We’re into May and not surprisingly everyone has tarpon fever but will someone turn the wind off? May is a peak tarpon migratory here in the Florida Keys and Islamorada with lots of fish around. Most of these fish have been averaging 80 – 100 pounds so if you’re thinking about bringing your own gear plan on bringing an 11 or 12 weight. They’re not fun to cast but they’re necessary for such big fish.
Almost all of the fishing has been on the oceanside. The tarpon bite out back has not been great and besides when you can feed ocean fish, why make the boat ride? Some days the fish have come pouring by and other days it’s been a trickle. But that’s tarpon fishing for you. There can be hours of boredom punctuated by moments of frenzy and pandemonium. That’s why it’s so addictive. For those who have never tarpon fished, don’t think of tarpon boated. Think of tarpon jumped. I’ve had a number of customers lately ask how many tarpon can they expect to boat. Whoa, big fella. You’re getting ahead of yourself. First step is getting a tarpon to eat. There is a lot that goes simply into that first step and it mostly has to do with the cast. Casts have to be quick, accurate and fairly long, especially on clear, calm days. If you don’t know how to double haul, learn to do so. What amazes me and every other guide is the number of anglers that will spend thousands on gear, travel, food and lodging but never spend a single dollar on a casting lesson. Trust me, putting two thousand dollars of fly rod and reel in your hand is not going to make you a better caster. You have to start with the fundamentals.
Alright, I’ll get off my soapbox and onto the fishing. The great news that keeps getting better is the number of snook out back. Last week we had school after school after school of big snook pass by the boat. It was awesome! I’m glad they’re showing up on the shorelines because the redfish bite has been a bit off. Not sure why but it’s been harder than normal. The weather and water levels have still been kind of crazy and I’m sure once things settle into a consistent pattern, it will fire right back up. Starting to see more and more permit around as they return from spawning on the reefs and wrecks. And not to jinx things, but it seems that bonefish are returning a bit as well. Reports well north and south of big schools showing up is a promising sign. Well that’s it for now, until next time. -Pete