did well fishing gurglers the first few hours of the morning.
Focusing on points and keeping an eye out for obvious signs of feeding snook helps ensure that you’re in the right spot. We are still catching fish on the flats. Using Mirrolure Mirrodine XLs and paddle tails on jig heads around sandbars with good tidal flow. Fishing on flats with the presence of bait or mullet has been a good place to find them.
Fishing at night around dock lights is probably your best bet this time of year if you’re focused on catching snook.
Sarasota Bay has really perked up and we are seeing more and more redfish. Little Sarasota Bay and Blackburn Bay also yielded a good number of redfish. The best bait for redfish continues to be the Aqua Dream ADL series spoon and paddle tails on jig heads.
We are still seeing larger redfish in brackish rivers and creeks in very shallow water. A rising tide on a cold morning around mudflats is a great place to look for redfish on the flats and in brackish rivers like the Manatee and Myakka.
If you’re fly fishing, then adhering to the winter time motto ‘brown and down’ will put the odds in your favor. In clear water situations, reducing your leader to 15 pound test can really help with wary redfish.
Seatrout of all sizes have provided steady action in waters around Sarasota. We found good action on larger healthy sized seatrout using paddle tails and the Mirrolure Mirrodine XL. There are gator trout around and we moved a big one last week. Although we could not get a hook in the fish, it’s still a really positive sign for the fishery.
If you’re an angler that needs more regular action, then you can find that over deeper grass with class-size seatrout. Once you find a pocket of these fish, the action can be steady. A ¼ ounce jig and paddle tail will do the trick on these fish.
We’re heading towards an extended warm up and that will likely have fish on the move. Anglers fishing in Sarasota in the next few weeks may find it necessary to move around more to find fish. Other winter trends should continue to point anglers towards fish.
Negative low tides in the morning should still concentrate fish in holes, troughs, and deeper basins. River fishing should continue to provide good action for snook and redfish.
Dock light fishing can be outstanding this time of year. With smaller bait around dock lights, fly fishing anglers will have the advantage over their spin fishing brethren.
If you’re interested in a charter, you can contact me by phone, email, or through my website. Good luck out there. We’ll see you on the water soon!
The fishing over the holidays was very good, with water temps in the mid 60’s. Fishing the passes with live bait produced sea bass, snapper, jacks, and a good run of pompano. The sheepshead are also moving inshore and should produce some good action this winter.
On several calm days I finished off the trip running the crab buoys which produced several tripletail up to 26 inches. We also fished some flats and backwater oyster bars, catching and releasing trout, jacks and redfish. The water quality is good and Sarasota Bay is recovering.
I’d like to stress the importance of catching and releasing until the fish in our bay recover.
Anglers fishing aboard the CASUAL LIES out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters had some good fishing the last few weeks. The Silver and the Greenback colors of the CAL jigs have been the best bait. We have been fishing a grass bottom with 6 to 8 feet of water.
Trout have been on fire with days we have caught 40 to 50 and some have hit the 18 to 19 inch mark. Bluefish, Mackerel, Black Sea Bass, Grouper,Jacks and Ladyfish round out an 80 to 100 fish trip. Pompano have been around the bay and passes. Flutter jigs fished down on the bottom are producing some nice Pompano.
Over the holidays the fishing was spectacular after the weather finally decided to cooperate. I took a lot of groups fishing the first part of the morning with live shrimp catching keeper sheepshead, pompano, and some undersized redfish and snook.
We then moved on to the bays off of the ICW and caught ladyfish and trout on almost every cast using an 1/8 oz jig head with a Lil’ John tail by mirrolure.
I also fished Sarasota Bay on a couple of those really windy days and found some groups of keeper-sized trout that were a lot of fun to catch and release.
It’s great to see the bay coming back to life after the red tide we suffered through in 2018.
Anglers fishing with me recently, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action with trout, blues, Spanish mackerel and pompano on deep grass flats, reds in skinny water and snook and blues at night. Fly anglers fishing deep flats with me scored with trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and pompano and snook and blues in the ICW at night. Spin fishing anglers also had good action on deep flats and catching and releasing reds on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails in shallow water.
Fly anglers Alan Sugar and Ray Hutchinson, from MI, had good action catching and releasing trout and Ray caught and released his first pompano on a fly. Dave and Shara King and family, of King Outfitters in Dillon, MT fished a couple of trips with me. Dave is an outfitter/guide in Montana whom I’ve fished with for many years, so it was good to show them our fishery.
The whole family got in on the action on a rainy, windy day on one of the trips and Dave and Shara had great action catching and releasing nice snook and bluefish on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly on a night trip.
Marshall Dinerman, from Lido Key, and his son-in-law, Alex, fished with me and Marshall caught and released a couple of nice reds including an over slot fish! Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, fished a couple of days with family members and they did very well catching and releasing numerous reds on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails. Matt Schenk and Dylan Lewis, both from CO, had fast action catching and releasing blues, Spanish mackerel, pompano and trout on Clouser flies on another trip.
Fishing shallow flats for catch and release reds and snook should be a good option now. Fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay is a good choice for action with a variety of species including trout, pompano, blues and Spanish mackerel. Our natural resources are under constant pressure from red tides fueled by industrial, agricultural and residential runoff, freezes, increasing fishing pressure and habitat loss and degradation, please limit your kill, don’t kill your limit!
Fishing in our area has been pretty good the last couple of weeks, despite the weather’s best attempts of making it difficult.
Inshore fishing has been producing trout, mackerel, and bluefish on the deeper grass flats throughout the bay. Mixed in with those we have been finding pompano as well, if you can be patient with all the pinfish and ladyfish getting in the way.
Dock fishing in the bay has also been decent if you can find the right docks, which are holding redfish, black drum, and sheepshead.
Nearshore fishing has been good as well (when the wind cooperates). Tripletail remain in the area, but are not as prevalent as they were a month ago due to being heavily fished. The reefs have been producing good amounts of snapper, grouper, and even some hogfish.
Hopefully January yields calmer seas and lighter winds for all of us!