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Capt. Kelly Stilwell’s Weekly Fishing Report

Capt. Kelly Stilwell with one sweet looking fish.

Capt. Kelly Stilwell with one sweet looking fish.

Fishing on the ‘Tide Tuit’ was pretty good last week. Flyfishers Carolyn and Vincent Mckey caught some really nice trout, as well as bluefish, spanish mackerel, and ladyfish in Big Sarasota Bay. All these fish were fooled by flies fished over deep grass flats.

Tom Budisak, and his son-in-law, and grandson did well on Little Sarasota Bay catching some big jack crevalle, trout, and ladyfish on jigs while spending some time on the water with me this this past week.

Remember, improving the way we fish today can increase our opportunities to fish in the future.

Capt. Kelly StilwellCapt. Capt. Kelly Stilwell

Kelly has lived and fished in this area for over 30 years. His specialties are artificial bait, fly fishing, tarpon, and live bait fishing in Sarasota Bay and the nearshore Gulf. He's an Orvis Endorsed Guide and currently runs a 2400 Ranger Bay boat which accommodates five.


Capt. Brandon Naeve’s Weekly Fishing Report

These two had a great day out on the water.

These two happily show off the gold nugget they caught.

Gold nuggets, or just plan nugget, that’s what the older watermen in Florida Call Pompano. If you ever have a chance to catch and grill one you’ll understand they’re called that.

It’s not the easiest fish to catch but trips out of Cb’s Outfitters have produced a few over the last few weeks. Grab a friend, book a trip and go for the Gold.

The weather continues to improve week by week and this time of year with the cooler temperatures and little to no humidity you owe it to yourself to spend some time on the water.

Capt. Brandon NaeveCapt. Capt. Brandon Naeve

I've been a fishing guide the Sarasota , Boca Grande area for over 25 years. My Sarasota trips are mostly family oriented 1/2 day fishing trips involving kids who love to catch all the family fun fish. My Boca Grande trips are for the more experienced spin or fly fishing angler.


Capt. Rick Grassett’s Weekly Fishing Report

Marshall Dinerman, from Lido Key, had good action catching and releasing reds on CAL jigs with Shad tails on different trips with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Marshall Dinerman, from Lido Key, had good action catching and releasing reds on CAL jigs with Shad tails.

Anglers fishing with me recently, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action with snook, reds and trout. Fly anglers caught and released trout on deep grass flats and snook in the ICW at night. Spin fishing anglers had good action with reds in shallow water on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails.

Marshall Dinerman, from Lido Key, and Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, each had great action on different trips catching and releasing numerous reds to 30” on CAL jigs with shad tails and grubs in skinny water. Dick Striano, from MA, fished dock lights with me at night and had good action catching and releasing numerous snook on a fly on another trip. Palmetto and Longboat Key winter residents, Jerry Poslusny and Rich Hunter, also got in on the night action catching and releasing snook and a couple of reds on flies. We sometimes encounter reds when fishing dock lights this time of year, which is a nice bonus to catch one on a fly.

Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, had good action catching and releasing reds on CAL jigs with Shad tails on different trips with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, had good action catching and releasing reds on CAL jigs with Shad tails on different trips with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Dick Striano, from MA, with a snook caught and released on a fly while fishing the ICW at night with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Dick Striano, from MA, with a snook caught and released on a fly while fishing the ICW at night.

Fishing shallow flats for catch and release reds 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. Fishing dock lights in the ICW at night is also a good option for snook and more as long as water temperatures don’t get too cool.

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!

Capt. Rick GrassettCapt. Capt. Rick Grassett

Rick is the owner of Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. He's a full time fishing guide and outdoor writer based in Sarasota, FL. He’s been guiding since 1990 and is an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing guide here at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, the 2011 Orvis Out­fit­ter of the Year.


Capt. Andy Cotton’s Weekly Fishing Report

More of the same from last week, the action in Sarasota Bay is still good on the deep grass flats.

We had more of the same from last week, the action in Sarasota Bay remains good on the deep grass flats.

More of the same from last week, the action in Sarasota Bay is still good on the deep grass flats with spotted seatrout, jacks, mackerel and bluefish using deep clouser minnow patterns and DOA CAL shad tails rigged on 1/4 ounce jig heads bounced slowly off the bottom.

