Capt. Jack Ryan’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: October 19th, 2014 by Capt. Jack Ryan

 

Snook fish­ing in the early AM out of CB’s

Snook fish­ing in the early A.M. out of CB’s Outfitters

Snook fish­ing in the early AM out of CB’s pro­duced linesiders from 21–24” around area bridges. We were float­ing good size live shrimp under the lights to get our hits. Lady­fish and Man­grove snap­per were also hit­ting the shrimp. After that we moved into Sara­sota Bay with Pilchards and live shrimp on the grass flats.

Our encoun­ters were Span­ish Mack­erel and Jacks. Most of the Trout were small. We had to fish hard and move to var­i­ous loca­tions to catch some keepers.

Only one Black Nose shark was caught all week. This com­ing week our near shore reefs should pro­duce Span­ish and King Mack­erel. It’s time. Let’s Go Fishing.

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. Bruce Burkhart’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: October 19th, 2014 by Capt. Bruce Burkhart

 

Last week the fish­ing stayed steady all week long. Trout, Grouper, Black Sea Bass, Floun­der, Lady­fish and some three to four foot Sharks were the catch of the week. I am ready to get out on the beach for the Kings, Mack­erel and Tunny if the water temp will drop a few more degrees.

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.C.G. Captain’s license.


Capt. Roy String’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: October 19th, 2014 by Capt. Roy String

 

The fish­ing this past week started out great with big num­bers of trout,jacks, mack­erel.… I was aver­ag­ing 60–75 fish on a 4 hr trip… We had a cold front move thru and that slowed the fish­ing on Thurs­day and Fri­day… I fished on the flats on Sat­ur­day strictly for snook and red­fish and we had a great day with 30 snook up to 6 lbs and 7 reds fish up to 8 lbs … Fall is def­i­nitely here and we will start see­ing a lot of mack­erel and king­fish show­ing up along the beaches… The bay fish­ing will con­tinue the way it has been!!!! The key to all of the fish­ing I have been hav­ing is def­i­nitely the use of live bait!!!! Hope to see every­one on the water soon!

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: October 19th, 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 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, from Sarasota, FL had good action catching and releasing false albacore on flies and CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms while fishing the coastal gulf off Sarasota with Capt. Rick Grassett.

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, doubled up on this Sarasota Bay jack and bluefish and Scott also caught and released a shark on CAL jigs with shad tails while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

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, from the UK, caught and released his first tarpon on a fly while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

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 info@cbsoutfitters.com 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.

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: October 18th, 2014 by Capt. Jim Klopfer

 

Fish­ing was decent this week, bet­ter ear­lier in the week before a front moved through. Speck­led trout, Span­ish mack­erel, gag grouper, jack crev­elle, man­grove snap­per, floun­der, black sea bass, lady­fish, and sharks were landed by clients using live pilchards and threadfins on the grass flats near Big Pass and Stephen’s Pt. Snook, jacks, and man­grove snap­per hit the live bait near oys­ter bars in Robert’s Bay. Clients landed two small yel­low­tail snap­per this week, a por­tent of things to come??

Allison Ruggari from Morristown, NJ shows off a tasty mangrove snapper

Alli­son Rug­gari shows off a tasty man­grove snapper

I started my week off on Sun­day with a char­ter for Brad Bar­don and his fiance Alli­son Rug­gari, both from Mor­ris­town, NJ. I caught bait and we started off cast­ing threadfins towards the edge of a grass flat near Bird Key. For a cou­ple of hours, action was steady on Span­ish mack­erel, speck­led trout, man­grove snap­per, gag grouper, black sea bass, and floun­der. Brad even caught a small yel­low­tail snap­per; VERY unusual! We decided to fin­ish up look­ing for snook and hit a canal in Robert’s Bay. The cou­ple caught snap­per, snook, and jack crev­elle to fin­ish up the trip.

