Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff, the Snook Fin-Addict out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had very good action, jumping and catching and releasing tarpon on live baits and DOA Baitbusters on spinning tackle in the coastal gulf in Sarasota during the week of June 15.
Cliff Ondercin, from Sarasota, and his dad, Dennis Ondercin, from Ohio, fished for tarpon in the coastal gulf with me June 15, 16 and 17 and picked up where they left off with the banner day that they had the Friday before. The pattern of not seeing many tarpon schools and just an occasional single here or there continued.
However, tarpon were there in numbers, and they had great action jumping 10 tarpon and catching and releasing five of them. Two of the tarpon were jumped with DOA Baitbusters, and the others by drifting live crabs and baitfish. Dennis caught and released his personal-best tarpon, which taped out at a 38-inch girth by 72-inch length for an estimated weight of 145 pounds! A fly angler also had good action getting lots of shots at tarpon later in the week.
Tarpon fishing in the coastal gulf should continue to be strong as long as conditions remain good. Catch-and-release sight fishing for snook in the surf with flies or DOA Lures should also be a good option. You may find trout, Spanish mackerel, blues or pompano on deep grass flats, particularly close to passes. Look for reds, snook and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.