Southwest Florida, specifically Charlotte Harbor and the gulf islands, are an angling paradise in the spring and summer. As a charter captain, I cater to a predominantly tarpon-minded clientele. We have been chasing silver kings since early March in Charlotte Harbor. Our weather earlier this year was colder than normal, and water temperatures remained low through most of April. But as soon as the calendar flipped to May, the fishing turned phenomenal. Once the water temperature reached the upper 70-degree mark, the tarpon went ballistic. I fished two trips daily for the first week of May. In three days, we jumped over 60 tarpon on live bait. My anglers jockeyed for position on the boat with triple and quadruple headers often the norm.
That pace has remained consistent through the latter part of the month, as the fish have been feeding readily. A new tarpon pattern has emerged the last two years. The reason for this change remains unknown, but the pattern is consistent. Nearly every day, the main schools of fish leave Boca Grande Pass and head east into the harbor. They move several miles on some days, and slowly roll in large pods. This phenomenon occurs around the same time every day.
Our tarpon action, as well as the excellent light-tackle backcountry fishery, will remain strong through the summer and into the fall. Give us a call to book your own Charlotte Harbor experience and see why this unique angling destination has something for everyone.
_Submitted by Capt. Chris Frohlich
Beyond Borders Outfitters