The sight fishing on the shallow flats along mangrove shorelines and oyster beds from Terra Ceia to Placida for redfish and larger seatrout has been productive using crustacean patterns like Kwan’s, Grassett’s flats minnow and redfish crack fly patterns.

Spin anglers fishing with me in these same areas are using DOA jerk baits in the gold/glow rigged on a chartreuse 1/8th ounce jig head or gold or black spoons depending on water clarity.

Capt. Andy CottonCapt. Capt. Andy Cotton

Capt. Andy loves fly fishing and light spinning tackle with artificial lures. He fishes out of an Action Craft 1720 flats skiff rigged with the latest electronics and outfitted with Orvis fly equipment and Shimano spinning tackle. Andy is the owner of O'Fish All Guide Service.


Capt. Andy Cotton’s Weekly Fishing Report

Dave from Colorado with a nice looking backcountry redfish caught on a fly.

Dave from Colorado with a nice looking backcountry redfish caught on a fly.

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.

Capt. Andy CottonCapt. Capt. Andy Cotton

Capt. Andy loves fly fishing and light spinning tackle with artificial lures. He fishes out of an Action Craft 1720 flats skiff rigged with the latest electronics and outfitted with Orvis fly equipment and Shimano spinning tackle. Andy is the owner of O'Fish All Guide Service.


Capt. Brian Boehm’s Weekly Fishing Report

These fish are powerful and fast and the commotion they make while feeding is quite a sight to see.

The commotion these fish make feeding is a sight.

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

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

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.

Redfish of all sizes continue to be plentiful in the waters around Sarasota.

Redfish of all sizes continue to be plentiful in the waters around Sarasota.

We’re still catching Seatrout on the Mirrolure Mirrodine XL.

We’re catching Seatrout on the Mirrolure Mirrodine XL.

Seatrout

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.

Looking Ahead

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.

Brian BoehmCapt. Brian Boehm

Brian, owns and operates Quiet Waters Fishing LLC and runs his trips out of a 17’ Maverick Mirage. He covers water as far north as Tampa Bay and south to the Charlotte Harbor/Boca Grande area. His favorite trips to offer are: back country, shallow flats, night tarpon, & night dock light snook trips.


Capt. Rick Grassett’s Weekly Fishing Report

Tyler Horiuchi, from Sarasota, with a Spanish mackerel caught and released on a fly while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Tyler Horiuchi with a Spanish mackerel caught and released on a fly while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

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.

Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, had good action catching and releasing numerous reds on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails on a couple of different trips with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Keith McClintock had some good action catching and releasing numerous reds on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails on a couple of different trips with Capt. Rick.

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!

Todd Horiuchi, from Sarasota, with a bluefish caught and released on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Todd Horiuchi with a bluefish caught and released on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing with Capt. Rick.

Brian Nafzinger, from Rehoboth, DE, had good action catching and releasing numerous reds on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails on a couple of different trips with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Brian Nafzinger, from Rehoboth, DE, had good action catching and releasing numerous reds on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails on a couple of different trips with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Rich Hilser, from NC, with a snook caught and released on a fly while fishing dock lights at night with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Rich Hilser, from NC, with a snook caught and released on a fly while fishing dock lights at night with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Capt. Rick GrassettCapt. Capt. Rick Grassett

Rick is the owner of Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. He's a full time fishing guide and outdoor writer based in Sarasota, FL. He’s been guiding since 1990 and is an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing guide here at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, the 2011 Orvis Out­fit­ter of the Year.


Capt. Brandon Naeve’s Weekly Fishing Report

This little man was all smiles on the water this past week with  Capt Brandon Naeve.

This little man was all smiles on the water this past week with Capt Brandon Naeve.

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!

Capt. Brandon NaeveCapt. Capt. Brandon Naeve

I've been a fishing guide the Sarasota , Boca Grande area for over 25 years. My Sarasota trips are mostly family oriented 1/2 day fishing trips involving kids who love to catch all the family fun fish. My Boca Grande trips are for the more experienced spin or fly fishing angler.


Capt. Brian Boehm’s Weekly Fishing Report

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.

