With the coast finally being red tide free, the bait moved into town in full force. Following the bait are large schools of lady fish, mackerel, jacks, and triple tail. There were fish and bait all over the place making fishing a lot of fun this time of year. With the first cold fronts coming through, the Tarpon have began to push out of the rivers and bays in order to migrate south. They spent some time stopped, enjoying the warm water and easy meals off of the coast of Sanibel.
We had some great trips last week, leaving the marina and getting to the coast we would start by looking for and catching triple tail as we worked south along the beach. Then when we came across large schools of lady fish busting bait on top of the water. We would catch those nonstop, with fish flying and everyone laughing hard, until the livewell had a good amount of live lady fish in it. We then continued south for a couple more miles until we got to where the tarpon were rolling thick.
Once we found the tarpon rolling we would set up a drift using the live lady fish as bait. The first trip we had instant success, an estimated 130 lb tarpon was on the line within a few minutes. The fish was landed and released alive after a 45-50 minute battle. We started another drift and within 5 minutes had another tarpon hook up that spit the hook in short order. The guest from that day had so much fun and was so hooked that he booked me for the following day. The second day we had tarpon rolling within 10′ from the boat for a couple of hours and never got a bite. We left and were able to catch snook, jack, and triple tail to finish off the day. The next day, with a new group of clients, we got into the school of tarpon again and waited… we did have fun catching a few sharks while waiting but decided to move on after no tarpon bites. Again, we finished off the day with snook, triple tail, and jacks. Everyone was all smiles and even more determined to come down in the spring and mark tarpon off of their bucket lists.