Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff, the Snook Fin-Addict out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had great action catching and releasing several tarpon up to 110 pounds on live crabs in the coastal gulf early during the week of June 3. In addition to tarpon, anglers fishing with me also caught and released trout to 3 pounds and blues and Spanish mackerel to 2 pounds on DOA Deadly Combos in Sarasota Bay.
Domenick Raschella and Dave Reinhart, both from Virginia, fished with me on Monday and Tuesday. They jumped and landed 3 tarpon on live crabs in the coastal gulf off Sarasota with me on Monday. We bumped into a big, happy school of tarpon as I was easing into my spot with my trolling motor. They were moving slowly which allowed us to get back on them several times and catch all of our fish out of the same school. A couple of the fish were young males, full of energy that put on quite a show jumping around the boat! All fish were measured to estimate weight, DNA sampled and successfully released.
Unfortunately the gulf was unfishable for tarpon in my boat on Tuesday morning. With a big swell out of the south as Tropical Storm Andrea brewed, conditions were unsafe for fishing there. We hit a tarpon spot in Sarasota Bay for a couple of hours and had a few shots with DOA TerrorEyz and Airheads while we floated a couple of live baits under floats but didn't hook up. However with the wind out of the south, we were able to fish the west side of the bay. They had good action catching and releasing blues and Spanish mackerel to 2-pounds and trout to 3-pounds on DOA Deadly Combos on deep grass flats near Bishop Point and Buttonwood Harbor.
Weather went downhill on Wednesday and Thursday as Tropical Storm Andrea went from a tropical depression to a tropical storm and passed off shore from us with a lot of rain and wind. By Friday the sun was back out and the winds down but the coastal gulf was still very dirty and rough for tarpon fishing so we didn't fish. Sometimes tarpon will push offshore for a few days following a weather event, so it may take a few days for them to return to their normal patterns
Depending on conditions, tarpon fishing in the coastal gulf should be good next week. However if conditions aren't good for tarpon in the gulf, there should be good action with trout, blues, Spanish mackerel and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Look for reds and big trout in shallow water early in the day. Catch and release night snook fishing in the ICW near passes should also be a good option.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service Inc.