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Boca Grande, Florida Fishing Report

Capt. Andy Boyette
June 8, 2001
Boca Grande - Saltwater Fishing Report

Tarpon in shallow water takes practice. You need to know what to look for and devise a plan. After fishing the crowds in Boca Grande Pass for numerous years I have really honed my skills on fishing smaller pods of tarpon in the Charlotte Harbor, the beaches, and on the flats. It’s much more rewarding and a lot less hassle to fish away from other boats, and believe it not I average about 3-4 hookups on a half day trip.

When the tarpon start showing I will locate the school and keep track of their movements for a few days before starting to work them. This not only gives you the advantage of knowing where and when, but it will allow more tarpon to join the school. Locating them is has simple as having a good pair of binoculars and looking for rolling fish on the surface. Rolling tarpon means tarpon feeding on the surface its that simple, the hard part is determining what they are eating and matching it. Once you know what to feed them you need to approach as quietly as possible (trolling motor) otherwise they will go to the bottom and stop feeding or just spook away and you are back to locating them again. