Anglers on recent Quiet Waters fishing trips, run out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, enjoyed good shallow water fishing and dock light fishing. Most trips were fly fishing focused, but we did have a few really fun conventional light tackle trips mixed in. It’s been breezy on the water lately, but we’ve found ways to stay out of the wind and stay on the fish.
Snook are becoming significantly more active on the shallow flats and in the back country with the spring weather pushing water temperatures up. Wherever we found baitfish (mostly glass minnows), the snook weren’t far away. Fly anglers did well using surface flies like gurglers and floating minnows, while anglers using light tackle excelled with paddletails and the Aquadream spoon.
Dock lights continued to be a dependable way to target snook with a fly rod. Snook are still focused on smaller flies resembling glass minnows or small fry. We primarily use 8 or 9 weight Orvis Recons on dock lights. They’re accurate, durable, and responsive fly rods.
Redfish have been shallow and they have been very active. It’s tough to beat the production of the Aquadream spoon on light tackle. The redfish never seem to tire of chasing spoons down in shallow water. Soft plastic paddletails were a close second to spoons and fooled plenty of redfish over the past week or so. On the fly, shrimp patterns and the floating minnow were productive flies on redfish. Small sparsely tied clouser minnows worked well on dock lights at night for redfish.
There are plenty of class-size seatrout over the deep grass right now. Drifting over the deep grass and straight retrieving paddletails rigged on ¼ ounce jig heads or larger clouser minnows worked well. It’s really good to see so much vibrant life on the deep grass. It’s a good sign of things to come. We found larger seatrout near sandbars off of grass flats and in feeding zones near points and in troughs.
As our temperatures continue to creep up, we should continue to see an increase in snook activity on the flats and in the back country. Sight fishing should be excellent for snook and redfish in the coming weeks provided there’s enough sun. It should be a great time to hunt fish.
The deep grass will be a great place to fish for anglers seeking constant action. There are plenty of seatrout, ladyfish, and sailcats on the deep grass to go around. We’re seeing jack crevalles more regularly and we’re beginning to see schools of larger jacks which should provide some fun times in the coming weeks for anglers in the Sarasota area.