The fishing was great this week although the catching varied.
Sunday, I fished with my wife Julie. We spent hours casting to baby tarpon using live mullet and an assortment of lures. For all our effort, we landed one poon and jumped another, both on a tiny terroreyz.
Monday, I fished just outside Port Canaveral with Capt. Ron Presley. With one throw of the net, we had more live menhaden than we could have used in ten trips. We moved through the same area we had caught the boat using the trolling motor and tossed the menhaden on a circle hook to rolling tarpon and bruising jacks. I caught one tarpon around 70 lbs. and jumped a larger one. I also lost a big jack. Capt. Ron caught a huge jack that he fought for over thirty minutes and broke off another. We were less than one mile from the beach when we landed the fish. We were much closer in when we hooked it. The surf is alive with bait and the tarpon, sharks, kingfish and jacks are shadowing the bait schools. Slow trolling a live menhaden on a double hook rig is an effective method to catch all of these species.
Tuesday and Wednesday, Capt. Tom Van Horn and I traveled to southwest Florida to chase tarpon with Capt. John Kumiski. We fished along the beaches just south of Boca Grande Pass. Capt. John took us to hundreds of big tarpon, many of which were swimming in circles known as a “daisy chain”. When the fish are in this formation, they allow you to make multiple casts to them which is exactly what we did. We cast a wide variety of flies, some soft plastics, and even some live baits to the fish for hours. As is sometime typical of tarpon, they showed no interest in our offerings with only a few half hearted follows. The only consolation was we did not see any of the other boats in the area jumping fish either. Capt. John is a well known guide in the Mosquito Lagoon but offers tarpon charters in Lee County each year in the early summer. If you have never experienced fishing for 100+ lb tarpon in less than ten feet of clear water, I encourage you to contact him. His website is http://www.spottedtail.com.
Thursday, I was back in the Mosquito Lagoon for a charter with a couple of brothers who wish to remain nameless. The morning was dead calm and hot and we soon found what we were looking for, tailing redfish. The fish were very shallow and extremely spooky. We saw a ton a reds but hooked none. My clients were surprised by the tiny strike zone of these fish. Ultra shallow water redfish and trout normally allow little room for error. Cast too far away from the fish and they will change direction before you can bring the lure into its path. Cast too close and the fish makes a beeline for deeper water. Bring your bait towards the fish too quickly and the flee. Don’t reel fast enough and it goes behind them. Success in shallow water sight fishing is very dependant on precise lure presentation. The type of lure or bait you choose is a distant second. Casting accurately is a skill that must be learned and practiced to maintain a level of proficiency. Your neighbors may think you are strange, but if you practice casting to small targets in your yard before you hit the water, your catching rate will increase dramatically. Although no reds came to the boat, the brothers were able to avoid the skunk by catching some nice trout on white/pink Capt. Joe’s Shredders.
Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters