Sunday, July 6, 2014

Baby Tarpon Season On Pine Island

Local angler Mark Favara with a 10 pounder from this afternoon.  This fish was just over 30 inches and legal to remove from the water for a very quick photo before a safe release. 
July means two things for us here on Pine Island, oppressive heat and lots of juvenile tarpon on the flats.  So far this month has produced a good amount of both.  Temps in the mid-90s might not be most enjoyable conditions for anglers but the dead calm mornings will make these smaller fish roll by the hundreds in certain areas.  Unfortunately, the shallow water is also as dark as coffee right now so getting your fly or bait on target is a real challenge.  You have to be quick and hit the rolling tarpon just as they're dropping back under the surface.  They also spook very easily so weightless flies or lightly rigged jerk baits are usually the best choice.  Live bait can work even better but be prepared to catch a lot of catfish at the same time if you go that route.  The good news is that the small tarpon will be here for the rest of the summer and into the early fall.  You'll have plenty of shots at them.