Boca Grande Charlotte Harbor
Well, another tarpon season has come and gone. The 2016 Boca Grande tarpon season was a challenging and exciting season. I started the 2016 Boca Grande tarpon season April 7th and I have officially wrapped up tarpon fishing for the year. The last day I caught a tarpon this season was October 23rd, I fished the same client from Canada on October 22nd and 23rd, although we were fishing one day after a cold front and the wind was blowing 20+ knots out of the north we had two very good days of tarpon fishing. It was nice to end my season on a high note!
Recap (August-October). Normally I tarpon fish through Halloween so I was surprised that October 23rd was the last day I found any tarpon. August brought hot fishing, literally! The tarpon bite was strong, I had a ton of trips on my books to run and I didn’t take any skunks. Normally, August can be a little challenging some days since the water temperature is the highest of the year, which sometimes can make the tarpon less active. The bait of choice for August was live ladyfish as well as swimbaits. The tarpon moved up into Charlotte Harbor in large numbers this year in late June, by August there was absolutely no fishing pressure on the tarpon and they could be seen feeding on the large schools of minnows that hatch this time of the year. September came and went and although the weather was very hot, at some points it was so hot it was uncomfortable the Tarpon fishing got better. September was by far the BEST month of the entire 2016 Boca Grande tarpon season, I fished 20 days in September and again did not take a single skunk! The tarpon were active nearly all day in September, the last half of the month was better than the first half which is normal. I had multiple trips when we jumped over 10 tarpon in less than 6 hours of effort, the tarpon really made me look like I knew what I was doing, some days they can burn me and make me look like I have no idea what I’m doing, if you are a tarpon fisherman you know what I’m talking about. October is when the tarpon fishing went downhill, and the fishing went downhill very fast! I had half the month booked for tarpon charters which was great, however the weather really started to affect me starting around the first few days of the month. I cannot remember another October that had as bad of weather as this year. I had to cancel three or four trips due to the weather and had 2 other 10 hour charters that I had to switch from tarpon fishing to flats fishing. The wind was blowing 15-20 just about every day from October 10th on so once the tarpon moved around a little bit it was nearly impossible for me to find them again in that strong of a wind. I had some good days in October but for the most part it was a bust due to the wind. October is by far my favorite month to target tarpon; this year October was my worst overall month of the entire season.
2017 Boca Grande tarpon season
The 2017 Boca Grande tarpon season is less than 5 months away, I have begun booking trips for next season already. May and June are the most popular months due to the fact that is when we have the largest numbers of tarpon in our area. The hill tide dates are going fast; I have half of my hill tide days booked already. If you would like a specific day or tide, please do not wait too long to contact me as these dates are first come first served for the most part. I had a few issues last year with clients canceling trips, I will be changing a few of my long-standing policies regarding deposits for multiple boat trips for next year. I can handle a client canceling a day with me but last year I had a few of my clients cancel their dates when they had multiple boats that I had to hire to accommodate their group. I look forward to fishing with all of you again as well as meeting and fishing with new fisherman. I was the first guide to start tarpon fishing last year and I was by far the last guide to end my tarpon season. I can’t wait till the days get longer and the sun warms the water up, till then I will be fishing in the backcountry for snook and redfish. If you are looking for a fishing charter from now through March please feel free to contact me, the backcountry fishing is very good in Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande.