• Captain John Tarr

Outdoor Adventures Await!


Tailhunter Outdoors Adventures is more than just a fishing guide service. While my main adventures may focus on fishing, I also offer a variety of other trips, making it possible for people's dreams to come true. In recent weeks, I've had fishing trips, photography trips and sightseeing/ecotours. No matter what the trip is, I have thoroughly enjoyed providing people with experiences that are new to them. One of the things I love about taking people out for their trips is seeing their reactions to things I often take for granted.

A perfect example of what I am talking about is my buddy Fred here. Fred is just one of the manatee that I get to see on a daily basis. These gentle creatures are all over the place during the spring to fall time, when the waters are warm. I get to see them all the time and forget what it was like the first time I saw one, more than three decades ago. Old Fred here spent about 30 minutes swimming around the boat, begging to have his snout and back scratched. While I do not promote touching them, they will take full advantage of the bottom of the boat and itch themselves until they are ready to move on. During this time, they offer themselves to endless photo opportunities and also an opportunity to learn about manatees in their natural habitat. It gives me a time to explain the importance of seagrasses, proper boating operation, and how conservation efforts can have a huge impact on bringing a species back from the brink of extinction. Manatees are not the only animals that we see on a daily basis. Dolphin, sea turtles, birds of all types, fish, jellyfish, crabs, and the list goes on. I love getting the chance to teach people about these animals, their role in my world, and their importance to our planet; not to mention it's just really neat to see them in their own world. If you would like the opportunity to see these magnificent animals in their natural world, I can schedule it. You wont be disappointed; I know the people who got to enjoy Fred and the rest of the sights that day weren't!

Fishing has continued to be really good this month. While there was a little slow period during the week of the full moon, the remainder of the time was hot! Fly fishing has been spectacular! Some of the fish have been a little finicky, but with local knowledge and an endless supply of custom flies, I've still been able to get clients more than their happy share of fish. One of the nice things about fly fishing the area is that you sometimes get a nice surprise. On a recent trip with a client, we spent the first part of the morning chasing snook. We managed a couple of snook, and were still looking for our big one for the morning. While he worked a popper fly an explosion on the water led to a bent rod and a struggle to keep the fish from going into the dock pilings we were fishing. With a little luck and a lot of skill, he managed to get the fish away from the dock. I was expecting a nice snook. To my surprise, it turned out to be a nice, chunky Mangrove Snapper. Much bigger than the average inshore Mangrove Snapper and always a surprise on fly. Well, turns out I took several Mangrove Snapper over the next few days, all matching the size of this one. You just never know what going to smack the fly. For those who prefer conventional gear, we also took another nice Mangrove Snapper on lure.

While trips for snook, tarpon, and seatrout are available, I would be amiss to forget that most people come to my area to fish redfish. Again, this is something I take for granted, as I get to fish these fish all year and have been for more than 30 years. Still, there is something that makes my heart beat a little faster when I get to approach fish like these in the video to the left. A school of tailing redfish can make any angler anxious. I've watched professional anglers lose every bit of ability when they see a school of happy, tailing redfish. Why wouldn't they? These fish are in shallow water, happily searching for their next meal, all while keeping a wary eye out for anything that doesn't appear natural. It takes an extra effort to keep your pulse under control, your breathing steady, and your wits about you to make a proper presentation. I can promise you that one bad move and you'll watch 30-300 redfish vacate a flat faster than you thought possible; all while refusing anything you offer. But, if you can hold it together, listen to some words of advice, and make the proper presentation, you'll be rewarded with the sight of several redfish fighting to take the offering; this usually results in bent rods, screaming drags, and happy customers on the front of the boat. After a battle of wills, you have the opportunity for some photos and bragging rights; catching redfish on fly is not something the average angler can do.

The skill involved in catching redfish, or any other fish for that matter, isn't all about luck. It's knowing where the fish will be, what they want to eat, and having the right fly or lure for them. Sometimes it can change, from day to day, or even throughout the day. This is where experience and paying attention to the fish's behavior comes into play. The school you saw tailing above refused the first offers we gave them, despite perfect presentations from the angler. But after watching them for a few more seconds, I realized we weren't offering them what they were feeding on. A quick fly change and another perfect presentation resulted in the fish to the right being landed. Persistence, observation, and good skills resulted in success instead of frustration. It wasn't the only fish landed out of the school and it was a great day on the water.

If you are ready for you own personal outdoor adventure, contact me and let's get your trip booked. There really isn't a better time to come enjoy our area and especially the outdoors!

Book your trip now!

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