Monday, July 05, 2010

Plenty Of Tarpon On Sarasota Beaches

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 6/20 through 7/3/2010
          Tarpon continue to be plentiful along Sarasota beaches. Despite tough conditions, anglers fishing with me on my flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, jumped and landed several tarpon during the past couple of weeks. Fly anglers also scored on tarpon, snook, trout, blues and jacks.

            Hal Lutz, from Parrish, FL and his mom, Andrea Lutz from Atlanta, GA, tarpon fished a couple of days with me on 6/23 and 24. Andrea jumped a pair of tarpon on live crabs off Lido and fought one of about 75-pounds to the boat. Hal fly fished and had a bite on a black Deceiver.

            Dave Macomber and Ted Kottom, both from MN, tarpon fished several days with me from 6/25-6/27. We fished lighted docks on Siesta Key a couple of mornings before dawn where they caught and released several snook to 24” and numerous trout to 18” on Grassett Snook Minnow flies. Dave jumped his first tarpon on a fly, a 75-pound fish, on a black Deceiver off Lido on Saturday. Despite having a knot come up in his fly line, he successfully cleared the line, got the knot back onto the reel and fought the fish to the boat in about 20-minutes. Ted landed a pair of tarpon, a 70-pounder on Saturday and a huge, 140-pound fish on Sunday on live crabs off Lido and Longboat Keys.

            Conditions were not good during the week of 6/28. Fish weren’t showing on the surface due to a big swell and overcast conditions made it tough to see them below the surface. Terry Notari, from Longboat Key, his son Craig Notari, from the Chicago area, and grandsons, Josh and James, fished a couple of days with me on 6/30 and 7/1. We had a small window of improved conditions each day at about noon when we had some visibility and swells laid down a little. They had a great day on Thurs, 7/1, landing 2 out of 4 fish including one on a fly. Both fish, about 75-pounds, were caught on Longboat Key-James got one to the boat on a crab and his dad, Craig, landed the other fish on a fly. His fish ate a black Deceiver only about 15 feet from the boat in one of the coolest bites of the season! Accuracy is often more important than distance when fly fishing. Craig’s fish was caught with only about a 20’ cast.

            Fly angler Jon Yenari, from Sarasota, FL, fished with me on Friday, 7/2. Our plan was to tarpon fish and we were surprised that conditions had deteriorated even further due to swells from Hurricane Alex finally reaching us. After spending a couple of hours in the gulf hunting tarpon, we headed into Sarasota Bay where we caught and released trout to 18”, blues to 2-pounds and jacks on Grassett Flats Bunny and Clouser flies. We fished the west side of Sarasota Bay near Bishop Point where we encountered several feeding frenzies of breaking blues and jacks. Jon caught a pair of 2-pound blues at the same time out of one of the frenzies on a popper/dropper combo!

            Tarpon should feed more aggressively as we head into July, which is my favorite month to fly fish for tarpon in shallow water. DOA baits on spinning tackle also work well this time of the year. Since many fish have already spawned, tarpon schools will be smaller and more willing to eat.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
(941) 923-7799
E-mail and

Andrea Lutz, from Atlanta, GA, battles a tarpon off Lido Key that she caught while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Capt. Rick Grassett and angler, Ted Kottom from MN, measure a 70-pound tarpon after DNA sampling the fish caught and released off Longboat Key.

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