Fishing Report: Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 8/15 through 8/21/2005
The early bird gets the worm! Anglers on the Snook Fin-Addict had fast action with snook before daylight while fishing lighted areas. In addition, juvenile tarpon in the 10-pound class have been making a brief showing for only about 10 or 15 minutes at dawn each day. Redfish, mangrove snapper, crevalle jacks and ladyfish rounded out the catch. Anglers scored with DOA shrimp, CAL jigs, MirrOlure She Pups and Grassett’s Grass Minnow flies.
Carey and Danny Broughton, from the UK, fished with me on Monday and Wednesday. We fished from Big Pass north to the Long Bar area on Monday since I had located some reds there several days before. We began our trips before dawn, which is a normal routine for me this time of the year. We fished lighted docks near Big Pass on Monday morning and although there were plenty of snook under the lights they weren’t biting. They did manage 3 fat mangrove snapper to 14” on DOA shrimp. The reds I had found several days before were nowhere to be found.
We shifted our efforts to the south on Wednesday morning and fished Little Sarasota Bay, which has been the most dependable. We caught and released more than 10 snook to 25” on DOA shrimp before dawn and then worked mangrove shorelines and sand bars before the sauna got too hot. Danny connected with a 26” red that blew up on a MirrOlure She Pup to end the day!
Jason Miller, from Wheeling, WV, and his girlfriend, Erika, fished the same area with me on Tuesday morning. Jason first fished with me almost 15 years ago as a youngster with his Dad. The snook action was slower that morning due to a tide that wasn’t moving much, but they managed a few. However, the tide picked up speed at about dawn and they were rewarded with a pair of reds to 26” and a nice jack caught on CAL jigs with shad tails. One of the reds was caught on a MirrOlure She Pup.
Joe Dutmers and his son, Mark, squeezed in a trip on Thursday morning before Mark heads back to school at Georgetown University. They fished with me the same time last year and had a banner day with tarpon in Charlotte Harbor 2 days before Hurricane Charley blew through. They opted for some snook and flats action on this trip and we fished Little Sarasota Bay. They caught and released 6 or 8 snook including a nice 29” fish. The mangroves and docks didn’t produce for us after daylight but we did bump into some breaking jacks that entertained us for a while.
Fellow Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers member, Tony Johnson from Venice, FL and his guest, Mark Bonnett from Portland, OR, fished the same area with me on Friday morning. They caught and released about 10 snook to 24” on my Grass Minnow fly before daylight. I had tied some of the same pattern on 1/0 Owner AKI hooks so that if the tarpon showed we’d be ready for them. My night snook fly is normally tied on a #4 Mustad 34007 hook, which is fine for most snook but too small to hold a tarpon. The tarpon showed a little early and the guys each jumped one on the smaller hook flies before I had a chance to switch flies. Tony had his tarpon next to the boat when the hook pulled but they each got a couple of spectacular jumps! They finished the morning off catching and releasing jacks and ladyfish that were breaking on the surface in the ICW channel.
Next week’s tides are favorable for tailing redfish in Charlotte Harbor, which I’ll probably be targeting. We don’t get many tailing redfish in the Sarasota area due to the type of bottom we have here, but Gasparilla and Pine Island Sounds have plenty of tailing reds when the tide is right. A tide that is less than 1.0 will allow their tails to stick out of the water if you’re in the right spot. In addition, tarpon of all sizes should be available in upper Charlotte Harbor.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.