Capt. Bruce Burkhart’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: September 28th, 2014 by Capt. Roy String

 

The fish­ing on Fri­day and Sat­ur­day was absolutely crazy!!! We had a bite or caught a fish on every cast!!!! We were catch­ing mainly trout and had quite a few jacks, mack­erel, and some nice snap­per!!!!! All of the fish were caught using live pilchards!!!’

Capt. Roy String

Roy’s been fish­ing these Sara­sota waters for the past 32 years. Tar­pon is his favorite, but he’s also pas­sion­ate about Snook, Red­fish and the Spot­ted Sea Trout. He fishes with live bait, arti­fi­cial, and fly, all from his 21 ft. Mav­er­ick Mas­ter Angler, and uses all Shi­mano and Orvis tackle.


Capt. Andy Cotton’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: September 28th, 2014 by Andy Cotton

 

Anglers fish­ing with me this past week aboard the O’Fishall out of CB’s Salt­wa­ter Out­fit­ters on Siesta Key caught a vari­ety of species this past week. I have been con­cen­trat­ing on fish­ing the deeper grass flats using DOA deadly com­bos and CAL Shad tails on 1/4 ounce jigs heads and catch­ing spot­ted seatrout, jacks, blue­fish and man­grove snap­per. Early morn­ings and on cloudy days I have been fish­ing the shal­low flats for snook and red­fish with top­wa­ter plugs and the new 4″ DOA CAL Shad tails rigged weed­less. I am also find­ing schools of break­ing fish that are work­ing just out­side the passes in the coastal Gulf of Mex­ico. These schools of fish con­sist of Span­ish mack­erel, False Alba­core, Jack Crevalle and sharks.

Brad and Lauren from Kentucky had a great day fishing with me last week.

Brad from Ken­tucky had a great day fish­ing this week

Brad and Lau­ren from Ken­tucky had a great day fish­ing with me last week. We fished sev­eral shal­low flats and man­grove shore­lines north of Long­bar in Sara­sota Bay. The cou­ple caught snook, red­fish and spot­ted seatrout on top­wa­ter plugs. Lau­ren caught a 27 1/2″ red­fish and Brad hooked and landed a respectable 36″ snook. Both fish were pho­tographed and released unharmed.

Fri­day I did some scout­ing in the coastal Gulf with another CB’s guide Capt. Rick Gras­sett. We found birds work­ing over schools of bait just out­side the passes. We stopped to inves­ti­gate and found Span­ish mack­erel and false alba­core gorg­ing them­selves on bait. I hooked up on a nice false alba­core using a DOA CAL jerk bait on a 1/4 once jig head.

With the water temps get­ting a lit­tle cooler Fall fish­ing is just around the corner.

Andy Cotton

Capt. Andy Cot­ton is the owner/operator of O’Fish All Guide Ser­vice “LLC” in Sara­sota and is an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fish­ing Guide out CB’s Salt­wa­ter Out­fit­ters on Siesta Key. He can be reached at (941) 685‑9439 or at www.ofishallguideservice.com


Capt. Bruce Burkhart’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: September 28th, 2014 by Capt. Bruce Burkhart

 

Fish­ing was pretty good last week. I went out one day with a buddy of mine the Black­burn Leg­end Lil Joe. We started at day­light and caught a dozen or so Red­fish to 26 inches and a hand­ful of nice Snook on top water plugs. At the end of the week I went out solo and had another good day. Toss­ing top water and Gulp jigs around docks I man­aged to land 15 Snook to 25 inches and three Red­fish to 26.5 inches. Black Drum, Trout and Jacks also had my rod bend­ing on the jigs. Black­burn Bay is giv­ing up some nice catches even with all the rain we have had in the last two weeks.

On Tues­day I took Bob and Diane Burns from Jupiter FL who bought a donated CCA trip, out for a day on Sara­sota Bay. We started out on the east of the Bay where the fish were blow­ing up on bait fish. It was almost a fish every cast for about an hour and then it slowed. Trout, Mack­erel, Jacks and big Lady­fish were schooled up trash­ing the bait as it came down the shore­line. We went to fish some rock piles with jigs and landed six Floun­der to 19 inches that were all released in good con­di­tion to be caught another day.

