What to look for in a tarpon Guide?
Boca Grande is the tarpon capital of the world. There are plenty of ways to catch tarpon in and around Boca Grande along with plenty of tarpon guides. There are some very good guides and plenty of not so good tarpon guides. There are tarpon guides who fish at night, some that fish during the day, some that fish live bait, some that fish artificial’s, some who fish dead bait and some fly fish. I am not here to tell you what is better or that one is better than another.
I can tell you what I do to catch tarpon for my clients. One of the most exciting things about tarpon fishing in Boca Grande is the sighting a live bait to a large school of tarpon that you can see 30 feet from your boat. Maybe the most exciting thing is the giant tarpon jumping 10 feet out of the water when you get tight on him. Sight casting live bait on spinning tackle is not just exciting, but one of the most productive way to catch tarpon. For the hunters out there tarpon fishing is also a lot like hunting. We start out looking for a school of what we call happy tarpon. They are generally slow rolling, floating on the surface, or just finning. There is nothing like sneaking up on a happy school of tarpon with your trolling motor, and slinging a crab out and watching a giant tarpon sky rocketing out of the water 10 feet in the air. This is my specialty putting my clients on big schools of giant tarpon with light tackle, live bait, during daylight hours so my clients can have an experience they will never forget. My job is not just to put you on fish, but to catch to the boat.
Now the hard part is for you to choose the right guide. How do you choose the right guide? Here are a few pointers:
- Figure out how you want to fish? Wether you want to fish day or night?
- Do not book a tarpon trip with anyone via email. Always call and speak to your potential guide.
- Do not get scammed by websites, so called tournament wins, world records, or any other horn tooting nonsense. “Tournaments and records have nothing to do with charter fishing.”
- Check reviews, ask for referrals, ask other guides, and any other ideas you can come up with.
- This is a big one make sure your tarpon guide has a trolling motor on his boat. Make sure he also has live crabs on his boat. You will be surprised how many tarpon guides will show up with out either.
- One of the biggest scams when it comes to tarpon fishing is the so called TARPON GUARANTEE ! This is a scam that crappy guides run because they can’t get people to fish with them for whatever reason. This is how it works, they guarantee you hook or jump a tarpon. Well that sound great right? No really because lets say the fish are not biting well that day. They will go down to a 30 pound leader to get a bite knowing the fish will bite thru the leader. Or this is the big one lets say the fishing has not been easy the prior day they will cancel you. I know this happens every year and sometimes those clients miss out on a great day of fishing because of a crappy guide.
- Ask your guide where he is going to fish you. Ask him if he fishes in the pass most of the time. If he says yes ask him what happens if there are not fish in the pass. Ask him if he able to fish the beaches, harbor, sound, or the hill.
- Ask the guide where he is going to pick you up at. If it’s not at Boca Grande question him about it. You want to be picked up at Boca Grande, its central location to the fish. I am always willing to help you in anyway to choose a tarpon fishing guide whether you fish with me or not. I would rather help you get a good guide and have your best chance a catching some tarpon, then you coming to Boca Grande and have a bad trip.
I will give several names of the good tarpon guides and their phone numbers. I do not do this for a referral just to help make sure Boca Grande keeps it’s famous tarpon fishing reputation up. If you choose to fish with me I promise to do my best to catch you as many tarpon as I can everyday. There are some guides that are happy if they catch one tarpon per trip. Well, I am not that guide! I want my clients to go home with sore arms everyday. I will say also there are about 120 guides in the Boca grande area, but there are only about 15 or so good ones. These are the guides you want to be fishing with period. When fishing is easy anyone can catch them, but when its hard if you are not with one of us you might leave very disappointed. We can all have a bad day, but on average these same 15 guides catch the most fish everyday.