CB’s Weekly Fishing Reports

Capt. Andy Cotton’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 21st, 2018 by Capt. Andy Cotton

 

On the water with Capt. Andy Cotton.

On the water with Capt. Andy Cotton.

Anglers fishing aboard my boat the O’ Fish All out of CB’S Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key caught and released spotted seatrout, Spanish mackerel, pompano, bluefish, and snook.

Fly fisherman are catching these fish using sink-tip fly lines with weighted clouser minnows. We are setting up a drift on the deeper flats on windy days and deploying a drift sock to slow the boat which in turn slows the presentation and allows the angler to fish the fly deeper in the water column.

DOA Shad tails and similar soft plastics have been producing well on the deeper flats for spin anglers. With the warmer water temps, this weeknight snook fishing was very good using small white fly patterns tied on small hooks like a #4 or #6 mustad 34007. Look for fishing to only improve as weather conditions are on a warming trend for us here in Sarasota.

Capt. 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.


Capt. Jeffri Durrance’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 20th, 2018 by Capt. Jeffri Durrance

 

Avia Friedman with a nice speckled trout she landed this past week on the water with Capt. Jeffri Durrance.

Avia Friedman with a nice looking speckled trout.

Wow, so much for winter. Looks like the cold weather has come and gone with temperatures in the 80’s so far this month. Along with the warm weather, the water temperatures have jumped right back up into the low seventies.

Clients are catching snook, redfish and lots of speckled trout as well as black drum, Spanish mackerel, and ladyfish.

Dean and Avia Friedman used live shrimp to catch several over slot speckled trout, ladyfish, sheepshead and a couple of small snook.

This week saw Tom Allen of Sarasota fishing with grandson George catch a bay slam while George came up just shy of his bay slam when his snook became a longline release. It was close.

Remember, the best time to go fishing is when you can and be sure to save some for seed!

Capt. Jeffri Durrance

Jef­fri is a fourth generation native Floridian who grew up in Bowling Green, Florida, located in Hardee County. While growing up on a cattle and citrus operation Jef­fri fished many creeks and lakes in the central Florida area as well as the Peace River.


Capt. Ed Hurst’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 19th, 2018 by Capt. Ed Hurst

 

Jeff Paige, from NYC, enjoyed a beautiful day fly fishing in North Sarasota Bay this past week.

Jeff Paige enjoyed a great day fly fishing in the N. Bay.

Jeff Paige, from NYC, enjoyed a beautiful day fly fishing in North Sarasota Bay.

We had an exceptionally low tide, 75-degree water temps, and hardly enough wind to move the boat. Jeff caught several nice trout, bluefish, ladyfish, and pompano.

We were using Orvis Helios 6 wt fly rods with Orvis Exciter clear sink rip fly lines. Chartreuse and white Clouser Deep Minnows seemed to be the fly of the day. Water temperatures in the South Bay are around 78 degrees.

I’ll be looking for tarpon to start showing up anytime. All fish were released. Hope to see you out enjoying these beautiful days.

Capt. Ed Hurst

Sarasota has been Ed's home since 1956 and he's fished these area waters since he was nine years old. From 1995 until the present he's guided anglers exclusively in and around the back­wa­ters of Sarasota Bay. Fly fishing is his passion and he's also an Orvis Endorsed Out­fit­ter Guide.


Capt. Brandon Naeve’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 19th, 2018 by Capt. Brandon Naeve

 

The rarest of all fish the Wiley Permit  was caught and released in 18 inches of water.

The rarest of all fish the Wiley Permit.

This February the water in Boca Grande, Sarasota areas has been warmer than normal at this date and time. Snook are beginning to come out of the mangroves and some redfish are showing up on the flats!

The rarest of all fish the Wiley permit made itself present today for the first time in 25 years on the shallow grass in Gasparilla sound.

This beautiful specimen was caught and released in 18 inches of water and is the prize for most flyfisherman the world over.

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. Bruce Burkhart’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 18th, 2018 by Capt. Bruce Burkhart

 

What a great week last week. Anglers fishing aboard the “Casual Lies” out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters had great action fishing in Sarasota Bay. Fishing deep grass flats we caught Trout to 19 inches, Pompano, Ladyfish, Grouper, Bluefish, and Jacks. The DOA jigs seemed to be the best bait for the deep grass. After the tide came in a little bit we fished twitch baits over grass in 2 and 3 feet of water, that produced the bigger fish.

I think the best catch was Brian and Susan. Susan hooked a big fish that just ripped drag down to the backing on the reel. Brian took over and fought the fish for about ten minutes. I mentioned to him it was a stingray but he wanted it to be his biggest fish ever.

