Good Tarpon Action in Sarasota

2016-06-18 10:02:48
Sarasota, Florida - Saltwater Fishing Report
Coastal Gulf of Mexico & Sarasota Bay
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 some action with tarpon in the coastal gulf in Sarasota, getting numerous shots at tarpon and jumping several tarpon during the past couple of weeks. The early part of the week of 6/5 was blown out as tropical storm Colin passed on Monday, churning the gulf into rough seas and muddy water for a few days. However, conditions improved by the end of that week and tarpon returned to their normal patterns. A fly angler fishing with me also had some action catching and releasing trout on a couple of trips in Sarasota Bay.

Denis Clohisy, from WI, and Jim Dempsey, from IL, fished with me on Thursday and Friday, 6/9 and 10. With the coastal gulf still churned up on Thursday, we opted to fish inside waters in Tampa Bay. However by Friday, even though the wind was still from the west, seas were down and water had cleared enough to allow tarpon to return to their normal patterns. We had shots at numerous tarpon in the form of scattered singles and schools of fish.

Denis hooked up with a "hot" tarpon on a live pinfish. He fought the fish through several long runs, almost getting spooled on the initial run and numerous jumps and had the fish alongside the boat. Unfortunately, just as I was preparing to land the fish it was attacked by a large hammerhead shark. We tried to fend off the shark but the shark succeeded in getting its meal. Although sharks are more prone to attacking hooked tarpon in some areas, I haven't had this happen for several years.

Hal Lutz, from Parrish, FL and Andrea Lutz, from Atlanta, GA, tarpon fished a couple of days with me early in the week of 6/13 and had numerous shots at tarpon with spin and fly tackle. They had 3 eats and jumped 2 tarpon, fighting both fish through numerous jumps before one jumped off and the other chewed through 80-lb leader. One fish ate a crab that Hal cast at a passing school and the other fish was hooked on a pinfish.

Clark Keator, from Orlando, FL, fished a couple of days with me at the end of the week. The plan was to tarpon fish but a front pushed through at the end of the week and the wind turned west making the coastal gulf rough. We opted to fish deep grass flats on the west side of Sarasota Bay where he caught and released trout on Ultra Hair Clouser and my Grassett Snook Minnow flies.

Tarpon fishing in the coastal gulf should be good next week depending on conditions, as we head towards a full moon on Monday. Trout, bluefish and more should also be good options on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. 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 with flies and DOA Lures should be another good option.

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 & trout
Bait Used: live bait and flies
Tackle Used: fly & spin
Method Used: fly fishing & spin casting lures and live baits
Water Depth: 4'-20'
Water Temperature:
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:
Denis Clohisy, from WI, battles a tarpon in the coastal gulf in Sarasota while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Denis Clohisy, from WI, battles a tarpon in the coastal gulf in Sarasota while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Denis Clohisy's tarpon alongside the boat in the coastal gulf in Sarasota while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Denis Clohisy's tarpon alongside the boat in the coastal gulf in Sarasota while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

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