This post was written by Captain Brian Boehm of Quiet Waters Fishing.  He offers fly fishing and artificial tackle charters in Sarasota, Florida.

Red tide in Sarasota, Florida presented challenges in June. Red tide is an algae that can carry toxins that are lethal to marine life and causes irritation of the eyes, nose, and respiratory system in people. Finding areas that are unaffected by this nuisance was the key to success in June. Anglers venturing into the Gulf for tarpon were met with the additional challenge of unpredictable sea conditions. West winds caused uneven chop and swells, making spotting tarpon along the beach difficult. There were still days when conditions were ideal for sight fishing for tarpon.

Live bait worked best on schools of tarpon in June. Pass crabs, blue crabs, and larger white bait like threads were the best bet. MJ from Parrish, FL joined me on a Saturday for a shot at tarpon on the beach side. We saw a few large schools and so did everyone else on the water. There isn’t much etiquette from other anglers on the weekends, which is why going on week days is preferred. We managed to get shots in with live blue crabs and Hogy artificial soft plastics and MJ had a very brief but exciting moment with a fish with a blue crab

The most consistent action remained at night on dock lights. Michael Smith and his son Kyle joined me for two nights of fishing in Snook Alley. Shrimp were flushing on an outgoing tide on the first night and the Snook were looking up. Casting unweighted DOA shrimp upcurrent and crawling them back towards snook provided good results the first night. Many times, the baits were met with explosive surface strikes from snook. The second evening was cut short by red tide, but Michael and Kyle still managed to catch snook before we had to head in.

July has started off well. Red tide has persisted, but we are finding and fishing the areas unaffected. Tarpon fishing should remain a good option for another week. Juvenile tarpon, snook, seatrout, and redfish should continue to provide good options on dock lights at night. East and Southeast winds should keep the beach front conditions ideal for sight casting to snook. Rising water temperatures will shorten the feeding windows on the flats in July making dawn, dusk, and night the best times to target fish.