***The Keys are officially reopened. Tarpon fishing has improved as we’ve gotten into August. September last year we had some very good fishing for other stuff in September (big snook, redfish, etc…) but I’ve had some good years with Tarpon then too! I’m all booked up through the first half of August but don’t be afraid to ask I’ve had some cancellations due to COVID here and there short notice… but mid September is fairly wide open***
IMPORTANT: All anglers starting Jan 10th, 2019 will be required to have an Everglades Visitors Pass when fishing in the park. You can obtain one via internet/phone at http://www.yourpassnow.com and select Everglades National Park. Most of my fishing is inside the park, so check with me but more than likely you will need one. You can also buy an annual/lifetime pass at store.usgs.gov. However if we are tarpon fishing locally around bridges it will not be necessary – though I am not doing this so much these days. Just check with me beforehand.
Well it’s officially off season now here in the Keys. Fishing is still really good but not a whole lot of people fishing this time of year as it’s just not too busy. The threat of storms and school starting back keeps the crowds away. So it’s often a great time to come enjoy our piece of paradise if you want to have it a little more to yourself. Right now there are a few tropical systems brewing out there but we have yet to see if they’ll affect us. I always work with people this time of year so if you make a reservation and it looks to be in jeopardy due to weather, don’t worry we can reschedule, cancel, whatever we need to do.
Now on to the fishing… the tarpon bite has been pretty good the last couple of days. I’ve had tarpon action on every trip with exception to one. It got a little slower right around the full moon, we still managed a couple fish one day. The day after we only tried for about 45 minutes and didn’t get a bite but went on to other stuff. But the last two days were good we caught 4 out of 6 two days ago, and 1 out of 4 yesterday. We also caught 2 very large snook one day while tarpon fishing, and another decently large one the day after that which was really cool. We will have a nice stretch of weather coming up next week as it’s been fairly windy here this week for this time of year… so it might get even better!
Give me a shout if you are looking to schedule a trip. I have plenty of days open and will probably still offer a few discounted trips to those who ask ahead of time. But I’ve almost got enough days booked this month that I’ll probably stop offering them soon!
Well back at it after a few days off during our brief encounter with Tropical Storm Laura. We were very lucky the storm just slightly grazed us earlier in the week. We had some 40+ mph winds and a little bit of rain, but nothing too crazy. It did stir up the backcountry a bit which wasn’t good for fishing in the immediate days following but probably a good thing in the long run as it helps circulate water in some of those trapped areas where things get hot and stagnate in the dead of summer. Anyways I went out yesterday and caught a bit of bait which was pretty easy, and today I had Jeff fishing with me. We headed out early and I wasn’t sure what to expect but we’ve had 3 days since the storm passed so I figured things had probably had a chance enough to settle down. We looked around a few spots early and stumbled into a few tarpon. Low and behold it turned out to be a pretty red hot bite, we ended up catching 5 tarpon and jumped a few more! So great to see and my hope is September continues to be awesome for the tarpon. A couple years ago that was definitely the case. We caught a few snook and a redfish later in the trip to complete the Backcountry Slam, and called it an early 3/4 day. I’m fishing again tomorrow and have a good handful of days already booked in September. But pretty good availability so if you are itching to come down give me a shout… it can be some pretty big fishing in the early Fall here as you can see. I’m more than happy to move things around too if we have the threat of any more storms or anything like that.
Well had few days off over the weekend to relax and got back to the grind today. We fished a 3/4 day, good conditions with it nice & calm. I had leftover bait from Friday that I had iced good so we were good on that front and didn’t have to spend time catching it. Fishing was a little tougher today, had falling tide for the first couple hours of the trip. Found some fish where we had been crushing them last week, but today they seemed in a different mood… moving around a lot and I think the big body of them just worked their way right out of the area as soon as we got there. We spent some time looking and saw a handful of stragglers, but no response when we put out our baits just a few sharks. We moved to another area and found a load of tarpon here. Lots of little guys in the 20 lb range but a few larger ones mixed in too. Sharks weren’t too bad and I thought we were going to crush them, but they didn’t seem real happy either. We definitely had them rolling and splashing all around us, and I had my fingers crossed they’d fire off any second. But we fished for 45 minutes or so there before the tide quit. Then right when it changed I said be ready maybe they’ll fire up with the tide change. Sure enough we got a bite and caught a nice tarpon, unfortunately he broke off on the leader boatside as we got tip wrapped while I was leadering the fish and he kicked once and snapped off. But a good catch none the less. After that though, the tarpon really seemed to settle and drift out again. We ran around and saw a few more splashing, set up again but no bites though we did get some more sharks, a tripletail, and a big lemon shark. Was about time to head in and we gave it an extra 20 minutes in another channel. We did end up seeing a few more tarpon here, and moved a couple times and got another bite out of one. Though unfortunately he didn’t stay on the hook. So tougher fishing compared to last week, had to work hard to catch 1! But good news was we did see plenty of fish, and saw them in several areas. So hopefully they’ll turn back on again here soon. Have a few more days fishing this week though may not be doing tarpon a whole lot, but it could still be good through October here so don’t be afraid to ask!
Well been on the tarpon still the last few days. August has continued to impress me. We’ve still been working the same school of fish as of a few days ago but they’ve stayed fairly happy. We caught 3 yesterday and then moved on to other stuff. Today we had to work them a little more and move a few times, but we did manage to land 3 again, and put another 3 or 4 in the air. After we got situated we got several bites. But some times the fish are moving around a lot and you have to move with them… other times you can sit and they keep coming to you which is nice. But overall still a great bite and again today we did other stuff later, decent snook and redfish fishing and still quite a few tripletails floating around.
I’m off for a few days over the weekend, and have a couple days booked next week. But again things are really slowing down now that mini season/early lobster season is done with. I feel like we are going to continue to have a productive August for tarpon as July was a bit slower this year. And September/October can be good so don’t sleep on that. Also I offer some discounted trips in those months, so you if you want to book a couple days it’s a little more affordable. Plus rooms at Bud & Mary’s are on off season rates too. Also be sure to check out and subscribe to my YouTube channel for some video reports, and more fishing shows as things slow down a little for me these next few months.