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Time to Reap the Benefit
It's tarpon time and its shaping up to be a great season in beautiful Boca Grande. With the long winter, everything is about 3 weeks behind schedule but that means we're looking at a season that will extend well into July this year and that means more fishing time and a greater chance of finding that trophy of a lifetime.
The coming weeks will see us fishing the big pass here at the tarpon capitol, the sandy south beaches and the pristine back country of Charlotte Harbor in our annual quest for the silver king. So far itÕs been a battle against the elements, which in this case is the wind, but thatÕs not getting us down, because between the big blows some big tarpon are coming alongside - and things are only just getting started.
We've taken fish to 200 pounds already and some days the bite has been exceptional for this stage of the season. At this time of year the opportunities are many and weÕre finding the biggest variety of tarpon fishing you could ask for. Fish are on the flats back in the harbor and sitting ducks for plugs, fly and natural baits. Nothing like horsing the big gamefish from the depths of the pass, these fish are hot and can burn a drag down to nothing and strip a reel in a hurry if we let our guard down for even a moment.
We've been setting up in areas where rolling fish have been abundant and waiting for the perfect shot. These fish also can be fished with fresh dead baits, one of the more traditional Florida techniques for big tarpon. The pass is the place to be for the best shot at a real trophy fish. The big bruisers are here and while the masses of fish that will be arriving soon have not populated the pass from top to bottom, Boca Grande is living up to its reputation as the best place in the world to catch big tarpon. Jigs fished just off the bottom and live crabs are the way to go. The fish are soft biters some days and anglers have to stay on their toes to hook up but the effort has been paying off in pure silver.
Being early in the season yet, the crowds have not arrived and there is plenty of elbow room in the pass, which makes it all that much nicer. A few fish are showing on the beaches and while fishing them often is more work that tests captain and angler alike, a good sense of timing and some casting skill will prove these fish offer up one of the biggest angling rewards anywhere in the world. Fly casting, plugging or getting a live crab out in front of moving fish is an exhilarating experience and hooking these fish on spinning tackle is a blast not to be forgotten. Once hooked, racing fish leap furiously in their attempts to escape, bursting from the water like exploding fireworks and crashing full-force back into the salty gulf. A good fish can cover hundreds of yards before surrendering, jumping as many as a dozen times in the process. The bottom line is that despite a bit of wrangling with the persistent winds, we're having quite a time of it and looking forward to a fantastic tarpon season.
Screaming Drags and Tired Arms!
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