Air’n Em Out in October
In late July as Tarpon begin to trickle down the beaches of the west coast of central Florida some would say the season is coming to a close. However, for me and a few close poon junkies we know it’s only the beginning of the post-season. From south Sarasota to the furthest rivers north in the Bay we hunt these slimy bastards all the way to their final resting spots. Eventually they settle deep in the stagnant waters of the furthest back bays and rivers where they inevitably become impossible to connect with. Only then do we hang up the large arbors and stout rods and pray for next May.
By: Brian Sawyer
(early morning baby poon’n)
During this transition period where they move from the Gulf to the rivers (August-November) it is imperative that we wake early, some of the best “baby-poon” fishing can shut down as early as 8am. Most “fair-weather” anglers on the water after sunrise would never even know they existed. Although the babies are not the only ones we’re after, they bring an aspect to the game that make you appreciate the larger fish for where they started what they have become over the years.
(Big jump up ship’s creek)
Because of the nomadic tendencies of these fish we have to be ready for them with any tackle at any given time, often running up to 60 miles a day to fish different waters and fish. My fly box is full of weighted EP flies for dredging to DOA bait busters for sight fishing rollers. We carry anything from a 9 wt fly rod for “juvies” to a stout spinning outfit for live baiting big baits in deep water. If you take a glance at the rod racks you would think went to war with every species in the sea. Honestly, it’s a little ridiculous…
(Bob Carbonara boating & releasing his own fish)
(Often a small reminder is left if the battle gets boat-side)
At the end of each day we enjoy a cold beer on our run back to the dock and talk about how great is to live just minutes from one of the greatest Tarpon fisheries in Florida. Sometimes we catch em’ sometimes we don’t, but one thing remains the same, we are Tarpon fisherman and we always will be.