Got out with Bob and Brian today and we did a mixed bag trip. Tarpon was a priority but conditions didn’t look great with it blowing 15-20 out of the east. We caught some mullet early and hit the backcountry channels. Not much happening we only had a couple sharks bite, and only saw 1 tarpon roll. Tried another channel and only one more shark. Slow start! We decided to regroup and bend the light rods a little. The trout bite was pretty good actually and we caught probably 20 or so trout, getting our limit for dinner which was great for them. We headed back towards Islamorada to try some local tarpon spots, and we got lucky and found a nice one for Brian. He hooked an 80 lber and landed him after 20 minute battle, and then it was about time to go home. Hopefully they’ll stick around tomorrow, may be doing the same routine we’ll see!
I probably will not be doing the daily updated reported on here any longer, but I’ll try to post something once a week or so. Check out my other website islamoradatarpon.com for daily updated tarpon fishing reports through the Fall!
Got out for double half days again today. This morning I had Colon, Lucas, and Lorry out. They were visting from the Cayman Islands! It was fairly windy but not too bad for my larger boat. We got out to the mackerel grounds in about an hour and had good fishing with the breeze. Lots of spanish mackerel, a few snapper and blue runners too. We hooked several big sharks and landed a large nurse shark. The black tips though were so big and with it being rough, they broke hooks and cut us off on both attempts! But fun none the less to see them go crazy jumping.
This afternoon I had Andy, Aiden, and Bob who fished with me last October for tarpon and had good fishing then. We did the same deal as this morning and it was still a good bite! The first fish in the boat cut my finger though so I was bleeding everywhere which wasn’t fun, but was still able to catch lots of fish! We again hooked several big sharks, and almost landed a couple, but they were still biting us off and it was tough fighting them in the bigger seas. But all in all a good couple half days with lots of rod bending action. Tomorrow I’m back on regular full day schedule, not sure what we’ll be doing but hopefully they’re biting!
Got out for double half days today. This morning the wind was cranking 15-20 out of the north, a little rougher than anticipated. I had Charlie down from Long Island and we ventured out to the mackerel grounds. It was a little bumpy getting their, but not too bad. We anchored up and had a little slow start but by the end it was pretty good. The mackerels took a while to get going, but at the end if was almost every cast. I think we landed close to 20 or so. We also got two large mangrove snappers for dinner for Charlie, which was perfect because he didn’t need a ton. After that we made our way home.
This afternoon I had long time customer Jeff Godlewski who comes down with his group from CDW in the spring usually for a big corporate work/fishing trip. We did the same routine, the wind had laid down nicely in the afternoon so it was a straight shot out. The mackerels bit OK again, and we also caught several nice snappers, one was a big lane snapper which was cool. We only gave it an hour and then tried to run out to a deeper wreck which I normally wouldn’t do on a half day, but Jeff didn’t mind the extra running time to try for something quality, plus it was pretty calm so I could get their fairly quick. We couldn’t get on the spot however because a boat was already there, so we ran inshore to the channels to try for a tarpon for the last bit. We saw a free jumper and got in the area with him, and started to mark a handful of fish on the bottom machine but not a ton. I never saw one roll though. We caught a few sharks, never had a tarpon bite, and then the tide quit and it was time to go. But a fun afternoon anyhow. I have the same deal tomorrow, two half days, so it may be a similar day as today we’ll see! Hopefully the fish cooperate just as well.
Got out with Jim, Jeff, and Ryan today. We caught plenty of spanish mackerel early on with the last couple hours of falling tide. Good to see even though it was flat calm. Hopefully the mackerel will stick around for a few more weeks. After that we tried looking for tarpon. Didn’t see much life in the first stop where we had caught our big fish the day before. We ran further back off the beach to look but alas saw nothing at all. We ended up back where we first stopped, catching the start of the incoming tide. We caught some sharks and hooked into a few big sawfish but unfortunately we weren’t able to get either of them up to take a look at them. Some tarpon were starting to roll around us now but didn’t seem to want to bite for us. We ran further inside the channel and there were even more back there. We moved around a bit and ended up getting a few bites out of them, 3 total i think, but none of them stayed on the hook! Made for a tough ending but at least we had some shots. The boys want to come back in June when I told them the tarpon action is a bit more consistent.
Got out with Doug and Caroline again today. We had a slight northwest breeze this morning still, that went to more north out in the near gulf where we first started fishing. We had the last hour or so of falling tide and the mackerels were chewing pretty well. Took a little bit to really get them fired up but we got them going and probably landed a couple dozen. Also plenty of blue runners, some decent mangrove snappers for dinner, and a few other odds and ends. When the tide quit we decided to go try for some bigger stuff. The water was still chilly in the low 70s, but the wind was slowly dying out and it was getting sunny and felt like a tarpon might be a possibility. I looked in a couple different areas, hoping to come across a big pack like we had been doing earlier in the week. Though I didn’t see much or mark much on my machine, so we just started fishing on some numbers I like. We caught a few sharks, then Caroline hooked a monster tarpon! We fought it for about 20 minutes, and after a few good jumps and crazy head shakes, landed the beast. It was one of the largest tarpon I’ve ever caught and was likely close to 200 lbs. The girth of the fish was what really stuck out to me and one of the pictures shows how fat it is while the others dont truly do it justice. We also caught a big sawfish after that as well as a few more sharks, before heading in on our 3/4 day. What a great two days of fishing for Doug and Caroline!