Got out with Alan and Angela over from Scotland today for a full day tarpon fishing charter in Islamorada. We headed back into the everglades around the flamingo area to hunt for some tarpon. They’ve been in some of the channels the last few days. Caught some bait on the way and then hit the tarpon grounds. The fish were there, not quite as many as yesterday, but good to see ’em first thing. We had to move around a little bit, but after an hour or so Angela hooked a nice size 80 lb tarpon. Didn’t think it was one at first, it was a very slow and methodical fight, but eventually he surfaced and then jumped and we knew it was him! Alan took over after a while so it was a team effort but after 30 minutes we landed a nice fish. We caught a few sharks after that and jack crevelles… nice big lemon shark and then a sting ray. We then moved out a little ways to another area and saw a handful of tarpon still rolling. Again after a few moves we hooked another nice fish not quite as big but probably a 50 lber. Alan caught this one all on his own. The tide slowed down after that and the fish seemed to as well. We went to a different area entirely and found a handful of tarpon rolling but not a lot. We moved several times trying to entice them, but only had some shark bites. Landed several black tips, then we got a nice goliath grouper, and that was the end of our day. Anyways glad to get a couple. I’m out of town through the weekend then back at it on July 5. Hopefully the fish stick around and stay happy! I have a few days left open in July, it is still a GREAT time to fish for tarpon especially back in the everglades like I do… if you are looking to go this summer drop me a line. August can still also be very good and that is wide open as of now. 2 for 2
Got out for a full day today with Jeff and his son, tarpon were on the target list as well as snook. We focused on tarpon early I had some leftover bait from a couple days ago but caught a bit of fresh on the way too. It was a nice flat calm summer day and we found a horde of tarpon in the channels. Hadn’t fished there much yet this year but had a report that they had shown up in this area, they were right! We didn’t have much action early though I moved 3 times and we had fish rolling all around us, finally after I was almost ready to call it we got a bite we missed, then hooked one that we got to the boat but didn’t get pictures of because the hook pulled while we had him on the leader. We moved again one more time and had the last trickle of incoming tide. We caught one that we got to the boat again but as I grabbed the leader he made a move under the boat and popped off on the motor, but we did get a few good jump shots with him at least. Finally Jeff got one that we got to the boat properly and actually cooperated for some boatside pictures! Anyways glad we waited ’em out. There looked to be more tarpon when I left a little ways outside the channel, I’m sure i’ll check that out tomorrow. We finished the day catching some trout and then caught a nice half dozen snook. Back at it tomorrow then out of town until the 4th! 3 for 4
Got out with Amber and Scott again for the last day. We headed back to where we had found lots of tarpon the last several trips hoping it’d be game on again. We caught plenty of bait and headed there to get set up. First bait out we hooked a nice little tarpon Scott brought to the boat, but after we got him on leader he took off and got tangled under the boat and came off, but a technical catch none the less. After that though it was crickets! Not much happened, we moved a couple times and nothing but sharks. I wasn’t seeing the fish showing on the surface at all either, so it seemed that they had gone! We saw one way down from where we were, and even went down in that area to try but still nothing. Just when it seemed to be getting consistent things had to go and change… funny because conditions were more or less the same. Anyways we did end up catching a nice big 20 lb redfish which was a nice surprise, along with plenty of sharks. After that we headed back towards the bay and stopped along the way at a spot I hadn’t fished in a while. Haven’t caught any tarpon yet this year, but summer time it can get good. We marked a fish on the bottom machine right away, so we set up. Scott hooked a shark, and then Amber hooked a nice 60 lb tarpon! They got tangled up but luckily we got the shark cut off, and amber caught the tarpon. After that we had seen a few explosions on the surface way outside of us, we tried moving around a little bit, but after we landed the fish the activity seemed to die down and we didn’t have another tarpon bite. Tried one channel for a bit on the way home where we thought we had seen a fish bust as well, but no luck. Anyways it’s always a great day when you catch two tarpon but after you get a dozen bites the day before it definitely feels slower to only get two bites. I’m off Tuesday and then fishing the next couple days before going out of town until the 4th on Friday. Weather looks to be nice and flat calm the next few days so we’ll be going after them! 2 for 2
Got out with Scott and Amber down from WV today for a 3/4 day. We had thought about doing a full day but just played it by ear. The fishing was very good on the early falling tide much better than yesterday so we figured we’d just fish till the tide was done and call it a day. We had a ton of action unfortunately the tarpon though just weren’t staying on the hooks for us. Not really much angling error, just funny bites. They were grabbing it and throwing it as soon as they touched the bait never even getting the hook most of the time. We tried changing bait sizes, hook sizes, hook types, but nothing seemed to help. But it was still fun to watch and that is fishing! We did land one giant fish of about 120 lbs that Amber and Scott took turns on for about 30 minutes. Got it up to the boatside but never where it rolled over for good pictures unfortunately but we got some good video and jump shots at least, and a technical catch with the leader to hand. That was the 2nd bite, and then we proceed to jump I think about 10 more fish, and finally things slowed down and we waited and Scott got to catch a little guy that stayed on for us. About a 20 lber. It was great fun and they were glad to each catch one, I would’ve liked it to been more but it was just one of those days. At least I know where I think I’ll be tomorrow again! 2 for 12
P.S. We normally do not lift tarpon out of the water, however if they are under 40 inches you are still allowed to (carefully). We just make sure not to handle them too much and take them out quickly for a picture and release them. We are not letting them flop around on the boat much, not wiping too much slime off, and not hanging them by their gills for long but supporting their belly (as you should with all fish you don’t plan on killing).
Got out for some fun fishing today with friends Ron and his dad George Ferguson. We went after tarpon and decided to try and hit ’em early to see if they were there first thing with the falling tide. Yesterday we got their later in the day on the incoming and it was very good. We caught some bait early and headed out. Saw a few fish when we pulled up which was a great sign. We set up and started to see some fish going by us, but they weren’t very happy. We sat for about 30 or 40 minutes without much action. I moved a little bit and tried to get in front of other fish, and after 20 minutes or so George put a small fish in the air. Ron possibly had one that grabbed his bait and jumped as well. Then George caught 2 fish in a row, again little guys in the 20-30 lb range, but much fun! The tide started to quit after that, so we decided to just kill some time and try to catch a snook. George got a nice on on an artificial bait which was cool up inside the mainland canals. We ran back out to the tarpon area as the tide was coming in hard now. We found them in the same general area and fishing was much better. We caught 3 more tarpon in about 30 minutes to finish the day! After that we headed home and got back in time for lunch. I caught a little bit more bait on the way home so I’m all set for tomorrow at least. Hopefully the fish will still be their cooperating! 5 for 7