Editor’s Note: Capt. Rick Grassett’s fishing report for late June/early July. Rick is scheduled to speak at the Tampa Bay Fly Fishing club meeting Aug. 6.
A fly angler fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action with tarpon in the coastal gulf in Sarasota during the past week.
Frank Zaffino, from Rochester, NY, fly fished for tarpon several days with me last week. The goal was tarpon on a fly and he did well, especially since it was his first time targeting tarpon. Tuesday was a great day with lots of shots and Frank caught and released his first tarpon, an estimated 90-pounder!
A battle with a Sarasota-area tarpon.
Shots were fewer on Wednesday and our day ended when a thunderstorm pushed through roughing up the water. Tarpon fishing is usually a waiting game, much like hunting whitetail deer or turkeys, so we often see other things along the way. Over several days we saw bull and hammerhead sharks, manatees and had a shot at a couple of cobia while we waited for tarpon.
Conditions deteriorated on Thursday as a stiff west wind made it rough. Frank hung in there and made his shots count, hooking up with another tarpon, an estimated 70-pounder, and successfully catching and releasing the fish on the last cast of the day! Going 2 for 2 on tarpon with a fly, especially on your first attempt-priceless!
Tarpon fishing should remain strong next week as we head towards a full moon. Large schools of tarpon should become more plentiful as they prepare to head offshore to spawn. Catch and release snook fishing should also be good in passes and around docks and bridges close to passes. You should find reds and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay or fish deep grass flats for trout, blues and more.
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.