Sarasota Bay Fishing Report for 5/9 through5/23/2010

2010-05-23 10:23:18
Sarasota, Florida - Saltwater Fishing Report
Sarasota Bay and coastal gulf
Rick Grassett

Anglers fishing with me on my flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and tarpon during the past couple of weeks. After warming up quickly, more than 10 degrees in a week or so, bay fishing slowed. However, tarpon showed up in force along our beaches.

Fly anglers Lynn Skipper, from Brandon, FL and Robert Fischer, from Tampa, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on 2 different days during the week of 5/10. We spent some time tarpon fishing early both days, but they weren't showing well enough to give us any decent shots at them. Sarasota winter residents, Norm and Francie Boardman, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday. Action in the bay was slow with a few trout and scattered blues and Spanish mackerel on a variety of flies and DOA Deadly Combos.

I turned my attention to tarpon last week and conditions were great. The pattern has been for a push of tarpon schools at first light in the morning, although they haven't been showing that well on the surface. Jim Festa and Bob Benson, both from Sarasota, FL, fished with me on Monday. We jumped a pair of tarpon off Siesta Key on live crabs and Jim landed the first tarpon of the season on my boat, an estimated 60-pounder. A couple of other fly tarpon trips had numerous shots at fish but no bites. Accuracy is very important when fly fishing for tarpon. The fly must be in the right place at the right time to be successful.

Fly angler Jamie Grow, from Washington, DC, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday. We had some action for the first couple of hours of the day at Stephens Point, catching and releasing several trout to 18" and getting cut off by a blue or mackerel. Due to the success we've been having with the DOA Deadly Combo, we opted for a popper/dropper fly combo with my Grassett Flats Bunny fished behind a Bubblehead popper. Jamie caught the largest trout using this technique as well as had several exciting strikes. All fish were attracted by the popper in the off color water, but ate the bunny fly.

Tarpon should be plentiful next week as we approach a full moon on May 27th. Drift live baits in their travel lane along beaches and cast live baits or DOA Baitbusters, Swimming Mullet and BFL's to tarpon schools passing by. Fly anglers should do best later in the day when visibility is best. It is usually a matter of the right presentation to the right fish.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Rick Grassett

Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.

FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor

(941) 923-7799

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Fish Species: tarpon and spotted sea trout
Bait Used:
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Water Depth:
Water Temperature: 82 degrees
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Jim Festa's Siesta Key tarpon caught & released while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Jim Festa's Siesta Key tarpon caught & released while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Jamie Grow's Sarasota Bay Grassett Flats Bunny fly trout caught and released while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Jamie Grow's Sarasota Bay Grassett Flats Bunny fly trout caught and released while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

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 CBs 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, 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,

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Rick Grassett