Fishing Reports

Fishing in Sarasota

Snook Fin-Addict Fishing Report (May 8)

Capt. Rick Grassett: It’s tarpon time! As water temperatures continue to rise in the next few days and weeks, migratory tarpon will become more plentiful along our beaches in the coastal gulf. Depending on conditions, tarpon may also be more aggressive now due to less fishing pressure early in the season.


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Photo: Tarpon fishing in the coastal gulf will take off as water temperatures rise in the coming days. Capt. Grassett lands one caught and released in Sarasota.

Spin fishing anglers can set up in their line of travel, wait for tarpon schools to move past and cast a DOA Baitbuster, a 4” CAL Shad, a live crab or pinfish to them. Once you’ve seen the first school of fish, you can concentrate your efforts in that “lane” since other schools may be following the same route. When they aren’t showing well on the surface, a live bait under a float in their travel lane may score. I’ve also done well blind casting a DOA Baitbuster or Swimming Mullet when there wasn’t much showing on the surface.

Fly anglers should do well with a variety of baitfish or crab fly patterns fished on floating or intermediate sink tip fly lines. I’ve done well with Lefty’s Deceiver, Tarpon Bunny and Tarpon Toad flies in dark colors. Anchoring on their travel route should result in some shots at fish. The best angle is a “head on” shot, followed by a quartering shot. A perpendicular shot may work if it’s timed perfectly, although casting too far beyond their line of travel will usually spook them.

When setting up give other anglers several hundred yards and take into consideration that tarpon schools may be moving both north and south. Be quiet, even though your 4-stroke outboard sounds quiet it is no substitute for a push pole or an electric trolling motor. Even use your electric trolling motor sparingly, especially in shallow water.

Snook season is closed now on the west coast of Florida, but catch and release night snook fishing around lighted docks and bridges in the ICW or in the surf with flies and DOA Lures should also be good. Look for reds, snook and big trout mixed with mullet schools or cruising shallow flats and edges of bars in backcountry areas of Charlotte Harbor and lower Tampa Bay. Trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and more should be good options on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay.

Tight Lines!

Capt. Rick Grassett
IFFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters
Orvis Outfitter of the Year-2011
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
Phone: 941-923-7799
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