Season reopened, time to target trout
GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of the local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Rick Grassett. Spotted sea trout season reopens in the South Region today after a two-month closure. On the west coast of Florida, the South Region is south of the Fred Howard Park Causeway near the Pinellas/Pasco county line. Bag limit is four fish per angler between 15 and 20 inches. One fish of the four-fish bag limit can be larger than 20 inches. Look for them on deep grass flats where you can drift and cast ahead of your drift with jigs and live or plastic shrimp. A live or plastic shrimp about 3 to 4 feet under a "clacker" float is usually very productive on deep grass flats. You might also find trout in potholes along with reds on negative low tides or in channels, creeks and around deep docks when the water is cool. Fish jigs or weighted flies on sink tip fly lines in these areas.Fly anglers fishing with me on Siesta Key had good action with little tunny, Spanish mackerel and tripletail in the coastal Gulf off Sarasota recently. We caught and released seven or eight little tunny to 8 pounds, a dozen or more Spanish mackerel and a 51/2-pound tripletail on flies on one trip. I had a couple of other good trips recently fly fishing around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW near Venice at night. Anglers caught and released more than 15 snook on one trip and more than 40 snook up to 24 inches on another. In addition, we caught trout to 19 inches and reds to 22 inches also on flies. I use heavy fly tippets when fishing docks and bridges, so fish can be caught and released quickly with minimal stress and handling. Look for reds and trout in potholes or in channels, creeks and around docks on negative low tides toward the end of the week. They may move onto shallow grass flats to feed on sunny afternoons. Deep grass flats may have trout, blues, pompano, flounder and more.
Rick Grassett runs the Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters. Contact him at (941) 923-7799 or visit his websites: www.flyfishingflorida.net or www.snookfin-addict.com.