Following my day with John and Aaron (Part ONE from the fishing reports page), Aaron and I set forth solo to capture tarpon. We were fishing on 6#, still trying after all these years.
Aaron and I had our minds set on a large fish in the proper area for 6# capture, and as such we didn’t fins a whole lot to begin with. We went from spot to spot, and we began to realize that the body of fish seemed to be elsewhere. I had a good shot at a pair of fish that resulted in a bite; I was unable to get the hook in and we looked somewhere else.
We had a few shots at fish, some of them quite large, but none that wanted to play with us. In short order, Aaron took us to a place near where we found the fish with John the day before. In short order, we were literally covered in tarpon. For two hours, I experienced some of the best tarpon fishing I’ve ever had, in addition to one of the cooler incidental experiences yet: Aaron hooked, on a small tarpon fly, a 25 pound barracuda. If you fish in the Keys you’re likely aware of how rare such a large fish is for a fly rod, and the fact that it stayed connected on fluorocarbon for as long as it did (nearly to the boat, and after a series of fantastic jumps) made it all the better. After that Aaron hooked one, then I got up with the 6 to attempt a record capture. I fed the fly to fish that spit the fly, and soon after hooked a nice fish that appeared to be over 100 pounds. We gave chase, crestfallen when the fly simply came out. I hooked another fish, this one smaller, and instead of chasing the fish Aaron stood on the platform and fished himself while I took the opportunity to see what I could do with a 40 pound fish from a dead boat on 6 lb test. It turns out that with a little patience and some luck, it’s quite doable:
It’s worth noting that during the time I fought the fish on 6 lb, Aaron fed two from the platform. We left afterwards, and prepared for tomorrow.
We ended up behind John O’Hearn to start, and immediately had a great bite from a large fish that spit the fly on the hookset. We looked on and Aaron took some photos of John catching one ahead of us:
We went from spot to spot, with a great head out bite at the third. Again, the fly never found a home–something that would happen more before the day was done.
Aaron found a group of fish over white bottom, piled high on a dark spot, which gave us another bite and another dropped eat.
At our next stop, a group of three fish gave us another bite. Guess what happened….some days you’re just not in the zone.
Finally we ended up in some decent fishing at the end of the day, and one final time we had a great eat and a fly that refused to find a home in the bucket.
I would like to thank Captains Aaron Snell and John O’Hearn for three great days of fishing.
Sunday I’m with Chris McCreedy, and Wednesday with Lenny and Vicky.
more to come,