Oh Summer How I’ve Missed You...
Summertime... long stretches of light winds and calm seas. I look forward to this time of year above any other time. Perhaps I am just wind blown from the spring and ready for a break in the weather. Whatever the reason, it makes no difference to me. Bring on the heat!
May was a great month for tarpon as it usually is, but it seemed as though we had a whole lot more windy days than calm ones. When the wind blew it seemed to never stop. We also had a late cold front or two which tarpon never seem to agree with. None the less, a lot of fish have been migrating up the ocean side giving us an ample number of shots a day. This is where I have seen the most fish but getting them to eat can be tough. The channels however have been a little easier.
On one particular trip in the beginning of May, I decided to fish one of the channels, as the flat that I was planning to stake up on was very murky and I knew that spotting fish would be tough for my anglers. I dug the push pole in along the edge of the chosen channel with our bow facing west and tied off the stern. The tide was on the very end of the incoming with only another 45 minutes or so of movement before it began to switch. I had my three anglers cast up current with floats and live pinfish and let them drift all the way down. Once getting to the end of the drift, they would reel up and cast again. The tide was only a light trickle so this was repeated every few minutes. It only took a couple of these casts before the first tarpon ate.
A full sized 100+ pound fish jumped his way across the channel, almost wrapping around a mooring line in the process. I quickly untied from the push pole and gave chase! We fought the fish until we were right over the top of it before the hook popped out of his mouth. In tarpon fishing...this happens often. We headed back to our stake and re-set.
Twenty minutes later we were on again! This fish was about 60 pounds and a little more manageable. After a quick ten minute fight I had a hold of the leader and was getting ready to grab his jaw when one final jump and head shake wore through the leader. Leader in hand is leader in hand...
June will hold the same type of flats and channel action with hopefully calmer weather. The palolo worm hatch will take place on the full and new moons of this month providing some of the best and easiest fly fishing for tarpon there could ever be. Unfortunately it only lasts just a few hours on only a few evenings each year, but well worth the wait. Summer is here and there are MANY things to look forward to!
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