Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released tarpon in the coastal gulf and trout and bluefish in Sarasota Bay on flies during the past week. With water temperatures above 80 degrees before the front, tarpon showed up in good numbers in the coastal gulf as we approach a full moon on Monday.
Frank Zaffino, from Rochester, NY, tarpon fished the coastal gulf a couple of days with me early in the week. Our schedule had to be adjusted by moving forward a day due an approaching front, which turned out to be a good thing. He had several shots, a couple of eats and caught and released an estimated 90-pound tarpon on a fly on Monday. The fish battled him hard, jumping numerous times before coming to the boat. Our 2nd day was cut short due to rain, lightning and rough sea conditions and the 3rd day had to be cancelled altogether due to a strong west wind.
Fly anglers Seth Koch, from PA and Bill Miller, from MS, fished deep grass flats on both sides of Sarasota Bay with me on Friday. They caught and released trout and bluefish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies fished on sink tip fly lines.
Sean Sherman and his wife, Rachel, from NYC, tarpon fished with me on Saturday. They had numerous shots at schools of tarpon, as well as singles and doubles, with flies, DOA Baitbusters and 4” CAL shad tails. Sean hooked up with a fish on a fly at the tail end of a large school and successfully fought the fish to the boat. A great job!
Tarpon fishing in the coastal gulf should be a good option when sea conditions are good. Look for reds, snook, flounder and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars. You may also find trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, flounder or pompano on deep grass flats, particularly close to passes.
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.