Capt. Bruce Burkhart

Bruce is a Florida native and has lived in Sara­sota for thirty years. Capt. Bruce grew up on the east coast of Florida and started fish­ing with his dad when he was about six years old. Fish­ing has been a life­time pas­sion of his and in 2001 he obtained his U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s license.


Capt. Rick Grassett’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: September 28th, 2014 by Capt. Rick Grassett

 

Capt. Andy Cotton caught and released this nice false albacore (little tunny) on a CAL jig with 4" jerk worm in the coastal gulf off Sarasota while on the water with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Capt. Andy Cot­ton caught this nice false albacore

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 trout and blue­fish on DOA Lures in Sara­sota Bay dur­ing the past week.

We fished deep grass flats on the east side of Sara­sota Bay on a trip early last week and caught and released numer­ous trout and a blue­fish on CAL jigs with shad tails, DOA Deadly Com­bos and top water plugs.

Since it’s the right time of year for action in the coastal gulf to turn on, Capt. Andy Cot­ton and I scouted that area in his Action Craft Coastal Bay boat on Fri­day. It paid off when we found sev­eral schools of Span­ish mack­erel and false alba­core (lit­tle tunny) feed­ing on the sur­face and Andy caught and released a nice albie on a CAL jig with 4” jerk worm. This action should get bet­ter over the next cou­ple of months. One of my favorite things to do in the fall!

Look for Span­ish mack­erel and false alba­core in the coastal gulf. Trout, blues, man­grove snap­per 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.

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. Kelly Kurtz’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: September 25th, 2014 by Capt. Kelly Kurtz

 

Fish­ing has been very good this past week. Water temps are begin­ning to cool off and there is a ton of bait to be caught. I took my wife Diana out and she caught and released at least a dozen snook, with the largest being 29″. She also caught a lot of man­grove snap­per in the passes.

12 year old Eugene Ragusin on his 1st salt­wa­ter fish­ing trip Sat­ur­day night caught and released this red­fish.

Eugene Ragusin 12, caught and released this Redfish.

Jim Ragusin took his 12 year old son on his 1st salt­wa­ter fish­ing trip Sat­ur­day night. Eugene caught and released snook and red­fish, some up to 26″. Quite a bat­tle for a begin­ner but he used all of his strength and was very coachable.

Fish­ing in the passes the man­grove bite is fan­tas­tic as well as trout, man­groves and lot of Span­ish mack­eral on the deeper grass flats.

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.


Capt. Roy String’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: September 22nd, 2014 by Capt. Roy String

 

The fish­ing is really good right now with the fall weather on the way. I fished yes­ter­day with my wife and there was a lot of mack­erel show­ing up in the bay. The deeper grass are loaded with trout, ladyfish,and blue­fish, the bait is every­where and only takes a minute to fill the live well. The snook fish­ing should begin to get good in a week or two, as the fish start return­ing from the beaches.

Capt. Roy String

Roy’s been fish­ing these Sara­sota waters for the past 32 years. Tar­pon is his favorite, but he’s also pas­sion­ate about Snook, Red­fish and the Spot­ted Sea Trout. He fishes with live bait, arti­fi­cial, and fly, all from his 21 ft. Mav­er­ick Mas­ter Angler, and uses all Shi­mano and Orvis tackle.


Capt. Rick Grassett’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: September 21st, 2014 by Capt. Rick Grassett

 

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 snook, red­fish and trout on DOA Lures and flies in Sara­sota Bay dur­ing the past week.

Rob Merritt, from Springfield, MO fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett caught and released a mullet on a chartreuse Clouser fly to end the day!

Rob Mer­ritt, from Spring­field, MO was enjoy­ing himself.

Fly angler Rob Mer­ritt, from Spring­field, MO, fished Sara­sota Bay with me on Mon­day. We fished lighted docks before dawn and it paid off when Rob caught and released sev­eral snook to 24” and a 28” red on my Gras­sett Snook Min­now fly. We worked bait schools on deep flats on the east side of the bay after day­light where he caught and released trout and a cou­ple more snook on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly. He fin­ished with a bang when he caught and released a mul­let on the same fly while we worked a mul­let school look­ing for reds. Not only did he score a slam with a fly, he also caught one of only 3 or 4 mul­let caught in the mouth with a lure or fly on my boat in more than 30 years of fish­ing here!

