You may also find big trout along with reds in shallow water this month. The same flies that you use for snook and reds in shallow water will also work for trout in shallow water. You’ll also find trout on deep grass flats in water from 3’ to 7’ deep. I like to drift and cast quartering ahead of my drift with weighted flies, like Clousers or my Grassett Deep Flats Bunny, on sink tip fly lines to locate trout. In addition to making a series of drifts to find fish, look for baitfish on the surface or birds to find them.
Grass Flats Fish
You may also find blues, Spanish mackerel, flounder or pompano on deep grass flats this month. Ultra Hair Clouser flies are a good choice for any of these species. The techniques to find them is the same as for trout, although blues and Spanish mackerel may feed on the surface making them easier to find. Likewise with pompano, that may skip on the surface when you run or drift past them. When that happens, circle back upwind and drift back through the area, casting ahead of your drift. You’ll need to add wire or heavy fluorocarbon when toothy fish are around to keep them from biting you off. You may find flounder on a mixture of grass and sand, particularly on the edges of bars or in potholes.
There should be good action in the coastal gulf with false albacore (little tunny),Spanish and king mackerel, blues, tripletail or cobia. Look for Spanish mackerel, blues or false albacore feeding on the surface to find them. Diving terns or terns hovering just above the surface of the water and moving fast will give their presence away if they aren’t on top. Fly anglers should score with small white flies, Ultra Hair Clousers, poppers or Crease flies. Look for tripletail around crab trap floats. I’ve done well on tripletail with my Grassett Flats Minnow and shrimp fly patterns. A weed guard is important to help prevent snagging the crab trap line. Cobia may also be found around crab trap floats, swimming on the surface or over structure. They will require 9 or 10-weight fly tackle. Fly anglers should score on cobia with wide profile baitfish patterns such as Deceivers or Tarpon Bunnies.
Capt. Rick Grassett’s Final Call Out for November
This a great month for fishing the flats or the coastal gulf. Since the action in the coastal gulf is seasonal and will slow when it gets cold, I like to fish there when conditions are good. However, if conditions aren’t good, there should be plenty of action with a variety of fish on shallow and deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Our natural resources are under constant pressure from red tides fueled by agricultural and residential runoff, freezes, increasing fishing pressure and habitat loss and degradation, please limit your kill, don’t kill your limit!