Good Tarpon Fly Fishing Action in Sarasota

2015-05-23 17:09:48
Sarasota, Florida - Saltwater Fishing Report
Coastal Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota, FL
Rick Grassett

Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had action with tarpon in the coastal gulf in Sarasota during the past couple of weeks. Fly anglers had multiple shots at tarpon, several bites and jumped two and a spin fishing angler caught and released a tarpon on a live bait. Large schools of tarpon were on the move in the coastal gulf as we approached a new moon. Tarpon were still plentiful as we came off a new moon, but a west wind pattern made for tough conditions due to rough water.

Denis Clohisy, from WI, and Jim Dempsey, from IL, tarpon fished with fly and spinning tackle in the coastal gulf with me on Monday and Tuesday, 5/11 and 12. We sight cast with DOA baits and flies in shallow water and drifted live baits in deep water where Jim caught and released a tarpon on a pinfish. A great job on his first tarpon!

Fly anglers got some action later in the week of 5/10. We had some shots, a couple of bites and one hookup. Clark Keator, from the Orlando area, fished with me on Thursday and Friday, 5/14 and 15. He had some shots early in the day both days and hooked up with one on a fly, getting several jumps before the fish jumped off.

Jon Yenari, from Sarasota, FL, fished with me on Friday, 5/22. With very challenging conditions, he hooked up with a tarpon on a fly, got 4 or 5 jumps and fought the fish for a few minutes before it chewed through his 80-pound bite tippet. Well done!

Tarpon fishing in the coastal gulf should be a good option, especially towards the end of the week when tides will improve as we get closer to a full moon. Look for reds, snook and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars. Catch and release sight fishing for snook in the surf with flies or DOA baits should also be a good option. You may also find trout, Spanish mackerel, blues or pompano on deep grass flats, particularly close to passes.

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. and


(941) 923-7799

Fish Species: tarpon
Bait Used: Flies, DOA Baitbuster and live crab
Tackle Used: fly & spin
Method Used: fly fishing & spin casting lures and live baits
Water Depth: 4'-8'
Water Temperature: 85
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed: 15-20 mph
Capt. Rick Grassett leaders Jim Dempsey's, from IL, tarpon caught and released in the coastal gulf in Sarasota.
Capt. Rick Grassett leaders Jim Dempsey's, from IL, tarpon caught and released in the coastal gulf in Sarasota.

Capt. Rick Grassett revives Jim Dempsey's, from IL, tarpon caught and released in the coastal gulf in Sarasota.
Capt. Rick Grassett revives Jim Dempsey's, from IL, tarpon caught and released in the coastal gulf in Sarasota.

Rick Grassett

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 CBs 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, 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,

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Rick Grassett