Long time client and friend Chaz Boyter from New Jer­sey fished with me on Mon­day. We started off cast­ing Rapala top­wa­ter plugs and X-Raps near the mouth of Phillippi Creek on the out­go­ing tide. Chaz had a cou­ple of blow-ups and a small jack hit an X-Rap, but that was about it. I caught bait and Chaz had a bite on almost every cast for over an hour near Big Pass, mostly speck­led trout but a few mack­erel and other species, too. We fin­ished up look­ing for snook and jacks, but only caught one of each.

The weather was bad Tues­day and Wednes­day, no fish­ing for me. Stan Bell, his wife Ash­ley, and boys Blake (2) and Brent (5) from Okla­homa, joined me on Thurs­day. I started off with some live shrimp near the Radio Tower, with young Blake catch­ing an 18″ speck­led trout and the oth­ers pitch­ing in with gag grouper, smaller trout, and sea bass. As expected, Blake did not last too long, he is only two years old after all, so I took him and Ash­ley back to the dock. With Brent and Stan aboard, I loaded up with bait and we sat near Big Pass, catch­ing trout, grouper, snap­per, jacks, and Span­ish mack­erel, get­ting a bite on nearly every cast. Stan wanted a shark, so I cut up a mack­erel and Stan landed a nice 30 lb shark to fin­ish up the trip!

Con­di­tions were tough on Fri­day for Gina and Mike Kymer, from Michi­gan. We were greeted with clas­sic post-friontal con­di­tions, NE wind, blue-bird sky, and high pres­sure. The first few hours were VERY slow, but a run to the Rin­gling flats proved to be a good choice, as they fin­ished up with good action on speck­led trout, Span­ish mack­erel, a lot of jack crev­elle, lady­fish, sea bass, and grouper.

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 cus­tomized to the clients sched­ule, expe­ri­ence, expec­ta­tions, and location.


Capt. Andy Cotton’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: October 13th, 2014 by Andy Cotton

 

There was fast action in the coastal Gulf of Mex­ico this past week. Anglers aboard my boat the O’Fish All, out of CB’s Salt­wa­ter Out­fit­ters on Siesta key, scored with cobia, Span­ish mack­erel, sharks and false albacore.

Andrew Wil­son from Ten­nessee fished with me in the bay and the coastal Gulf on Sat­ur­day and again on Mon­day.

Andrew Wil­son from TN used DOA CAL Shad tail jigs

Andrew Wil­son from Ten­nessee and his father-in-law George from Venice, FL fished with me in the bay and the coastal Gulf on Sat­ur­day and again on Mon­day. Andrew and George had great action with cobia, spot­ted seatrout, jack crevalle in the bay and false alba­core in the Gulf using DOA CAL Shad tail jigs.

Thurs­day out­door writer and pho­tog­ra­pher Rusty Chin­nis from Long­boat Key fished with me in the coastal Gulf. Rusty is writ­ing an upcom­ing arti­cle on fall fish­ing off­shore for the Anna Maria Sun paper. We set out into the Gulf and located some large groups of div­ing birds and break­ing fish just off the beaches in Sara­sota. Fly rod in hand, Rusty scored with Span­ish mack­erel and false alba­core. Over the next few hours we caught and landed numer­ous false alba­core and Span­ish mack­erel on fly tackle and spin­ning tackle using DOA CAL Shad tail jigs.

Action should con­tinue to be good in the coastal Gulf when weather per­mits. Look for birds and bait work­ing on the sur­face as this can be a dead give­away that there are preda­tors below.

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: October 12th, 2014 by Capt. Jack Ryan

 

Near off­shore waters were pro­duc­ing Red grouper to 19”, Key West grunts, and Man­grove snap­per up to 14inches.

A good vari­ety were caught on live shrimp under corks

Inshore fish­ing on the Sea Dog out of CB’s was of a good vari­ety of five Bon­net­head sharks, Pom­pano up to 18”, lots of Trout that were 14–18”, Sea Bass, and Span­ish Mack­erel. The area of best inter­est was mark­ers 5 and 7 for the sharks. Our cus­tomers caught all these fish on live shrimp under corks. At the Mid­dle Grounds on the incom­ing tide chum­ming with some small live Pilchards brought in the Trout and the Span­ish Mackerel.

