Well we tried to get out tarpon fishing yesterday but the weather gods had other plans. We left the dock early and the bay was clear though there were good chances of rain. Normally we can dodge around it pretty good and much of the stuff we see offshore breaks up by the time it reaches us. Today though that was not the case. We looked around for bait for a bit which was a little tougher as it had disappeared from the area I found it the day before. So we had to zoom back to another area where we did catch it pretty good but had to work at it. By the time that was done we were two hours into our day with the hour ride into the backcountry. We did see a couple tarpon in a channel nearby but as soon as we got our baits out we had to reel them up because storms were moving in. I thought we might get lucky and the heavy rain would miss us but I was wrong. We got swallowed up in it and had to bolt to Flamingo to hide out for 45 minutes or so with heavy rain and lightning cracking around us. The heavy weather passed but the wind never laid down and it was blowing a solid 25mph after that. My crew was a little scared of the lightning we saw and didn’t want to stick around for what could be more, and I told them it would likely be tough fishing with the wind cranking like crazy now and the storms having just blown through that often spook the fish for a while. So we just decided to head back. It did get nicer of course a far as the rain/lighting went, though it was blowing 30 by the time we hit the dock and there were still some showers passing around in the bay and nearby. But that really rarely happens and I don’t know that I’ve ever really had to totally bolt on a trip out into the backcountry like that, but to be honest I was over it as I was totally soaked with my boots filled with water too. Have a few days off with some family in town now, but looks like we are suppose to have questionable weather through the weekend anyways. But I’ll be back at it Sunday and then have some days open during the week if anyone wants to go.
Got out with Mark and Eddie today for a full day tarpon fishing trip. Winds were still kicking pretty good but not too crazy. We’ve definitely had a windy August overall which had made the fishing a little tougher but at least still OK. Normally we look forward to typical calm weather in the summer, and the tarpon are much easier to spot and generally seem to be more plentiful on those slick days… but you gotta work with what you have. Anyways we caught some bait early and looked in a few areas for tarpon. Didn’t see a whole lot, so we went where I’d been having some luck the last few trips. It’d been a few days since I’d been out though. We didn’t see much there either, but set up and eventually saw a fish roll. That was it though no bites but a few little sharks. We made several moves without too much luck. Then eventually we saw a good sign of tarpon some good splashes in the same area. We got in there and soon had a good tarpon bite but unfortunately didn’t stay on the hook. Right after that the other rod went off and zipped us which I believe was a tarpon too but not sure. My fingers were crossed there was hopefully another fish there and luckily there was. Mark caught his first tarpon after that a nice 35 lber! We checked another area after that and then decided to trout fish for a little while which was OK we caught a good handful. We then went back to the tarpon. Didn’t see much in the first stop, and checked a few more channels. Finally we thought we saw a good sign of fish on the bottom machine. I set us up and soon Eddie hooked a nice 50 lber! We got the fish boat side for some pictures and released him for another day. After that we had 30 minutes or so left, the boys were pretty good each having caught a tarpon and there wasn’t really much time to realistically do much else. So we took a nice ride in to keep the beating waves down and cool off a little. But a great day and always nice to catch a couple tarpon, especially when it isn’t all that easy! Look forward to fishing with these guys again soon. 2 for 4
Got out with Eric and Courtney today visiting from Texas. Winds were kicked up blowing a good 15mph out of the southeast. We caught a little bit of bait locally as we were heading out. Looked like we were going to crush the bait, but ended up throwing a few times to scrape together 20 or so and then they were gone. But enough to get started with. Bait was difficult back in the backcountry, so we started fishing and found a few tarpon early. No bites the first couple stops but plenty of sharks. Eventually we got a good bite and Courtney jumped a nice 40 lb tarpon. Then we were out of bait unfortunately. We ran to another channel as the tide was dropping out now and I hoped the bait would come off the flat. It seemed to be so we started throwing the net again, had to work very hard and make 10 or so throws to get another 24 baits or so. We then bent the light rods a little while the tide changed catching about a dozen trout or so. We ran back after the tide started roaring