Tarpon are the best fishing around Boca Grande now.

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It’s prime time tarpon action in this area thru the Fourth of July. Silver kings will remain thru at least August but our air temps will get even hotter and thunderstorms should start this month. Snook are closed now, however we have both trout and redfish inside for food fish. Spanish Mackerel and snapper are around the passes plus snapper, grouper, permit, cobia, etc… are offshore on wrecks and reefs. Life is great and fishing is easy; if you do it right.<br />
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Any way you choose to pursue tarpon they are the greatest big gamefish available to us working folks. Billfish are awesome but very expensive to chase. Down here around Boca Grande Pass the silver kings gather by the thousands and anglers come from all over the world to try their luck. Your choice of a skilled local captain can enhance your odds to almost a sure thing most days. Strong west winds last month made some trips challenging. Invest the time to be sure your individual needs/desires can be adapted to your outing. Communicate with your captain as you set up the trip about the style of tarpon fishing you will be using. It will help you understand exactly how you will be fishing for your trophy and methods differ dramatically. Some folks like the excitement of the Big Pass; other prefer the quieter stalking of “beach fishing”. This means you cruise the area sight fishing. After you locate the school of fish you stalk em with electric motors then cast heavy spinning rigs in front of them. It’s fun and requires more involvement on your part. Different strokes for different folks. Any way you try it the Boca Grande area is your best shot to get for a hundred pound or larger silver king on a day trip. <br />
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Snook are closed but can be caught and released. Please be sure to respect this special gamefish and handle them gently with wet hands or just use a dehooker tool. Use only circle hooks with live baits to prevent gut hooking snook. They are spawning now and you should not sit there and beat up the schools because it is hard on them. There are just too many anglers for us to spend hours pulling on a school of spawning fish like the old days. “Flipper” can force you to move on as dolphins have become a big problem down here eating released snook. <br />
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Trout and reds are open and available if you invest some effort you can catch dinner. Again reds are scared off the shallow water by all the tournaments. It seems we have one or two every weekend now. Avoid the flats in the afternoons because of hotter water temps. Trout are your best bet for easy dinner. Try working deeper grassy edges and use minnows or soft plastics. If you are catching small fish move on the big ones do not mix because trout are cannibalistic. Charlotte Harbor has a lot of areas to learn and work be patient, enjoy the exploration.<br />
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Spanish Mackerel and snapper are roaming around area passes. Try anchoring up and using frozen chum to attract and hold hungry fish near your boat. Minnows, spoons, or jigs will produce action. Ladyfish and other fun fish keep kids busy and rods bent to make you look like a hero to them. Carry several bags of chum because they dissipate fast in this hot water. You’ll need to pack extra ice to keep your catch fresh for dinner. I choose the ground up menhaden as its mush oilier. Some chum is better than others. Fluorocarbon is the choice in clear waters for those snapper. Long shank hooks help prevent some cut offs with the Spanish. The less junk you have on your fishing rig, the more bites you will get.<br />
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Offshore is great now just be cautious of those evening thunderstorms. Snapper, grouper, cobia, permit, and more all hang around structures from about 35 feet on out. Carry a variety of baits, lures, and rigs. You can see about anything from cuda and kingfish to sailfish this time of the year. If you’re not ready they usually are not going to wait for you to rig up. Use those chum bags and try lighter gear in clear waters. Lighten up for more action. Yes you will lose some big fish; but you get so much more action. Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard <www.captvan.com><br />

Captain Van Hubbard

P.O. Box 146
Placida, FL 33946

941-468-4017

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