Near off­shore waters were pro­duc­ing Red grouper to 19”, Key West grunts, and Man­grove snap­per up to 14” at the M reefs. There was no need to chum as I often do, just put your bait Pilchard or shrimp and bang they are on. It was a lot of fun for my crew that day.

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. Jim Klopfer’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: October 11th, 2014 by Capt. Jim Klopfer

 

I was on vaca­tion for sev­eral weeks, it was fun, but nice to be back. Despite a bunch of rain, action was good through­out the area. The deep flats, the passes, and back­wa­ters pro­duced snook, speck­led trout, blue­fish, Span­ish mack­erel, jack crev­elle, black sea bass, man­grove snap­per, gag grouper, floun­der, lady­fish, and a remora. Bass Assas­sin Sea Shad, olive Rapala X-Raps, and live pilchards pro­duced fish on char­ters this week. Snook are mov­ing back into the bays and are being caught near oys­ter bars along with jack crev­elle and snap­per. I had a bunch of bait left over one morn­ing and hit a cou­ple spots in Lit­tle Sara­sota Bay on the way back in. The water was stained, but speck­led trout, blue­fish, and las­dy­fish responded to the chum on bars that dropped off into deeper water.

Bonnie Czepiel caught this fat trout at Stephen's Point. On the water with Capt. Jim Klopfer.

Bon­nie Czepiel caught this fat trout at Stephen’s Point

Mon­day Sara­sota res­i­dent Bon­nie Czepiel had a decent day, expe­ri­enc­ing steady action on a vari­ety of species. We started off in Big Pass, catch­ing break­ing lady­fish using Bass assas­sin 4″ Sea Shad jigs. I then caught bait and we hit sev­eral flats near Big Pass and up at Stephen’s Pt, with Bon­nie land­ing speck­led trout to 18″, Span­ish mack­erel, blue­fish, sea bass, gag grouper, floun­der, lady­fish, man­grove snap­per, and remora.

Bucky Wells from Hunt­ing­ton, MD treated his son in law Paul and grand­son Logan (8) to a char­ter on Tues­day. Action was steady, though it slowed down later in the morn­ing. Lady­fish were once again thick in Big Pass, and after we got tired of catch­ing them three at a time, we moved to the flats. Logan had the hot hand, land­ing the two largest trout and a nice Span­ish mackerel.

David Johnson and his buddies each caught a snook on Saturday morning

David John­son caught a snook on Sat­ur­day morning

Jacob Mirecki and his buddy Tom from Chicago, IL had a very good trip mid-week. We left from CB’s salt­wa­ter Out­fit­ters on Siesta Key and idled north. Along the way we ran across some break­ing fish and stopped to take a look. Hand-sized jacks and a nice 17″ floun­der fell prey to Bass Assas­sin jigs and Rapala X-Raps. The dol­phin moved in and shut them down, so I pro­ceeded to Big Pass. A few lady­fish hit jigs, then I caught some bait. The deep flats near Otter Key pro­duced speck­led trout, sea bass, gag grouper, lady­fish, and other species. Action slowed and I was mak­ing a move when I spot­ted a huge school of break­ing lady­fish. We caught then two at a time until the boys had enough. We fin­ished up in Robert’s Bay catch­ing small snook, man­grove snap­per, and jack crev­elle to 3 pounds on pilchards.

I fished a two boat char­ter with Capt Roy on Sat­ur­day. I had David John­son, Jeff Roche, and Steve Pat­ter­son, all from east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia. I caught bait and we sat in one spot near Bird Key, catch­ing Span­ish mack­erel, speck­led trout, jacks, and snap­per for an hour and a half. The tide was ebbing out and almost slack and the fish quit. I ran south to catch the tide still mov­ing and we had good action at the mouth of a res­i­den­tial canal. Each of the boys caught a snook, along with decent sized jacks and snap­per on live bait.

