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.
Capt. Rick Stanczyk