Now that I have some time to reflect on the last two months of tarpon fishing I’d like to thank all my returning clients for continuing to choose me as your tarpon fishing guide, many of you have been fishing with me for nearly a decade and I cherish the bonds we have built while chasing the silver king. For all my new clients, I hope to see all of you again in the future; it was a pleasure to have all of you aboard this year.
The 2012 tarpon season started with a bang, the tarpon showed up in Charlotte Harbor in the middle of March this year, almost 3 weeks earlier than normal. Tarpon fishing in the Harbor was really good through the middle of April, 5-10 hookups were the norm. The first 200 pound tarpon of the year was landed on April 7th. Many of the tarpon we caught up in Charlotte Harbor were well over 150 pounds.
Tarpon fishing continued to be good through about the second week of May. After about May 15th the tarpon shut down and had a bad case of lock jaw. I could never get a pattern on the tarpon as it seemed every day they acted different. The only thing consistent was the number of boats chasing these fish around every day. I think the boat pressure really got to the tarpon this year. I was still catching fish almost every trip but not in the numbers I am use to. Most days landing one tarpon was better than most other boats around. Boca Grande tarpon fishing was hard this year, if we didn’t work hard and stay on fish all day there would have been a lot of days with zero fish.
It seems to me when the PTTS tarpon tournament shows up in town the fishing gets very tough. These “professionals” chase the fish around until they dump out of Boca Grande Pass and then the same boats chase them up in the Harbor in 20 feet of water until the tarpon finally shut down. This “new” type of etiquette that these “captains” show on a daily basis is hurting everybody, including themselves. There is a movement in Boca Grande and Charlotte Harbor called save the tarpon, please take time to check out this very important website and if you feel the same about Boca Grande as I do please take the time to sign the petition. www.savethetarpon.com
Boca Grande tarpon fishing started to heat up again by the middle of June, the tarpon fishing on the beach started to become more and more reliable as did the early morning crab bite in Boca Grande Pass. Currently I have started to fish back up inside Charlotte Harbor for the silver kings, boat pressure is about zero and the fish are happy and hungry. We still have not seen the best tarpon fishing of the year yet, as we get closer to August the tarpon fishing will really be in full swing. If we have a mild fall I expect to be catching tarpon all the way through October and into November as usual. If you have not made plans to come down to tarpon fish with me yet this year I have a few days open in July and my schedule so far into August and September is light. I can be reached at 239-825-8791. Thanks- Capt. Chuck Jenks
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