With all of the news about Red Tide this year I was more concerned than usual about the late season tarpon rally. Every year going back as long as I can remember the fish have put on a show of feeding for the ages. I focus my trips on the new and full moons only at the end of the summer. I am focused on guaranteed action for my clients rather than just simply fishing for them. I expect to hook up as many fish as the people can handle in as little time as possible. That is why I love the late season tarpon rally.
What to Expect
Unlike the typical tarpon season which is early summer, I focus my trips on the morning sunrise bite only. Usually we only need to fish until 9am. After 9, we either go snook or redfishing or I take the exhausted and satisfied anglers back to the dock. Another thing we love about late season tarpon is the fight times are greatly reduced. Instead of killing yourself for over an hour fighting a tarpon in May, late season tarpon are almost always boated in less than 40 minutes. Most of the fish this time of year are over 100lbs, but the combination of warm water and stronger tackle allows us to land many fish in 15 minutes. That means more can be landed in less time.
This Year’s Late Season Tarpon Action
I will usually plan on having 3 or 4 really good morning bites on each moon phase. I play the tides very carefully, everything has to be just right to catch the best bite. The first day we attempted this carried some doubt. With a Red Tide episode this bad, even though we are 10 miles from it, I wasn’t sure what effect it might have. We set the baits out right before sunrise in the perfect spot, perfect tide. And we waited. 20 minutes went by, nothing. My mind was racing, thinking that maybe this was the year it wouldn’t happen. The late season tarpon rally is one of my most consistent bites to look forward to. 30 minutes, nothing. Then, fish on! Then, another, then another. The next hour was constant fish on. The next 3 days were the same. The next 2 moons were the same. Every morning. Fish after fish, landed, fun. All before 9am. I love late season tarpon, more than any other time of year.