Haven’t posted in a while, but wanted to share a South Carolina Tarpon report and try to raise awareness for a tournament we have coming up. This year’s Lowcountry Tarpon Tournament will be held September 13th & 14th out of Georgetown, South Carolina. The tournament is an annual event that benefits tarpon research conducted by the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. Virtually all of the tournament proceeds go to BTT for the study of migratory tarpon along our coastline. It’s a 2 day format with a really fun awards ceremony at the end of the second fishing day. Members of BTT will be on-site for presentations and Q&A. If you are interested in learning more about South Carolina’s tarpon fishery, then please consider fishing or just joining us for the awards ceremony on Saturday evening. We will have some great auction items this year including some of Sam’s lifeproof cases, local artwork, fishing gear, and more. More info can be found at www.lowcountrytarpon.com . We are really stoked to have Paul Puckett from Charleston, South Carolina as this year’s tournament artist. Paul is a very talented dude and if you haven’t checked out is stuff then do yourself a favor and click on www.paulpuckettart.com . Here’s the official print from Paul, which will be featured on this year’s tournament shirts donated by Patagonia.
Here’s some tarpon photos from a couple of fish that Douglas Miller, Brit Rodgers, and I caught this past weekend in Georgetown. One of them was Brit’s first tarpon ever…and a South Carolina one at that…a pretty dang exciting moment for all of us. I’d say they are here in pretty good numbers leading up to the tournament. I also included some pics from this past flood tide because I thought they were pretty cool. It almost feels like fall outside and the fishing is really starting to get right. Hope to see y’all at the tournament.
Just returned from our annual spring trip to the keys. As usual, we spent hours in the shallow water trying to convince tarpon to eat our flies. I’ve got an elevated respect for guys like Honson and Collin and the Florida guides and recreational anglers who are feeding these fish on a regular basis…this is not an easy game. We endured countless rejected shots from ocean swimmers, but it is worth the price of admission to watch them stream by the boat in clear water. Not to mention, I feel like we are learning a little more about these awesome fish with every failed attempt…which is really what it is all about. Fortunately, there’s always a tarpon around willing to eat an artificial lure or a live mullet at a bridge…allowing us visitors a chance to put some fish in the air before they make it up to the Carolinas. Looking forward to next time.
It was an interesting summer to say the least……Tarpon season, in which we fly fisherman look so forward to each year was one of the hardest seasons I can remember. We were plagued with bad weather, bad luck, dirty water and mechanical skiff issues all season long. The only thing we had going for us was the fact that if we did make it out to the beach, we were stabbing poons on every outing!! This said, makes it even more frustrating, for that we have full confidence that we will put metal to their mouthes but just cannot get out to do so… Being weekend warriors, we missed full months at a time due to negative weather conditions. Yet, there were a handfull of beautiful days that allowed us to put a few bugs in the faces of some giant poon!
And then something happens that totally throws your tarpon season into high gear….A trip to the Everglades National Park (ENP)..Hooking 8 Big Tarpon by 10AM on fly will allow you to quickly forget about the bad days you previously had!!! Long-time, good friend Capt. Jesse Lavender and I were to make a poon day in the glades and that we did. Not the highlight of the day, but a great story…”Jess – there is a big girl laid up, eleven o’clock, 60 ft…” “Ok, got it”… Cast..strip, Lady fish eats fly…tarpon then destroys hooked lady fish on top and off she goes! Fish ended up throwing the hook (Or lady fish, I should say but nonetheless just another aspect to an epic day fly fishing for tarpon in the glades. I hear they are still around in some parts of the glades…Look for a post poon season report in the upcomming weeks….
Tis the season where snook should also be crashing bait around spill-ways and sandbars up and along the Rivers of SWFL….It has been a really, really slow start in that regard. I have had days where we can land North of double-digits in regards to quantity, but I have yet to see a snook over 35″ be landed…and our summer is running out.. This was an everyday occurance last year…Here are a few photos from the iphone of snook season “so far” from the SWFL Rivers. Stay tuned – this will get good.
Ended up on a nice group of migratory tarpon off Georgetown, South Carolina this morning and wanted to try to get some photos of them rolling. Some of the pictures came out OK, but I still need some practice with tarpon photography. Not to mention my hands were probably shaking out of excitement. I would say the mullet run has officially started here. The bait was coming down the beach pretty thick and the tarpon were feeding aggressively. The fishing should get good over the next several weeks! I’m stoked.
5.9.2011 It seem just a couple months ago that the Tarpon season was in Boca Grande and the PTTS was in full throttle. It is now May once again and the first Professional Tarpon Tour is only a couple weeks away. I haven’t fished Boca Grande since last summer but today I hop on board a friend of mine’s boat Capt. Justin Cauffman and his friend Chad.
We got lots of eats but did not seem to want to say on the line for very long. The total was four hook up with only one fish landed. We fished until about lunch time before packing it in for lunch at the Waterside Grill.
Sunday I went out with a good friend Nick Fischer and his friend Kai from South Carolina. We took Kai’s custom Gheenoe and had a blast to say the least. The Gheenoe is a great little skiff to fish off of. With negative lows in the morning we were in search of tailing redfish, the winds were up and the tails were not as plentiful as we had hoped for but we managed to get the job done. As the tide rose we decided to head to a neat little area that holds juve Tarpon year round. It was really cool to see these species striving as Tarpon are my favorite fish that swims these Gulf waters! The Tarpon ranged from ounces to 20lbs. They were all over the popper flies which made for one heck of a show. I should have picked up the playsport and got some video of the action but had the camera in hand and could not decide which one to use…. After reviewing the photos I should have used the video camera….there is always next time. We have a long holiday weekend ahead so stay tuned.
Every year a large group of fathers and sons head to the middle keys to do some straight up fishing and bonding. Life has been very busy lately and my reports are far and few in between. I can tell you that fishing has been great so far this summer. I know I could have some more details in here but this is all the time I have. Here are a few photos from the past week.
Very mis-fortune when a shark snaked this great fish right from under us….