Last Updated on August 23, 2020 by Capt. Louie
To put it Simple, it is Hot out there right now. But the great part about the hot weather is that as the temps become hotter so does the inshore fishing. Air temps are hovering in the 90’s right now and the afternoon rain storms have been a welcome sign of relief for most anglers along the Nature Coast. The afternoon rain helps cool down the water a degree or two which with water temps reaching the upper 80’s in the later part of the afternoon any little dip in the water temps can lead to a smorgasbord of activity. During a recent trip to some local structure in five feet of water this was evident as the structure was literally dead upon arrival. But as an approaching rainstorm engulfed the local flats we were fishing, the rocky structure came to life. We had 4 Pinfish hovering all over the structure and as the storm grew closer our pinfish became more desirable for many of the fish located on or near the structure. Our first pinfish fell to a drag screaming spinner shark. Our second and third Pinfish fell to undersized cobia. But as the storm decided to set its sight on our fishing hot spot the Gag Grouper decided to start showing their presence. As I stated before this is a rocky structure in 5 foot of water so grouper are not uncommon, however most are one the short side of the 22” slot. On this day however, there was no shortage of drag screaming keepers on this structure. As our fourth pinfish hit the water we could hardly get the reel engaged before WHAM! Our first back and fourth battle was on. After an awesome battle Brian Mason brought his 24” Gag to the boat. After his buddy Cale Trenary saw the end result of Brians cast it didn’t take long for him to send out a cast of his own. Upon his bait hitting the water WHAM! Fish On! This time Cale’s Grouper measured in at 23” but was still a keeper. From that moment on we switched to Circle Hooks and the game was on. In total Cale and Brian caught and released over 30 Grouper with 5 keepers, not to mention the 4 that Railroaded them back to the rocks. What a Day!!!!!
Now from a fish that gets down a dirty to a fish that Jumps and Jumps and Jumps. TARPON!!! This word alone is enough to send shivers up and down a tarpon angler’s spine. During a recent Poon Stalking Trip, Ron Poisker of Maryland and I spent 2 days in search of the Silver King and boy did we have a blast between the trips. On day one we spotted 40-50 Tarpon all hovering in weight from 40-170lbs. On this day we were not fortunate enough to convince any of these Poons to bite but Ron was able to see a Free Jumper pushing 150lbs jump 30 feet off our bow. This fish alone gave him the fever and made him even more determined than ever to hook up with one of the giant Poons our area is known for. Day 2 was definitely Ron’s day. We headed out the river around 8:00 a.m. in the morning and the air just smelled fishy. On our way down the river we spotted at least a dozen Tarpon rolling in the river which helped to give us confidence for the approaching day. AS we settled into our spot we notice another Poon stalker hooked up with what looked to be a 100+ pound fish. He fought the fish for at least 45 minutes before the fish was eventually landed and released. Finally 1 for the fishermen.
After sitting and watching rolling fish for a few hours it was finally Ron’s turn at the plate. A fish pushing 100 pounds caught Ron off guard and grabbed his crab and started heading for the hill. One jump, two jumps, he was off. The 100 pounder threw the hook like it was nothing to it. Ron’s disappointment was short lived however as his next cast was engulfed within 10 minutes of being in the water. However, this smart fish also threw Ron’s Hook. At this point Ron and I are both looked at each other and had a few choice words to say about Tarpon fishing but we still sent out 2 more crabs just to be consistent. After 45 minutes went by and Ron and I were starting to wonder if we were going to make this day happen and then it finally hit. This was the one we had been waiting for! As this Tarpon started pealing drag off the reel, Ron put the steel to him and the fight was on. When the Poon made its first jump we guestamated him to be around 70 lbs which was perfect. 10 minutes turned to 20 minutes and 20 minutes turned to 30 minutes and my client Ron savored every minute of it. After 2 hard days of fishing, a little disappointment and a ton of excitement Ron finally had his Nature Coast Tarpon boatside. After a few pictures, high fives, and chest pumps we put the boat in gear to revive our POON before we sent him off.
So if long hard fights and drag screaming runs are what you have been looking for give Florida Fishing Adventures a call today we are in the Fishing Memories Business.
Capt. Kyle Messier