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Posted on May 24, 2012 in Get Reel, tarpon fishing
Busted Flat on Tarpon
by John Brownlee

Those of you who’ve read my blog before likely know that I anticipate tarpon season each winter much the same as a kid anticipates the arrival of Christmas. Other worldly concerns typically grind to a halt (ok, maybe they slow down a little) as May and June approach, because there’s a short window of opportunity to encounter this manificent fish here in the Florida Keys, and I want to get in on as much of the action as possible.

Well, it’s now the 24th of May and I am dismayed to report that my tarpon season is probably going to be a bust. I did have a few days of incredible fishing earlier in the season (the fish showed up quite early this year) with Capt. Chris Morrison of Marathon, but since that trip in March I haven’t even been tarpon fishing a single other time.

Much of that’s because I underwent knee surgery in early April and was banned from boats by my doctor and my wife for a lengthy period. Have you ever heard of anything so barbaric? Never mind that it was sound and practical advice, tarpon fishing was interrupted and I’m on a self-pity roll here.

Just as my wounded knee began healing to the point where I felt confident moving around a boat, the weather went to hell. Here in Islamorada, it has just stopped raining, temporarily, after a prolonged deluge which lasted about 40 days and 40 nights straight (slight exaggeration). It’s supposed to rain all during Memorial Day weekend, and then I jump into an extended travel schedule.

I know I should just be glad for all the fishing I do get to do, and I really don’t take any of it for granted. I’m thankful for all the good times with good friends, and love every minute of it, so I’ll stop whining about my bad luck this year.

The worst part, though, is that for the last five days, the canal behind my house has been chock-full of fat tarpon, who roll lazily in the early morning and late afternoon, taunting me. I stand out there in the drizzling rain, watching them as they fin me off, muttering “Wait ‘til next year” under my breath.

John Brownlee