Home Fly Fishing

Has anyone in Florida caught a tarpon on fly this year?

sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 659 Officer
I haven't seen a single picture posted!
I have fished myself probably 14 mornings in Venice, Florida off the beach ... and 2 days in Key West
Not a fish yet.

Mark

grace finds goodness in everything ...



Replies

  • ERKERK West Central FloridaPosts: 4 Greenhorn
    I've only put my hands on 1 ~80 lbs. I've been out 8 times this season, exclusively focusing on the big beach **** with fly. I've only had 3 bites, all before 7am. It's a frustrating game, but worth all the hours and prep when you put one in the air.  
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 659 Officer
    Yikes.
    I have two friends who fish with bait off the beaches of Venice, Florida.
    Between them, they probably fish 100 days.
    Combined they caught one, maybe jumped two.
    A typical year is probably about 10-15 each. With me getting two on fly.
    I didn't get a single bite on fly. And, honestly, hardly a shot.
    Mark

    grace finds goodness in everything ...



  • CWFliesCWFlies StuartPosts: 134 Deckhand
    I have only caught a few on fly this year.All small fish 5-15lbs. Probably about 20 on spin. Been jumping a lot off the beach for the past week or two. Not trying to land those fish from the beach for the fishes sake. If i had a boat I would try to land them. Too many sharks in the surf for a tired tarpon and i see too many people drag them on the sand. A buddy of mine went something like 8/13 a week ago in a single day from his boat off the beach with fly. Maybe you're just on the wrong side of FL right now. 
  • bsfl1bsfl1 Posts: 52 Deckhand
    I jumped two on fly off the beach, east coast. Landed one pass fish on west coast. For me, it has been good for the amount of time I target them. There have been lots of beach fish this year, more so than past years in my experience.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,472 Captain
    edited June 2020 #6
    March, April, and May are prime months for big tarpon in the ‘glades.... Unfortunately during this year almost every phone call was a cancellation for bookings to fish them...

    Not a good deal at all for guides who depend on lots of charters to fish tarpon each year.  Fortunately, we still have our “second season” to look forward to.   All summer long we’ll start seeing big fish returning to us, primed to feed up while the weather holds. The last two weeks of September and the first three weeks of October can be as good as it gets if a hurricane doesn’t come this way...

    Right now we’re in tarpon every day but they’re only 10 to 50lbs... Anglers wanted
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • CWFliesCWFlies StuartPosts: 134 Deckhand
    Nothing wrong with with 10-50lb tarpon captain. I'll take that size any day. Hope business picks back up. 
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 659 Officer
    Be honest, CW.
    Sure every tarpon is a tarpon. But we fish tarpon because they aren't ladyfish.
    A ten pound tarpon doesn't do anything that a ladyfish doesn't do.
    A tarpon is the greatest fly game-fish because of the way a big 80-plus fish
    comes thundering up out of the water, gill plates flaring, our hearts stopping ...
    (this is a stolen picture)




    Mark

    grace finds goodness in everything ...



  • CWFliesCWFlies StuartPosts: 134 Deckhand
    I am just fine with 10lb tarpon. 80lb plus fish are fun to land a few times a year but after that those long battles in the summer sun really make me want to just jumped them a few times then let them shake off. Some of my favorite tarpon fishing is with my 5wt for micro poons under 5lbs. They are like a pack of wolves when presented with a gurgler
  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 472 Deckhand
    CW what flies do you like using for the beach fish around here? I just moved up to ft. pierce and have been trying to get on some good beach bites but haven't seen any good action yet, maybe the numbers you're seeing are a bit further south.
  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 472 Deckhand
    Also to add to the thread, I've land a couple small ones up to like 20-30 on fly this year but have missed a few larger ones. All my fish have been backwater though where I'm mostly blind casting, still have yet to get one of those awesome ocean side fish 
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 18,139 AG
    edited July 2020 #12
    sunflower said:
    Be honest, CW.
    Sure every tarpon is a tarpon. But we fish tarpon because they aren't ladyfish.
    A ten pound tarpon doesn't do anything that a ladyfish doesn't do.
    A tarpon is the greatest fly game-fish because of the way a big 80-plus fish
    comes thundering up out of the water, gill plates flaring, our hearts stopping ...
    (this is a stolen picture)




    That ain't no 80lber.  ;)

    Haven't tried the fly rod this year, but would have no problem catching one under the bridges at night in Tampa Bay.  It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Beach fishing for the most part this year has stunk all up and down the west coast of Florida.
  • BK922BK922 Posts: 73 Deckhand
    edited July 2020 #13
    Jumped a few nice one's early season, beach season has been off and on depending on boat traffic and weather conditions but have jumped a bunch and landed a couple, all in the 70-90 range, and like Mike Tarponator said its all you want at the bridge, landed a good number in the 30-60 range, any bigger and its almost impossible solo on fly (which is 90% of how I fish, even more so during this current situation). Solo on fly is one tough gig thats for sure. 

