Fly anglers in Boca Grande had a large variety of fish to choose from this week. Tarpon were the primary target for my clients. We also caught snook, seatrout and permit. A lot of tarpon are moving along the beaches of North Captiva, Cayo Costa, Gasparilla and Little Gasparilla Island. Tidal flow was critical to there movements. Although we had many good shots, we had very limited success. The clear water and windy conditions required very good casting, both for distance and accuracy. Conditions like this demanded an accurate cast of 70 feet or more. While experienced saltwater casters can manage this, a failure to do so hurt those that didn't take their casting seriously. So... if you plan on fishing for tarppon, practise a lot long before you go fishing.
Snook fishing was good early in the morning before daylight or late at night. Beach snook are available during the day for those that like to walk the beaches. Fish ranged in size from 18 to 30 inches. A large school of permit has been giving anglers great opportunities for these wary fish. The permit were moving to shallow water near the gulf on high tide. Once found, any good crab/shrimp pattern worked. Most fish avaeraged 5 to 7 pounds with a few up to 10 pounds.
Moderting weather should help anglers be more successful with the tarpon next week. Look for migrating schools at daylight close to shore. Cast you flies so the fish are coming to you and the fly is slightly suspended above the fish. Strip slow enough so the fish will catch up to the fly. Try to keep your angle of attack within 30 degrees in front of the fish. Again, I cannot stress the longer casts enough.