Keith McClin­tock, from Lake For­est, IL, fished with me on Wednes­day. With heavy rain and a strong west wind most of the day, due to a front pass­ing through, fish­ing was chal­leng­ing. We fished skinny water from the mouth of the Man­a­tee River to north Sara­sota Bay where he caught and released trout and a snook on CAL jigs with shad tails and a top water plug. Saturday’s trip was resched­uled due to rain and thunderstorms.

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. Trout, blues, man­grove snap­per 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.

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

Reported: September 15th, 2014 by Andy Cotton

 

Joe Staffieri hooked this little devil on the water with Capt. Andy Cotton

Shark Week on the water with Capt. Andy Cotton

Anglers fish­ing with me this past week aboard the O’Fishall out of CB’s Salt­wa­ter Out­fit­ters on Siesta Key caught a vari­ety of species this past week. The best bite was with spot­ted seatrout, Span­ish mack­erel and blue­fish. We have been con­cen­trat­ing on fish­ing deeper grass flats using DOA deadly com­bos with a holo­graphic sil­ver glitter/glow shrimp and CAL Shad tail jigs.

I’m find­ing schools of break­ing fish that are work­ing the out­side edges of the deeper grass flats in Sara­sota Bay. These schools con­sist of span­ish mack­erel, lady­fish, jack crevalle, blue­fish and sharks.

Joe Staffieri and his son Joey fished with me on Sat­ur­day morn­ing. We fished the deep grass around Stephen’s Pt. and But­ton­wood Har­bor in Sara­sota Bay. Stephens’s Pt was the most pro­duc­tive with break­ing fish and terns div­ing in 10 feet of water. We set a drift up-wind of all the action and started cast­ing DOA CAL Shad tail jigs in to the fury of feed­ing fish. Joe and Joey caught and released jack, lady­fish and blue­fish to 4 pounds. The duo had fast action for a cou­ple hours until the tide stopped towards the end of the trip then the bite began to slow down.

Andy Cotton

Capt. Andy Cot­ton is the owner/operator of O’Fish All Guide Ser­vice “LLC” in Sara­sota and is an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fish­ing Guide out CB’s Salt­wa­ter Out­fit­ters on Siesta Key. He can be reached at (941) 685‑9439 or at www.ofishallguideservice.com


Capt.Jack Ryan’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: September 14th, 2014 by Capt. Jack Ryan

 

I wouldn’t call it Shark Week last week but I would call it Shark Day

All Sharks were small but some did run up to 15 lbs.

I wouldn’t call it Shark Week last week but I would call it Shark Day on one of our char­ters at the mid­dle grounds, Marina Jack Flats, or the Bird Key flats for sure. Our cus­tomers on the Sea Dog w/Capt. Jack out of CB’s had a great time fish­ing for Trout under corks with live shrimp. Not only did we catch Trout, Man­grove snap­per, Floun­der, Lady­fish and some nice Span­ish Mack­erel but numer­ous Bon­net head sharks.

The areas men­tioned were all the same as we anchored and just put shrimp out the back of the boat. In short time here come the invaders (sharks). Some sharks would come along the side of the boat and I would throw dead shrimp at the fish and then put one with a hook in it and the fight was on. Some of these sharks were small but some up to 15 lbs. Not big fish but def­i­nitely a lot of fun. All sharks were released and most other fish released.

Capt. Jack Ryan

Come aboard the Sea Dog with Cap­tain Jack Ryan and expe­ri­ence some of Florida’s best Salt­wa­ter Fish­ing in the beau­ti­ful waters in and around Sara­sota. We offer both Inshore and Off­shore Fish­ing Char­ters cov­er­ing areas from Venice south, straight on up through Braden­ton Beach.


Capt. Rick Grassett’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: September 14th, 2014 by Capt. Rick Grassett

 

Anglers fish­ing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Salt­wa­ter Out­fit­ters on Siesta Key, had some action catch­ing and releas­ing trout on DOA lures, top water plugs and flies in Sara­sota Bay dur­ing the past week.

It was breezy on Fri­day as a trop­i­cal sys­tem moved across south Florida when Greg Stepan­ski, from Tampa, FL and Tom Frank­furth, from Terra Verde, FL, fished Sara­sota Bay with me. We fished deep grass flats on both sides of the bay where they caught and released trout to 18” on DOA Deadly Com­bos, CAL jigs with shad tails, top water plugs and flies.

