This was lifted off of the video we shot on Monday. We fought the fish for around 45 minutes and had her to the boat several times before breaking her off on a crab pot. It's not photo shopped by the way!
Fished Sunday with the Mikes in Islamorada. We caught jacks and snappers but the highlight was another tarpon. Big Mike caught and released this tarpon on ten pound test. Great fish and great fight! Pro Tip: Take time to revive fish after a prolonged fiight. Revived fish will bite down on your thumb to let you know they are ready to go. Swim the fish in an "S" pattern by holding the lower jaw. Keep the fish upright. Failure to revive a fish properly means you just wasted it. Do not attempt with sharks.
Fished Monday with the Mikes in Islamorada. Things started out tough and conditions were terrible, but we persevered. It definitely paid off. We got into a mutton snapper bite that was a blast. We also caught a grouper. While we were catching muttons, Ace hooked a nice tarpon in the 50-70 pound range on a jig. We fought the fish for close to 45 minutes. We had the fish to the boat several times but we finally broke him off when the tarpon swam into a minefield of crab pots. Game over. Pro Tip: Changing the direction of pull when fighting a tarpon tends to confuse the fish and break his will to fight. This brings the fish to the boat quicker and can shorten the fight.
Fished yesterday with the Mikes in Islamorada. We hit the flats first thing looking for sharks and tarpon. We found both. We started off with a sight fishing tarpon double header. We jumped both fish multiple times but both ended up being long line releases. We then caught and released a nice lemon shark on the flats. We moved on to the Everglades and caught black drum, jacks, snapper, and ladyfish. We headed back at sunset to try for tarpon. At sunset Mike hooked and released a monster 130 plus pound tarpon. It was around 66 inches long. The pics aren't great as we landed the fish well after dark after a spectacular battle. Pro Tip: When fighting fish, especially large fish the line should always be moving either in or out. You should either be gaining or losing line. No good comes from a stalemate. You can rest after you land the fish.
We hooked a tarpon almost every day we fished last week. But tarpon are tarpon and they tend to throw the hook more often then not. However, on the last day we hooked and landed Ryan's first tarpon. We also jumped off another huge tarpon well over 100 pounds. Pro Tip: Circle hooks greatly increase the odds of landing hooked tarpon for two reasons. One, the hook tends to hook the fish in the corner of the mouth and that protects the leader. Two, once hooked circle hooks tend not to shake loose.
Fishing close to the dock was productive this week. We had some nice action with big jacks. Pro Tip: Be ready with a back up rod. Cast near hooked fish for multiple hook ups. This works especially well with schooling fish like jacks and mahi.
We fished in Islamorada last week and had a great time. We caught jacks, mangrove snappers, moon fish, yellow jacks, blue runners, snook, tarpon, sharks, permit, and more. The fishing was great. We fished close to Islamorada, on the flats of Florida bay, and in Everglades National Park. The water temps were warm and that affected the bite. Pro Tip: Tide strength and direction affect fish behavior and location. A spot that is dead frequently turns on as the current speeds up or slows down.
Ryan caught his first permit this week in Islamorada. The water was very warm. Pro Tip: Water temp is one of many variables in catching fish. Paying close attention to it helps to determine technique and species sought after. A couple of degrees can make a huge difference in fish behavior and whether or not they are present.
Captain Joe Hughes -USCG Licensed 100 Ton Master-IGFA Certified
Joe Hughes has been working in the fishing business since he was eleven years old. Starting at Gibson's Tackle at that age, Joe's passion for the sport of fishing has steadily increased. Joe is a versatile angler who is comfortable poling a flats skiff as well as at the helm of a
sportfisherman competing in big game tournaments. During his years as a professional fisherman Joe has been featured in books and
magazines. His main passion is for salt-water fly-fishing. A teacher by trade, he enjoys sharing his knowledge about fly-fishing, fly-tying, and
fly-casting with his clients.