Steve Gibson and Capt. Rick Grassett, from Sarasota. FL, had great action hooking several tarpon, fighting another to close to the boat and catching and releasing another while fly fishing the coastal gulf in Sarasota.

Beach snook action hit high gear in July after a fairly slow start.
I had several clients fishing with me who caught their personal best
snook on fly. Top of the chart goes to Stewart Lavelle of Sarasota,
who bested a 28-incher. Ironically, Stewart hooked and lost a bigger
snook on his next outing, losing the estimate 38-inch behemoth to a
straightened hook.
In two trips, Steward hooked 28 snook and landed 18 — not bad for his
first two beach outings!
John Mallia of Buffalo, N.Y., isn’t a fly fisher per se, but he did
well on a beach snook trip in early July. John hooked 18 snook and
landed 11 to 27 inches. Not only did he catch his largest snook on
fly, but also his first snook on fly!
John Weimer joined me for a beach walk and a slow day. However, we
found the fish late in the morning and landed five out of nine fish.
I got out by myself on July 11, and the stars were aligned. I hooked
30 snook and landed 22. I had an estimated 35-incher eat my D.T.
Variation, but was only tight for a second.
I attended ICAST (International Convention of Allied Sport Fishing
Trades) in Orlando and had a very good time. I worked the NuCanoe
booth most of the time, but did get to tour the show for a few hours.
NuCanoe unveiled a pair of new products. First up is the new Flint, a
lightweight kayak that is less than $1,000. The new kayak is slightly
less than 12 feet in length and has a myriad of features. It drew
raves at ICAST. NuCanoe also debuted its new H2Proped Pedal Drive
system. The system fits both the Pursuit and Frontier lines.
John Kis, a regular client from New Rochelle, N.Y. experienced his
first day on the beach and did well. He landed two of three snook he
hooked. There were very good numbers of snook on the beach, but they
weren’t exactly in a feeding mood.
For beach snook fishing, I use a 6-weight TFO BVK Rod, BVK Reel and an
Orvis clear intermediate sinktip line. My fly of choice is none other
than my D.T. Variation.
I have put together a couple of videos on beach snook fishing. You can
check them out on YouTube: and In addition, I did an
instructional video on how to tie the D.T. Variation:
There are plenty of snook in the surf and they should remain there
for the next month or so. All we need is weather conducive for
I spent a couple of productive days fly fishing in fresh water. First
time out, I launched at Benderson Park and caught 30 bluegill, four
bass and a hefty channel catfish. All fish were caught on Gibby’s
Snymph under a strike indicator.
John Weimer and I headed out to Myakka River State Park, but found
little going on. So, we loaded the kayaks back on the trailer and
drove to Benderson Park. We caught a few fish on Gibby’s Snymphs, but
things didn’t get hot until we tied on tandem, No. 12 and 14 Myakka
Minnows. We ended the day with more than 180 bluegill and five bass.
We caught two at a time on about 12 occasions. John lost the fish of
day. We’re not sure what it was, but speculate it was a fairly large
bass or channel catfish that was able to get back into the vegetation
and break his tippet.
We also discovered hand-sized bluegill in deep water and were able to
get them to hit our tandem Myakka Minnows. This lake is not heavily
AUGUST FORECAST: I anticipate very good beach snook action as look was
the weather cooperates. August normally is the peak month for this
exciting activity. Large fish have been pretty common throughout the
summer. In Sarasota Bay, look for decent action on spotted seatrout,
snook, ladyfish and mangrove snapper. In local lakes and rivers,
expect good bass, bluegill, channel catfish and shellcracker action.
If you’d like to experience some of the best sight-fishing Florida has
to offer, please give me a call or email me:

Steve Gibson
Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing

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