After about a fifteen-minute fight up came a stingray that was about six feet wide. After a small pause, we just started laughing. What a great time. With the water temperature going up to the mid-seventies we should be out on the beach in a couple of weeks for Kingfish, Tunny and big Mackerel. Looking forward to that for sure.

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. Rick Grassett’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 18th, 2018 by Capt. Rick Grassett

 

Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing trout in Sarasota Bay on CAL jigs with shad tails and flies and snook and blues in the ICW at night on flies during the past week. The best action was with snook and blues in the ICW at night.

Patrick Morrison, from MA, with a trout caught on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Patrick Morrison with a trout caught on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay.

Siesta Key and Longboat Key winter residents, Joe Brinkmeyer and Jim Brady, Phil and Brenda Rever, from MD and Bill Morrison, from Anna Maria Island and his grandson, Patrick Morrison, from MA, all fished deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with me on several different trips. They had good action catching and releasing trout and more on CAL jigs with shad tails and flies.

Jerry Poslusny, from Palmetto, and Rich Hunter, from Longboat Key, fished the ICW with me on Tuesday night. We had a blues invasion as hungry bluefish dominated some of the areas we fished. They caught and released about 20 fish on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly, half snook, and half bluefish up to 4-lbs. It was not a problem since the chunky blues fought as hard as or harder than many of the snook!

Fly anglers had good action with blues and snook in the ICW at night. Jerry Poslusny, from Palmetto, FL, with a bluefish caught and released on flies on a trip with Capt. Rick Grassett during the past week.

Jerry Poslusny with a bluefish he caught and released.

Martin Marlowe, from NY, fished the ICW at night with me on Thursday. He also had great action with snook to 27” and blues to 4-lbs on the same fly.

I saw something that night that I’ve never seen before in more than 30-years of fishing our waters, a 75-lb or larger Goliath grouper in a snook light along with many snook, blues, and ladyfish. The big fish took a prominent ambush spot behind one of the outside pilings of a boat lift.

Although we caught snook and blues out of the same dock light, the fish never tried to eat any of our hooked fish or our flies. The more time you spend on the water, the more likely you are to see strange things like this!

I was one of the FFI (Fly Fishers International) casting instructors (CI), along with Master Casting Instructors (MCI) Capt. Pete Greenan and Capt. Rex Gudgel for Mangrove Coast Coast Fly Fishers annual fly casting clinic at The Meadows in Sarasota on Saturday. An enthusiastic group of fly anglers showed up for the event. Beginners received basic instruction while more experienced casters fine-tuned their casting. A great event by MCFF, free and open to the public!

There is still time to sign up for CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing School next Saturday, Feb 24th. The course, designed for beginning and intermediate fly casters, will focus on basics but also work with intermediate casters on correcting faults and improving casting skills. Cost for the school, which will run from 8:30 AM to 2 PM, is $175 per person and includes the use of Orvis fly tackle and lunch.

Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or info@cbsoutfitters.com to make reservations.

There should be good action with trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Fishing shallow water for big trout and reds should also be a good option. Our natural resources are under constant pressure, 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. Terry Simmons’ Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 14th, 2018 by Capt. Terry Simmons

 

Fishing the docks seemed to be the thing to do.

Fishing the docks seemed like the thing to do this week.

It was a little tough with the weather being windy and cold to find places to fish that would produce, out of that cold wind. The Kerr group from Michigan wanted to try some fishing the day before they were to head back to freezing degree temperatures back home.

I decided to set them up on some docks using shrimp and we spent the day going from dock to dock catching sheepshead. We caught fish at almost every dock. At the end of the day, they kept a few fish for dinner.

Please remember when you fish around anyone's dock, be respectful and don't ever leave your hooks, lures, line or anything on their dock. No one would want to walk out onto their dock and embed a hook into their hand or foot.

Take the time to remove it, even if they start yelling at you and remember don't ever hit or damage anything you can't afford to purchase.

Capt. Terry Simmons

Terry was born and raised in Bradenton, FL and has been guiding clients since 2000, fishing on Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico with live bait, artificial lures and fly fishing aboard his 22’ Bay Ranger.


Capt. Jeffri Durrance’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 12th, 2018 by Capt. Jeffri Durrance

 

Catch of the week honors goes to Brian Wright.

Brian Wright of Mississippi with an early Tarpon catch.

The water temps have jumped right back up and have nearly reached 70 degrees this week. The fishing is picking up as well with clients catching a few snook, redfish and lots of speckled trout, black drum, and ladyfish.

Fishing a very slow tide this week Loren Martin and Brian Gartner both managed to mark a couple of fish off their bucket list with Loren catching his first redfish and Brian his first snook.

