We’re in Full Swing

By: Capt. Greg Poland

Tarpon season is now in full swing throughout the area and is absolutely my favorite time of year to be out on the water. Whether you are fishing for them under a bridge, just a few spans down from another boat, all alone way out in the backcountry, in the passes or on a strip bank there is nothing like seeing a group of happy tarpon rolling around on the surface. There are so many ways to fish for the poon and over the years I think I have tried everything, but my two favorite ways are casting a fly to rolling fish on a calm early morning or watching a live mullett get nervous as the cork gets drifted back under the shadow line of the bridge. If you are going to fish around the bridge, you are going to have to contend with the concrete and the noise of the highway, but it is exciting to look down the bridge and see other boats hooked up as you patiently watch your bait in anticipation of the bite. It is like a rollercoaster ride when you are chasing the fish through the bridge spans. My advice for bridge fishing is to have a float on your anchor so you can make a quick getaway after your hooked up and it saves your spot while fighting your fish. Unfortunately, the sharks have figured out what we are doing and are always looking for an easy meal, so try not to tire the tarpon out so much that it ends up being eaten. If you get a shark on your fish simply break it off or open the bail so the fish stands a chance, sometimes there is simply nothing you can do. On my boat, we do everything possible to catch our fish and get a quick photo while the fish still has enough energy to swim away unharmed. If you are looking to get something to put on the dinner table, the snapper fishing has been great around the patch reefs and shorelines. Below is a photo of Terry Kirk holding up a 16lb cuber snapper we caught while fishing a shoreline in the backcountry. It is also that time of year to run out and look to see what’s under a weed line, I am sure I will be doing that in between tarpon tides this month. I have some good times open if you would like to get out on the water this season with me!