Summer/Fall season (July through end of the year) I am taking advanced bookings! You can book open dates by calling Bud n’ Mary’s Marina at 305-664-2461 and asking to book Capt. Rick. If I’m not available I recommend Capt. Brandon Storin. If you have a dream of catching & mounting a trophy tarpon please email me to get your dates locked in! Please sign up to my email list to receive updates when I am opening trip dates for 2023 SEASON! I’m sorry I know this may be frustrating for some that I’m not booking a year+ out, however with a family myself these days I’m wanting to be more available for things that come up during our busy time (February through June), and I know I won’t have a problem booking those days out with a months notice. So I will be referring everyone to Brandon who is running my other boat, otherwise if you want to wait and try to book me short notice I’ll be posting on here, email blasting, and instagram/facebook when I’m opening bookings.
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. With exception of April and May, 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 June is nearly over and we’re almost officially at the end of our typical ‘prime time’ tarpon season which runs April through June. Of course that’s just a very general estimate – every year is different with weather patterns, bait patterns, etc… as to when the big schools of tarpon come (they don’t follow a calendar!) But usually now is when we start targeting more of the resident fish which are typically smaller on average in the 40 to 70 lb range, and I myself am most often fishing in the backcountry waters of everglades national park to find these fish. Some years there are good numbers of them, other years you have to work to scrape by. As of now I’ll say it’s been more the latter the last couple weeks. There are definitely a few pockets of tarpon though not big numbers of them. Though we’ve had a few trips recently where we have caught them every time we’ve tried and had a few other bites. Yesterday we actually caught 3 out of 4 in about an hour and a half in the morning, including a double header. I was pleasently surprised as again we didn’t see tons of fish but the few we got in front of seemed to respond rather quickly. Then later in the trip we moved to a different area, where again we didn’t physically see too much or mark much on the bottom machine, however being slick calm we did have good vision and sure enough a handful of small 15-20 lb fish showed themselves and after shuffling around we caught one of them and jumped one more off. So this was the best day of tarpon I’ve had in the last couple weeks, though some of the other days we’ve still had decent fishing but we’ve mixed it up more with snook, tripletail, and the like as it’s been better to explore other options if you are up for that rather than try to force the tarpon thing when it’s not happening.
All that being said July is often a little better for these summer time fish, and some years it’s very strong fishing. And some years it’s very good in August, September, and even October. Unfortunately I do not have a crystal ball so I can’t say if it will be this year or not. But as I say to everyone, if you want to book a trip and try I’ll guarantee we’ll give it 100%. Though some days the tarpon don’t cooperate, and some days even just getting bait is very difficult. But if it doesn’t seem worthwhile I’ll usually have a plan B we can try, or if you are dead set on wanting to try for tarpon then we’ll do that to the best of our ability. I usually have a much better idea on how it’ll be within a week of the trip as you just know more what’s going on then.
Here are a few pictures from Pete and Kelly’s trip the other day, we even caught a double header in the morning which I haven’t had in a while!
Well it’s been busy and I’ve still been getting after the tarpon some. April and May were decent fishing this year… not quite as good as last years epic showing but fairly consistent with a few windows of really good fishing. Though last week i finally hit a couple trips of ‘striking out’ right before this tropical storm we had come through, which was the first time that had happened in a couple months. Some fish were around but just not too happy and it’s been a bit of a grind the last couple weeks. Anyways I was gone for the weekend and just got back out after some tarpon today. Wasn’t sure what to expect but it was actually OK for us. We fished a 6 hour trip and had 3 tarpon bites and landed all 3 fish. Some good numbers of tarpon still around the bridges. Though as we move more into summer I’m often starting to fish the backcountry more, and often times July/August we get some good numbers of resident tarpon back there, plus there are a lot of other options such as snook, tripletail, permit, etc… if tarpon aren’t being cooperative. I’m fairly booked up for the rest of June, though have some dates starting in July though we’ll be on vacation ourselves for some of it. And then the off season August – October is fairly wide open. It can definitely still be good fishing that time of year, again sometimes best to be open to what’s biting, but I’ve had some years where that is some of the best tarpon fishing we see so you never know. I’m also usually more amenable to booking trips further in advance for off season as I’m not as busy, and if weather/hurricane/etc… is of concern I don’t mind rescheduling or whatever we need to do.
April has been decent overall this year for tarpon. Honeslty not quite as good as last year though not bad. We’ve just had to work at it a lot of days and some days that leads to banner fishing and some days just a few fish. But that’s fishing! We’ve still been having some late cold fronts (though at least not major tempearture drops – just northerly winds) and very windy days, which can make fishing a little more tricky. I’m hoping May/June is going to be on fire for us but we will see what happens!
Here is a great video of Glen catching his first tarpon he fished with me for 2 days. We caught several each day though on the first day he wasn’t able to get a ‘face grab’ but on day 2 the first fish of the day cooperated for that!
Well tarpon fishing is really starting to heat up. We’ve had quite a few late cold fronts throughout March and every time things have started to get right, it seems to get shut down again. And unfortunately I must say we have another cold front coming this weekend dropping back into the low 60s so it might slow things down yet again. But this may bode well for anglers coming later in May/June, as many of the fish haven’t been ‘picked on’ yet so the latter part of the season hopefully will be strong. The other day fishing was phenomenal we had a banner day releasing 13 tarpon at the bridges. Today the bite wasn’t quite as hot but we still released 5. That’s technical releases too as many of the fish you aren’t really able to get rolled over easily for pictures plus there are lots of sharks around trying to eat them so we try to preserve the tarpons life. Here is a crazy clip of a shark trying to eat our tarpon the other day that we broke off and managed to chase the shark away from the tarpon.
Well tarpon season seems to be in full swing now getting into mid March. Late cold fronts in February and even one a couple weeks ago in early March had held off the big droves of tarpon from showing up. This isn’t always a bad thing though especially for our prime months of April, May, and June. Sometimes if the fishing gets red hot in February/March it seems like the May/June timeframe sometimes gets tougher. So hopefully this bodes well for the later ‘prime season’ months. This past weekend we had a few flat calm days and I figured the tarpon would show up hot & heavy and they did. I didn’t fish the last couple days but heard good reports. We got out today and it was very good we went 4 for 4 on tarpon and only spent a couple hours doing it as my guys didn’t want to pull on big critters all day, so we spent the last half of the day catching a good number of snook. But now we’ll pretty much be in full on tarpon mode the next several months.
I’m pretty much booked up for all of April but I haven’t started booking many May dates yet, only for regulars and customers who are looking to mount a trophy tarpon catch. If you are in the latter category drop me a line and we can get you in on prime May tarpon dates. Otherwise I’ll be opening up my May days to new customers at the end of this month. Otherwise I have Capt. Brandon Storin running my old boat and he’s been doing very well with the tarpon too and he’s taking all the advanced bookings he can get.