Tarpon are active.

7-25-09 web report by Captain Van Hubbard<br />
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Tarpon and snook are hungry.<br />
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I started off the week with rain and then boat work but ended it with great tarpon action. After almost a week off the water it was wonderful to get back home and go fishing. It is so easy to take my blessed lifestyle as a fishing guide for granted; and while it is hard work, I do love my life on the water. I am thankful for my blessing and work is good for us.<br />
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I started installing some splash rails on my Dorado recently and the chime rails I added really lifted my boat on plain, and reduced drag on the hull plus water splashing over the sides. They even reduced the back and forth roll in seas in addition to boat wakes adding comfort and stability. One more big deal is almost three miles per hour in speed at most RPMS which saves gas! I’m sure it runs shallower but have not really tested this aspect yet. We had scheduled the forward splash rail installation for Monday but a very heavy but need rain storm postponed the work. With bright skies Tuesday morning I called and got with Ryan at Omni Marine to finish this long anticipated job. I really like my 23 Dorado but after ten years of wet enjoyment and no help from the manufacturer I decided to tackle this issue myself. Tony agreed to let me help and worked with me to choose the right placement for my new “Smart Rails”. We spent two hours getting them just right and constant before installation. It was worth the effort to choose the best position to knock down water yet not make to much noise. I was concerned because you don’t just move these rails if I messed up. I was excited to see how they performed. The expense and effort will add enjoyment and save me fuel plus added speed, safety, and comfort; a winner all the way around. My estimate is the rail combinations will reduce spray by at least seventy-five percent in most conditions. A dramatic improvement; it’s like a new boat and I like her even more now.<br />
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Merry Beth and I decided to sea trial her since it was so nice Wednesday at noon; after required set up period. We had to carry some fishing poles and found snook, permit, and tarpon to play with. Since we found the fish late and because our waters are so beautiful, crystal clear and calm we decided to get up and go early on Thursday. I looked down the beaches for baits and tarpon. I took the long way against the good advice of my “expert” Merry Beth, it cost us some good fishing but we scored. She hooked a long skinny silver king on her powerful Saltiga Z 6000. It ran ashore so when we landed it at the Boca Grande beach we took some in water shots of Merry and a hundred pound plus silver king. As the fish was still too frisky we only got a few before it broke off in her hands. It was comical watching us trying to get the wild fish to pose. I was unable to drag anyone away from work Friday so we went again; for photos of course; as good a reason as any to go fish. We got there early and hooked up right away on a crab, this one made two awesome jumps before spitting my hook. Merry had a couple chase her minnows and boil trying to catch her frisky minnows before I hooked up again. This one ran right at the boat and I only got one jump as it threw my crab back at me. No help from the splash rails here.<br />
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Then it got interesting! Hundreds, no, actually thousands of tarpon came to the surface at once and started migrating north in a push of tarpon that was a mile long and a block wide. Not solid fish but not more than a few feet apart; like a wave of silver kings on a mission in unison they came up and moved out. They did bunch up after a few miles. We followed them up past Stump Pass before we gave up. While we wanted to get more bites this awesome migration was impressive and something we both will never forget. In the past I’ve witnessed schools take off offshore and up our Coast but never seen this sheet of silver kings march off (in step) like this before. Thank you “Big Guy” for these memories! <br />
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We found snook, a few grouper, and some shy but catchable five pound permit, besides the tarpon. We have mackerel and snapper available plus reds and trout. So we have some fine fishing, my T Top provides some shade and our weather is cooperating; Let’s Go Fishin’. Captain Van Hubbard

Captain Van Hubbard

P.O. Box 146
Placida, FL 33946



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