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News Section: Fishing

Captain Favorite's Fishing Forum: Dec. 23, 2013

Your One-Stop Spot for Fishing in Manatee County

Published Monday, December 23, 2013 12:04 am
Capt. Rick DePaiva (top) shows off his with Pine Island Sound red caught and released on a DOA crab and a Grassett Flats Minnow fly. 

There is a FWC buoy in Tampa Bay to aid water quality and harmful algal bloom monitoring. The FWC is also asking the public for any information regarding at least 400 pounds of fish dumped near Davis Beach Boat Ramp sometime during the evening hours of December 1 or early morning hours of December 2. A cold front should approach just tin time for Christmas. Our contribuing Capt. Rick Grassett recommends fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay for trout, blues and more. Looking for false albacore and tripletail in the coastal gulf when conditions are good should also be a good option next week

Fishing Update

Gag grouper recreational harvest closes in most Gulf waters in early December

  • Gag grouper will close for recreational harvest in most Gulf of Mexico state waters yesterday, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 3. All Gulf federal waters will close Dec. 3, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 2.
  • State waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties were open from April 1 through June 30 and were not open during the July 1 through Dec. 3 season. Monroe County is also excluded because it follows Atlantic rules for gag grouper.
  • The FWC manages marine fish from the shore to 9 nautical miles in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • These closures are an effort to help rebuild gag grouper populations in the Gulf of Mexico back to strong sustainable levels. 


Venting tool requirement removed in Gulf waters

  • Soon Florida anglers will no longer be required to have and use a venting tool when fishing for reef fish in Gulf of Mexico state waters.
  • During its Nov. 21 meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) removed the requirement in Gulf state waters, making state regulations consistent with rules in federal waters. By removing this rule, anglers will now have the freedom to determine how to best maximize survival of released reef fish using devices they feel are appropriate, depending on the circumstances.



Weekly Fishing Report by Capt. Rick Grassett
Capt. Rick DePaiva, from Ft. Myers, FL, battles a tarpon jumped on a fly while fishing the coastal gulf with 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, caught and released Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks and trout in Sarasota Bay on flies, top water plugs, DOA Deadly Combos and CAL jigs with shad tails during the past week.


Don and Linda Tase, from NH and son-in-law, Jesse Ramirez, from CO, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday. It was cool to start but warmed up fast. They caught and released Spanish mackerel, blues, jacks and trout on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails at Stephens Point.


I fished with my friend, Capt. Rick Depaiva, in his home waters of Pine Island Sound later in the week. Capt. Rick knows his waters well and when conditions are right, fishing can be awesome there. With a full moon we targeted tailing reds on a negative low tide and despite breezy conditions, they tailed well. We had lots of shots at tailing reds, hooked 3 and landed 2, 1 on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly and another on a DOA crab. After seeing Rick’s big red pounce on a DOA crab with no hesitation, I will be throwing that lure more often!


I also fished a day with my friend, Rusty Chinnis, from Longboat Key, FL. We fished potholes and shallow grass flats from north Sarasota Bay to Palma Sola Bay and caught and released a few trout on Clouser flies. We were surprised to see an adult coyote, stalking birds and digging shellfish out of the bottom about a ½ mile from shore on an exposed flat. I’ve often seen raccoons prowling flats or shorelines but this is the first time I’ve ever seen a coyote on a saltwater flat.


Tommy Lewis, II and his son Tommy, from NC, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday. They had good action catching and releasing trout, Spanish mackerel and blues on DOA Deadly Combos, CAL jigs with shad tails and top water plugs. The best action was with blues to 5-pounds on top water plugs in 2’-3’ of water. Brian Logun, from Atlanta, GA, got in on the action, catching and releasing blues to 5-pounds on fly poppers and top water plugs in the same area with me on Saturday. It was fun to watch schools of bluefish blow up on their fly poppers and plugs!


Fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and more should be a good inshore option next week. Big trout are also moving into shallow water in Sarasota Bay where you may find them along with reds in potholes or on the edges of bars when the tide is low. Look for false albacore and tripletail in the coastal gulf when conditions are good.


Tight Lines,

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.

(941) 923-7799




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Fishing Forecast

High pressure across the East Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic will slowly ease off to the east through Monday, as a cold front moves into northern Florida. The front moves south over the coastal waters late Monday through Tuesday, exiting into South Florida waters Tuesday night. High pressure builds in over the eastern states Tuesday then slides out over the Atlantic during the end of the week. Winds gradually veer to northerly as the front moves through and increase to Small Craft Advisory criteria starting late Monday.



South winds around 10 knots then becoming southwest in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of thunderstorms may increase winds and seas in the afternoon. Monday night will bring west winds 5 to 10 knots then becoming north around 15 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of thunderstorms may increase winds and seas in the evening ... then a chance of showers after midnight.

2013/12/23Mon03:08 a.m.1.59H

2013/12/23Mon10:46 a.m.0.0L

2013/12/23Mon04:55 p.m.1.51H

2013/12/23Mon11:18 p.m.0.67L



North winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A slight chance of showers in the morning. Tuesday night will bring northeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop.

2013/12/24Tue04:12 a.m.1.37H

2013/12/24Tue11:24 a.m.0.17L

2013/12/24Tue05:33 p.m.1.61H



Northeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Wednesday night will bring northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2013/12/25Wed12:37 a.m.0.51L

2013/12/25Wed05:34 a.m.1.16H

2013/12/25Wed12:05 p.m.0.36L

2013/12/25Wed06:13 p.m.1.72H



Northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of showers. Thursday night will bring northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of showers.

2013/12/26Thu01:55 a.m.0.29L

2013/12/26Thu07:17 a.m.1.02H

2013/12/26Thu12:50 p.m.0.55L

2013/12/26Thu06:56 p.m.1.84H



Northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of showers.

2013/12/27Fri03:04 a.m.0.02L

2013/12/27Fri09:06 a.m.0.99H

2013/12/27Fri01:37 p.m.0.72L

2013/12/27Fri07:41 p.m.1.97H


Solunar Forecast

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