Bernard and Paul Pielow spent 5 days on the water with me this past week.
Lots of great fishing was had. Ladyfish, Seatrout, Spanish Mackerel, Mangrove Snapper and a 40lb Blacknose Shark were caught on the light tackle.
I knew we had a good tide so we quit the light tackle action and went looking for live mullet. We scored with the castnet and headed to the bridge channels with 2 dozen livies. We ended up fishing til 6pm. The bite was on. Paul and Bernard each released 2 Tarpon. The live mullet were getting blasted out of the water. This is very exciting fishing indeed!
Day 2 we went for the "Big Stuff".
Five Goliath Grouper, 8 Sharks and a couple of big Stingrays.
We went Snook fishing way back around Cape Sable. We saw 5 crocs laying up on the beaches and fresh turtle nesting activity. Snook fishing was great. Snook catching was a little tough. I got caught off guard and started out using too light of gear. The Snook are very strong and were taking us into the trees and cutting our leaders. Well we put an end to that. Using the Foxsportfishing Permit Trek rods fitted with Diablo 550 spinning reels and Horizon 30lb braid we started catching. The fish averaged 10lbs. We spent the afternoon battling big Lemon Sharks in a river mouth.
Day 4 we just had to go Tarpon fishing again.
To hit the tide right we left the dock at 1 pm. Spent quite a bit of time locating live mullet for bait but as I always say "Its all about the BAIT", Anyway we found plenty of mullet and headed back in to Channel 2.
It was a repeat performance. Fishing in late June at the bridges is so different. There is nobody else Tarpon fishing! We had it all to ourselves and the bite was wide open. The Pielows each released 2 more Tarpon and had numerous "cheap shots". That is Tarpon blasting the live mullet 3 or 4 times and missing the bait. That gets the heart pumping for sure. At sunset we headed home with a very happy crew.
The boys took the weekend off and resumed fishing on Monday.
Now we had Tropical Storm Debbie churning the water up. Winds were blowing 25 plus out of the south and squalls were numerous. Bernard and Paul said this was pretty normal conditions (the wet anyway) and at least it was warm rain. Well we spent the morning in the backcountry of Everglades National Park tucked behind mangrove islands. We put together a nice catch of Mangrove Snapper for a meal on the last night before heading home. We also caught ladyfish and pinfish which I put in the livewell. We looked for mullet and with the frothy water and wind none were to be had. On the way back in I saw a rolling Tarpon and almost stopped to fish. We went down to Channel 2 where we had such great action and nothing was happening. So we went back to the channel where I saw the roller and set out baits. One on the bottom and 1 a live ladyfish on the surface.Paul went 2 for 2 on 100lb Tarpon in the next hour.
What a great finish for my crew from Liverpool, England.