News Section: Fishing
Captain Favorite's Fishing Forum Oct. 14, 2012
Your One-Stop Spot for Fishing in Manatee County
|Catch of the Week|
Capt. Rick Grassett with a 29-inch snook caught and released on a DOA Tiny TerrorEyz while fishing a Sarasota lighted dock before dawn. Photo provided by Jan Maizler.
BRADENTON – Stone crab season starts tomorrow! Soak season started on October 5, and recreational anglers can have up to five traps. The Fall Fly Fishing Challenge will be held next weekend. Fishing for false albacore (little tunny), Spanish mackerel, tripletail and more in the coastal gulf should continue to get better as the water cools and baitfish schools become more concentrated. Shallow water fishing for reds, trout and snook should also continue to improve as it gets cooler. Tonight's new moon should bring some of the best fishing of the month!
- Get your claw crackers ready, because Florida’s recreational and commercial stone crab claw harvest season opens Oct. 15 in state and federal waters.
- To be harvested, stone crab claws must be at least 2 3/4 inches in length when measured from the elbow to the tip of the lower immovable portion of the claw (see illustration).
Claws may not be taken from egg-bearing female stone crabs. Recreational harvesters can use up to five stone crab traps per person. Stone crabs may not be harvested with any device that can puncture, crush or injure the crab body. Examples of devices that can cause this kind of damage include spears and hooks. Recreational and commercial traps may be baited and placed in the water 10 days prior to the opening of the season but may not be pulled from the water for harvest purposes until Oct. 15.
- Both claws of the stone crab may be taken if the claws are of legal size, but this practice leaves the crab with few alternatives to defend itself from predators. Crabs that are returned to the water with one claw intact will be able to obtain more food in a shorter amount of time and therefore regrow its other claw faster. There is a recreational daily bag limit of one gallon of claws per person or two gallons per vessel, whichever is less.
- The season will be open through May 15, 2013.
- Stone crab regulations are the same in state and federal waters.
- The Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers and Sarasota Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association will hold their 8th annual Fall Fly Fishing Challenge Oct. 27.
- The catch, photo and release event will feature an Open Division for guides and anglers fishing with guides (all anglers are eligible to compete in the Open Division}, and a Fly Angler Division (no guides).
- In the Open Division, eligible species include snook, redfish and spotted seatrout. Those in the Fly Angler Division will fish for a variety of species, including snook, redfish, spotted seatrout, bluefish, ladyfish, flounder, snapper, jack crevalle, pompano and permit based on a points-per-inch system.
- Entry fee is $50 and includes an awards barbecue at Ken Clark Auditorium, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.
- Tournament applications are available at area tackle shops or online at http://ccaflorida.org and http://mangrovecoastflyfishers.com.
- Competitors’ meeting is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Trader Vic’s, 351 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota.
- For information, call Rick Grassett at (941) 923-7799 or Steve Gibson at (941) 284-3406.
- On Saturday, Oct. 27, the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) will open its doors to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for MarineQuest 2012. Visitors can explore the world of science at FWRI headquarters, 100 8thAve. S.E., in downtown St. Petersburg.
- Held in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Science Festival, the 18th annual MarineQuest is a free event that allows visitors of all ages to experience science firsthand with more than 50 exhibits. People can check out live animals in touch tanks, interact with some of Florida’s top scientists and learn about current fish and wildlife research in Florida. Special activities for children include wildlife origami, face painting and the Japanese art of “gyotaku” – fish printing.
- FWRI is the research division of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). FWRI’s work is used by all levels of government, universities, private organizations and the public.
Weekly Fishing Report by Capt. Rick Grassett
|Capt. Rick Grassett with a nice Spanish mackerel caught and released on a fly popper while fishing off Longboat Key.|
Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released snook, trout, redfish and flounder in Sarasota Bay and false albacore (little tunny) and Spanish mackerel in the coastal gulf off Siesta Key and Longboat Key on lures and flies during the past week.
Rusty Chinnis, from Longboat Key, Fla., and I scouted the coastal gulf off Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island in his Hell’s Bay flats skiff on Wednesday. We ran some crab trap lines, found three tripletail and got some shots at them with a fly. We didn’t find much surface activity except for a few mackerel skyrocketing out of the water in a few spots, but nothing we could work with. With not much to cast to on the surface, we looked for fish over structure and hit the jackpot. We found some bait holding over hard bottom and made a drift over it casting fly poppers. We caught and released numerous Spanish mackerel in the 3 to 4-pound class. It was fun watching them blow up on our poppers when they ate!
Outdoor writer Jan Maizler, from Miami, Fla., fished Sarasota Bay and the coastal gulf with me on Friday and Saturday. We had good action with snook on lighted docks before dawn, catching and releasing six or seven snook to 29 inches on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms and DOA Tiny TerrorEyz. We often “match the hatch” by duplicating the size and shape of baitfish with our lures and flies and the DOA Tiny TerrorEyz is a great choice when fish are eating glass minnows. We also fished deep grass flats in several places on the east side of the bay and caught and released trout to 18 inches, jacks and a flounder on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms. We fished the coastal gulf off Siesta and Casey Keys on Friday and caught and released numerous small mackerel on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms and had a few shots at a tripletail.
We fished shallow water in north Sarasota Bay on Saturday and caught and released a “slam” including several snook, numerous trout and a red, also on CAL jigs with a variety of plastic tails. We finished with a bang, catching and releasing numerous Spanish mackerel in the 3-to-4-pound class and false albacore to more than 10 pounds on top water plugs and CAL jigs with shad tails off Longboat Key. Great action!
Fishing for false albacore (little tunny), Spanish mackerel, tripletail and more in the coastal gulf should continue to get better as the water cools and baitfish schools become more concentrated. Although there have been reports of red tide from Venice south into Charlotte and Lee counties, it is currently clear in Sarasota from Casey Key north. Fish deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and more. Shallow water fishing for reds, trout and snook should also continue to improve as it gets cooler.
Capt. Rick Grassett
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis- Endorsed Outfitter Guide
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters-2011 Orvis Outfitter of the Year
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
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A ridge of high pressure will remain over the region through Monday. A cold front will move into the northeast Gulf Tuesday evening and through the waters Tuesday night and early Wednesday. High pressure will then build north of the waters Wednesday and Thursday. Another cold front will move through the waters on Friday.
North winds 5 to 10 knots then becoming northwest 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Monday night will bring north winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
North winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Tuesday night will bring north winds around 10 knots then becoming northeast around 5 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
East winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. Wednesday night will bring southeast winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth.
South winds around 5 knots then becoming west in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters smooth. A slight chance of showers. Thursday night will bring west winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth.
Southwest winds around 10 knots then becoming west in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of showers.
Merab is a writer at the Bradenton Times. She can be reached at email@example.com
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