Good Tarpon Action off Sarasota Beaches
<p>Anglers fishing the coastal gulf off Sarasota with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action with tarpon during the past week. A total of 10 tarpon were jumped with 5 of those fish landed. We hooked up with live crabs, a pilchard, DOA Baitbuster, DOA 4" shrimp and flies. We also caught and released a few small sharks and an estimated 12-pound false albacore (little tunny) on live baitfish. False albacore schools were breaking on the surface in several places in the coastal gulf close to the beach. If we weren't distracted by schools of large tarpon, we could have caught more of them with lighter fly or spinning tackle. We also encountered several schools of large jacks while fly fishing for tarpon and caught and released a couple on flies.
A front stalled over north Florida for most of the week of 6/4 and kept the wind in a westerly direction. The westerly flow also increases rain chances, which makes the coastal gulf rougher. The wind finally switched back to the east on Friday evening allowing us to get into the coastal gulf to tarpon fish on Saturday morning, 6/9. Despite lots of rain and west winds, conditions were good in shallow water. Tarpon schools were plentiful and moving in both directions, but the happy ones were all singles and doubles. We had lots of shots at tarpon with a fly, several follows and landed a 60 to 70-pound fish on a black Lefty's Deceiver fly.
Dennis Ondercin, from OH and Sarasota and his son, Cliff Ondercin from Sarasota, fished with me Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (6/11, 12, 14 and 15) last week. Cliff's wife, Brie Ondercin, fished with Cliff on Wednesday, 6/13. The action was steady with multiple schools of fish showing and a few bites each day. The wind turned west on Thursday and conditions weren't great but fish were still plentiful. Dennis, Cliff and Brie each landed a tarpon on a live crab. Cliff also jumped tarpon with a DOA Baitbuster, DOA 4" shrimp and on the last afternoon, he jumped a large tarpon on a chartreuse/tan tarpon bunny fly. A great up close bite!
Mason Tush and Doug Forde, both from Sarasota, tarpon fished with me on Saturday, 6/16. Although we didn't see as many tarpon schools that day, we worked a few schools during the morning with live and DOA baits. We only had one bite that day when Doug hooked up with a live crab and landed a nice tarpon to end the week!
Tarpon should be plentiful next week as we head away from a new moon on Monday, although they can sometimes be finicky for several days on either side of full or new moons. Look for tarpon in 10' to 20' of water as they follow depth contours while they migrate. When sunlight is good later in the day, you might be able to spot them below the surface.
Capt. Rick Grassett
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis- Endorsed Outfitter Guide
CB's Saltwater Outfitters-2011 Orvis Outfitter of the Year
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
Cliff Ondercin's Sarasota tarpon jumped ona DOA Baitbuster with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Doug Forde's Sarasota tarpon caught and released on a live crab with Capt. Rick Grassett.
About The Author: Captain Rick Grassett
Company: Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
Area Reporting: Soutwest Florida
Bio: Capt. Rick Grassett, owner of Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc., is a full time fishing guide and outdoor writer based in Sarasota, FL. He has been guiding since 1990 and is an Orvis Endorsed Outfitter fly fishing guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters in Sarasota. Specializing in fishing with flies and lures on light spinning tackle, Capt. Rick fishes the bays, back country and coastal gulf waters from Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor in his 18’ Action Craft flats boat. He is a Federation of Fly Fishers certified fly casting instructor. Destination fishing trips are another specialty of Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service. Capt. Rick has lead groups of fly anglers to remote fishing locations around the world. Crane Meadow Lodge, MT, Los Roques, Venezuela, Andros Island Bonefish Club and Bonefish Bay Club in the Bahamas are several destinations where he has hosted groups in the past. Capt. Rick is a field editor for Saltwater Angler magazine and a monthly columnist for the Tampa Tribune. He has written articles for The Fisherman magazine and Orvis News. In addition to writing for these publications, he has been featured in articles in Florida Sportsman, Sportfishing, The Fisherman and Fly Fishing in Saltwater magazines. Capt. rick's web site, www.snookfin-addict.com features weekly fishing reports, current photos and and monthly fishing forecasts. He also maintains a second website that is specific to fly fishing and fly casting instruction, www.flyfishingflorida.net.