This was another week of being stuck in the middle. The green toxic algae slime is creeping further and further down the river getting closer to the gulf each day. All the while, there is still high concentrations of red tide coming further south with each FWC report. We kept busy this week with snook in the passes.
My best trip the week was the Elswick family who just wanted to enjoy time on the water seeing the wildlife and catching anything that bites. They told me at pick up that if they could bring home dinner it would be a great bonus. We stared in the passes looking for snook but the bite was slow so only catching a gag grouper. I decided it was time to switch it up and go look for dinner.
We drifted a deep natural channel next to a flat and immediately started catching trout and lady fish, one after another. They were catching them so fast that I couldn’t keep bait on all four rods because every time I would try to put bait on I would have to stop and land a fish. During this excitement, I saw a tarpon roll about 100 yards away. The action was nonstop where we were and I did not have a tarpon rod on the boat so I stayed put and caught trout after trout.
Out of no where, one of the boys trout rod nearly gets yanked from his hand and doubles over to the water. With a huge explosion and drag screaming loudly, a 100+ pound tarpon kept from the water 20 yards from the boat. There was another explosion as the tarpon belly flopped back into the water. The drag on the 2500 reel continued to scream barely able to keep up, as the boy looked at me and said how do I catch it? I simply responded with, “you don’t.” Simultaneously the tarpon kept from the water again, getting his entire body out of the water again.
As the rest of the rods were reeled in, I began to try and chase the tarpon with the boat as that was the only hope in catching the tarpon. Shortly after, the tarpon made one more giant leap from the water with an incredible amount of power and straightened the hook. He was off and on to his next meal. We all shared high fives on the boat and celebrated the amazing experience of a giant silver king in less then 4’ of water. We set up again and continued to catch trout and lady fish until the four hour trip was complete. It’s as an amazing and rare experience that I know the entire family won’t ever forget.