Tarpon schools are showing up every day from Boca Grande and north to Venice.
Fishing is almost back to normal for May around Englewood. Water temps are into the eighties and baitfish are finally migrating into local Gulf waters. We are seeing tarpon every day even when not targeting them. We caught some fine Spanish and king mackerel yesterday around the Boca Grande Channel.
Since silver kings were absent in the Boca Pass Hole we even took a thirty pounder there on a live blue runner. The other kings were about twenty pounds each and ate large threadfins along the shipping channel. The large Spanish ate medium minnows in the channel also. No concentrations of fish but we did get a double header on kings and macks.
It is great to see the tarpon coming to hang out throughout or area. Many of the out of town “experts” are here but most have learned that happy fish might bite and aggravated fish run! The crowds come with all the press about our great tarpon fishing. Personally I prefer avoiding the crowds and we usually get lucky; thirty years of LOCAL tarpon probably experience helps too! It’s not hard it just requires patience and carefully stalking of happy fish. Observe the schools long enough to grasp their movements and anticipate that movement so you cast to where your target fish will be; not where they were! Happy tarpon daisy chain, or swim in circles, but are traveling most of the time too. Healthy live baits and quality tackle enhance our odds. Long fluorocarbon leaders defiantly help in clear Gulf waters. Quality gear, patience and persistence usually pay off.
Monday Lisa Sullivan, her daughters and a friend all from New Hampshire shared the morning with me. We saw eagles, osprey, and dolphins; we even caught a mess of fine trout. Catching was not up to par with a slow tide and breeze but we had fun and they had lots of memories to share back home.
More on that kingfish action; my group drove down from Orlando. Peyton Robertson, Bill Schnitker, Brian Jones, and Jason Herman took a day off Friday, to share some fishing before they went back home Sunday for Mother’s Day. We started off with a few scared blue runners and then two cut in half baitfish before we finally hooked up solid. Patience paid off when Bill got the screaming rod and after an extended battle conquered a smoker kingfish of about thirty pounds. It was great to see his face when he finally saw the big fish. Peyton briefly had a second big king on but it pulled the hook after a big run. It slowed down so we moved around on the tide change to capture some large Spanish and wait out the slack water tide change. We returned to the Boca Grande Pass; Jason and Brian each landed nice kings about twenty pounds each on my Quantum Boca 40 outfits, loaded with fourteen pound braid. Peyton played host and took great care of his friends. We came back early to clean our fish and keep our catch fresh to take back home and smoke up. We saw two schools of tarpon on our way to the Big Pass but no eaters. They were hiding on our way home. I need to thank these gentlemen for their cooperation enabling us to enjoy such a successful trip. They were quick to learn to tackle big fish on light gear. Clear water fish require minimum terminal rigging. Both cut offs were right next to the hooks. Those big eyes see heavy leaders and swivels. We switched to the lighter spinners to sneak up on the last two.
This is it, the fish are here, the waters and weather are great. Let’s Go Fishin’ now! Captain Van Hubbard. www.captvan.com