Night fishing around dock lights is probably your best bet this time of year if you’re focused on catching snook. (photo: Capt. Brian Boehm)

Night fishing around dock lights is probably your best bet this time of year if you’re focused on catching snook.

Snook

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.

Little Sarasota Bay and Blackburn Bay yielded a good number of redfish. (photo: Capt. Brian Boehm)

Little Sarasota Bay and Blackburn Bay yielded a good number of redfish.

Redfish

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.

We found good numbers of seatrout in all sizes over the last few weeks. (photo: Capt. Brian Boehm)

We found good numbers of seatrout in all sizes.

Seatrout

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.

Seatrout of all sizes have provided steady action in waters around Sarasota. (photo: Capt. Brian Boehm)

Seatrout are providing steady action in the waters surrounding Sarasota.

Looking Ahead

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!

Brian BoehmCapt. Brian Boehm

Brian, owns and operates Quiet Waters Fishing LLC and runs his trips out of a 17’ Maverick Mirage. He covers water as far north as Tampa Bay and south to the Charlotte Harbor/Boca Grande area. His favorite trips to offer are: back country, shallow flats, night tarpon, & night dock light snook trips.


Capt. Kelly Kurtz’s Weekly Fishing Report

That is one good looking Redfish caught in Sarasota Bay while fishing with Capt. Kelly Kurtz.

That is one good looking Redfish caught and released this past week in Sarasota Bay.

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.

Capt. Kelly KurtzCapt. Capt. Kelly Kurtz

Kelly is a Sarasota native and the owner and operator of Mangrove Charters. He's pas­sion­ate about fishing and hunting. As a full-time fishing guide Kelly operates out of a 22 ft. Bayscout and specializes in light tackle using both arti­fi­cial and live bait. Redfish are his favorite.


CB’s Fishing Charters

“For the experienced to the novice angler”

Our Guides offer exciting Fishing Adventures for anglers of all ages from novice to the expert. We offer Inshore, Backcountry and Offshore fishing charters for both fly-fishing and spin anglers.Sarasota and her surrounding areas have much to offer as an estuary for some of the most targeted gamefish species in the world. Those species include tarpon from mid-May through July, Snook, and Trout and Redfish (to name a few) that are found in and around the Sarasota & Charlotte Harbor area waters year-round.

Inshore Sarasota Bay Fishing

(4) Hours $450.00
(6) Hours $650.00
(for 1 to 3 anglers + $50 for 4th)

Gulf and Reef (up to 9 miles)

(4) Hours $550.00
(6) Hours $800.00
(for 1 to 3 anglers + $50 for 4th)
Call to Book Your Fishing Charter

Tarpon Fishing

(Mid-May thru July)
(6) Hours $700.00
(for 2 anglers + $50 for 3rd)
The clear blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico offer sight-fishing for tarpon at its best from May through mid-July. Tarpon of 120 pounds or more jumped daily during the season on fly, plug and spin tackle. Even though the water ranges from 12 to 25 feet in depth, many of the fish are encountered on the surface or just below.
Limited to 2 anglers per trip.

Snook Alley Evening Trip

Night Snook Fishing
(4) Hours $550.00
(for 1-2 anglers + $50 for 3rd)
A portion of the intercoastal waterway between Sarasota and Venice that many claim has one of the largest populations of snook found anywhere in the state. Most of the snook fishing takes place at night around lighted docks. Literally, dozens of snook will cruise around the structures and feed on bait that is attracted by the lights. It is night sight fishing that can be fast, furious and fun! Redfish and speckled trout also are encountered on these trips.

Charlotte Harbor

(6) Hours $750.00
(8) Hours $900.00
(for 1 to 2 anglers + $50 for 3rd)

Fly-Casting Instructions

Private Instructions
$75.00 per person/per hour

2-hr minimum for the initial session. Limited availability, usually a weekend morning when not guiding that day.

Instructional Fly-Fishing Trip

(4) Hours $400.00

Put the casting skills you have learned to use on the water. This will give you an opportunity to deal with fishing situations from the deck of a boat or by wading. Learn how to cast under mangroves and docks and how wind and current affect different fishing situations. You may have an opportunity to practice sight fishing, which is one of the most rewarding forms of fly-fishing.

Offshore Gulf

Please Call For Info

*2 week cancellation notice
*gratuity not included