Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota, FL Fishing Report for 5/13/2018
Tarpon numbers are increasing as migratory fish arrive along our beaches. Look for tarpon schools to be moving both north and south along our beaches, especially early in the season. Set up in their line of travel and wait for tarpon schools to move past and cast a live crab or pinfish or a DOA Baitbuster to them. Once you’ve seen the first school of fish, you can concentrate your efforts in that “lane” since other schools may be following the same route. When they aren’t showing well on the surface, a live bait under a float in their travel lane may score. I’ve also done well blind casting a DOA Baitbuster or Swimming Mullet, if you’re in the right spot, when there wasn’t much showing on the surface. Even in deep water (10’-25’), be quiet and use your electric trolling motor sparingly. Even though your 4-stroke outboard sounds quiet, it is no substitute for an electric trolling motor.
Fly anglers should do well with a variety of baitfish or crab fly patterns fished on floating or intermediate sink tip fly lines. Staking out or anchoring in shallow water on their travel route should result in some shots at fish. The best angle is a “head on” shot, followed by a quartering shot. A perpendicular shot may work if it’s timed perfectly, although casting too far beyond their line of travel will usually spook them. I use a push pole in shallow water if I need to adjust my position to make a cast.
Give other tarpon anglers a minimum of 300-yards of space in any direction, since fish may be moving north or south. If you set up any closer than that, you may be deflecting fish that are headed towards other anglers. Also, be respectful of other anglers by not running your outboard close to them. Once tarpon are pressured or spooked, they are tougher for everyone to catch.
There should also be good action with trout, blues and Spanish mackerel on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Fishing shallow water for snook and reds with lures and flies is challenging although they should also be a good option now. Fishing dock lights in the ICW at night is always a good option for snook and more. Our natural resources are under constant pressure, please limit your kill, don’t kill your limit!
Capt. Rick Grassett
FFI Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters
Orvis Outfitter of the Year-2011
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.