I spent some time at the DOA Fish­ing Lures booth at the Florida Sports­man Fish­ing Show in Tampa on Sat­ur­day. The newest bait from DOA is the 4” CAL shad tail and it should be a hit, espe­cially when larger pro­file baits are around. The lure, which can be rigged on a long shank CAL jig head or on a weed­less hook, has an amaz­ing wig­gle and vibration!

You should find trout, blues, man­grove snap­per and more 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 also be good around lighted docks and bridges at night or on shal­low flats early in the day.

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. Jim Klopfer’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: September 13th, 2014 by Capt. Jim Klopfer

 

Fish­ing Con­tin­ues to be good on the deep flats near the passes. Radio tower and Mid­dle­grounds pro­duced best for me this week. Cool­ing temps seem to have resulted in an increase in Span­ish mack­erel, the bite has been good along with man­grove snap­per, trout, jacks, grouper, sharks, and lady­fish. Bait is still plen­ti­ful on the bars near both passes.

Kim Chasteen had the hot hand, catching the most and also hooking a shark that just about spooled her before it bit through the leader

Kim Chas­teen from Col­orado had the hot hand.

Trip of the week went to Billy Chas­teen from Col­orado and his twenty-something year old daugh­ters Kim and Rachel, who fished with me on Thurs­day. The tide was drop­ping fast as we left Cen­ten­nial park. Bait was a bit tough on the low tide, I loaded up near Bird Key, a lot of it was small but had some decent pieces mixed in. I hit Marker #5, and fish­ing was fair. They caught a cou­ple of Span­ish mack­erel, trout, lady­fish, and other species, but the bite was a bit slow and the cor­morants were really a nui­sance so I moved over to the radio Tower where the action was better.

Along with more macks, trout, man­grove snap­per and jacks, sea bass, and gag grouper joined the list of species caught. Kim had the hot hand, catch­ing the most and also hook­ing a shark that just about spooled her before it bit through the leader. The tide quit and so did the bite, so I eased over to New Pass where I saw some birds div­ing and re-loaded up on bait. One toss and i could barely get the net over the side.

We fin­ished up at the Mid­dle­grounds as the tide turned to come in with an INSANE bite! It was three fish at a time at first, then set­tled into pretty much a bite on every cast until it was time to go home.

Capt. Jim Klopfer

Jim’s Adven­ture Char­ters is a fam­ily ori­ented guide ser­vice that caters to anglers of all skill lev­els in a relaxed, fun envi­ron­ment . He can accom­mo­date up to 4 anglers on his 20′ Key West bay boat. Char­ters are cus­tom suited to the clients sched­ule, expe­ri­ence level, expec­ta­tions, and location.


Capt. Jack Ryan’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: September 8th, 2014 by Capt. Jack Ryan

 

Using live Pilchards we caught a floun­der that was 18” in length and had the same cam­ou­flage and design on both sides. How­ever the under side or head was white.

We’ve never seen this arrange­ment ever on a Flounder

Anglers on the Sea Dog char­ter boat w/Capt. Jack Ryan out of CB’s enjoyed catch­ing and releas­ing Trout to 23”, Man­grove snap­per, Span­ish Mack­erel and Floun­der of good size on Pilchards. With good incom­ing tides and live baits, fish­ing the flats or docks was very pro­duc­tive and fun for our anglers. We had an unusual catch last Fri­day when fish­ing some docks in Big Pass. Using live Pilchards we caught a floun­der that was 18” in length and had the same cam­ou­flage and design on both sides. How­ever the under side or head was white. Never have seen this arrange­ment ever on a Floun­der. We are going to show this report to Mote.

Capt. Jack Ryan

Come aboard the Sea Dog with Cap­tain Jack Ryan and expe­ri­ence some of Florida’s best Salt­wa­ter Fish­ing in the beau­ti­ful waters in and around Sara­sota. We offer both Inshore and Off­shore Fish­ing Char­ters cov­er­ing areas from Venice south, straight on up through Braden­ton Beach.


Capt. Rick Grassett’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: September 7th, 2014 by Capt. Rick Grassett

 

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 trout, blues and jacks on DOA lures, top water plugs and flies in Sara­sota Bay dur­ing the past week.