    Sunflower. I tell you what it's gotta be tough down there in Venice to get those fish on fly, My inlaws live just inside the inlet and I spent some time down there in June.( I fish down there a bunch during the year actually) With just straight stretches of beach and no sandbars or shoals to set up on it makes it really hard to get consistent shots at fish. We struggled trying to get my father in law a fish using live bait. Just too many boats running up and down the beach and fish swimming fast and deep. Can't pole and they hate the trolling motor. 

    [img]https://i.ibb.co/0Yt6nqy/2-FA8930-D-86-B7-475-A-90-DB-75871308595-D.jpg[/img]



    <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 659 Officer
    Hey BK922,

    It is a difficult system here in Venice. On a typical day I float on the water in 14-feet looking for tarpon for 5 hours. I might see 8 pods running, and get a shot at 3 of them. 6 or 9 viable casts. I fish about 15 days a year, and usually catch about 2 tarpon.

    It seems like a lot.

    This year, I barely had a cast. To screw up.


    Mark

    grace finds goodness in everything ...



  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,472 Captain
    Last night in Biscayne Bay, my angler had six bites on fly with one to the boat for a photo and release... They ranged from 10 to about 40 lbs.  Full report with pics to follow.  I came off the water at 2am this morning...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 659 Officer
    I guess you are targeting them under lights? 
    Not blind-casting?
    Sounds like fun!

    Mark

    grace finds goodness in everything ...



  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,472 Captain
    edited July 2020 #17
    These babies are in docklights or at the surface in the shadows under bridges... They average 20 to 40 lbs in winter and 10 to 30 lbs in summer....  We're tossing small white flies at fish we're looking at with an 8 or 9wt rod and it's great fun even when the occasional 60lb or larger fish takes one of our flies.  The night scene on a falling tide was almost the first fishing I was ever introduced to down here out of a boat (winter of 1972...).  When I took up guiding full time back in 1996 it was the one trip I knew we'd always be successful at since Biscayne Bay was always a shrimp producing area.  That has tapered off a bit in the last two or three years but we can still find fish to work over... Fish in docklights can be tough - only your first two or three casts have much of a chance - and you have to stay as far away from any docklight as possible.  The fish in the shadows up under all the bridges between Miami and Miami Beach are much more approachable - and they never pay the slightest attention to a boat with its motor off when we're behind them... Around bridges the toughest part are those concrete pilings - they're hard on lines and boats (and everything else if you're not careful...).  My skiff has its share of bridge dings over the years... 

    I posted a full report on this board, 18 July "Peacock days, tarpon nights"... 
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 659 Officer
    We have a similar fishery here for snook under dock lights. I live on the Intracoastal between Venice and Sarasota in what is called "Snook Alley." Similarly, they are choosy, and only bite during certain minutes of the tide.
    I'm sure we use the exact same flies.
    Mark

    grace finds goodness in everything ...



  • L8RBRAL8RBRA Posts: 792 Officer
    edited July 2020 #19
    I hooked one on my phallic lure in my avatar. Not kidding 
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 659 Officer
    edited July 2020 #20
    I'm not entirely sure what you are saying, L8BRA,
    but that is a very unlikely lure to catch a tarpon with. Shiny and fast aren't usually their things.
    Spoons and pompano jigs aren't considered successful tarpon lures.
    That said, throw what you believe in. A fish might hit anything.
    Who ever thought up a Crazy Charlie? (Charlie)
    If you believe in shiny pe*nis', then swing and throw your shiny pe*nis.


    Mark

    grace finds goodness in everything ...



  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 373 Deckhand
    Sunflower, Bob's night flies are much bigger(1/0-2/0) than flies of choice for dock light snook. Whenever i fished Snook Alley I used no bigger than # 6 baitfish patterns and 25lb flouro leader.Capt Roan Zumfeld in Naples showed me his pattern, a # 4 , and I went even smaller.  Sometimes I dropped down to #8s . I caught them all night, any tide by going tiny. When I wanted a change up I threw # 4 shrimp gurglers to see some blow ups. Fewer fish but worth it. 
  • L8RBRAL8RBRA Posts: 792 Officer
    sunflower said:
    I'm not entirely sure what you are saying, L8BRA,
    but that is a very unlikely lure to catch a tarpon with. Shiny and fast aren't usually their things.



    Yep, was surprised to hook into it as well. Lots of bait schools around where he hit it. Unfortunately the tarpon broke off and I lost my Willie lure. 
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