A few more tarpon.

I posted previously about my first 2 trips for tarpon in my kayak off Anna Maria. On Sunday and Monday I got in 2 more trips and the conditions had changed. Storms were more prevalent and the fish moved off the 7'-9' flats along the beaches. On Sunday I searched for awhile in the same areas as before but they were not there. I found them in the 14'-17' deep flats about 3/4 mile offshore and in larger groups. Monday they were bunched up in the deep channel when I launched at 8 am after catching bait at the Skyway. I prefer fishing alone so I searched the shallow water for a few hours - couldn't find a single fish. Since the winds were supposed to howl in the afternoon and wife was chilling on the beach, reading and waiting for me to take her to lunch, I went back to the crowd of boats. (yep, she is a good one, got up at 4 am to go with me so we could enjoy the afternoon together) When deep, the tarpon are easy to track with the depth finder and by sight when they surface to gulp air, if they aren't stationary behind a chumming boat. This morning the schools were moving around so it was easy to pick an open space and wait till they came close. All my tackle & bait remained the same, 5"-7" threadfins used live and dead. I upsized the fluoro leader from 50 to 60 lb on Monday because of the depth and extreme overcast, probably could have got away with 80 lb. In 3 1/2 days, I released 7 tarpon and had an absolute blast.
Kudos to the sportsmanship of all the other guys out there this year, did not see anyone angry or messing up anyone else. Multiple times I in my yak and 1 or more boats would shadow the same shallow school and almost every time, each of us hooked up eventually. Just takes patience and cooperation.


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