in which is when I’ve been having better luck with tarpon the last few trips. We didn’t see much and the wind was really howling against the current now so it was rough and not easy to see them. Nothing in the first stop aside from sharks, but did get a nice hammerhead there. Then another stop we thought we saw a few tarpon on the sonar. We set up and soon Eric jumped a nice tarpon then the next bait out he caught a 40 lber! After that we caught some more sharks I was hoping we’d get another shot at a tarpon for Courtney but no luck. We fished the rest of our baits and then headed home. I’m off the next couple days but am booked Wednesday and Thursday. Our conditions look to be the same for the next week or more, with a good east wind but not too crazy. Tarpon should still be catchable I think you might have to invest some time and effort for a few bites, but should be worth going if you are up for it. Give me a shout if you wanna go! 1 for 3
Today was nice and calm again and the last calm day we look to have for a little while, as it’s forecast to be blowing ~15 mph for the next 10 days or so. That may make the fishing a little more difficult at least for what I like to do, so figured I’d get out and enjoy today while it was nice. Our family friend Ron Modra is in town so I took him and my dad since I had the day off. We headed out early and caught some bait first thing. Got one good shot on the bait but then it was tough after that. We looked in a few areas and there was lots of bait but way up shallow where we couldn’t really get ’em. But we had enough to fish with. We saw a few tarpon early on on the falling tide but not nearly as many as we saw a couple days ago when the tide was coming in. Small little handfuls of fish darting around and they weren’t staying put so it was tough to get lined up right. We tried and caught a few sharks. The tide quit after an hour and a half and then started to come in. We saw a few more tarpon now and eventually Ron got a nice 45 lber! After that we looked around and tried to get more bait but still very tough for them. Then we got into a big school of tarpon again. We jumped another one off, and then they kind of disappeared again. We moved around a little and found them again, then we jumped one more bigger fish off, and then finally finished up with another 50 lb tarpon. The last stop we definitely were thick in the tarpon and were seeing what we saw a couple days ago. Seems they really were coming in with the hard incoming tide. Anyways always nice to catch a couple, I’m off tomorrow but fishing Sunday and then pretty open next week. Like I said it’ll be a little windy but not too crazy, at least it won’t be boiling hot. If you are wanting to get out fishing give me a shout and we can give it a try! 2 for 4
Got out with James today for a full day of tarpon fishing in Islamorada. He was visiting from the UK. We headed out early and went into the backcountry. The winds were nice and calm, much calmer then they’ve been. We’ve had a little bit of a windy August, not crazy windy but enough that it’s made the fishing a little tougher and churned up many of the backcountry areas with mud and such. In the summer this happens much more easily with the warmer water temperatures so it doesn’t take much wind at all to do that. Anyhow we found some bait early and found some tarpon where they were yesterday. We didn’t have much tide to start but eventually it started coming in. Though we did not get any response out of the tarpon! Eventually they thinned out, we caught a few sharks and moved around a bit. We finally got one tarpon to bite but he threw the hook unfortunately. After that things dried up and we made a move to another area. We found a good load of tarpon here – one of the biggest schools of seen this month with hundreds of tarpon! They weren’t pulling us out of the boat though, we didn’t get much for about 30 minutes then finally jumped another small size fish. Then we moved and after 20 minutes we hooked a bruiser about 120 lbs! James fought him for 45 minutes and we got him boatside for some pictures. After that we went back and the tarpon were still there, we hooked up pretty quick to an 80 lber that we fought for a little bit and landed. After that though the big group of fish was gone. We looked around and saw a handful but they were very spread out. We decided to catch a little more bait and then found a small group of tarpon that were staying in somewhat of an area. We set up and James hooked his last tarpon of the day a nice 45 lber that we landed. All in all a great day, August has been a little tougher than July the fish have definitely been more finicky plus the wind that I’ve mentioned, but it’s still definitely been worth going. Looks like we will have nice conditions into the weekend so I think the fishing could stay pretty good. I have good availability from now on so don’t hesitate to call or email me, if it doesn’t look like it’s worth going I’m usually good with moving things around if possible which is a nice thing about the off season. 3 for 5