Your cruising just off the white sand Gulf beaches at daybreak, anticipation is high. We’re alert for the tell tail ripples or dark tails waving from the calm glassy surface; saying come catch us. Happy silver kings (Tarpon) ready to eat a properly presented bait or lure. Everyone’s spellbound watching the giant Tarpon. This is big game fishing and not for the faint of heart. We ease in for the cast. It’s on target just ahead of the boiling mass of giant tarpon. You sense the slight bump in your fishing line, then reel up the slack and hold on tight. The spell is broken by an exploding silver king.
You really need to experience this before you can believe or even imagine the strength of these awesome gamefish. This is the big game for most of us. Picture 100+ pounds of giant silver king rocketing from the calm blue Gulf of Mexico waters. You are now attached to this acrobatic silver king with quality, heavy duty, spinning gear. HANG-ON for the ride of your life. Few moments compare to the exhilaration and adventure that you will experience first hand. Bring the cameras and videos; you’ll want proof to share with your friends and family.
Some things for you think about with tarpon fishing. When Captain Van says you have a good shot to get a big fish it’s not a fish story. Your odds are best if you help him help you. Let him know what you want and listen to the response. Your wish is his command; but you can increase your chances by following his directions. Things can get intense. Your adrenal is pumping full throttle, it’s hard to hear when your this excited. If you can just let the coach talk you thru the maneuvers your catching will be easier.
One of the first questions frequently asked is how do we find these spectacular fish? Tarpon are located by observing them rolling at the surface. This occurs when they’re actively feeding, the best time to be fishing. This is not a mathematical science. It’s experience, intuition and luck. Your patience and flexibility can help your catching; work with your coach.
Our tarpon trips usually start out in the pre dawn at 6:00 AM, from Stump Pass Marina. We slip out Stump Pass into the shimmering Summer Gulf waters. Some days we go south towards Boca Grande Pass many days we fish to the North near Venice. Early in the year we may fish Pine Island Sound or Captiva. Later in Summer with fish Charlotte Harbor. Tarpon usually start moving into our Boca Grande in April and peak in May/June, then they scatter around the beaches and Charlotte Harbor. We can usually locate them into at least September and have enjoyed great action as late as October.
We rarely need to fish the Boca Grande Pass, because it’s just gotten to crowded for us. We cruise the adjacent waters and target the abundant schools of Tarpon. Then with the important 36 volt, Motor Guide, electric power horse we sneak into range and cast our strong spinning gear slightly in front of the school.
Your knees will usually be knocking as the school swims up to your presentation. A large dark backed torpedo breaks out from the pack and slurps up your baitfish in an attention-getting silver flash. Now you try to reel the string tight and set your very sharp hook. Pulling as your hook strikes home and the reel excitement begins. Your Silver King explodes, airborne, frequently jumps are more than 20′. Most of the time they bolt skyward several times between screaming runs, before settling down to a tug of war. The smoother you utilize your energy the faster we subdue the your trophy and move on to the next. Frequently Tarpon jump a few more times near the boat. Have your cameras ready.
We release all Tarpon. They are a game fish and require a special $50 tag to harvest. If you want a mount we can help you with an accurate museum quality fiberglass replica. These will last a lifetime. Capt. Van has a huge 150 pound tarpon mount, a special fish that won him the Sun Coast Tarpon Round Up back in 1981. It still looks beautiful. Some trophies require a big wall, we’ve taken Tarpon over 7′ long. Professionals note, you can get paid for time spent in the office talking about your trophy Tarpon hanging on the office wall, it could even be tax deductible? Fish stories can get folks talking.