Although tarpon season is in full swing, many quality snook and reds are being caught. This 31″ fish was caught after we spent the first few hours tarpon fishing. This was Matt’s biggest snook to date.
With the weather warming up it is important to get an early start. Often we have a tarpon hooked up before 7am. That means pulling away from the dock between 5 and 5:30 am. In this case, the early bird gets the worm [tarpon]. Being courteous and working with other boats is important while tarpon fishing. I wish that I could say that I have been perfect in that, but I still make mistakes. Do not worry, if you make a mistake, the other boaters will help you out and set you back on the right track. 😉 Hopefully, they will be gracious as they do.
When we hooked up with this tarpon, I got excited and started my motor while the pod was underneath my boat. I should have let the fish string out and swim out of the pod before following it. Thankfully, the fish kept biting and another boat was able to hook up. We fought this tarpon for 30 minutes or so until our line broke.
Tarpon fishing definitely presents a unique set of challenges, but that is why we love it. The tarpon bite in Tampa Bay has been very good. It brings me a lot of joy to see clients catch a tarpon for the first time in their life. Most all of my tarpon bites this year have come on threadfins. Getting out and catching bait while it is still dark is key. The bait is everywhere this year. When I am catching threads I am also catching greenbacks. These are a welcome site because that means I will have good baits to snook and red fish with.
So after we fought that tarpon Matt and his wife wanted to fish the mangroves, and while chumming in front of a creek mouth we caught this red:
If we had caught a keeper trout we would have had a grand slam–tarpon, snook, red fish and trout–all in the same trip. Tampa Bay fishing is really good right now. Fish are everywhere and biting real well.