Yesterday evening we headed out to Boca to see what was going on, and when we got there, there were 60+ boats out there all huddled up. Goodness... I was quickly reminded why I don't fish Boca. We sat for a few minutes to assess the situation and then all of a sudden 3/4 of the boats started heading in! It was a miracle... or at least the tournament had ended. Thank goodness. So we slid over in the cut to see if we could see anything, and we were quickly greeted by tarpon. Thousands and thousands of rolling tarpon. The bottom and side scan were just stacked with them. There was seriously 20' thick of tarpon on the bottom... it was quite the site. We didn't have any bait so we started throwing artificials... and before you knew it we were hooked up. Fought it for about 30 minutes while a googan wouldn't stop getting within 20' of my boat, and eventually our lines tangled. Another reason why I really don't like fishing the pass. Then he actually tried to fight the fish into the boat. Well we know how that one went... the line broke and no more fish. Guys, if you're new to this and find yourself fishing the pass... keep an eye out for boats that are fighting a fish nearby and give them some space. If your lines happen to tangle, and it's happened to all of us, please cut your line. It's the nice, southern thing to do. Back to story.... Hooked up a couple more times but it got dark on us and the wind was stiff out of the east which made it pretty sloppy out there, and that's not a good situation for the 20' Action Craft flats boat, so we decided to head back towards Englewood and hit a couple spots on the way. The beach side was very, very smooth with the East wind, so we went that way instead of through the intercoastal. And here's where it gets weird: As we're cruising back my friend hits me and says "did you see that?". I say see what? He says "that glowing in the water... it was a big blob of glowing". So I cut it and turn around, just sort of wishfully hoping we stumbled on a huge pod of tarpon. As we're heading back to the spot we both see it and my goodness if it isn't a half football sized pod of tarpon making the water glow! So we follow them and throw artificials at them and they just won't eat. We do this for about 30 minutes before we finally decide to throw a crab at them. (we dipped some while in the pass). Crab was in the water maybe 5 seconds and the whole area in front of us suddenly glowed like somebody turned a night light on, and we were on! Drag screaming, following a glowing ball of fish in the dark, chaos and a ton of fun. Fought this one for about an hour, got the leader, and with a final shake she came undone.
So what are the chances we can find the glow ball of fish again? As bad as our chances were, I kid you not, we found them. three more times and three more fish. All adults, all amazing glowballs in the night. The really cool thing was that you could tell you were hooked up before you could feel it, because this field of tarpon would light up a bright flash right before the line went tight. It was one of the most memorable things I've ever seen. I wish the video would have turned out but unfortunately it didn't.
Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
Captain Keith - Crooked Rod Charters