Monday, May 1, 2017

Pine Island's Tarpon Season So Far

If I had to give Tarpon Season 2017 a letter grade here on the first day of May, it would get a "C" average.  There are two things that factor into this:  weather conditions and the number of fish we're seeing here in SW Florida. 

Let's start with the weather conditions first.  They suck.  We've had almost two solid weeks of 15 knot winds, which is common for Key West right now but not Pine Island.  My fly anglers are struggling just to make a backcast, but at the same time the live bait guys are doing a lot better.  Seeing fish is almost impossible on most early mornings thanks to the churned up water.  The weather so far this spring gets a "D-minus" for being a serious chore to overcome. 

On the other hand, the tarpon we're seeing this year get a solid "B-plus" for the numbers and their size.  The big migrating fish were here at the end of February and really never left us.  The winds made them tougher to find for most of March but the resident juveniles came out of the woods recently and have been a blast ever since.  No complaints there. 

The tarpon won't be leaving us for several month but the winds should vanish very soon.  Overall, I think this is going to be one of the better seasons to chase these fish than we've had in a long time.  Fingers crossed.