Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Keep Your Tarpon Wet

This isn't a very big tarpon, probably no more than 50 pounds, but it was over 40 inches long and that means it has to stay in the water.  This has been the law in Florida since 2013 and it's something I've been in favor of for a long time.  There is no reason to pull these fish out of the water after fighting them to exhaustion and it's one of the reasons I rarely post tarpon pictures on this blog.  (That, and I haven't been landing many so far this year.)  But anyway, congrats to Jim from Michigan on landing this fish and just a reminder to use heavy leaders, go full throttle on your drag, and keep these bigger fish in the water if you want to photograph them. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

More Pine Island Permit

Victoria from New Jersey finally did it and landed my first Pine Island permit on the flats yesterday. We were actually fishing for baby tarpon on a windy and cloudy Saturday morning when this one pound beauty ate a live shrimp under a Cajun Cork. Permit are not uncommon in the deeper Gulf Of Mexico waters right outside Pine Island Sound and we're starting to see more of them on the shallows each year. I'm hoping that this is a trend that will continue and maybe we'll rival the Keys in a few years as a destination for these beautiful gamefish.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Beavertail Skiffs At The Wounded Warrior Anglers Tournament This Saturday On Matlacha

Stop by the Matlacha Community Park this Saturday from 10AM to 6PM for the annual Wounded Warrior Anglers Redfish Shootout.  While you're there you can check out a handful of brand new Beavertail Skiffs, including the awesomely fast Lightning featured in the video above.  This is also the WWA's current 2016 raffle boat and you can buy tickets to win it at their drawing on November 12th.  I'll be hanging out with Beavertail's owners Will and Elizabeth Leslie to answer any questions you might have about the skiffs and the fishing around Pine Island.  The weather looks great and this is always a good time.  Hope to see you there. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Last Tarpon

A nasty thunderstorm canceled my charter this morning which gave me time to go through some older photos.  This is a shot of the last tarpon I personally hooked exactly nine months ago today, courtesy of my friend Tim Gleason from Pine Island.  As a full time guide I'm usually on the wrong end of the boat, which means I average about one of these fish every year for myself at best.  So far, I haven't even cast a fly at a tarpon in 2016, and probably won't be able to until sometime late next month.  But there are plenty of them around right now, much bigger than the one in the photo, so I'm counting on a boating a triple digit fish sometime this summer.  It's been over three years since I landed a tarpon that size so I'm way overdue. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Off To Work

Matlacha guide Capt. Joe Harley heading out on a tarpon mission into Charlotte Harbor.