We are just winding up one of the best tarpon seasons I can remember. The first giant tarpon of the season on my boat was hooked on February 7th and the tarpon fishing has remained excellent since. The weather cooperated this spring which gave us many opportunities to sight cast to “laid up” fish in the backcountry. There is nothing better than trying to sneak up on a 100 pound fish laying motionless in shallow water and tossing a fly one foot in front of his head and watching him eat.
When the tarpon began to appear on the ocean side in April we typically saw between 100 and 400 fish per day. Of course ocean side tarpon are not always easy to catch but we did have some success on the ocean as my friend Douglas Ferguson can attest to. Douglas caught his first tarpon on fly with me on May 24th, 2006 on a fly he tied himself.
Many first time tarpon anglers caught their first tarpon with me this year. Most of our tarpon however were caught on bait such as mullet and large crabs. The highlight of our bait tarpon fishing was the release of a 150 pound plus tarpon caught by first time tarpon angler Peter D’Engenis from Southern California. His tarpon ate a crab on our first drift and 45 minutes later his wife snapped a photo of the fishes head (the best photo we got), as I removed the hook. We then decided to look for bonefish and later that day Peter caught and released his first bonefish. See a photo of both at the end of this report. What a day!
I have since returned to Ohio to visit my family and friends and will return to Islamorada in a few weeks to start bonefishing. The fall can offer some of the best bonefishing we see here in the Keys. The water temps will cool so you can find fish during the entire day and there is much less fishing pressure on the bonefish that time of year.
To all of my friends who fished and caught tarpon with me this season…I thank you for making this one of the best tarpon seasons I have had. I will look forward to seeing all of you again next year.
If you are interested in booking a fishing trip, visit my website www.JonesFishing.com and send me an email, or call me at 305-360-4912.
Capt. Bob Jones