Fly anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, got some shots at tarpon, a couple of bites and jumped one during the past week. Due to a west wind pattern for a few days and a full moon on Thursday, tarpon were thin in the coastal gulf early last week. Conditions improved towards the end of the week and anglers got some action.
Photo: Snookfinaddict – snookfin-addict.com
Frank Zaffino, from Rochester, NY, tarpon fished in the coastal gulf with me on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The coastal gulf was very rough on Monday. We fished a few hours, but the rough water and lack of visibility forced us to quit early. Conditions were a little better on Tuesday, but still a big swell and poor visibility.
There are many variables when it comes to fly fishing for tarpon; wind, tide, sea conditions, visibility and the angler. It all came together for Frank on Wednesday when he had 6 or 8 shots and hooked up with my Grassett Flats Bunny fly. The tarpon put on a show for us, jumping numerous times and he had the fish close to the boat when she chewed through our 80-pound bite tippet. His patience, persistence and hunting skills helped make him successful. Well done! Thursday’s trip had similar action with a few more shots and a bite, but we didn’t hook up.
Tarpon numbers in the coastal gulf should increase as we head away from a full moon next week. Catch and release sight fishing for snook in the surf with flies or DOA Lures should be a good option. You may find trout, Spanish mackerel, blues or pompano on deep grass flats, particularly close to passes. Also look for reds, snook and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars.
Capt. Rick Grassett
IFFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis- Endorsed Outfitter Guide
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters-2011 Orvis Outfitter of the Year
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.