There are a few tarpon around, the wind, weather and tide are such that you have to make some kind of decision early in the day. The best wind and tide window is short right now and you have to commit to a plan, a route, a species to target early in the morning. Any decision is good, as long as it’s tarpon on fly. We jumped and fought a sixty pounder through seven leaps and nine runs today, then lost it to ah, …err, well, I guess we just lost it. It was great. That was a sleeper David Wiggins hooked in the Choke Hole, a totally layed up sleeper, ten feet off the bow, just a tiny little roll-out cast, two twitches of the purple toad…
We tagged a smaller one too. A fish of maybe 25 pounds, #01566. That one was caught by David’s partner, Ed Neves.
The bonefish and tarpon research center at University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine Science is tracking tarpon with tags and I volunteered. We tagged the first one April 21, Dr. Bud Robertson had the honor, it was in Gemini’s, about a forty pounder I guess. It was forty three inches ‘fork length.’ The tag was number 01564. www.tarponresearch.com
This is a photo J.P. Brunet shot as Lee Frankman’s tarpon hit the water after careening through the bushes. It drove upward into it’s leap from a pocket under the mangroves, went through the first layer of canopy, and crashed back into the river. Amazingly, Lee kept it hooked and fought it to the leader twenty minutes later.
This past cold front just shut down the tarpon fishing. We’re in a warming trend though and things have to change for the better. The good news is, there’s some pretty hot fishing for reds and snook right now.
It’s not supposed to be like this in April, the cruelest month. Howling winds from the northwest, dirty water, dangerously low tides, impossible conditions. We all dismissed each other of any responsibility for catching anything, and then went tarpon fishing with fly rods. Lou hooked the tarpon printed on the back of his jersey right in the mouth. I’m as amazed and gratefull as I can be, the streak remains unbroken, contact, on every trip, including 3 struck two battled and one landed today. We’re not going into the size here, any tarpon today was HUGE!
Lee Frankman and JPBrunet have been hammering the herring. We’re fishing every day, everybody is falling asleep on the boat, except for JP, he battled two big tarpon today, one was very cool at about sixty pounds, and the other was enormous, in two feet of muddy water, a mind bogling fish of about a hundred and fifty.
I took this photo on my day off. This is the “Technical Rigging Staff,” at Trapper Marine, going over solutions for securing the cooler so that we all ride safely.
Marliss and Lee Frankman on the foredeck, casting to both sleepers and rollers, they each jumped a hundred pound fish from Jule’s Verne’s, the entrance to the netherworld, we lost them both, but that’s OK. We tried to decompress with a little snook fishing, but laid up tarpon interfered with our plans and Lee jumped another one, on an eight weight.
Dick Schultz and Lee Frankman are sharing the foredeck for a couple of days, tarpon on the fly, tarpon do or die! We got several real nice shots at truly giant sleepers this morning, no eats. Lee cast to a rolling fish and jumped a fifty pounder.