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Always something new

Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,050 Moderator
Yesterday, went out of Hudson in search of hogs.  In 38' of crystal clear water we saw, I don't know, 500 to 1000 tarpon lazily swimming under the boat. These were 30-50# fish, no really big ones, but  not juveniles.  Mixed with the poons were kingfish, also swimming lazily around.  They did not seem to be going anywhere.
What was frustrating was we could not get them to eat anything.  We were dropping chunks of threadfin, and sardines, live pinfish and even live shrimp.  We even dropped some live shrimp without a hook and watched them drop right through the schooling fish.  Never seen anything like this

Replies

  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,722 Captain
    edited March 17 #2
    Love seeing that kind of stuff.  Those one offs.  You'll never see it again probably, but you will never forget it.
    Reminds me of all the snook that stacked up in john's pass every year.  Don't know how many freelined shrimp I drifted pass them, during my hs years, and only on a few rare occasions had it work.  Haven't checked to see if they still do that for years.
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 7,383 Admiral
    While diving in S. Florida I've seen massive congregations of Snook on the reefs that were in the spawn mode. You could almost swim up and touch them as they were fairly lethargic. This was not a cold water event but a late summer event.. Went back to the boat and tried a variety of live, dead and artificial baits and they just pretended like the baits weren't even there.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • xeniaxenia Posts: 795 Officer
    My dad sat for hours on top of massive readings in 700' in Cay Sal years ago and nothing would bite.  Dropping down chicken rigs on electrics with squid and cuda for bait, not a bite.  Out of nowhere the bite turned on for no apparent reason and it was a yelloweye on every hook.  Why didn't they bite before?  I've seen the same thing with muttons during the spawn.  Same spot, same current (or lack of), same bait and line, fish marking under the boat, and nothing.  At some point, could be 3:00 in the afternoon or 3:00 in the morning, and you can't get a bait in the water fast enough.  Who knows but the fish.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,011 AG
    edited March 17 #5
    Jack,  What was the water temp?   Tarpon tend to have lockjaw if the water temp is below 70.

    It's a bit early for the migrating tarpon to show up, particularly if you didn't see any large females,  so I suspect they were locals that have fled the backwaters with the warming water.  That said, it's really unusual to see that many in one place this time of year.  I've never heard of that happening around here this time of the season.  Down in the keys, yes, but not up here.

    Thanks for the report.


  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,011 AG
    edited March 17 #6
    spangler said:
    Love seeing that kind of stuff.  Those one offs.  You'll never see it again probably, but you will never forget it.
    Reminds me of all the snook that stacked up in john's pass every year.  Don't know how many freelined shrimp I drifted pass them, during my hs years, and only on a few rare occasions had it work.  Haven't checked to see if they still do that for years.
    Perhaps not in the numbers they did in years gone by, but they still do, and they eat quite well after dark (and providing they don't know you're there).  I spent a lot of time in John's Pass during my teenage years too, and still try to go down there at least once a year in the summer.  They ate/eat mojarra and sardines better for us than they did shrimp, and I gave up trying to fish for them during the day as they ate much better after the sun went down (and the toursists/boats left).
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,722 Captain
    edited March 17 #7
    I'll never forget, long ago, cruising into boca ciega bay.  This is on the inside, intercoastal.  I watched several stingrays jump out of the water.  Not too close but not too far.  As we started to run aground.  Had my dad driven us onto a sandbar? Looked like it.  Felt like it.  We slowed. Nope, stingrays migrating.  Wingtip to wingtip.  As far as the eye could see.  Jumping all over the place.  Really wild.
    I know it's not a one off.  But was for me.  So far
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • GeneakersGeneakers West Palm BeachPosts: 173 Deckhand
    We ran into a pod of porpoise @ 30-35 strong off of Pompano on Sun afternoon.  Thought the were sails jumping from a distance so turned and burned.. they were all around the boat.  I would speed up, they sped up, I would slow down, they would slow down.  they were porpoising in and out of the water literally within 3-5' of the boat, sometimes close enough you could have touched em.  Several would get behind us and come up and surf the prop wash coming off the twin mercs..  Daughter in'law had never been on the ocean before, and she was absolutely amazed.  She said "Do they always get this close?" lol...   she road up in the pulpit for prob 15 minutes and there would be 10-12 just below her.  We had 2 that ran up on the port side of the boat, about 1-2' off the stern, just to the left of the port side prop and swam like that for a good 10 minutes.  I don't know if they liked the bubbles hitting them, or the sound, or what.  It literally was like Sea World with them so close, and shooting out of the water all around us.

    It is amazing when you get to see the beautiful side of nature.

    This was taken just off the starboard side of the Mako.. about 4-5 feet away from the boat., running about 14 knts  This particular porpoise came out of the water 3 or times and would smack the surface of the water making a HUGE smack noise with her tail every time she would go back into the sea.

    I have never seen these porpoise before either... they were almost black on their backs, and the black faded to light grey on their belly.  Almost like the new military style checkered camo style.  You can see it some on the side of this one.  And if you zoom in, she almost seems to have her head turned looking at the boat out of the water.


  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 1,181 Officer
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 7,383 Admiral
    Atlantic Spotted Dolphin. Glad you guys had a good time even if the fishing was a bit slow.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • ALASKA GUYALASKA GUY Posts: 116 Deckhand
    Its the Virus, they were just saying good buy to the humans
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 894 Officer
    I wonder if those tarpon were sitting over a small spring maybe...  That might be a congregation cause.
  • tankeredtankered Gainesvill, FlPosts: 404 Deckhand

    We saw a giant mola mola one day about 30 miles off Cedar Key. It would have filled the bed of an F-350. It wasn't shy at all, we got right on top of it, had it not been a chilly November day I would have jumped in the water with it. Pretty imposing being that close to something that big, even if it is harmless.

    Of course this we had no camera aboard, this was early in the cellphone era when very few had cameras.

  • MulletMaster239MulletMaster239 Southwest FloridaPosts: 408 Deckhand
    They’ve been biting fairly decent on chunks of mullet, and ladyfish. But it has varied day to day what they prefer. One day it is mullet, next day it is the ladyfish. Haven’t had a day yet where both got hit. And this is mostly leftover snook bait from the previous evening that has been in the freezer overnight. Recently I was out with fresh mullet on hand, fished alongside frozen leftover snook bait (ladyfish). The ladyfish was getting hit and the mullet was ignored. 

    They also seem to be a bit leader shy at this time, the 60 lb and up tarpon anyway. The smaller 20-30 pounders have been hitting rigs with 130 lb mono I have out for the larger fish, while the 60 lb and up tarpon are taking the baits on 50 lb leader. So I’ve switched to 50 lb mono on all the rigs until I get frayed off by a bigger one.

    Of course this is in canal systems though, which have warmer water. I haven’t tried fishing the coastal areas yet. Waiting for more tourists to leave, and for that water to warm a little more and stay warm for a bit.
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