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 cus­tomized to the clients sched­ule, expe­ri­ence, expec­ta­tions, and location.


Capt. Kelly Kurtz’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: October 7th, 2014 by Capt. Kelly Kurtz

 

It's a great time of year to be on the water

With the fish bit­ing like this you don’t want to miss it

and you don’t want to miss this time of year. Its as good as it gets! Snook, red­fish, man­grove snap­per, trout, floun­der, you name it, it’s feed­ing heav­ily before win­ter time arrives.

Fill your livewell with green­backs and a few shrimp and get ready for a party in your boat. Pick the peak tides with the solar lunar cal­en­dar. It’s only going to get better.

The man­grove bite is fan­tas­tic as well as trout, with 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. Bruce Burkhart’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: October 5th, 2014 by Capt. Bruce Burkhart

 

Last week in Sara­sota Bay we had some good days catch­ing a vari­ety of fish. Throw­ing CAL jigs and Gulp jigs we had the Mack­erel, Trout, Black Sea Bass, Floun­der, Gag Grouper, Man­grove Snap­per and Lady­fish keep­ing the rods bent.

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.C.G. Captain’s license.


Capt. Clark Wright’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: October 3rd, 2014 by Capt. Clark Wright

 

Finally fall fishing is here!

The inshore fish­ing the last few weeks has been on fire

Fall fish­ing is here! The inshore fish­ing the last few weeks has been on fire and will con­tinue to get even bet­ter thru Octo­ber. The bait is thick on the beaches and on the flats and the game­fish have been tak­ing advan­tage of the read­ily avail­able food source to fat­ten up before the cold months set in. The trout and snap­per fish­ing on the flats inside the passes has been as good as it gets. A few more span­ish mack­erel are start­ing to show up in the bays too as the water temps are start­ing to slowly decline.

Some of the best snook fish­ing of the year is going on right now too, and will con­tinue for the next month or so as long as the bait is around. I snook fished one day last week and we caught prob­a­bly 50 snook in a cou­ple of hours chum­ming deeper docks with whitebait.

Capt. Clark Wright

Clark was born and raised in Venice, Florida and has been fish­ing these local waters since he could walk. Grow­ing up in a fam­ily of fish­er­men and hunters and uses this expe­ri­ence to help anglers from all over the world catch last­ing mem­o­ries on his fish­ing charters.


Capt. Rick Grassett’s Monthly Forecast for Oct 2014

Reported: October 1st, 2014 by Capt. Rick Grassett

 

This should be a good month for fly fishing in the coastal gulf. I caught and released this tripletail on a Grassett Flats bunny fly last October.

Capt. Rick Gras­sett caught and released this tripletail

The flats of Sara­sota Bay and the coastal Gulf of Mex­ico will turn on this month. Schools of reds will begin to break up and scat­ter on shal­low flats of Sara­sota Bay. There should also be good action with snook and big trout in shal­low water. Snook will gorge them­selves at night around lighted docks in the ICW. There will also be good action in the coastal gulf with Span­ish mack­erel, false alba­core (lit­tle tunny), triple­tail and cobia. You might still find tar­pon any­where from upper Char­lotte Har­bor and Tampa Bay to along the beaches.

Snook will move from passes and the surf as water tem­per­a­ture cools and days get shorter. They will stage around docks and bridges in the ICW and along sand bars, pot­holes and along man­grove shore­lines. They may blow up on fly pop­pers in shal­low water early or late in the day. Small white flies or Gur­glers should work well around lighted docks and bridge fend­ers. I like larger flies, like Lefty’s Deceiver and EP flies, for snook on the flats due to the larger bait usu­ally found there. Fish peak tidal flows for the best action.