Both were caught on live shrimp and they also used buck tailed jigs.

Catch of the week honors goes to Brian Wright of Olive Branch, Mississippi with an unusual catch for this time of the year. Brian (a two-time winner of the Sarasota Tarpon Tournament) got his 2018 tarpon season off to a fast start while trying to catch a snook.

Using a live shrimp he hooked and landed a very cute and feisty ten-pound tarpon on the light tackle, it was a great fight. Remember, the best time to go fishing is when you can and be sure to save some for seed!

Capt. Jeffri Durrance

Jef­fri is a fourth generation native Floridian who grew up in Bowling Green, Florida, located in Hardee County. While growing up on a cattle and citrus operation Jef­fri fished many creeks and lakes in the central Florida area as well as the Peace River.


Capt. Ed Hurst’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 12th, 2018 by Capt. Ed Hurst

 

Farlow Blakeslee, from South Carolina, enjoyed a successful fly fishing outing with Capt. Ed Hurst.

Farlow Blakeslee enjoyed a successful fly fishing outing.

Farlow Blakeslee, from South Carolina, enjoyed a successful fly fishing outing with me out of CB’s Outfitters on Siesta Key. Farlow caught trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and ladyfish.

He was using an 8 wt Orvis Helios 2 rod with an Orvis Exciter clear sink tip line. Charturse and White Clouser deep minnow seemed to be the fly of choice.

The water around the Middle Grounds was cloudy and full of snot grass. As we moved farther north the water cleared up and the fish became more cooperative.

The water temperature was 72 degrees and all the fish were released… happy fishing!

Capt. Ed Hurst

Sarasota has been Ed's home since 1956 and he's fished these area waters since he was nine years old. From 1995 until the present he's guided anglers exclusively in and around the back­wa­ters of Sarasota Bay. Fly fishing is his passion and he's also an Orvis Endorsed Out­fit­ter Guide.


Capt. Kelly Stilwell’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 12th, 2018 by Capt. Kelly Stilwell

 

Warmer water temperatures brought much better fishing this week. Anglers Mike and Josh Leblanc had a good afternoon Saturday catching lots of tasty sheepsheads on shrimp and also plenty of trout and bluefish on jigs in Sarasota Bay.

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 of Mexico. He is an Orvis Endorsed Outfitter Guide and currently runs a 2400 Ranger Bay boat which can accommodate 5.


Capt. Brandon Naeve’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 11th, 2018 by Capt. Brandon Naeve

 

Shenna from PA landed this beautiful tripletail.

Shenna from PA landed this beautiful tripletail.

Water temperatures the last few days have been going up and up with some of the backcountry spots reaching 70 degrees. A few minnows can be found on the beaches in Boca Grande and soon the snook will start wanting to eat.

While it is later in the season don’t forget the phenomenal tripletail season we've had this year and are continuing to have.

Shenna from Pennsylvania landed this beautiful nine pounder today along with the catch and release of this 25" spotted Seatrout all taken in the Boca Grande area but there still plenty of triple tail in Sarasota's waters. CB's tackle is the place for shrimp to take your tripletail with.

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

Reported: February 11th, 2018 by Capt. Rick Grassett

 

Mike Perez, from Sarasota, FL, with a nice trout caught and released on a fly while wading Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Mike Perez with a nice trout he caught and released.

Anglers fishing with me, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action catching and releasing trout and Spanish mackerel in Sarasota Bay and tripletail in the coastal gulf on flies and reds and trout on CAL jigs with shad tails in the Terra Ceia area during the past week.

The best action was with big trout in skinny water in Sarasota Bay, tripletail in the coastal gulf and reds in skinny water in the Terra Ceia area.

Nick Reding, from Longboat Key and Mike Perez, from Sarasota, waded a couple of shallow flats in Sarasota Bay with me on Monday. The action wasn’t fast but they caught and released a few quality trout up to 22” on Grassett Flats Minnow and Clouser Minnow flies.

Alan Sugar, from MI, fished deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday and had some action catching and releasing trout and a Spanish mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.

Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, with a red caught on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing the Terra Ceia area with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Keith McClintock with a red caught on a CAL jig.

A couple of classmates from MD and DE whom I hadn’t seen in more than 40-yrs, Jim Willey and Gary Zlock met me at the boat launch at the end of my trip on Weds to say hello. We took a short trip to bend the rod on a few trout and shared a beer and a burger at the end of the day. Great to catch up!

Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL and Jack McCulloch, from Lakewood Ranch, FL, fished the Terra Ceia Bay area with me on Tuesday. They had great action with several reds and trout on CAL jigs with shad tails.

