Tarpon Action Still Hot in Sarasota
<p>Tarpon action continues to be good in the coastal gulf off Sarasota beaches, although west wind prevented us from tarpon fishing in the coastal gulf a few days. Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, jumped numerous tarpon and brought 3 to the boat recently. We also caught and released trout and bluefish in Sarasota Bay.
A fly angler fishing the coastal gulf on my boat jumped a pair of tarpon on Monday, 6/13. Singles, doubles and small schools of tarpon, rather than large schools, responded best to the fly. The wind shifted to the west for a few days and forced me to fish the protected waters of Sarasota Bay. Jennifer Brady, from Sarasota, and her guests, Sheila and Connie, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday, 6/15. They caught and released more than 15 trout and a bluefish on DOA Deadly Combos along the west side of the bay near Bishop's Point.
Virl Mullins, from Lakewood Ranch, FL, and Al Coke, from Smithfield, VA, tarpon fished in the coastal gulf off Sarasota with me on Friday and Saturday, 6/17 and 18. They had good action on Friday, jumping 3 tarpon and bringing 1 of them to the boat. One of the fish was on a live crab, one on a DOA Baitbuster and one on a fly. The DOA Baitbuster has been very dependable this season, accounting for numerous hook ups.
Al's goal was to catch a tarpon on a fly and he was successful. He hooked and jumped the first tarpon that he cast to and successfully fought the fish to the boat after an hour long battle. Virl jumped a pair of tarpon, fought one for quite a while and had it close to the boat before the hook pulled. With big game fish like tarpon, some fish will jump off or break off, hooks will pull loose or there may be missed bites, but it's all a thrill! When all goes well we will bring them all the way to the boat.
Fly anglers on my boat early on Monday and Tuesday, 6/20 and 21, had numerous shots at tarpon and several bites. They jumped 2 and landed one of them, a 120-lb fish, on a Deceiver fly. Hal Lutz, from Parrish, FL and Trent and Lindy DeWald, from Dallas, TX, fished with me on Thursday, 6/23. They had a great day with several bites on live crabs and 2 tarpon to the boat, including a 130-lb fish.
Fly angler Vic Cook, from Columbus, OH, fished with me on Friday and Saturday, 6/24 and 25. The best action was in the afternoon near the bottom of an outgoing tide when he had numerous shots at tarpon and several follows.
Tarpon fishing should be good next week as we approach a new moon on July 1st. Fish the outgoing tides in the afternoon for the best tarpon action. Deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay should have good action with trout, Spanish mackerel and more. Sight fishing for snook in the surf or around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW should also be good options.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
Al coke's Sarasota fly tarpon jump caught with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Lindy DeWald's 130-lb Sarasota tarpon caught 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.