• Captain John Tarr

Fun Times and Fish


I have said it before and I will emphasize it again: summertime is my favorite time to fish in my area. Yes, the weather is hot, but so is the fishing! My area is known around the world for great fishing for redfish and seatrout; those are the two species most people come to the area to target. However, we also have a great fishery for tarpon and snook; especially during the summer. On those days when the heat and humidity seem to be at their worst, the snook and tarpon seem to be at their happiest. In addition, the redfish and seatrout become more predictable.

Despite what you may have heard or read, my area is looking great for this summer. The water levels are good, there is ample grass, and the bait pods are plentiful. I know there has been a lot of news about water pollution in Florida and Mosquito Lagoon, but that is not the case here. In fact, on several recent trips, we have seen some of the best looking water that we have seen in years. That doesn't mean we aren't keeping an eye on things and trying to improve them even more, it just means it is not the doom and gloom that you may have heard.

So, what can someone expect from a day of fishing right now? Well, trips do start early in the summer. I am usually launching the boat between 6 am and 6:30 am; sometimes even earlier depending on what we want to target. Most mornings are starting with fishing snook and seatrout on topwater. The seatrout bite has been really good and we have taken some chunky fish on recent trips. Snook are still here, although the big boys and girls have spawning on their mind. So, it can be a little more difficult to get the big ones to eat. Regardless, there are plenty of snook in the 18" to 24" range and they will test your angling abilities and give you a spectacular fight just like the big ones. While chasing seatrout and snook, I always have an eye and ear on alert for tarpon. Tarpon are arriving in good numbers and can surprise you when you are not expecting them. Two trips ago, we jumped three on fly, in the 20-30 pound range. These are perfect fish, to me, as they readily eat, spend a lot of time in the air, and can be caught, photographed, and released without harm. Bigger tarpon are around, and we have had a few eat; but, you better be prepared for a battle. When the sun rises a little higher in the sky, I head back to the grass flats, where we target redfish and bigger seatrout. This is sight fishing at its finest. The fish are usually tailing and backing, exposing themselves to a keen eye. Now understand, just because you can see the fish doesn't mean it is easy. It still takes some angling skill to place an offer in the right area, inside the fish's area of awareness, without spooking them. As I have explained a thousand times, if you can see the fish, they can see you. But, if your offering is placed right, expect a hammer like hit, a bent rod, and a screaming drag! The remainder of our day will be spent like this, with some short runs from one area to another and probably a water break or two (yep, it's a little hot and humid). During these runs, anglers have time to catch their breath, sit back, relax, and enjoy watching dolphins, manatees, and the plethora of birds that are in the area.

So, come join me for an adventure on the water. Whether you prefer fly rods or conventional gear, I've got the tackle. All you need to bring is a willingness to relax and enjoy the day. Oh yeah, don't forget to pack your smile, for photos like this!

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