Have not been fishing a whole lot still as it is off season, but got out on a charter today. Had some hard westerly winds yesterday and it swung around northwest today. The mullet were everywhere. This often can push many herds of mullet down the coast our way which we call the fall mullet run. The first days of hard northerly winds in the fall. This can go on several times before the water temperature really drops. Today we had caught plenty of mullet with ease in the morning. We saw free jumping tarpon off the shoreline of the mainland and set up. I was fishing with another boat as well. We jumped a tarpon soon after and caught a blacktip shark. The other boat caught a tarpon. We fished for snook, redfish, snappers, and some other stuff the next few hours with some luck. In the afternoon we set up again for some bigger stuff and right away we hooked a tarpon in one of the channels near flamingo. Not a big guy but a good 40 lber that gave a nice fight! The fall mullet run can go off in october and if you are here at the right time, it is a sight to see!
Had some friends in town and we decided to try for some shark/tarpon in the backcountry. I haven’t been fishing much lately it’s off season so just getting out a couple times a week. Tarpon fishing usually is not high on the list as it gets spotty this time of year and we often target other things especially when it cools down. September tarpon fishing in islamorada can be good if you find fish but they just aren’t all over the place being off season and the migrators are gone. But you can still catch them if you give it the effort often times such as today! We caught some mullet early in the morning and fished the last of the falling tide around flamingo. Went 1 for 2 on tarpon and then the temperature started dropping as their were lots of storms around and the tide quit. So we took off and did some other stuff which we had success with including nice snappers and some snook.
Well I got out today and my anglers were eager to catch a tarpon. Normally islamorada tarpon fishing in september is possible though very hit or miss, which I explained. We ran into the backcountry and looked for bait in the morning. Millions of tiny ballyhoos all over but did not find any mullet in one of my usual areas for the conditions. So we caught some trout and ladyfish which we kept some of those for baits. We ran off the mainland and put some cut bait on the bottom. Within 10 minutes we had something big on one rod, and then the other one screamed off drag as a 75 lb tarpon leaped in the air. He made a few jumps though as my anglers were switching rods, the tarpon through the hook. We tried a while more there and had some sharks as well as a couple big ‘mud marlin’. Saw a few tarpon mid day rolling but they were not feeding on what we were offering. So with the higher incoming tide we ran back towards flamingo and tried a few redfish spots. We didn’t catch any reds, but their were some mullets flipping around. They were very spooky and it took a while but we managed to catch a handful… We put the few baits we had in the live well – fresh lively black mullets, which I prefer silver but these work when you are in a jam. We went to one of the local channels nearby flamingo, the water was fairly nice looking as it was calm. We set up with 3 rods, dead mullets on the bottom. After 15 minutes or so, one rod twitched a few times, then another 60 lb tarpon goes airborne. He was a very hard fighter. Josh landed his 1st tarpon and was ecstatic – we had to work really hard for him but anythings possible when you are fishing the florida keys in september.