Tarpon Action Ready to Take Off in Sarasota
<p>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.
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.
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.
www.snookfin-addict.com, www.snookfinaddict.com and www.flyfishingflorida.us
Tarpon fishing in the coastal gulf will take off as water temperatures rise in the coming days and weeks. Capt. Rick Grassett lands a tarpon caught and released in the coastal gulf in Sarasota last May.
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 CB’s 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, www.snookfin-addict.com 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, www.flyfishingflorida.net.