Summer bait runs = Tarpon!

It is 4th of July today, so happy 4th and be safe. The fishing these past few days has been incredible. It seems that the bait fish are schooled up and the Tarpon are in the middle of them. This has occurred for me from Port of the Islands to East Cape Canal. There has been plenty of fish mixed in like, Snook, Mackerel, Tripletails and big Jacks. The baits have varied from Minnows, pilchards, silver Sides and finger Mullet but the one constant is the Tarpon are in them.


I fished with Andy and his son Danny out of Everglades City, I hit a bunch of my spot until I found the bait schools outside. These were loaded with Mackerels, Jacks, Tarpon and we even got Snook mixed in. This was a short morningbut we wore them out!


I am fishing Flamingo today with Ross his wife Mindy and Daughter Reggie. We started out by catching some bait and running to the beaches,  we have a couple issues, the winds are S.W., it's really grassy and water dirty. I ran until the water cleaned up some but still lots of grass. I reached into livewell and grabbed a bait, it happen to be the only Lane Snapper in there. It hit the water and the cork never came up. It pulled a good amount of line and finally jumped, it was a good fish. Mindy always has the lucky hand so today was no different. We landed the 6 Lb. Snook and took a picture and released it. It got tough after that with only a few Jacks and Ladyfish. We decided to run north and it paid off, we pulled five Snook and two 5 pound Tripletails off 1 tree. The Mosquitos found us so we moved on, as we were running along we saw a blow up and stopped. This stop paid off and turned into an incredible Tarpon bite. The Pilchards, Mullet  and Silversides were pouring thru and the Tarpon were crushing them. I thru the net and got 25 pilchards and a half hour later we were out of bait. This time I netted hundreds and we sat there for over 2 hours hooking up to 3 fish at a time. The Tarpon were striking it hard and quick and we were missing some but we eventually got them to stay hooked up. We caught several slot size Snook and some big Jacksbut this was a Tarpon Blitz.

It lasted until the tide stopped and then we made a move waiting for the tide to switch and get some water moving again. We caught a Snook or two while waiting but I needed to get Ross a better Tarpon. He was satisified with the little 10 pound fish we had caught but I had promised bigger. We had one last stop and it was full of grass. I rigged a weedless jerkbait and it worked, Ross got his hook up with a nice Tarpon. It was a good fight on light tackle so I broke out the net and scooped him up. We took some pictures and released the Tarpon, when the Tarpon swam away he knock Ross's Glasses off.  The bugs were getting worse and it was late so we called it day.