Martin Marlowe, from NY, with a big tripletail caught and released on a shrimp fly pattern on a 7-wt fly rod while fishing the coastal gulf with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Martin Marlowe with a tripletail he caught and released.

The most memorable trip of the week was with Martin Marlowe, from NY, on Thursday. We hunted tripletail in the coastal gulf, found several and he caught and released the personal best tripletail ever caught on my boat! The big fish ate a shrimp fly pattern on a 7-wt fly rod, ran deep into the backing and put on a show jumping. We survived getting wrapped on the crab trap line to bring the fish to the boat. Congratulations Martin!

I was one of the seminar speakers at the 2018 Florida Fly Fishing Expo at the Plantation resort in Crystal River, FL on Friday, 2/9. The Fly Fishers International (FFI) event featured some of the best fly tiers and fly fishing anglers and guides in the state, including the legendary Florida Keys, fly fishing guide, Steve Huff.

The show featured seminars, fly tying and fly casting clinics and demonstrations. I gave a presentation to an enthusiastic, standing room only group on fly fishing for snook at night and deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay.

Fish the windows of stable weather between fronts for the best action. Sunny afternoons and evenings with some protection from the wind should fish better this time of year due to warmer water. There should be good action with trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Fishing shallow water for big trout should also be a good option.

I think it is appropriate to discuss something here that has been bothering me for a while. Not that there’s anything wrong with catching and eating fish, but I think boat limits are needed for both guides and recreational anglers. With numerous species of fish available to catch and bag limits as they currently are for some species, it may be legally possible to keep a total of 30 to 40 or more fish depending on the species and number of anglers on a boat.

I don’t think Sarasota Bay and surrounding waters can support that kind of pressure. Some people forget or never knew about the conservation battles that many guides, along with CCA, fought in the past with redfish in the 80’s, the gill net ban in the 90’s, snook regulations and more to get to where we are today.

With an increasing population and more anglers fishing, less habitat due to the development and declining water quality due to residential runoff and agricultural pollution, fishing is bound to decline if we don’t all do something about it. Just my opinion, but as a guide for 28-years I promote catch and release fishing and conservation to all of my clients and I think it is important to set that example.

I’m not trying to be judgmental, but just because we can legally kill a limit of fish doesn’t mean we have to, to be successful. Everyone is the captain of their own vessel and can set lower limits themselves. Guides are teachers, we can make a difference or have a negative impact.

As I say every month in my fishing forecast, 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. Andy Cotton’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 11th, 2018 by Capt. Andy Cotton

 

Capt. Andy with a nice looking Sarasota bay snook.

Capt. Andy Cotton with a nice Sarasota bay snook.

Anglers fishing aboard my boat the 'O’ Fish All' out of CB’S Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key caught and released pompano, Spanish mackerel, seatrout, bluefish, and snook. With the weather warming up this week so did the fishing.

We are catching good numbers of fish on DOA CAL Shad tails in 3 to 6ft of water. Fly fisherman are catching these same fish using sink-tip fly lines with weighted closers and deceivers.

Tripletail is still a good play for anglers looking to sight cast to fish. Night snook fishing has also improved with the warmer conditions.

Capt. 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.


Capt. Brandon Naeve’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 8th, 2018 by Capt. Brandon Naeve

 

On the waters of the Gulf with Capt. Brandon Naeve.

On the cooler waters of the Gulf with Capt. Naeve.

While the fishing has been slightly slow because of the cool water it is been a very interesting month for people coming out on the boat for the first time to enjoy our beautiful weather.

Last week I had the commander of the Moroccan navy helicopter division fishing with me. We caught some trout ladyfish and Jack Crevelle even though the water was hovering around 55 degrees.

Today I had the Polish fishing team and we caught lots of trout, ladyfish, and a few oddball fish. They turned out to be great fisherman and had a good feel for fishing with artificial baits in the cooler water. Their wives were especially impressed with the dolphin sightings and the dolphin running alongside the boat out in the gulf.

CB's tackle has some beautiful vests for women and men that work great for this kind of weather.

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. Bruce Burkhart’s Weekly Fishing Report

Reported: February 5th, 2018 by Capt. Bruce Burkhart

 

Last week the Casual Lies out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters had a few decent days on the water. Fishing the silver and greenback CAL jigs, anglers caught Trout, Ladyfish, and Grouper on the grass flats in Sarasota Bay.

When the sun got up overhead we fished shallow grass (2-4 ft) of water with silver Yo-Zuri plugs to catch our bigger trout to 18 inches. As the tide slowed up just a bit we hit the passes with jigs and caught some descent Pompano. I am really looking forward to next week with the weather staying in the mid 70's.

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.