Tarpon On The Flats, Matlacha and Pine Island

They're out there but they not being especially cooperative this week. There has been a flood of small tarpon pouring into Matlacha Pass over the last several days and my anglers have been doing a great job jumping them but not landing manhy.


The problem has been the very dark water in the Pass that makes it impossible to spot the fish after they roll. This makes life really difficult for fly anglers but every once in a while they get lucky.


That's Bill Downey from Boston in the photos above with a nice 20 pounder caught on his 75th birthday last Saturday. He was one of the very few anglers I've had bring one of these fish to the boat recently.


The tarpon we have managed to land with flies hit either solid black rabbit fur streamers or insanely colored Toads patterns like the one pictured above.


It's been a strange tarpon season so far around Matlacha and Pine Island but we're really just getting started with it. They might not be easy right now but they're not going anywhere for the next few weeks. If you're a fly angler this might be the best time of year to hook a tarpon in the shallows.


  • Luftwaffe1989Luftwaffe1989 Posts: 170 Officer
    Nice pics & catch, capt!
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  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 11,945 AG
    Hooked in the button makes for a well-hooked tarpon.

    Nice fish, pics, and report!
  • CalusaCalusa Posts: 11,881 Officer
    We spotted quite a few big tarpon in Lemon Bay, Stump Pass and surrounding beaches last week. Threw crabs, pinfish, plugs and threadfins in front of them to no avail. Picky eaters .......
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  • Snook ManSnook Man Posts: 207 Officer
    Nice job on the tarpon and great pics
  • thinfisherthinfisher Posts: 326 Officer
    Nice Work captain and great report!:beer
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  • Capt. Gregg McKeeCapt. Gregg McKee Posts: 201 Officer
    Thanks, guys. Here's another shot for you from Matlacha Pass.


    We're still hooking smaller fish like this but they really require a quick and accurate cast if you want to get them on a fly. I tried to make it easier yesterday with my brother and his 4 yr. old son by using spinning gear. We floated live shrimp and crabs right next to rolling fish as well as casting soft plastics to them and got no response. Go figure. It's been a weird tarpon season so far.

    I'm out for the next ten days with one of my more talented regular customers who's been trying for six years to land a tarpon on a fly with me. We've hooked plenty but always loose them before they get to the boat. I even tried pawning him off to a friend of mine in Key West this year in hopes of breaking our bad luck streak and getting the monkey off his back but he wouldn't do it. Stay tuned.
  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 757 Officer
    Great job out there! Those small tarpon are a blast to catch on light tackle....
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