Since I was away most of August, I needed to get back on the water in Sara­sota before a trip on Sat­ur­day. Steve Traves, owner of Anna Maria Island Out­fit­ters and Rusty Chin­nis, from Long­boat Key, FL, fished Sara­sota Bay with me on Thurs­day. We had some action catch­ing and releas­ing trout and blues on DOA Deadly Com­bos and CAL jigs with shad tails on deep grass flats on both sides of the bay.

Pete Pedersen with his son Bill, both from MA, with a trout caught and released on a DOA Deadly Combo while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Pete Ped­er­sen with his son Bill, both are from MA.

Pete Ped­er­sen and his son Bill, from MA, fished Sara­sota Bay with me on Sat­ur­day. We fished some of the same areas and had good action catch­ing and releas­ing blues and trout on CAL jigs with shad tails, DOA Deadly Com­bos, top water plugs and flies. Bill also caught and released a cou­ple of trout on my Gras­sett Flats Bunny fly, his first salt­wa­ter fish on a fly! I often use a “popper/dropper” rig when fly fish­ing on deep grass flats this time of year.

The prin­ci­ple is the same as the DOA Deadly Combo, with the pop­per mak­ing noise and a smaller lightly weighted fly flut­ter­ing along 3’ behind.

You should find trout, blues, man­grove snap­per and more on deep grass flats of Sara­sota Bay. Look for bait schools, div­ing birds or break­ing fish to find them. Reds are school­ing on flats of Sara­sota Bay. They may stage on edges of bars or shal­low grass flats when the tide is low. Look for wakes or patches of ner­vous water when it is calm or slick spots when there is a chop to find schools.

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. Jim Klopfer’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: September 6th, 2014 by Capt. Jim Klopfer

 

Action con­tin­ues to be out­stand­ing on the deep grass flats in Sara­sota Bay. Recent rains cooled the water off a tad, tem­per­a­tures are in the low to mid 80s. Bait is thick on the beach and in the passes, catch­ing a well full and chum­ming the fish up pro­duced con­sis­tently this week, though we also caught fish on Bass assas­sin jigs in Big Pass. Man­grove snap­per con­tinue to led the way but there was a noted increase in Span­ish mack­erel this week. Snook, speck­led trout, jack crev­elle, floun­der, black sea bass, gag grouper, blue­fish, and lady­fish rounded out the list of species landed by clients this week. The Radio Tower, Marker #5, and the Bird Key flats all pro­vided a lot of action. I hit a cou­ple spots In Robert’s Bay with fair results, just a few snook, snap­per and trout. It is prob­a­bly still just a bit too warm.

Isla Murton from the U.K. holds one of many mangrove snapper she caught near the radio Tower.

Isla Mur­ton from the UK hold­ing a man­grove snapper.

I started my week off with Richard Nunn from the UK and Stu­art Nunn (20) and Isla Mur­ton (11). I caught bait and basi­cally sat at the Radio tower all morn­ing. The man­grove snap­per bite was ter­rific, with over two dozen fat snap­pers being caught, along with ten Span­ish mack­erel, speck­led trout, and lady­fish. Action was very steady with most baits pro­duc­ing a bite.

On Labor Day I took out bud­dies Dar­rell Rich from John­son City, TN and John Wade from Lebanon, OH. We started off cast­ing jigs on the flats and in Big Pass, hook­ing a hand­ful of lady­fish. I caught bait and hit Marker #5, where action was vir­tu­ally non-stop. Speck­led trout, jack crev­elle, man­grove snap­per, Span­ish mack­erel, gag grouper, black sea bass, and lady­fish kept the boys busy. After the bite slowed, I hit a cou­ple snook and red spots near Selby, but no luck. We fin­ished up at the Radio Tower with more mixed-bag action before we called it a morning.

Barry Hamm from Flemingsburg, KY with a speckled trout.

Speck­led trout were landed in decent numbers.

I had another very pro­duc­tive char­ter on Wednes­day with Karen and Barry Hamm from Flem­ings­burg, KY. Bait was easy, I actu­ally caught too much, then we basi­cally fished 2 flats near Bird Key all morn­ing. The tide was high first thing, then turned to go out. The fish came to the chum and Karen and Barry expe­ri­enced steady action all morn­ing. Speck­led trout to 17′, Span­ish mack­erel to 2 1/2 pounds, blue­fish to 3 pounds, man­grove snap­per to 14″, floun­der to 14″, gag grouper, sea bass, lady­fish, and cat­fish kept us busy.