Tar­pon will still be an option this month. I’ve found them in upper Char­lotte Har­bor this time of year. Look for them feed­ing in lady­fish schools or rolling in deep water to find them. Many of the same flies that work for sight cast­ing to tar­pon along the beaches will work in upper Char­lotte Har­bor. I use 12-wt fly tackle with a float­ing or clear inter­me­di­ate sink tip line for large tar­pon. You’ll also find juve­nile tar­pon from 10 to 30-pounds in many creeks and canals of the Peace or Myakka Rivers. Fly anglers can han­dle the smaller fish on 8 or 9-wt fly rods with fast sink­ing fly lines and a scaled down ver­sion of any fly that large tar­pon will eat. I’ve also found tar­pon feed­ing heav­ily in the coastal gulf in Octo­ber. They are usu­ally scat­tered over a broad area, feed­ing and “blow­ing up” in bait schools. This “reverse migra­tion” may only last for a few days but it can be really good!

Mason Tush, of CB's Saltwater Outfitters, caught and released this snook and a red on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing lighted docks with Capt. Rick Grassett last October.

Mason Tush of CB’s caught this snook last October

Big schools of reds that were more com­mon in August and Sep­tem­ber will break up into smaller schools, sin­gles and dou­bles this month. As water cools and bait­fish school up, reds will feed in shal­low water. I like to pole my flats skiff to hunt for reds in shal­low water. Focus on bait­fish or mul­let schools to find reds. If the tide is very low, weed guards are impor­tant on your flies to fish thick tur­tle grass. Once I’ve located fish, wad­ing is often the best way to approach them when fly fish­ing. I like a long leader (12’) on a float­ing fly line with a lightly weighted fly, like my Gras­sett Flats Min­now. When you have good sun­light, you may be able to sight fish them on light col­ored bot­tom, like sand­bars or potholes.

You’ll also find big trout in many of the same areas in shal­low water. I would approach locat­ing big trout the same way as reds. Focus on bait­fish or mul­let schools to find them and use the same flies to catch them. Some of the best action that I’ve expe­ri­enced with big trout was at first light with big trout feed­ing in bait­fish schools in very shal­low water. My favorite area for reds and big trout are the flats of north Sara­sota Bay.

You’ll also find trout of all sizes on deep grass flats. Wher­ever there are small trout, there may be a few “gators” around since big trout will eat small ones. You should also find blues, Span­ish mack­erel or pom­pano mixed with trout. In addi­tion to focus­ing on bait and birds, I like to drift and cast ahead of the drift with a lightly weighted fly on a sink tip fly line to find fish. When toothy fish are around add 6”of heavy flu­o­ro­car­bon (60-lb) or wire to pre­vent cut offs. You may find triple­tail or cobia around buoys, crab trap floats or chan­nel mark­ers in inside waters or the coastal gulf. Fly anglers should score on triple­tail with lightly weighted flies with a weed guard. A wide pro­file tar­pon fly on a min­i­mum of 9-weight fly tackle will get the job done with cobia.

Also look for Span­ish and king mack­erel or false alba­core in the coastal gulf. I look for div­ing terns or “break­ing” fish to find them. Fly anglers should score with olive, char­treuse or white flies, pop­pers and Crease flies. You’ll need wire or heavy flu­o­ro­car­bon when mack­erel are in the mix. You may also find a few kings around the edges of feed­ing fren­zies. I don’t usu­ally tar­get kings, but I will catch a few when fish­ing break­ing mack­erel or albies. You can also look for triple­tail or cobia around crab trap floats, buoys or chan­nel mark­ers while search­ing for mack­erel or albies in the coastal gulf.

Octo­ber is one of my favorite months. It’s nice to do some­thing dif­fer­ent, so I like to fish the coastal gulf for mack­erel, false alba­core, triple­tail and cobia when con­di­tions are good. There will also be good action on shal­low flats of Sara­sota Bay with reds, trout and snook or tar­pon of all sizes in upper Char­lotte Har­bor. Night snook fish­ing in the ICW heats up as the water cools down. 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.


Capt. Roy String’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.C.G. Captain’s license.