Monday, July 19, 2010

Sarasota Tarpon Thinning But Aggressive

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 7/4 through 7/17/2010

Fishing continues to be good in the coastal gulf for tarpon and in Sarasota Bay for trout, blues, Spanish mackerel and more. Fly anglers fishing with me on my flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action towards the end of the week of 7/4. Conditions were poor early that week with rain and overcast skies, however they improved to near perfect at the end of the week and tarpon responded favorably.

Jerry Poslusny, from Rochester, NY and Jay Peck, from Spencerport, NY, tarpon fished with me on Thursday and Friday, 7/8 and 9. Jay is a fly fishing guide for trout, salmon and steelhead in upstate NY and couldn’t wait to pull on a big tarpon! They jumped 3 tarpon off Longboat and Lido Keys and got a couple of them to the boat, including one that Jerry caught and released that was 100-pounds or more. Another fly angler fished the same areas with me on Saturday. We had more than 20 shots at fish and a couple of bites but didn’t hook up.

Gary and Tyler Mintz, from CO, fished several days with me this past week. Tarpon on a fly was our goal, but we fished Sarasota Bay on Monday due to rough conditions in the coastal gulf. They caught and released trout, bluefish and Spanish mackerel near Bishop Point on Ultra Hair Clouser flies fished on sink tip fly lines and a popper/dropper combo consisting of a Bubblehead popper and a Clouser fished on a floating line.

With a similar forecast for Tuesday, we headed for more protected waters of the Peace River where we had a few shots at tarpon in the 20 to 30-pound class. However, conditions improved so much by 9 AM that we headed back to Sarasota to fish the coastal gulf. We had numerous shots at tarpon in the coastal gulf off Sarasota over the next couple of days and several hard follows, but no bites.

It all came together for them on Thursday when Tyler made “the right cast to the right fish”. He hooked up with an estimated 75-pound tarpon on a black Deceiver and fought the fish for about 45-minutes. The fish broke off on a jump close to the boat, but we’d already had our fun! Another fly angler jumped and landed a similar size fish, also on a black Deceiver, in the same area on Friday.

Although tarpon schools have thinned to more singles, doubles and small schools of fish rather than large schools, they are aggressive now. This should hold up through July or into early August. Tarpon are also beginning to move to inside waters where you may find them on deep grass flats or around bridges. DOA baits on spinning tackle, especially those that land gently such as the DOA shrimp and CAL shad tails, will also work well for tarpon during July. Fish the flats for trout, blues, Spanish mackerel and reds early in the day for the best action.

Tight Lines,

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

Fly angler Jerry Poslusny from Rochester, NY, battles a tarpon off Siesta Key caught and released on a black Deceiver while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

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