I fin­ished up my week with Phil Hughey from Nokomis, FL, his son Jack­son, and friend Harold Morse. Fish­ing was VERY good! We started off drift­ing in Big Pass and ver­ti­cally jig­ging Glow Bass assas­sin jigs, catch­ing lady­fish and gag grouper. The tide was quite swift, so I moved to catch bait, then hit Marker #5. The snap­per bite was decent but Span­ish mack­erel kind of stole the show with their vicious strikes and blis­ter­ing runs. In all, they prob­a­bly landed a cou­ple dozen mack­erel, another twenty snap­per, along with speck­led trout, lady­fish, grouper, and a bon­net­head shark. We fin­ished up the char­ter look­ing for snook and reds in Robert’s Bay, catch­ing a small snook and los­ing a decent one.

Capt. Jim Klopfer

Jim’s Adven­ture Char­ters is a fam­ily ori­ented guide ser­vice that caters to anglers of all skill lev­els in a relaxed, fun envi­ron­ment . He can accom­mo­date up to 4 anglers on his 20′ Key West bay boat. Char­ters are cus­tom suited to the clients sched­ule, expe­ri­ence level, expec­ta­tions, and location.


Capt. Rick Grassett’s Monthly Forecast for Sept 2014

Reported: September 2nd, 2014 by Capt. Rick Grassett

 

Jack McCulloch, from Lakewood Ranch, FL, caught and released false albacore in the coastal gulf and snook on the flats, both on a CAL jig with a shad tail, while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett on a trip in a previous September.

Jack McCul­loch caught & released this false albacore

Sep­tem­ber is one of my favorite months. Reds will be school­ing on shal­low grass flats of Sara­sota Bay and you also might find big trout there at first light. Plen­ti­ful bait­fish along beaches will attract Span­ish mack­erel, false alba­core (lit­tle tunny), sharks, tar­pon and more. You should find snook in the surf and around docks and bridges in the ICW. You should also find tar­pon around bridges at night and in areas of Sara­sota Bay, Tampa Bay and Char­lotte Har­bor. Juve­nile tar­pon from 10 to 30-pounds should be a good option in creeks and canals.

Tar­pon will still be a good option this month. There may still be a few sin­gles, dou­bles and small schools in the coastal gulf and if you’ve got the patience to wait them out it can be good. Many have moved to inside waters this month, so you’ll find them around bridges, over deep grass flats or deeper areas. When tar­pon move into these areas, they are in a feed­ing mode. After a long migra­tion and with their spawn­ing duties com­pleted, they need to rest and eat to restore them­selves. Lady­fish will feed in glass min­now schools and tar­pon will gorge them­selves on lady­fish. I have also seen tar­pon, “ball” glass min­nows into tight schools, and eat them by the bucket full! DOA Bait­busters, Ter­rorEyz and Shrimp are my favorite tar­pon lures this time of year. Fly anglers should score with wide pro­file pat­terns, such as Lefty’s Deceiver or EP flies. Small flies, like my Gras­sett Snook Min­now, tied on a 1/0 or 2/0 hook, are another good choice for tar­pon that are feed­ing on glass minnows.

Snook sea­son will reopen on Sept. 1st on the west coast of Florida. Bag limit is 1 fish per per­son, per day between 28”-33”. You can check www.myfwc.com for full reg­u­la­tions. Per­son­ally, I’m going to con­tinue to ask that snook be released on my boat. If con­tin­u­ing to release them now means more and big­ger snook later, I’m all for that. They are a mag­nif­i­cent game fish that hits hard and fights smart and I hate to kill one that is big enough to fit the slot.

You might find snook in the surf this month or around docks and bridges in the ICW. They will also start mak­ing their move towards shal­low flats where you might find them stag­ing along sand bars or in pot­holes. I often fish lighted docks and bridges for snook before dawn before mov­ing to the flats after day­light. CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms, DOA shrimp or small white flies, like my Gras­sett Snook Min­now, should all work well. You can also walk along the beach in the morn­ing, so the sun is behind you, and look for snook cruis­ing the trough in the surf, very close to the sand. This is sight cast­ing, so an accu­rate cast at the right angle is required to be suc­cess­ful. The same lures and flies that work at night will be good for fish­ing the surf, too. Sur­face walk­ing top water plugs or fly pop­per and Gur­glers may draw some big strikes in shal­low water early in the day.

