Tarpon, TARPON, TARPON!!!! Tarpon have been on my mind ever since the big schools left last year. Well, Tarpon Time is here again! Last week we strung together consecutive days of 5 or more Tarpon ranging from 60-120 lbs. The bait is right where it should be and the Tarpon are ready to eat. We have been hooking them around the bridges and seeing them on the beaches and passes as well. This is just the beginning and it is only going to get better over the next few months.
Brian Riley of Holiday, Fl. fished with us last week looking for his first Tarpon ever. As we started our day he expressed his frustration with the Silver King. He has been fishing here for several years and has yet to land one. He was more ready than ever to get that giant monkey off his back. Shortly after we started fishing he hooked up, but it was not meant to be. That Tarpon gave him a taste of what he was up against, jumping and peeling drag till he finally broke the line. When he hooked his second fish, he took control like a seasoned pro. He successfully maneuvered the fish away from the bridge and into open water where the fight continued. This fish was tough, jumping almost ten times and every time he got the tarpon close to the boat, it took off again on another blistering run.
Finally, after a battle that had just passed the 1 hour mark, he got the fish boatside and we got our hands on her for some great pictures and a healthy release. All in all Brian was a true ‘poon slayer, landing 2 of the 4 fish he hooked, and went home with great fish stories and some memories that will last a lifetime. I can’t wait to get back out there in the upcoming weeks and play with these incredible fish. Tarpon are the ultimate inshore gamefish and are always ready to put angler and tackle to the test. Tarpon is my absolute favorite fish to catch and Tampa Bay is in my opinion one of the best spots worldwide to fish for them. If a tarpon is on your bucket list or you just have the itch, this is the time to get out there and do it.
Give us a call with all your tarpon questions, we would be happy to help you on your way to the catch of a lifetime.
Capt. Matt Santiago