Well 2019 is almost 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. This year 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 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 the last couple days and the wind laid out and of course its been unseasonably warm. Thousands of tarpon showed up, but it may be short lived as we have a hard front coming in over the weekend suppose to blow 30 Saturday, and get in the 50s sunday/monday. But we enjoyed it while it lasted. Got a big 140 lber yesterday for Mark Gregg, and made an awesome YouTube video of it. A big bull shark almost got it but luckily the fish got away! Today Gentry got a 60 lber to the boatside before pulling the hook on our light gear too. Anyways I think it may likely be a good early start to the season again, we had great fishing last year in February and March. But time will tell but as long as it’s warm it’ll likely happen!
I’m also very busy these days with 2 kids and starting to do some YouTube stuff, so I am not going to be doing my daily tarpon reports any longer. I’ll try to give a weekly synopsis, but follow my social media accounts for daily reports of what’s going on.
Got out filming today for the Bud n Marys show on YouTube! We did a variety of things, but did run into a nice school of tarpon early on. Drifted in and cast a few pinfish to them and they ate happily! I landed a nice 30 lb fish, and our friend Vic had a bite too but we slurped it right off of there. After that we left them alone but it was cool to see! Looks like we have some cold weather coming in the next week, will probably shut the tarpon off a bit. Sometimes some little ones eat shrimp here and there, but overall targeting tarpon is probably not going to be a regular thing from now through January. But of course we’ll catch some random ones here and there, and if the weather gets right it might be worthwhile. 1 for 2
Got out with Pierre and the crew from Sweden Martin, Magnus, and Fredrick! We fished a full day in the backcountry. Caught some bait early which we had to work a little for but got what we needed. Snook fishing was fair, not a red hot bite but a steady pick. We fished probably half a dozen spots and caught 15 or so. Also got a nice juvenile tarpon and missed one more! The last couple hours we went on the outside and eventually got into a few spots with some nice reds! Probably caught a dozen or so, lost one big 15-20 lb one at the boat unfortunately. Also caught the same juvenile goliath about 5 times – he had a line in his mouth so we knew it was him! But all in all a decent day with steady action and good enough to keep 4 guys busy! 1 for 2
Got out with Sun and John for a half day. We had all kinds of fun with snook, redfish, big snappers, and goliath groupers. It was really incredible fishing on our pilchards. But we also found a few baby tarpon rolling around! Pitched a few baits to them, and we managed to hook a couple. One broke off but we got the other one landed. So a backcountry slam for Sun! Also we just dropped the latest Bud n’ Mary’s YouTube show so check it out!