There’s been a steady increase in tarpon numbers over the past few days, it’s still windy but the onshore flow is keeping water temperatures up and bringing the fish in. Shannon Norris has had the foredeck for the last two days, hunting sleepers and drawing numerous strikes from laid up fish. This morning, on dawn patrol, he hooked a giant just after sunrise and after an hour long, technically perfect battle, had the fish boatside. We were trying to get a lip hold on her and Shannon had her snubbed down tight when his brand new, twelve weight, high-performance-nanno-titanium-techno-positive-magna-flex-super-duperior, state of the art, space age fly rod, …..exploded. We tried to hand line it for a few minutes and finally snapped the tippet. We’re calling this one landed. We didn’t get a picture of the fish but here’s one of Shannon with the remains of the Wonder Rod.
April 29, 2005
April 22, 2005
We’ve been tarpon fishing every day. There are fish around and some new arrivals with the full moon. Dino Messina on the foredeck over the last three days jumping eight, three were giants and the others were fifty to seventy pounds.
April 16, 2005
With the front passing through and high winds prevailing we’ve taken a break from tarpon hunting. Off shore winds have opened up some areas to the south that we haven’t been able to get to for a while and we’re finding both reds and snook in the shallows. Here’s John Manuel with a red, and John Hillsinger with one of several snook he caught, all in the same year class.
April 11, 2005
A break in the weather, finally. Light winds, clear skies, an easy tide and tarpon. We hunted sleepers all day and they were there. Some green fish arriving in all sizes. We are using the light rigs, small flies, and we’re getting fish in the air. Jeff Wyman landed a fifty pounder today and jumped another in the 150 pound class.
April 6, 2005
We got one today, a sleeper in Lake of Islands. We used a number 8 fly rod, with a sixteen pound class tippet and a forty pound shock. The fly was a size two. The leader is long and tapered, no biminis, designed for a quiet and subtle presentation. Sleepers are wary and hard to approach; traditional tarpon rigs have their place in the game, but I’m finding these ultra-light rigs are the way to go when hunting laid up fish in the lagoons. You have a much better chance of presenting the fly without spooking the fish. She was ninety pounds and the battle was 48 minutes. Dan Newman on the foredeck, tarpon on fly, Everglades style.
April 5, 2005
Once again, with strong winds and murky water the tarpon have thinned out. We got a few shots but no takers. The new moon is approaching, hopefully we’ll see the arrival of some migrants. Meanwhile, we’re plagued with these trash fish. Here’s another one.
April 4, 2005
Storms, cold fronts, wind and muddy water have been dogging our tarpon attempts, still, they are there for the intrepid. Dick Schultz and I spent the day searching for them and finally found a fresh school late in the day. We had several shots, no hookups, but we didn’t bother them much at all and we’re going back out at daylight tomorrow with a renewed strategy. (They’re laid up under the mangroves at high tide.) Here’s Dick with a trash fish he picked up while casting to sleepers in the Choke Hole.