Had a full day tarpon trip today. My angler really wanted to catch one even though he knew it wasn’t ‘season’. I told him there is always a shot at catching one here in islamorada as long as the weather is warm. We had recently had a cold front that dipped the temperatures in the backcountry. We saw a lot of bait around though not much activity from tarpon, usually with the ‘fall mullet run’ that was happening you often see tarpon busting them frequently. We fished in the morning around flamingo, saw a couple busting fish, but only had shark bites. I went out towards cape sable, we did not see much life in the canal. At the middle cape end there was plenty of bait, but no tarpon activity. I fished there for a bit without much of anything. So we ran down the beach and saw the big balls of black mullet pouring out with the tide. We did finally see some tarpon busting them, set up but only more shark bites. Finally the last spot we fished we had more sharks, and finally the last bait in the box we put out and hooked a big 120 lb tarpon. After a good fight we got the technical leader release before he popped off. As long as it stays fairly warm there should be some tarpon back there, but this is the last little window that you can expect to find them.
Snuck out today we’ve had nasty weather the last couple days and looks to be here through Friday. Yesterday we got chased home from the rain we caught a few sharks and a cobia, did not see any tarpon. But today was much better. We had bait leftover from yesterday. We started the morning with some snook and snapper action. About 11:00 we made our way out towards east cape sable. We set up and tarpon began rolling everywhere and saw several free jumpers. Pretty soon we were getting bit up! We caught 5 out of 12 bites all in about 2 hours, pretty amazing fishing that is about as good as it gets. Most fish were in the 20-40 lb range but we did land one that was about 60. We headed home after that and only got rained on for about 20 minutes, well worth the price of admission for a day like this! The rest of October looks to be good fishing the rainy overcast weather definitely doesn’t hurt that.
Had Frank and his father out this morning for a 3/4 day. We were planning on departing early to catch bait, however they were a little late driving from Key Largo. We got back into the backcountry and checked a couple mullet spots, but with the low falling water and already high sun they were pretty tough. I was starting to think oh boy it’s going to be a tough day… but went to plan B. I found a nice mud where we caught a dozen ladyfish really quick – a boat ran through and shut them down right after too. We ran along the shoreline and I saw a busting tarpon. Set up near there but no bites, the tide was coming in nicely now. So ran back to a channel where we had luck last week. Lots of shark action with big blacktips. Then finally hooked up to a nice 40 lb tarpon. Landed him and a few more sharks including a big lemon and black tip double header! Then last bait in the water we hook a nice 80 lb tarpon! He put on a fabulous display, grey hounding and jumping wildly… Unbelievable for my 2 anglers from Sweden! After that we headed home, another great day of october fishing in the florida keys! Frank and his dad said it was the best day of fishing they ever had and could not wait to come back. The moral of the story is don’t despair when fishing in islamorada, there is always a plan B. (But try to show up early it sometimes can make or break your day!) There should still be shots at tarpon through the rest of the month and even into November if we don’t have any drastic cold.
Well had Alex and Chrissy out today. Alex wanted a tarpon, and Chrissy enjoyed catching sharks. So we set out to do just that. Bait was difficult, found some mullet but with the end of the tide and boats running through everywhere they were on red alert. We caught a half dozen and another guide gave me a few extras that I have done the same thing for in the past. Lots of boats out today for casting for cats tournament too… 75 boats this year the most ever! Anyways we did not have any tarpon action in the morning, fished around flamingo a few channels, never saw any rollers or free jumpers. We did catch some nice big blacktips though and a big lemon, as well as a couple of black nose sharks. We looked further off the cape later, and did not see any fish off the beaches, but inside the canal we set up and saw plenty of rolling fish. Luckily the tide was just starting out so it wasn’t ripping hard. We caught a ray right off the bat, then soon after a big 100+ lb tarpon grabs the bait and we are off to the races. After a 30 minute battle we land him, unfortunately he did not stay boat side for long and popped off as we were trying to get pictures. But a great battle none the less and I’m sure Alex got some good go pro footage.
Well the fishing had been a little tough the last week. I had not been doing much tarpon fishing as I’ve been trying some other things. It’s been a lot of work though there have been some snappers, ladyfish, trout, handful of snook, and sharks around. I had a tarpon bite yesterday afternoon at the end of our day so I figured I’d give it more of a shot today. We had the right tide to hammer the mullets early in the morning. We did and then ran and looked for some free jumping fish. Saw a handful in an area that was loaded with bait and birds bombing. So we set up and fished. Some big blacktip sharks at first, though after the 3rd one we started getting tarpon bites. Missed the first two they spit the baits as they went airborne. But the next 2 we caught, a nice 25 lb fish and a 60 lb fish. It was good to see and reminds me why tarpon fishing is probably my favorite thing to do on a charter down here. We finished the day catching loads of snapper, a few trout, ladyfish, jacks, and had a couple shots at snook though one jumped off and the other buried us in the sticks. But as long as the weather stays fairly warm the next couple weeks can still have some great tarpon fishing. And once we get some more northeast chill breezes, the bait migration should push down our shores and that can be some of the best tarpon fishing we see all year. Let me know if your interested in getting out, things are getting busy for me again fishing most of the rest of the month but I have a few openings here and there.