Fly anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff, the Snook Fin-Addict out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had numerous shots at tarpon and caught and released an estimated 100-pound tarpon on several trips in the coastal gulf during the week of May 5.
Sarasota winter resident Mike Perez tarpon-fished with me on May 5 and 6. Ted Gibbons, from Sarasota, joined us on May 5. There was a big swell and conditions were challenging, but we saw numerous singles, doubles and several schools of tarpon and got a total of seven or eight shots at them. We had a few follows but no bites, so we tried several different color and profile flies.
It all came together for Mike on May 6. With better conditions, he converted several shots at tarpon to a hookup. After numerous jumps and a 40-minute battle, he brought an estimated 100-pound tarpon to the boat. Wind and rough water made casting challenging on a couple of other trips during the week, but there were plenty of opportunities.
Tarpon are becoming plentiful in the coastal gulf. In addition to tarpon, false albacore and tripletail also may be options there depending on conditions. Look for reds, snook and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay. Fishing deep grass flats for trout, blues, flounder and more should continue to be a good option.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.