I returned late last night from my annual Tarpon fishing trip to Boca Grande Florida. We had eight guys, which included 2 new rookie "tarpon virgins" fishing with four different guides. Day one was very frustrating, with lots of fish showing , but just not biting. Day two was rainy and very windy, so we were forced to fish the backcountry where we landed Trout, Snook, and even a nice Flounder. After two days, our tally was one Tarpon and 8 serious hangovers. Fortunately day three the weather cleared and we headed out at the crack of dawn to sunny skies and light winds. I was fishing with Glyn Austin, who was a new guide to our group this year. Glyn is from eastern Florida, and unlike our normal guides, included plugs in his arsenal for fishing Tarpon. Within seconds of stepping on the boat I grabbed a pole rigged with a beautiful purple MirrOlure plug. As we came thru the pass to the Gulf we immediately spotted a small pod of fish on the move. I had been conditioned to believe that plugs are ineffective against the granite like mouths of the Silver Kings, so my expectations were low when the plug landed a few yards ahead of the pod. On my first twitch of the plug a poon exploded and I was tight. When the fish made its first jump, I was certain he would throw the plug, but to my surprise it held. Nine incredible jumps later the fish neared the boat. On his final jump he smacked his head on the side of the boat. When blood spattered my shoes, I knew the fish was dead. With a heavy heart, we removed the plug and watched him slide to the bottom of the Gulf to be eaten by one of the many hammerheads that lurk below. We ended the day with 9 boated fish and two very happy rookies who landed their first Silver Kings.
Tonight was a perfect topwater night here in Naptown, so I headed out to the shoal at 6.30. It was non stop action from my first cast. The fish were tiny compared to the 100 pound Tarpon from yesterday, but still made my heart jump on every blowup, I boated at least twenty fish in the 16 to 20 inch range, and was reminded just how much I love living here.
|Sunset over Thomas Point|
|Plug in corner of mouth|
|Next to last jump|