Catch of the Week
Tyler Peacock caught and released this huge snook on shiners while nightfishing
BRADENTON – As always, the full moon will bring about some good fishing over the next few days. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reviewed and discussed the current status of snook populations in Gulf and Atlantic waters at its June 12 meeting in Lakeland before deciding to allow the recreational harvest of Gulf of Mexico snook to reopen this September. The harvest of snook in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters has been closed since early 2010. The FWC also approved a proposal to make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only fisheries.
|Nick Huff, from Utah, battles a "hot" fly rod tarpon in the coastal gulf off Sarasota while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had great action jumping numerous tarpon and catching and releasing a couple up to 120-pounds on DOA Baitbusters, flies, live crabs and pinfish in the coastal gulf during the past week.
Cliff Ondercin, from Sarasota, FL and his dad, Dennis Ondercin, from Middleburg Heights, OH, tarpon fished with me all week long. Cliff and Dennis are both accomplished anglers who really enjoy the challenge of tarpon fishing. They are also participating in the Sarasota Sportfishing Anglers Club Tarpon Tournament, the world’s oldest tarpon tournament, in existence since at least 1930. This tournament led the way as one of the first catch and release tarpon tournaments. All fish must remain in the water, a girth measurement is taken and a DNA sample is collected before the fish is quickly released on the spot.
Our game plan is usually to spend the early part of the week trying to get a couple of tournament entries before Cliff, also a good fly angler, spends some time fly fishing for tarpon. They had great action every day. We had numerous bites and several fish were jumped on live crabs and a Lefty’s Deceiver fly on Monday. Tuesday’s action was almost as fast, with several more tarpon jumped, including 4 fish on a DOA Baitbuster. Cliff caught and released one of the fish on the Baitbuster for a tournament entry that day. The Baitbuster is my “go to” tarpon lure for large tarpon. It was very impressive that with a variety of live baits being drifted or cast to rolling tarpon, it was the Baitbuster that produced the best that day.
The action continued on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The pendulum swung back in our favor, as the ratio of caught and released fish to jumped fish increased and Dennis landed an estimated 120-pound fish on a live pinfish for another tournament entry. The fish was measured, DNA sampled and successfully released. The last couple of days with each angler having a tournament entry, we spent some time with Cliff fly fishing for tarpon in shallow water where he had a few shots and another “eat” on a Tarpon Bunny fly. Dennis also had a few shots with a DOA Baitbuster in shallow water. In addition to doing an excellent job with the tarpon, they also manned the camera while I was handling their fish at the side of the boat and captured some explosive action. A great week of tarpon fishing!
Depending on conditions, tarpon fishing in the coastal gulf should be good next week. I’m already seeing lots of singles and doubles, which may be post spawn tarpon that are usually more aggressive. If conditions aren’t good for tarpon in the gulf, there should be good action with trout, blues, Spanish mackerel and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Look for reds and big trout in shallow water early in the day. Catch and release night snook fishing in the ICW near passes should also be a good option.
Capt. Rick Grassett
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis- Endorsed Outfitter Guide
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters-2011 Orvis Outfitter of the Year
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
|To create a forecast specific to
your zip code visit
A ridge of high pressure will remain north of the waters through Thursday. This will provide a light southeast wind flow in the morning and overnight hours with an enhanced onshore sea breeze developing along the coast each afternoon. Moisture will remain sufficient for scattered showers and thunderstorms at times through the period.
Southeast winds around 10 knots then becoming west in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. Monday night will bring southeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms in the evening.
Southeast winds around 10 knots then becoming west in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Isolated thunderstorms in the morning...then scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. Tuesday night will bring east winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Isolated thunderstorms in the evening.
Southeast winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. Scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. Wednesday night will bring southeast winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. Isolated thunderstorms in the evening.
South winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. Scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. Thursday night will brig south winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. Isolated thunderstorms in the evening.
South winds around 10 knots then becoming southwest in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon.
No comments on this item
Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.