Fly Tarpon Anglers Getting Some Early Season Action

2017-05-13 09:41:30
Sarasota, Florida - Saltwater Fishing Report
Sarasota/Bradenton area

Tarpon time! Numbers of tarpon increased as we approached a full moon last week and fly anglers fishing with me, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had some action with them. Tarpon numbers will continue to increase as we head into late May and June and they form larger schools in preparation for spawning.

Early arriving tarpon are usually more aggressive due to less fishing pressure early in the season. Fly anglers should do well with a variety of baitfish or crab fly patterns fished on floating or intermediate sink tip fly lines. Spin fishing anglers should score with DOA Baitbusters, DOA 4" Shrimp, a variety of live baits and live crabs.

This is always a good time to talk about tarpon fishing etiquette. Everyone can have a chance to catch fish as long as they are respectful of other anglers and the fish. Give other anglers at least several hundred yards of space in any direction, since fish may be traveling in more than one direction. Be quiet, especially in shallow water. Running an outboard close to tarpon will spook them and make them harder for everyone to catch. Even though a 4-stroke outboard sounds quiet, it is no substitute for an electric trolling motor. Even an electric trolling motor should be used sparingly, especially in shallow water. The more that tarpon are "pressured", the harder they are for everyone to catch.

Snook season is closed on the west coast of Florida until Sep 1st, so please handle them gently and release them quickly. This is a good time frame to sight fish for snook in the surf when conditions are good. Fishing lighted docks and bridges in the ICW for snook with flies and DOA Lures continues to be a good option. You should also find larger trout in shallow water along with reds when conditions are good.

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
Method Used: fly fishing
Water Depth: 4'-8'
Water Temperature: 81
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:
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