Reds will be in large schools in Sep­tem­ber. You may find them in shal­low water when the tide is high or along the edges of flats when the tide is low. Look for wakes, some as big as boat wakes, or “pushes” to locate them. If it is calm, a school of reds may look like a ner­vous patch of water or if there’s a rip­ple on the sur­face, it may appear as a slick patch of water. Once you’ve located them, try to get in front of them and work around the edges of the school to avoid spook­ing the whole school. Sur­face walk­ing top water plugs, shal­low run­ning DOA Bait­busters, the new CAL 4” shad tail and DOA Air­heads (I like to clip the tail so it works like a buzz bait) should work well for spin anglers. Fly anglers should score with fly pop­pers, Gur­glers and wide pro­file bait­fish fly pat­terns. I like to be as quiet as pos­si­ble in shal­low water, using a push pole to move my boat. Elec­tric trolling motors can be used spar­ingly, but vary­ing the speed or run­ning at faster speeds will often spook a school. It is great to find a big school of reds but remem­ber if you spook 1 fish you may spook the whole school. Run­ning an out­board may make fish show them­selves, but in the long run it will make them harder to catch. I some­times also find big jacks and blues mixed with schools of big reds in shal­low water. Not a bad problem!

Trout fish­ing should also be good this month. Look for big trout in skinny water in many of the same places that you find reds this month. They will be most active in low light, either first thing in the morn­ing or at dusk, par­tic­u­larly if we’ve had an after­noon shower. Cloud cover in the after­noon will also reduce heat­ing of shal­low flats, which usu­ally makes fish more active. The same lures and flies that you use for reds will work well for big trout in shal­low water. I release all trout over 20” on my boat since they are usu­ally females, capa­ble of spawn­ing thou­sands of other trout.

You may also find trout mixed with blues, pom­pano, Span­ish mack­erel and more on deep grass flats of Sara­sota Bay. I like to drift and cast ahead of my drift with DOA Deadly Com­bos or CAL jigs with shad tails or jerk worms. Fly anglers should do well with an Ultra Hair Clouser fly fished on a clear inter­me­di­ate sink tip. In addi­tion to mak­ing a series of drifts to find fish, focus on bait schools, break­ing fish or div­ing birds to find fish. You may find triple­tail on buoys, crab trap floats or chan­nel mark­ers in Sara­sota Bay this month. A DOA shrimp, CAL jig or a lightly weighted fly should get the job done.

You’ll also find triple­tail along with cobia, false alba­core (lit­tle tunny), king and Span­ish mack­erel in the coastal gulf this month. Look for sur­face activ­ity to find the mack­erel and albies and cast small white flies or CAL jigs with shad tails to them. I don’t usu­ally tar­get kings but will occa­sion­ally catch one around the edges of a feed­ing frenzy. Look for feed­ing fren­zies that begin with lady­fish feed­ing in glass min­now schools and may end with every­thing else, includ­ing sharks or tar­pon, join­ing the fray. Remem­ber to “match the hatch” to be suc­cess­ful. You’ll need to add wire to your leader when toothy fish are around.

While you are look­ing for mack­erel and albies in the coastal gulf, you can look for triple­tail and cobia. How­ever since stone crab traps haven’t hit the water yet this sea­son, there are less places for them to be. In addi­tion to aban­doned crab trap floats, check chan­nel mark­ers, buoys and any float­ing debris. Arti­fi­cial reefs are another good area to check. A DOA Bait­buster, DOA Air­head, 4” CAL shad tail or a wide pro­file fly should be good choices for cobia. Most tar­pon flies also work well for cobia.

There are lots of options this month, but the key is usu­ally to fish early or late for the best chance at suc­cess. An early start for snook or tar­pon around lighted docks or bridges and then on to the flats for reds, trout and more is a good plan. There will also be good action in the coastal gulf for a vari­ety of species. I usu­ally tar­pon fish as long as I can wher­ever I find them! What­ever you choose to do, please limit your kill, don’t kill your limit!

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.