Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fly Fishing Forecast for November 2018

Home » Rattlin Jack News » Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fly Fishing Forecast for November 2018

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fly Fishing Forecast for November 2018

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fly Fishing Forecast for November 2018


As this is being written, the red tide outbreak in our area has improved significantly. Latest counts show very little to no red tide in Sarasota and Manatee Counties in the coastal gulf and inshore waters. You may find blues, Spanish mackerel and pompano mixed with trout on deep grass flats. You should also find larger trout in skinny water along with reds. Snook will stage around bars and on shallow flats as they make their move towards winter areas.  Action in the coastal gulf with false albacore, tripletail, Spanish mackerel, blues and more should explode!

Remember that snook and reds are off limits on portions of the west coast now. The Florida FWC has enacted a temporary modification of regulations for reds and snook, in the areas affected by the recent red tide. The area extends from Pasco County, south to the south bank of Gordon Pass in Collier County. Reds and snook are catch and release only in that zone until May 10, 2019. I applaud them for taking this action to protect our fishery. Full details including exact boundaries can be found at


You’ll find snook staging around docks and bridges in the ICW, along sand bars and in potholes on shallow flats. They may be along mangrove shorelines when the tide is high. Small white flies, like my Grassett Snook Minnow, should work well around dock and bridge fender lights. Wider profile flies like Lefty’s Deceiver or EP flies should be good choices for snook in shallow water. Fish the strongest tides for the best action. I like the ICW between Sarasota and Venice at night for snook in November.



Reds will spread out on shallow grass flats in November. You should find them along bars, in potholes or around docks. Look for them along mangrove shorelines when the tide is high, but they are just as likely to be roaming with mullet schools in shallow water. Fly anglers may score with lightly weighted flies, such as a Clouser or my Grassett Flats Minnow fly, fished on a 12’ leader with a floating fly line. I catch a lot more reds by wading after I have located them than I do from my boat, so keep a low profile.

Capt. Rick-Grassett's-Sarasota-FL-Fly-Fishing-Forecast-November-2018-JimCollinsSnookMinnowflyalbieCapt. Rick-Grassett's-Sarasota-FL-Fly-Fishing-Forecast-November-2018-MikePerexflytripletail

There should be good action in the coastal gulf during November. Jim Cannon (top), from Bradenton with a false albacore and Mike Perz (bottom), from Sarasota, with a tripletail both caught and released while fly fishing the coastal gulf with Capt. Rick Grassett in a previous November.

Grassetts Snook Minnow From Orvis

Capt. Rick Grassetts Snook Minnow From Orvis


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.

Gulf Fish

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!

Capt. Rick-Grassett's-Sarasota-FL-Fly-Fishing-Forecast-November-2018-JoeKossflyredCapt. Rick-Grassett's-Sarasota-FL-Fly-Fishing-Forecast-November-2018-JoeKossflysnook

November is usually a great month for reds and snook on the flats. Joe Koss, from NY, had good action catching and releasing a nice red (top) and snook (bottom) on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly  while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett in a previous November.

Grassetts Flats Minnow from Orvis

Capt. Rick Grassetts Flats Minnow from Orvis

Redfish in Silhouette of Redfish Fly UPF 50 by Rattlin Jack

Men’s UV Fishing Shirt Tuna by Rattlin Jack

Tight Lines,

Capt. Rick Grassett

FFI Certified Fly Casting Instructor

Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters

Orvis Outfitter of the Year-2011

Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc., www.snookfinaddict.comand


(941) 923-7799 (office-land line)

Rick Grassett, Sarasota Fly Fishing Guide

Capt. Rick Grassett, Sarasota Fly Fishing Guide

See Capt. Rick Grassett Sarasota Florida Fly Fishing Forecast for October 2018

About the Author:

Rattlin Jack posts information that we hope the fishing community finds helpful. Join us on Instagram @fishins_in_my_bones

Leave A Comment

Welcome To Rattlin Jack!

Fishing Apparel that is as tough as you are. UPF 50, quick drying, moisture wicking, and double stitched. Durable comfort and protection from Rattlin Jack.

Sign up for our emails with deals and discounts and be automatically entered to win a free Sun Mask every Sunday! (see footer below).

What some folks say:

They are a great company to buy from, I messed up on my order and they went out of their way to fix it 
Mike (NV), Rattlin Jack Customer on Amazon
It arrived as earlier than promised and the fit is perfect. The shirt itself is higher quality than I expected. I can’t wait to go get it wet.
Dennis (FL), Rattlin Jack Customer on Amazon
Everything was back is perfectly arrived very promptly and was the exact thing that I ordered perfect size everything thank you very much! Aloha from Maui.
Sam (HI), Rattlin Jack Customer on Amazon
Can’t wait to wear it on vacation!! Since being diagnosed with Melanoma skin cancer UPF has become a huge concern in my house. This adds a level of protection that sunscreen cannot, especially since we camp all summer and are outside a lot! 
Amy (MI), Rattlin Jack Customer on Amazon
WOW! My boys loved the shirts! The graphics were wonderful and very detailed. They have both asked for more shirts from Rattlin Jack for their birthdays. Daughter-in-law wants one too. We just ordered another one as well. we found our new fishing shirts! Thanks so much.
Matthew (FL), Rattlin Jack Customer on Amazon
Finally, a sun mask that fits people with necks bigger than a pencil. The extra width and skirt keep the buff from riding up and uncovering my lower neck. Love this and already ordered a second. Let me know if the new ones come out!
David (FL), Rattlin Jack Customer on Amazon
Sure wish Rattlin Jack would make more designs. I’d be glad to help them make them. This shirt is exactly what they say it is! Fish blood, tobacco stains, it all comes out of a white shirt, every time.
Steve (FL), Rattlin Jack Customer on Amazon
These shirts are great. My spouse and I both love them, great weight and vivid design. We wear a lot of sun shirts running a fishing charter business, and these are our new favorites. They went through the wash well also…no issues. I did need to contact seller with a question on the product and they replied quickly. Great customer service. Thank you, We will definitely order from them again.
Kimberly (CT), Rattlin Jack Customer on Amazon
I have tried three similar shirts Under Armor Columbia and Nike For the money Rattlin Jack was my choice and terrific response time was leaving on a long sailing trip and never expected they would arrive before I left but they did!
William (CT), Rattlin Jack Customer on Amazon
Y,all are Awesome!!!!
Derenda (MS), Rattlin Jack Customer on Amazon
Amazing design… So real life and I get so many people that walk up to me and ask where did you get that awesome shirt!!! I just love it and I am ordering the other designs.
Greg (FL), Rattlin Jack Customer on Amazon
Redfish Sun Mask – Five Out Of Five Stars!
Kayla Garcia, Rattlin Jack Customer on Etsy
Tarpon Taupe Sun Mask – Five Out Of Five Stars! My husband loved it! He really liked that it opens up at the neck, and is not too restrictive.
dpalaclos4, Rattlin Jack Customer on Etsy