A couple of days ago I met up with Chris up towards Marco Island. The tide conditions seemed ideal to go up one of the creeks (rivers) that feed into the Marco River. Early on everything looked promising seeing a couple of tarpon roll, no bugs and some schools of bait fish around. Chris got one nice hit and after that nothing. We moved on up the creek and ended up far into the backcountry and ended up catching a couple of snook. I had the scenario happen when skipping soft plastics under the mangroves it bounced over a branch and then have a snook grab it, take off and proceed to wrap itself up in the roots, at the same time I didn’t get my anchor out and I ended up in the mangroves. Not a real big fish but a crazy one. I’ve had this happen a couple times before and have learned to take the pressure off of the fish and give it some slack. The fish calms down and will usually stop running as in this case and he actually untangled himself and I got him into open water and caught him. Only a 24” fish but totally destroyed a 30” 30lb leader and frayed a couple feet of 15lb power pro. That was my big excitement for the day.
I was thinking about the tarpon and with these very windy conditions we’ve had I decided to fish Fakahatchee Strand today where I could find some protection from the weather. I can usually find resident tarpon up there which are mostly juvenile fish. The early morning fishing started out slow but there was an awesome sunrise and that almost made the trip worth it. I also went and checked out one of the rookeries to check out the Tri-colored herons which are now nesting. After moving on I fished some shorelines and finally hooked up with a nice fish, a 32” snook. It’s that time of year again and there were a few gators around but none came around as I fought and got the fish in the boat. Not long after I see a couple of tarpon roll, make my way towards them, cast and hook up with a smaller 30” fish who spits the hook after going airborne. At least now I knew there were some tarpon around. I continued fishing the shorelines and caught a few more snook, mostly smaller fish and one that was 26”. By late morning the wind was howling and I decided to paddle back and call it a day when I saw what I thought was a snook feeding on some baitfish. I cast and instantly hook up with a nice size tarpon probably over 40”. After a nice fight on my light gear and at least three jumps he throws the hook. Well, that’s the way it goes sometimes with the tarpon but I was still happy and it was a nice way to end the morning.