For years I have turned down chances to fish Tarpon in the Florida Keys and elsewhere. This winter I decided enough is enough, bite the bullet save your money (spend what you saved) and go to a Tarpon destination. Sure there will be Bonefish, Snook, Permit chances but the focus of the trip will be Tarpon until conditions dictate otherwise. The trip did not disappoint and the location lived up to it’s billing.
We fished in channels, lagoons, and a few deeper flats. Most of the fish were caught in mangrove lined lagoons and deep channels. The wind howled on our trip and the water was a milky green. It rained every night and some afternoons. Our guide kept saying “Tarpon Love Fresh Water” and “Tarpon Love Dirty Water”. We had rolling Tarpon to cast to daily. Standing on the bow in 4 foot swells required help from you partner in terms of line management and balance. Upon hooking fish you had to do all the right things in terms setting the hook, clearing your line and bowing to the fish. In addition you had to worry about the anchor setting and staying upright. Meanwhile waves are crashing over the back of our 16′ cork of a boat. All part of the fun.
We had a few other species in the mix. No fly change needed.
The last day the weather really got crappy and we headed for cover in a back country “river” of sorts. The fish were smaller but we “ripped em up”.
Local color and flavors were enjoyable as well.
Tackle used: 1) Winston 10wt BIIX Rod, Bauer Rogue 5 Fly Reel, Rio Tarpon Clear Tip, 2) Winston 12wt BIIMX Rod, Hatch 9 Reel (demo but will be stocking them soon), Rio DC425 24ft Sink Tip, 3) Sage 9wt Xi3 Rod, Nautilus G9 Reel, Scientific Anglers Saltwater Sharkskin Clear Tip and Floating Bonefish 9wt.
For the name, location and outfitter give me a call or email and I will be happy to discuss.–CD