Boca Grande, Fl.
20 May 2009
It's tarpon season in Florida. We concentrate on the silver king throughout the summer. The fish are in good numbers this year and are appearing in numerous places. Pine Island Sound, Charlotte Harbour and the beaches off Little Gasparilla Island are holding fish. It is not unusual to see 500 or more fish per day. Our success has been limited. Windy conditions and clear water require long casts that are very accurate. Refusals are common. Sometimes even perfect casts are turned down. Changing patterns often helps. But, each day we have had fish either take the fly or show a lot of interest. Today is the third day of cloudy, rainy conditions due to a small tropical system centered over Florida. This will soon pass and the fishing should get better this weekend.
Our alternative species is snook. There are a lot of snook along our beaches and in the passes. Steve Gibson's design of the DT Special seems to be the right fly. See www.kyakfishingsarasota.com for the pattern.
The best patterns for tarpon have been the Puglisi Peanut Butter, Bill Bishop's Mouse and Death by Rabbit ( a black/purple design). It is important to remember that tarpon will eat what is easy for them regardless of the pattern. So... presentation is more important than the exact design or color.
If you intend to tarpon fish you should practise casting a 12 wt. rod. You'll need to throw 60 feet of line quickly and accuartely. Do not assume you can do it if you don't practise. Handling a 12 wt. is much different from a 10 wt. Afterall, you wouldn't want to spoil opportunities after coming to tarpon country because you were over confident. Besides, it will make your guide's life much better if you can cast well.
If you are going to fish for tarpon in the next few weeks, contact me for the latest info.
Capt. Pete Greenan www.floridaflyfishing.com