Monday thru Wednesday, June six-nine, Sara and Paul joined me from Williston, Fl. Paul ask his wife Sara what she wanted to do for vacation and without hesitation she said “let’s go fishing”. Sara wanted to catch her first tarpon. We ran all the way to Venice with no luck. Seeing fish but it was cool and they did not show long enough for us to stay with the schools. We got a few shots but no takers. So we stopped to change our luck and enjoyed a great lunch at the Crow’s Nest on Venice Inlet. Then we started back south towards Stump Pass. Just after we got to the Venice Pier I saw a few tarpon cruising south also. We observed them and the school stopped then started circling like happy tarpon. I only cast Sara’s line they looked so good. Slowly the silver mass eased up to here cork and it disappeared. Sara reeled and set the hook; she was finally hooked up. After several runs and jumps she landed her first silver king; and she was happy! Paul landed one a short time later and then Sara caught her second larger fish to top off a wonderful outing. We had fun and caught fish. It just took patience and persistence.
We found plenty of fish and hooked a big tarpon Tuesday but did not land any. The fish have been very finicky many times this year. Clear waters are beautiful and we like to see our target so clearly; but sometimes it’s challenging to seduce big fish in clear waters. We are fishing with up to twenty feet of fluorocarbon leader to compensate. Wednesday Sara caught a hundred pound tarpon early and then we went inside to try some snook. The tide was good and we cast netted some minnows for bait. Sara was lucky again and got twenty and seventeen pound trophy snook, plus several smaller snook. Paul was satisfied with his twelve pound snook plus several smaller ones and a very happy wife! They also caught some redfish and trout. We got double Grande Slams but could not get the Super Grande Slam, all four, in one day. It works out to increase your chances if you book several days; because you never know what will happen one day till the next. One day the fish chew and the next it’s slow. Weather can be a big factor especially this year. Multiple days certainly enhances your odds of success.
Friday we got tarpon and more snook for Tommy and son Michael from St Petersburg. We have fished together for so long I’d feel old if we got into details; let’s just say we started before Michael was born and now Tommy is a Grandfather! Again the fish would bite for awhile then shut down then eat again. It helps when guests understand that the guide is not able to control the fish. But we make sure we have tasty treats to tantalize the big ones.
I took advantage of a couple of days off the water to catch up on boat and motor maintenance. Get tackle back in order and track down more crabs for tarpon bait. Unfortunately the winds picked up for Tuesday and Wednesday’s trips so we made the best of it with some fine snook catching. Baitfish are challenging now but I got some and we took advantage to the strong tide flow which was enhanced by the West winds. Rough seas kept us inside but we landed and released some fine snook. Daniel landed a trophy over twenty pounds on our first cast. I had a shad about seven inches long for bait; big fish like big baits! This monster took several minutes to land of our light spinning gear but Daniel did great. We got some great shots for the family to share and keep the memories fresh for a long time. It was o good to see three generations of men bonding and sharing time together fishing. Especially since tomorrow is Fathers day!
This coming week is busy and I’m looking forward to good fishing and fair weather after that big Full Moon on the fifteenth. I do have a few days open twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth and thirtieth, then lots of days open in July. We are enjoying some great catch and release snook action plus big tarpon for the next month or more. We need rain, we actually want rain so it will stir the Gulf waters up some; they are too clear for catching. Fish can see us as we look at them. It is awesome to see the big snook and tarpon swimming around our boat. Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard. <wwwcaptvan.com>