Friday, May 31, 2013

Pine Island Fishing Report: Big Winds, Small Tarpon

If you've stuck your head outside this past week you really needed to make sure your hairpiece was glued down tight.  Steady 15 knot winds that gusted to over 25 knots were the norm since Monday. Toss in some lunchtime rain showers and this was a really tough week on the water.

So what do you do when you're guiding fly anglers in conditions like this?  It's simple, you find somewhere to hide.  There are countless narrow shorelines and coves around Pine Island where you can tuck your boat out of the wind and still work a fly rod.  And fortunately, some of these tight spots can hold lots of resident tarpon.   No, they're not going to be the IGFA world record fish that are migrating up the Gulf beaches right now.  Far from it.  Most will be more like the little 2 pounder that DC angler Jim McCleskey caught with me this morning.  Right now, any tarpon is a good tarpon, so I'm counting this one in the success column. 

Here's a hint for those of you looking for fish like this on your own.  These little tarpon like deeper water along the shorelines and they're most active just after sunrise and before sunset.  If you do find a rolling school, go easy on them.  Hook one or two and then leave them alone for the day.  Beat them up too much and they'll vanish from that spot for a long time.