The Venice snook bite is hot but Boca Grande tarpon can be challenging.
We have tarpon all around Boca Grande and north thru Venice for our Prime time June season but unusually strong west winds have frequently made outside fishing tough with rough seas. We have some good action when winds allow us access to the schools of silver kings. The fish are as confused by this crazy weather as are we. Normally we can expect slick calm, glassy surfaces to greet us at dawn on our blue green Gulf waters. This year we should sit down to be comfortable while we fish. Tarpon are easy to see and observe in slick calm conditions and extremely challenging to find if it’s rough plus white caps. We have a tougher time staying on the schools because of our cooler waters. Tarpon roll to gulp air in hot waters; this is how we spot them! It’s tough to get lines in front of targets we can’t see! We can usually adapt by anchoring up and intercepting migrating fish; except right now they are bouncing in and off shore inconsistently? Tarpon guides are earning their pay right now. Again the fish are here we just need some normal weather to get the action going. We got on a school last Saturday AM around Boca Grande and had eight bites in as many casts. Fortunately we stuck the last one and caught a huge one hundred sixty plus giant tarpon an hour later. It was so strong we wore out two anglers! Whenever the weather calms down we have great tarpon action!
Snook are inside and we have enjoyed great action most days that we target snook. So far the snook action has been a trip saver. Linesiders are not back to normal numbers but in good shape; lots of medium sized snook and plenty of the tackle testing trophies too. I’m working to get more photos up soon; we have enjoyed great fish recently and I have some awesome photos. Most snook fishing has been with live minnows but we caught a few on flies if that’s your thing. Minnows can be tough in June but so far I’ve been able to catch enough to keep us all happy. Fish have been confused here too. Some are where they should be but other spots I’ve caught good fish for three decades are dead zones? Fish are not going outside as much yet either?
One sure thing about fishing is; there are no sure things! When you think you know it all you are just fooling yourself! I learn things every day and this new information just opens up more questions than answers; remember I’ve been working at this for over forty years. Keep your eyes and mind open. The hot bite is waiting we just have to stumble into it. Here’s a reminder. Saturday we looked everywhere carefully for the missing tarpon. It was windy and fish had moved away from Boca Grande Pass. I knew where they should be. We found a few schools off shore but it was rough and no action. One of my guests was not doing well and it was not happening out there, so we headed inshore. In route I saw what appeared to be a “tail splash” so I slowed down to observe closer. All of a sudden the place was covered up with thousands of rolling, happy tarpon. They were also hungry and ate as fast as we could get crabs in front of fish. We were by our selves between the fleets, but in the right place at the right time! It made our day!
We do have redfish and trout for dinner fish if you want to target them. Permit and barracuda are on the reefs if winds allow us safe fishing? It’s a great time to be here in paradise and fishing for a living. Thank you for your interest. Let’s Go Fishin’, soon? Captain Van Hubbard <www.captvan.com>