Venice/Englewood tarpon and snook fishing still good.
I hope everyone enjoyed their Forth of July as much as I did. We are so lucky to enjoy our freedoms and live in America. Please remember to thank our soldiers and law enforcement folks for their sacrifices to protect us! The rain ended just in time Sunday evening, so I took friends out in the boat to enjoy the Englewood fireworks. They were great this year. Thank you to all that put this together! It was cool, comfortable and just perfect.
We have enjoyed good tarpon action most trips but had to work for fish on a few trips too. I even had to go back to the old traditional method a couple of trips; Dacron lines in Boca Grande Pass and green on the reel. It was productive and worked because so many out of town boats invaded our usually quiet beaches. It was exciting to share the pass with the traditional guide boats many of them are long time friends. The big secret to fishing is simply, to fish happy fish. Because of the deeper waters and an awesome crab run during the Hill Tides of the Full Moon the “Pan” was hot for a few days. Fish will not tolerate boats running them over time and again. But since food was so abundant the fish dropped down deep and chewed while the crabs ran.
The beaches are not as consistent but do still have fish. One morning we’ll find “sitting ducks”, laid up schools of happy tarpon, just waiting for breakfast; the next we ride more to locate fish. Sometimes it works best to sit and wait for bites while the fish are scattered. Especially if you consistently observe rolling fish. I prefer the sight fishing with a clear target to cast at, but I want you to catch fish. Sitting requires more patience than seeing giant tarpon swim at your bait presentations, but some days it get the job done!
On June 23rd Scott Clark and family went after a mess of fish for dinner. We caught a few snook and a mess of fine speckled trout for their family feast. We had three trout at twenty two inches each. Live minnows under rattle corks, were the hot rigs.
On the 24th I broke out the old Dacron Pass conventional rigs for Mike Clark’s afternoon trip. Englewood Beach was slow so we ran all the way south to Boca Grande Pass. The area outside of the Big Hole known as the “Pan” to locals was cooking. We looked around and decided to jump in since we were properly equipped. It was awesome Mike had six or seven fish hooked up, on ten drifts! He was on fire. We landed a few and lost a few but they had a ball! We saw ten to twenty fish on at a time. I guess I am going to have to consider more Pass fishing next year, if the crowds continue to migrate out to beach fishing. Again the fact is only happy fish bite! Most of the folks fishing around here understand the need to slowly stalk schools of fish but the few that can not grasp this are impossible to fish around!
On the 25th Brian Winchester and family went after tarpon of off Venice and then some snook in Englewood.
Merry Beth got Brian some great tarpon photos and then caught them some snook. They drove down from Tallahassee for a weekend of Englewood fishing.
On the 26th Maryann Baldwin brought Scott down from St. Pete. to catch him a birthday tarpon. The morning bite was slow so we went down to Boca Grande Pass for the evening tide and he pulled a big one out of the fleet for his birthday treat. It was great to see all the action, lots of jumps, he got his fish, but we ended with a big bang because the bull sharks moved in took over.
The weekend was a mess with rain and crowds so I took a couple of days off. I am looking forward to some bay fishing this week and then tarpon on Friday. I did slip out and catch my silver king on Friday morning. It is still exciting to catch a tarpon, even after over thirty years of tarpon guiding here around Boca Grande. We are blessed to be able to live and play here. We will have tarpon for the next month or so. Snook, redfish, trout, and more are available if you have the desire. Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard. <www.captvan.com>