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News Section: Fishing

Captain Favorite's Fishing Forum: Feb. 10, 2014

Your One-Stop Spot for Fishing in Manatee County

Published Monday, February 10, 2014 12:04 am
Jack McCulloch, from Lakewood Ranch, with a Gasparilla Sound red caught on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett..

Several big events are coming to Florida including the 2014 Yacht and Brokerage Show in Miami will take place from Feb. 13-17, followed by the Blue Wild Ocean Adventure and Marine Expo, which runs from Feb. 22-23 at the Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. The recent cold snap helped FWC officials identify over 4,000 manatees during their aerial survey. Because the swordfish population has recovered so successfully since the were overfished during the 1980s, the FWC is offering fisherman an opportunity to catch and sell them in Florida. Another cold front is headed our way Wednesday but will pass by Friday, Weather Underground reports. 

Fishing Update
  • The Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, Miami's premier in-water yacht show, is set for February 13-17 and will attract thousands of people from around the world to a spectacular display of yachts and marine products, directly across Collins Avenue from the legendary Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels in the heart of Miami Beach. 
  • Show inventory, which includes more than 500 new and brokerage yachts and a wide array of the latest marine technology and accessories, is valued at more than $1 billion. In addition to the remarkable display of yachts, the free show offers floating cocktail barges and live musical entertainment.
  • Covering more than 1.2 million square feet of space, the show spans more than a mile-long strip of the Indian Creek Waterway from 41 st Street to 52nd Street.
  • For more infomation visit the website at


Fort Lauderdale 2014 Blue Wild Ocean Adventure and Marine Art Expo Set for February 22-23

  • The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure and Marine Art Expo is set to take place at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center from February 22 to 23 and will feature the top names in freediving, spearfishing, scuba diving, underwater photography and videography, marine artists, and other exhibitors from around the world.   
  • The event spans 30,000 square feet of exhibition hall space with an additional 10,000 square feet of seminar/workshop space.
  • Admission is $20 at the door and includes entry to the Saturday night Blue Wild After Party at the Courtyard Marriott Ft. Lauderdale Beach where guests can mingle with industry celebrities and enjoy door prizes, BBQ and happy hour specials.  
  • Show hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Blue Wild After Party is from 7:30 to 11 p.m.
  • For more information please visit  Like The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure and Marine Art Expo on Facebook at


Swordfish management pays off in expanded fishing opportunities effective Feb. 13

  • Swordfish management is a success story. Overfished in the 1980s and ’90s, the swordfish stock has since been fully rebuilt, thanks to domestic and international conservation measures.
  • Recently, NOAA Fisheries Highly Migratory Species Division created a new open-access commercial swordfish fishery in federal waters to provide additional commercial swordfish harvest opportunities using gears that minimize bycatch.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved several changes to state rules recently, many of which will allow fishermen who participate in this new commercial fishery to land and sell their catch in Florida. Recently adopted changes will go into effect Feb. 13.
  • Several changes to state rules are also consistent with existing federal rules, including a change to the cleithrum-to-keel (see image below) minimum size limit for recreational and commercial swordfish harvest.
  • For more information visit the website at


Cold weather aids 2014 manatee count

  • Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reported a preliminary count of 4,831 manatees in Florida during this year’s statewide aerial survey, conducted in late January.
  • Over two days (Jan. 24 and 27), a team of 20 observers from nine organizations counted 2,317 manatees on Florida’s east coast and 2,514 on the west coast of the state. The final numbers will be available following verification of survey data.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and several partners returned approximately 50 sea turtles to the wild today in the Gulf of Mexico off Cape San Blas after the animals were rescued from last week’s cold water temperatures.
  • “It is very satisfying to be able to release these turtles following the exhaustive effort put in by rescuers last week,” said Dr. Allen Foley, FWC sea turtle biologist. “Our staff, partners and volunteers spent many hours braving cold conditions to search for and rescue these cold-stunned turtles.”
  • The sea turtles were rescued between Jan. 7 and Jan. 9, when water temperatures dipped below 50 degrees, causing cold-stunning. Cold-stunned turtles may float listlessly in the water or wash ashore, largely unable to move. In this state, they are susceptible to further effects from the weather, and to attacks by gulls that often involve eye injuries. Many of these turtles would die without human intervention


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 trout, Spanish mackerel and bluefish in Sarasota Bay, trout, blues and redfish in Gasparilla Sound and snook and trout in the ICW near Venice at night on flies, top water plugs and CAL jigs with shad tails during the past week. The best action of the week was with large Spanish mackerel in Sarasota Bay.


Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, and Jack McCulloch, from Lakewood Ranch, FL fished Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Monday. They had steady action catching and releasing blues, trout to 19” and a 23” red on CAL jigs with shad tails.


Sarasota winter resident, Martin Marlowe, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday morning. We fished deep grass flats on both sides of the bay where he caught and released trout and several Spanish mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies, CAL jigs with shad tails and top water plugs. Despite a good tide and warmer water, snook fishing was slow on Tuesday’s night fly fishing trip. Dense sea fog rolled in just before our night snook trip on Wednesday evening and caused us to reschedule that trip.         


The best trip of the week was when Joe Brinkmeyer and Jim Brady, from Cincinnati, OH, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday morning. We fished deep grass flats on both sides of the bay where they caught and released numerous trout, Spanish mackerel and bluefish on CAL jigs with shad tails and top water plugs. They finished strong with 6 or 8 mackerel and a blue in the 4 to 5-pound class, including a couple of double hook ups on top water plugs. They had numerous exciting strikes as mackerel skyrocketed on their plugs!


The snook bite was better when Mike Perez and Harry Shubeck, from Sarasota, FL, fished with me on Thursday evening. We fished lighted docks in the ICW near Venice where they caught and released 7 or 8 snook and a 20” trout on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. Snook were being picky so we had to finesse them with different presentations and stripping speeds to get them to bite.


Jeff Syring, from MN, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday afternoon. It was his first saltwater fly fishing trip and he did well, catching and releasing trout and ladyfish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies at Stephens Point. I did some private fly casting instruction with a teenage student on Saturday morning. He made good progress and was loading the fly rod and shooting line by the end of the session.


Fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, pompano and more should continue to be a good option. Look for reds and big trout in potholes or tailing on shallow grass flats of Gasparilla Sound or lower Tampa Bay on negative low tides as we approach a full moon next week. Tripletail should also be a good option 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




To create a forecast specific to

your zip code visit

Fishing Forecast

High pressure will continue to ridge across the waters through Tuesday. Another cold front will then approach the region on Wednesday and slowly move across the area through Thursday. The cold front passage will cause a brief increase in winds and seas to near advisory levels. High pressure then returns for Friday.



Northeast winds around 5 knots then becoming west around 10 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Monday night will bring north winds around 5 knots then becoming northeast after midnight. Bay and inland waters smooth.

2014/02/10 Mon 05:00 AM -0.37 L

2014/02/10 Mon 12:00 PM 1.1 H

2014/02/10 Mon 03:39 PM 0.94 L

2014/02/10 Mon 09:27 PM 1.78 H



East winds around 5 knots then becoming southwest in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters smooth. Tuesday night will bring north winds around 5 knots then becoming east around 10 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2014/02/11 Tue 05:41 AM -0.41 L

2014/02/11 Tue 12:24 PM 1.15 H

2014/02/11 Tue 04:38 PM 0.86 L

2014/02/11 Tue 10:17 PM 1.81 H



South winds 5 to 10 knots increasing to around 15 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Scattered showers. Wednesday night will bring southwest winds 10 to 15 knots then becoming west after midnight. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Scattered showers.

2014/02/12 Wed 06:15 AM -0.42 L

2014/02/12 Wed 12:44 PM 1.18 H

2014/02/12 Wed 05:23 PM 0.76 L

2014/02/12 Wed 10:59 PM 1.83 H



Northwest winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Isolated showers. Thursday night will bring north winds 10 to 15 knots then becoming northeast 5 to 10 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop.

2014/02/13 Thu 06:45 AM -0.38 L

2014/02/13 Thu 12:58 PM 1.21 H

2014/02/13 Thu 06:02 PM 0.65 L

2014/02/13 Thu 11:36 PM 1.83 H



Northwest winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2014/02/14 Fri 07:11 AM -0.32 L

2014/02/14 Fri 01:10 PM 1.26 H

2014/02/14 Fri 06:39 PM 0.52 L


Solunar Forecast

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