Tarpon season 2018 is in full swing. We start our daily routine on the gulf coast beaches sightfishing small schools of silver kings. Effective techniques range from a floated crab, to small fly patterns, to lively baits such as herring or sardines. The fish have ranged anywhere from 50 lbs to 200lbs. That’s a big range in size, which always makes it interesting. Hooking a 50lb fish off the beach and you might fight that fish to the boat in 10 minutes. On the other hand, if you hook a 200lb fish you might be into a fight that lasts 2 hours. Good luck with that!
We are now exiting the new moon phase in mid-June. That means the upcoming full moon in 2 weeks will mark the actual spawn for the tarpon, marking a change in the pattern. No longer will the fish be congregating on the beaches in schools daisy chaining. However, this doesn’t mean the fun has to end. After the beginning of July, the fish will return from the offshore spawn trip and they will be hungry and ready to feed. This is my favorite period of the season, as it is common to hook 10 fish in a good morning session. So if you want to get that bucket list fish, book your trip now!
In addition to the tarpon we have been spending some quality down time snook fishing. The big snook are on the feed with their spawn in full swing as well. It is not uncommon to release several fish weighing over 15 pounds each day. And more importantly, they can be caught on light tackle as they are often found in structure free environments this time of year. So, if you want the biggest snook of your life, or someone else’s life, now is the time. I would enjoy nothing more.