Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff, the Snook Fin-Addict out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had action with tarpon in the coastal gulf in Sarasota during the week of May 11. Fly anglers had shots at tarpon, a couple of eats and jumped one, and a spin fishing angler caught and released a tarpon on a live bait. Large schools of tarpon were on the move early in the day, particularly toward the end of the week.
Denis Clohisy, from Wisconsin, and Jim Dempsey, from Illinois, tarpon-fished with fly and spinning tackle in the coastal gulf with me on May 11 and 12. We sight cast with DOA baits and flies in shallow water and drifted live baits in deep water, where Jim caught and released a tarpon on a pinfish. A great job on his first tarpon!
Fly anglers got some action later in the week. We had some shots, a couple of eats and one hookup. Clark Keator, from the Orlando area, fished with me on May 14 and 14. He had some shots early in the day both days and hooked up with one on a fly, getting several jumps before the fish jumped off.
Tarpon fishing in the coastal gulf should be a good option. Look for reds, snook, flounder and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars. You may also find trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, flounder or pompano on deep grass flats, particularly close to passes.
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Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.