A fly angler surveys the flats as he prepares to fly fish in Sarasota, FL

Salt water anglers and shallow water enthusiasts on recent Quiet Waters fishing trips found success flyfishing and using light tackle to target snook, redfish, and seatrout. Action in the deep grass featured mainly class size seatrout, bluefish, and jack crevalle. Dock light trips provided reliable opportunities to target snook, redfish, and other hard fighting species for both fly anglers and anglers using light tackle and artificial bait.


Snook have been bunched together on the flats. Shallow water areas that are near deep water or include deeper pockets have been good places to start looking. Docks with deep pockets dredged around them are holding snook. On light tackle, paddle tails, suspending jerkbaits, and the Aquadream ADL series spoon have all worked well.

A father and daughter hold a snook caught with a fly rod

Fly anglers targeting snook on the flats have done well using surface flies, suspending flies and lightly weighted clouser minnow patterns. Chartreuse and white have been dependable colors while targeting snook in shallow waters.

At night, the dock lights, as always, have been dependable. Some evenings yielded high numbers of snook, while other evening trips were more focused on larger quality fish. There are currently a fair number of redfish around dock lights as well as the occasional bluefish and jack crevalle. Smaller flies have produced the best. Patterns that mimic glass minnows or small shrimp have been most effective.


An angler holds a redfish that he caught while fly fishing in Sarasota Florida

This is a great time of year to find redfish. We found schools of redfish on the south shore of Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, and down south out of Placida. Redfish in extremely shallow water have been nervous and approaching these fish quietly is a must. Light tackle anglers did best using paddletails, soft jerk baits, and spoons. Fly anglers targeting redfish did best with lightly weighted or unweighted crab, shrimp, and baitfish patterns.


Seatrout have been all over the deep grass. These seatrout can provide a lot of entertainment for anglers. Using a soft plastic paddletail on the properly weighted jighead is the most popular approach for targeting these fish. Mixing up the retrieve helps to pick up a pattern of what the seatrout want that day.

An angler holds up a seatrout that he caught while fishing in shallow water around Sarasota, FL

Larger seatrout were shallow in potholes on the flats. These fish sabotage bait that comes through. On windy days these larger seatrout were looking out from windblown points. Paddletails, hard suspending jerk baits, and shrimp lures were most effective.

See you on the water

Capt. Brian Boehm
Quiet Waters Fishing
Sarasota, FL