Well, it’s officially ON! The 2019 tarpon season in underway in Boca Grande.
I’m in Boca now, where the fish are active and hungry, both in the big pass and in the harbor back country. I love this early season fishing, as the big crowds aren’t here yet and we have a lot more water to work with.
I still have a few days open in April, so for anyone with the itch to come and score a springtime tarpon before the scorching sun and hoards of anglers arrive, please drop me a line and we’ll get locked in.
There’s a couple of ways to work these early fish, including one of my favorites, casting plugs or lures like DOA Bait Busters, a soft plastic mullet imitation the fish love. We also use live threadfins at times, depending on conditions.
This back-country stalking is a bit like hunting, in that we’re on the prowl, eyes wide open and alert to any sign of fish. Once we find a likely looking pod, I put the boat on an intercept path to get within casting distance with stout but nimble spinning gear. The key is to get the bait out front and let the fish come to it. As the bait and fish converge, that’s when we get the strike.
Fishing in the shallow water in the harbor is a whole different experience, as the fish make longer runs compared to the deep pass, where they have a lot more water depth to work with. It’s hold on for life as we fire the motor and try to keep close to the running tarpon. Make sure you’ve had your Wheaties for breakfast, as these back country fish will put you to the test.
Like all our fish, these harbor tarpon are brought to boatside where we grab a few quick shots to remember the moment before carefully unhooking and reviving the fish before setting it free to fight again one day.
Action Fishing Adventures
Capt. Mike Manning
Local & Outside the United States: 727-243-8918
PICK UP ADDRESS:
580 5th St.
Boca Grande, FL 33921
Our Boca Grande Address:
9805 Gulfstream Blvd.
Englewood, Florida 34224