Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Florida Tarpon Fishing in the Sixties

I posted this a couple years ago but now that we're at the beginning of tarpon season it's worth another look.  This short film is from the Costa Del Mar/IGFA website featuring legendary Keys guide Stu Apte and some seriously old-school tarpon fishing. 

Compared to how easy we have things today, this is pure awesome.  For starters, Stu is fishing from an insanely heavy bow-rider boat out of Bud and Mary's Marina in Islamorada, and he's clearly hired Where's Waldo as his guide to actually pole the thing.

And since a day of tarpon fishing can mean several hours on the water without much happening, Stu and Waldo bring along the Florida Citrus Queen just so she can hang out in her bikini.  Give it up for these guys!!

But since this is Stu Apte we're talking about, he obviously hooks a couple of monster tarpon in this video.  He's also using a fiberglass fly rod with the same diameter and stiffness of a garden hose.  He even unscrews the end cap and inserts something called a rod stiffener (seriously?) which is just a piece of steel to help turn the garden hose into an actual fish fighting tool. 

This film is absolutely amazing and the elevator music soundtrack is beyond cool.  They had all those big Keys tarpon to themselves back then but I still wouldn't trade places with these guys and their ancient gear for anything, even if the Citrus Queen rode along on all my charters.  Watch and be amazed: