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News Section: Fishing

Captain Favorite's Fishing Forum: April 21, 2014

Your One-Stop Spot for Fishing in Manatee County

Published Monday, April 21, 2014 12:02 am


Pat Redmond, from Sarasota, FL, fished the backcountry of Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with Capt. Rick Grassett. He caught and released a 27 inch snook and followed it up with a 27 inch red on a CAL jig with a shad tail to complete his slam.


Commission meeting near Tallahassee

  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will met April 15-17 at the Florida Public Safety Institute, 85 Academy Drive, Havana. The Institute is west of the city of Midway on U.S. 90.
  • The public was invited to all three days and will be provided opportunities to speak.

Highlights of the agenda include:

  • Tuesday’s strategic discussions about the future of conservation: human-wildlife interaction; connecting youths to the outdoors; and increasing participation in conservation.


Commission action Wednesday on these marine fisheries agenda items:

  • Gulf of Mexico red snapper season modifications.
  • Sea cucumber management alternatives.
  • Proposal for a Gulf reef fish data-reporting system.
  • A proposal to prevent harmful, nonnative lionfish from being introduced and to facilitate removal of the predatory fish.
  • Gulf and South Atlantic fishery management council updates.
  • Thursday’s topics: proposed final rule amendments on the deer management units in Zone D in the western Florida Panhandle, draft amendments to alligator management, and staff reports.
  • For the full agenda, go to and select “Commission Meetings.” Can’t attend meeting in person? Follow live coverage on Twitter @MyFWC and join in the conversation by using tag #FWC2014.
  • Also check the Florida Channel ( for possible live webcast times



Look for gopher tortoises out on a spring stroll

  • A gopher tortoise strolling across a road or through a backyard or field is a common sight during spring in Florida. Yet as tortoises become increasingly active this time of year, they are vulnerable to being struck by vehicles and injured or killed.
  • Don’t forget to look out for these slow-moving reptiles with their bony-plated shells and elephantine legs. They leave their burrows in search of green plants to eat and a tortoise to become their mate. From now through May, females will be laying eggs the size of ping-pong balls in the sandy apron outside their burrows.


Spring means return of Spanish mackerel to north Florida waters 

  • Across Florida there are signs that spring has sprung, from the fine layer of yellow pollen coating everything in the north to folks returning to the water sans wetsuit in the south. Warmer water also means the return of Spanish mackerel, a feisty fish that migrates south when the water temperature dips below 70 and should be returning to north Florida waters right about now.
  • Spanish mackerel are easy to catch, making them a great target for kids and those new to the sport, but their aggressive fighting behavior when on the line also makes them exciting for seasoned veterans.


Beach-nesting shorebirds need peace and quiet to survive

  • During spring and summer on Florida beaches, shorebirds build nests out of sand and shells and hatch chicks that can barely be seen. So well-camouflaged are the nests, eggs and chicks of shorebirds like the snowy plover that they can easily be stepped on or missed unless people know to watch out for them.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is reminding beachgoers to be on the lookout and avoid disturbing bird nurseries on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida. Among the state’s beach-nesting shorebirds facing conservation challenges are the snowy plover, least tern, black skimmer, American oystercatcher and Wilson’s plover.


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 snook, reds, bluefish, trout and flounder in Sarasota Bay on flies, DOA Deadly Combos and CAL jigs with shad tails and snook at night in the ICW near Venice on flies during the past week. Although uncommon for this late in April, several fronts moved through causing wind and rain to be factors during the week.


Jamie Grow, from the Washington, DC area, fished with me on Monday morning. We took a look in the coastal gulf but didn’t find anything so we fished Sarasota Bay. He caught and released a few trout and ladyfish on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly on deep grass flats on the west side of the bay. Anna Maria and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, snook fished with me in the ICW near Venice that evening. Action was slow to start but as the incoming tide picked up, snook turned on. They caught and released more than 15 snook to 23” on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly


It was very windy out of the west when Rick White and Ben Garbowski, both from Apollo Beach, FL, fished Sarasota bay with me on Tuesday. We worked deep and shallow grass flats on the west side of the bay to seek shelter from the wind but action was slow. The action picked up some when Anna Maria and Sarasota winter residents, Bill Morrison and Gary Marple, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursdaymorning. They caught and released trout, including a couple of slot size fish, on Ultra Hair Clouser and EP flies on deep grass flats on the east side of the bay. Due to a stalled front with rain and wind, we decided not to snook fish on Thursday evening.


Action picked up on Friday when Stewart Lavelle, from Sarasota, FL and his son-in-law, Justin Goerke, from Manhattan, NY, fished Sarasota Bay with me. We worked mullet schools on a shallow flat on the east side of the bay at the top of the tide and it was on! They caught and released a couple of nice reds, several nice trout, flounder and a snook on CAL jigs with shad tails to complete their boat slam! The biggest trout, at more than 3-pounds, was caught and released on a Zara Spook top water plug.


John and daughters, Caitlin and Megan, from NY, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday. With 15 to 20-mph winds out of the W-NW we fished shallow and deep flats on the west side of the bay where they caught and released a few trout, ladyfish and bluefish on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos. Caitlin caught and released the big fish of the day, a 5 ½-pound trout, on a DOA Deadly Combo! Several over slot trout, all full of roe, were caught and released this week. These big trout, which are usually females, are important to the health of our trout fishery.


Tides will improve towards the end of next week as we approach a new moon. Look for reds, snook and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay.  Fishing deep grass flats for trout, blues, flounder and more should continue to be a good option. In addition to Spanish and king mackerel, false albacore (little tunny) and tripletail, tarpon should start to show any time now in the coastal gulf depending on conditions.


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




Fishing Forecast

Low pressure off the Carolina coastline will continue to move northeast away from the area...with winds and seas subsiding tonight. High pressure will build back over the Gulf with better boating conditions through early next week.



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

2014/04/21 Mon 01:05 AM -0.17 L

2014/04/21 Mon 05:19 PM 2.14 H



West winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Tuesday night will bring northwest winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2014/04/22 Tue 02:16 AM -0.09 L

2014/04/22 Tue 09:39 AM 1.38 H

2014/04/22 Tue 01:15 PM 1.25 L

2014/04/22 Tue 06:50 PM 1.95 H



Northwest winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. Wednesday night will bring northwest winds around 5 knots then becoming north after midnight. Bay and inland waters smooth.

2014/04/23 Wed 03:21 AM 0.0 L

2014/04/23 Wed 10:13 AM 1.51 H

2014/04/23 Wed 03:16 PM 1.09 L

2014/04/23 Wed 08:36 PM 1.82 H



East winds around 5 knots then becoming southwest in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters smooth. Thursday night will bring northwest winds around 5 knots then becoming southeast after midnight. Bay and inland waters smooth.

2014/04/24 Thu 04:18 AM 0.12 L

2014/04/24 Thu 10:41 AM 1.66 H

2014/04/24 Thu 04:41 PM 0.81 L

2014/04/24 Thu 10:08 PM 1.76 H



South winds around 5 knots then becoming west in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters smooth.

2014/04/25 Fri 05:04 AM 0.27 L

2014/04/25 Fri 11:07 AM 1.82 H

2014/04/25 Fri 05:44 PM 0.5 L

2014/04/25 Fri 11:22 PM 1.73 H


Solunar Forecast


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