June in Southwest Florida

By: Capt. Bart Marx

In Southwest Florida, June is considered silver king time as the big schools of the migratory tarpon are in our area along the coastal beaches and up into the estuaries looking for food. Many can be targeted in the passes from Venice to Ft. Myers. They can be finnicky feeders as they may eat crabs, squirrel fish, hand-picked shrimp, or even pin fish just to name a few along with the artificial lure hard and soft plastics. In the passes, it is helpful to have good bottom and side scan sounders to help locate the fish. Along the beaches you can find the little pods of tarpon that break away from the masses and I like to stalk and sight fish these, observe them, and throw live or artificial baits. The same method inshore can also find a small pod that has separated itself from the large school. To me, these methods are less stressful, especially when you get into the passes where there is less room between the boats. If you are stealthy, you could have the pod to yourself for a while before you have company wanting to target the same fish. For me I have played with the tarpon and have had my fun. I like to stick one on a fly rod and get a few jumps before it throws the hook or breaks me off. My Pops taught me not to spend much time trying to catch something that is not much good for eating. I personally, have never met anyone that has eaten a tarpon, but I do know that sharks like to eat them and they are good bait for shark. Keep in mind, tarpon are protected and you would need a tag to harvest one. However, a fresh mullet or jack fish will get the job done, and this time of year there are plenty of large sharks around to play tug of war with. The two that I personally like to eat are a three- to four-foot-long black tip or a two-foot bonnet head. And this month the snook should be on the move to their spawning areas. On the points around the harbor mouths of creeks where there is food, there should be plenty of white bait and they would be the best bait for snook. Reds and trout on the edges of the sand bars and the big sand holes on the flats. And if you are one of those guys that like to head offshore there should be some nice yellowtails around the one-hundred-foot mark along with permit around the artificial reefs too. If you would like to come along with Capt. Bart Marx and learn some of these tactics. Give me a call at 941-979-6517 or e-mail me captbart@alphaomegacharters.com

I also do what I call is a training session where I come on your boat for a day of training with your boat and gear. And always remember singing drags and tight lines make me smile.