A Quick Fishing Report
It has been an extremely busy month of fishing, so I apologize for not having a lot of time to create blogs and articles. I really did have the intention of creating a lot of material to keep things fresh and informative. But, the guiding aspect has been eating all of my time and I am not complaining! I'm going to keep this short and sorry, no photos on this specific report. Those will come later.
Our weather has been crazy as of late, with some days sunny and hot and other days we are dodging rain all day long. For a brief moment I thought we were going to get into our regular summer pattern of clear, calm mornings and afternoon thunderstorm, but Mother Nature has other plans I guess. Good foul weather gear is a must this time of year and can make quite a difference between enjoying a day or looking like a drowned rat at the end of the day. Personally, my Simms rain gear has proven itself time and time again, so I can't imagine not taking it with me; light, breathable, and keeps you dry.
Despite the weather issues, snook and tarpon fishing has been good. It is all about being in the right place, at the right time. Then, you just need some accurate casting. Many of the really big snook have moved off to spawn, but they will return. Until then, we have plenty of snook in the 20-26 inch range and we are still surprised with a monster every once in a while. The majority of my snook are looking for cover, so we are focusing near docks and mangroves. Getting as close to the structure as possible, without getting hung up, is key. We've had our best success throwing Z-Man soft plastics, rigged on weighted, weedless hooks. This type of rig allows anglers to throw to cover with little fear of becoming snagged. Anglers that know how to cast can use topwater plugs and twitch baits, and those tend to get the bigger fish fired up. For my fly anglers, it has been all about the Feather Changer. This fly has accounted for more snook and tarpon this year than anything else. The way it moves is unbelievable and the fish just cannot resist it. Could be the reason any spare time I've had has been spent tying them for clients.
The tarpon are here in full force. We have seen tarpon from 30 pounds to 150 pounds. We've jumped them up to 80 pounds, and we've had some bigger ones eat, but not get hooked up. These fish have been a little all over, as far as their mood goes. One day they are crashing and hitting everything we throw at them. The next, they refuse everything we throw at them. Unfortunately, that is tarpon fishing. I'm not sure there is a fish more finicky than a tarpon; even the little juveniles can drive you bonkers. However, when they decide to eat, there are very few fish more exciting. The head shakes, the jumps, and the pure power of these fish is unmatched. While most anglers don't have the skills to land them, the strike and ensuing fight can make for an exciting 30 seconds to 15 minutes. For me, it's all about getting the eat and the jumps.
Redfish and trout are still around, but they have been difficult at best. I think our fish numbers took a pounding during the height of Covid, with so many people fishing and keeping anything they caught. I'm hopeful that the numbers will rebound, but I'm not sure it will happen anytime soon. So for now, all of my redfish and seatrout are catch and release only. I'm not going to add to the stress of the fishery by killing fish that we desperately need; besides, with the last water quality report card, I'm not positive they are safe for consumption.
Well, until I have a little more time, this quick report will have to suffice. I hope it finds each of you doing well and getting to enjoy the outdoors. I have some open dates at the end of July and into August. So, if you want to come enjoy some snook and tarpon fishing, call me and let's set a trip up!
Tight lines and screaming drags!
-Captain John Tarr