Yesterday I fished with Captain Chris McCreedy, and our target was tarpon. After a more-harrowing-than-normal week, between last week’s cutting off: both of Sandy and Howard and myself at Loggerhead as well as Lenny’s finger (nearly) by a shark, I decided to leave the six pound at home and throw some sixteen pound tippet at tarpon. I brought one rod in the hopes of keeping it simple, and we set out at 8 AM for a day of tarpon fishing.
At our first stop, we were greeted by a few small groups of tarpon. They were tough to see, but we had enough shots to hook one and jump one in short order. The hook broke on the second fish before we could secure the release, and what followed was a pretty serious slump: I fed the fly to another six fish, a few of them more than once, and simply couldn’t get the hook to bury. I had a nice jump from a fish that we hooked on a two-handed retrieve (usually a surer thing, as far as the hook up is concerned), and after that the hooks kept coming out.
We left this area and headed elsewhere, and at our third stop found a few fish that are known to be difficult. If you fish down here, you know them: large, dark colored, sitting in clear water over hard bottom. Our best bite of the day came here, when I threw a small fly in front of a large fish as soon as we lost our sun from a passing cloud. The fish turned and saw the fly, and I came tight to a shadow that soon took off into the backing. The fish never jumped, save for a head shake near the end, and we scored the release on the fish before the bite tippet wore through. We estimated the fish at around 120 pounds: decent six material, but on we were happy to have caught on 16#.
The rest of our day was spent looking for fish, and we had a great hour of fishing on another edge nearby but couldn’t feed one from the 15 or so shots we had.
One more spot and we were done with our day, tired and happy for the opportunity to have some great fishing in the face of a season that, at this early stage, is proving to be relatively difficult in every way except for the reason we’re all here: the fish and the guides that take us to them.
No fishing this week, and I’m headed to the IGFA for Dotty Ballantyne’s lifetime achievement award dinner on Saturday, but I’m sure I’ll get out and fish in the lights some before then. Muy next scheduled day is with Howard Davis and Drew Delashmit on the 23.
More to come, hope you’re fishing.