Tarpon....anyone gone yet in the Panhandle?

Thread starter #1
The title says it all. Just curious if they are showing up in any numbers yet. I have seen a few in PCB from a balcony but not large numbers. I am doing my first panhandle trip this weekend, heading down to Apalachicola tomorrow. Hoping coming off a new moon will make up for some eats. Will post a report, hopefully with pictures next week.
 

trad bow

wooden stick slinging driveler
Hope you have good fishing.
 

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
I'm at Bay City Lodge now till Sunday.
Not looking for tarpon but there are quite a few larges under the fish cleaning table at my Saint Marks fish camp.
 
I remember some years back I presented an Intro to Fly Fishing clinic for an industry group at one of the resorts there. Afterwards, before the obligatory evening banquet, I asked if anyone would like to go down to the surf and try their hand at a little casting. One man volunteered. His wife came along and sat on the beach reading while he and I waded out and fish.

On about this fourth cast, he hooked one of about 50 lb! He didn't really have a prayer of a chance of landing it, but it jumped twice before he lost it.

That was his first-ever strike on a fly rod!

He still mentions that to this day, many years later.

Good luck, and I hope that yours are even bigger!
 
You should be fine with the new moon. I just got back from Homasassa with a full moon and no tarpon
Also look out for guides like David Mangum
 
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Thread starter #6
Well, Friday we saw a lot of tarpon with around 8 or so good shots. Had two eats and one was jumped all before noon time. Around noon time the wind kicked in and the fishing shut down simply because you could not see the fish in the 2 ft white caps. Saturday morning we saw one tarpon but could not get a shot at it, then around noon, thunder storms with a good bit of lightning kicked in and shut the fishing down. Interestingly enough we were largely fishing waters that were my stomping grounds as a kid 45 or so years ago and I learned a lot about how they behaved in these waters, the guide taught me a good bit on what you look for in these waters.
 

dtala

Senior Member
we also fished Boca Grande a good bit. Lots of tarpon off the beaches, BUT the most fun was getting in the drift line with the big boats and fly fishing a crab pattern. 120-150 pound fish that would dang near kill you. We didn't "land" many but it was full blown combat fishing fun. A 140 pound poon on a Sage 11 wt is the definition of fun....
 
Thread starter #10
we also fished Boca Grande a good bit. Lots of tarpon off the beaches, BUT the most fun was getting in the drift line with the big boats and fly fishing a crab pattern. 120-150 pound fish that would dang near kill you. We didn't "land" many but it was full blown combat fishing fun. A 140 pound poon on a Sage 11 wt is the definition of fun....
Yeah, I have had some huge N. Florida migratory tarpon on an 11wt.....a blast but almost happy when they get off. Was a nice migratory one I jumped this past Friday.
 
the only time tarpon aren't fun is when one refuses to jump at all. Brother had a 100 pounder bout kill him at Boca, it never jumped.

Wife and I caught one in the Indian river at Stuart fl on a 17# bass casting outfit. Brought it boat side 5 1/2 hours later and seven miles from hookup point. Never jumped once. Would come up and gulp air. Measured out at 170 pounds. I was dead.
 
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