Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing false albacore (little tunny), Spanish mackerel, trout, jacks, bluefish, snook and a tarpon on flies and DOA Lures in Sarasota Bay during the past week.
I participated in the Florida Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF) 2014 “Fly Fishing Expo” at the Plantation Resort in Crystal River, FL last Friday and Saturday. I did presentations both days on “Fly Fishing the Coastal Gulf for False Albacore, Tripletail and Cobia”. The annual event, with headliners Bob Clouser and Wanda Taylor, featured presentations on numerous fly fishing topics, fly tying workshops and fly casting clinics. Fly fishing industry vendors, including Orvis, Sage, TFO, Carbon Marine and more displayed the latest innovations in the industry. Fly tying guru, Enrico Puglisi, was on hand displaying his latest products and tying his creations. Local fly tiers Craig Smothers and Les Fulcher also tied flies at the event.
Dan Olson catching and releasing false albacore.
John Garcia, from San Francisco, CA and Dan Olson, from Sarasota, FL, fished the coastal gulf with me last Sunday. They had fast action catching and releasing 8 albies to 12-pounds and numerous Spanish mackerel on Clouser flies and CAL jigs with 3” shad tails and 4” jerk worms. The action was fast and furious and even attracted some sharks into the frenzy. Unfortunately a bull shark attacked one of our fish and was briefly hooked before biting through the leader. Great action!
We caught and released a few trout and a bluefish on flies, CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos on Monday’s trip in Sarasota Bay. Jon Yenari and Kyle Ruffing, both from Sarasota, FL. fished Tampa Bay with me on Tuesday. A strong front came through at about 9 AM that morning and forced us to take cover for a while. They caught and released numerous trout and a snook on top water plugs, CAL jigs with shad tails and weedless-rigged plastic baits.
Bryce Boothe and Scott Myers, both from Sarasota FL
Bryce Boothe and Scott Myers, both from Sarasota, FL, fished deep grass flats on both sides of Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday and had good action catching and releasing trout, bluefish, jacks and a nice shark on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos. We found a large school of reds, jacks and blues all mixed together and they finished the day strong, even catching and releasing a shark out of the school!
John Evans, shown below, traveled all the way from the UK and fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday. He had some action catching and releasing trout on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly near Buttonwood Harbor. We found some juvenile tarpon working in an area and John caught and released his first tarpon on an Enrico Puglisi fly. Even though it was a small one the thrill was big!
John Evans caught and released his first tarpon.
Capt. Ed Hurst, Capt. Kelly Stilwell, Capt. Andy Cotton and I were instructors in CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis “Fly Fishing 101” class on Saturday. The introductory fly fishing class covered fly casting basics and fly tackle rigging. Participants also had an opportunity to cast Orvis fly tackle. Look for future Orvis “Fly Fishing 101” classes and Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Schools at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters. The next Orvis-Endorsed school will be held on Nov 22nd. Fly casting basics, line control, shooting line, roll cast, leader construction, fly selection and saltwater fly fishing techniques will be covered in the course. With a focus on basic fly casting principles, we will also work with casters on correcting faults and improving casting skills. Cost for the school, which will run from 8:30 AM to 3 PM, is $150 per person and includes the use of Orvis fly tackle, a text book and lunch. Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349‑4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make reservations.
There is still time to sign up for the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers and the Sarasota Chapter of Coastal Conservation Association’s 10th annual “Fall Fly Fishing Challenge” on Oct. 25, 2014. The catch, photo and release, fly fishing only event will feature an Open Division, for guides and guided anglers (all anglers are eligible to compete in the Open Division) and a Fly Angler Division (no guides). Entry fee is $50 and includes an awards BBQ following the tournament at the Meadows Community Association building, 2004 Longmeadow, Sarasota, FL 34235. There will be an angler meeting at 7:30 PM on Friday evening, Oct 24 at Gecko’s, 351 N. Cattleman Rd, Sarasota, FL (formerly Trader Vic’s) with angler check-in beginning at 6:30 PM. Applications are available at area tackle shops or online at www.ccaflorida.org or www.mangrovecoastflyfishers.com .Call me at (941) 923‑7799 for more information.
Look for Spanish mackerel and false albacore in the coastal gulf. Trout, blues, Spanish mackerel and more should be good options on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Look for bait schools, diving birds or breaking fish to find them. You may find reds schooling on edges of bars or shallow grass flats when the tide is low. Snook fishing should be good around lighted docks and bridges at night or on shallow flats early in the day. You might also find reds and trout along with snook on lighted docks this time of year.