Rolling tarpon ahead, and now it’s all about the stalk.
It’s the start of the 2017 tarpon season and this morning I’m working the quiet backcountry of Charlotte Harbor, where tarpon have congregated in April for as long as anyone can remember. It’s this brand of tarpon fishing that offers some of the greatest challenge and satisfaction. It’s about the sight of moving fish, the finesse of quietly positioning the boat ahead of them and casting either a live bait like a crab or a plug in the fish’s path.
This day it was a plug our first fish of the day gulped, rocketing into the air. It was a short affair, with the plug flying free shortly after, but what a way to start the day. My anglers were pumped and ready for more action. They were not disappointed.
That first fish was a harbinger of things to come. Very big thing, it would turn out.
The tarpon are already in the big Boca Grande Pass, and today they were hungry. It’s already shaping up like a great early season, and I still have some days open, so don’t miss your chance at some great action before the crowds descend on the tarpon capital of the world.
We hooked several fish this day, but the highlight was monster that took a live crab. No ordinary tarpon, this silver submarine of a fish was 8 feet long, and easily weighed in at 220 pounds. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were more like 230. It’s an example of what is possible here in Boca at the kickoff of the annual tarpon season.
This fish made it all the way to boat, where after photographing it, we revived her and set her free. The story a fish like this provides is for the ages. It’s a family fishing tale that can be passed along through generations. It’s a photograph that will always have a place on the family wall of memories. It’s priceless.