Through June and July, fishing has fared from good to excellent in Sarasota County waters. Snook, Trout and even tarpon are still swimming around and a lucky angler might be able to catch all three in a single outing.
In the past couple of weeks, fishing captains operating out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters have reported good fishing fortune, particularly for snook and speckled sea trout.
In Sarasota bay, trout within the 15-inch to 20-inch range have been caught in good numbers. Captain Jim Klopfer reports his angler clients have also caught Spanish mackerel, bluefish, silver trout, flounder, ladyfish, gag grouper, mangrove snapper, jack crevelle, and one big tarpon. Right now Capt. Klopfer is using live pilchards, as bait has been thick on flats near passes.
The heat of the summer is often the biggest obstacle fishing in Sarasota County, so getting an early start is important. As the temperature in the day rises, so does the water temperature, which effects where fish will be found. When it is hot, deeper flats, between six to eight feet, is the most productive water.
Captain Rick Grassett reports that tarpon fishing will still be good in July. Large schools will dwindle in size, but tarpon will be more aggressive this month, as spawning is completed. The fish tend to be more curious, swinging closer to check out the sound of bait.
Towards the end of the month tarpon will thin out and move to inside waters of Sarasota Bay to rest and feed. Capt. Grassett reports they can be caught in the bay with flies, DOA lures or live bait.
In addition to tarpon, catch and release snook fishing is a good option. Lighted docks and bridges are good locations to target these fish, but you can also find snook in the surf, walking along the beach and sigh casting to them in shallow water.
Redfish can be very active in shallow water this month. Plentiful baitfish and high tides mean the redfish will spend more time feeding over shallow grass flats, around edges of bars and in potholes when the tide is low.