Well 2019 is officially at a close. The tally for the year was 238 tarpon in 126 trips where we tried fishing for them (and that means we may of fished for an hour or spent all day trying for them). I didn’t fish nearly as much in years past as I’m taking two days a week off now and not doing the night trips, and we also focused on other stuff for the late summer/fall a lot more. But the catch ratio was still pretty good close to 2 a trip. Last year of course was an epic year it never got quite that good but can’t expect it to be like that all the time. 2019 started off strong we had the best early season I remember in February. Regular season was pretty good too and the summer was OK but as stated, summer was nothing like the year before. And we didn’t have great tarpon fishing in the fall like we did the year before (September in 2018 was epic for tarpon, this year not so much). I did have some stellar fishing for big snook and redfish though in September/Octoberso I didn’t really try tarpon fishing too much then. Anyways next year will be here soon and tarpon season is right around the corner, so make sure to book your trips ASAP as I’m already fairly booked up for April/May/June. Though there is plenty of good fishing to be had for other species in January and you can expect we’ll start catching a few tarpon regularly again in February. But make sure to check out my other website Fishing Islamorada as I’ll be updating that regularly while fishing for other stuff for the next few months until Spring rolls around again.
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.
Got out for a full day today as well as yesterday. Big numbers of tarpon showing up. Happy as well! Yesterday we landed a couple and missed 1 more. 60-70 lb fish. Sharks were active too. But they kinda shut off around 10 AM or so and we didn’t get much action later in the day, but we did break the day up catching some redfish and snook in between. Today the wind was cranking and I didn’t think it’d be as good but figured we’d have a shot to catch one. But they were snappin’ we hooked 5 and landed 4 big tarpon, all in the 85 to 120 lb range! Even missed a double header bite which you don’t get many of in February! Awesome day and again we broke it up catching some snook and redfish after we were done with the silver kings. Two days ago we also caught a big tarpon for my niece Casey, and missed a few others but epic day of fishing just finished the YouTube video which i’ll link below. Exciting to see, so far this season looks very similar to last season with the numbers of fish and areas they are showing up, even the bait patterns are similar so far. Very interesting. Anyways, should be good fishing through until Saturday, then we have a cold front coming in. I don’t think it’ll blow the tarpon out too much but likely shut ’em down for a couple days at least until it calms down again. But all in all I think that’s a good thing, don’t want to get them too beat up too early!
Well we finally got some warm calm weather the other day and boom the tarpon showed up! Tons of tarpon in the backcountry today. We didn’t give it a whole lot of time, but went 2 for 4 in a couple hours. Landed a small 40 lber to the leader, and big 120 lber to the hand as well. Jumped a couple other big girls off. Lots of fish back there and water temps are in the mid to high 70s just where they like it this time of year. Should be good fishing for a bit, as long as we don’t have any cold fronts. Looks like this next weekend we may get a hard north wind, not sure what the temperature will do but as long as it doesn’t get real cold, shouldn’t push ’em out.
Check out our latest YouTube video – a days fishing with Darryl Choronzey, who had a fishing show in Canada for many years. Video was lots of fun and we get a big bull red at the end of the day! Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel if you like it, we’ll be pumping out more videos and the support keeps it going.