Tarpon On a Fly Still a Good Option in Sarasota
<p>Conditions were good for tarpon fishing late last week. However, due to a westerly wind flow conditions were poor for a couple of days early in the week. By the end of the week, conditions improved and tarpon began returning to their normal patterns. Although their numbers thinned out last week, they were becoming more plentiful as conditions improved. Anglers fishing the coastal Gulf of Mexico off Sarasota with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had some shots at tarpon with a fly late in the week.
Monday's tarpon trip was cut short by thunderstorms and visibility was poor due to heavy clouds. Tuesday's trip was cancelled due to thunderstorms and rough water in the coastal gulf. However, conditions were pretty good by Thursday when Randy Ruskey, from Peoria, IL, tarpon fished with me. We saw a few fish and had several shots at them with a fly that day. Conditions were better yet on Friday and the number of fish and shots at them doubled.
There are many variables when it comes to catching a tarpon on a fly. Tarpon have spawned by this time of the season and usually feed more aggressively. The fish most likely to eat are usually high in the water column and moving slowly. Fish that are deep or moving fast are tougher, although they will eat if you can get a fly or lure in front of them in time. Usually the key to success is having multiple shots at fish until it all comes together. Challenging and rewarding!
Tarpon should be aggressive next week as we head away from a new moon. Dark flies have been working best. Spin anglers may score with a ½-ounce DOA shrimp or Baitbuster. The best action should be when the tide is strongest and visibility is best. Also, look for tarpon rolling on deep grass flats or feeding in bait schools in Sarasota Bay in many areas that you normally find trout. Trout and blues on deep grass flats and reds in skinny water of Sarasota Bay are also good options early in the day.
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
Jay Peck's Sarasota fly tarpon caught and released with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Capt. Rick Grassett revives Jay Peck's Sarasota fly tarpon before release.
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.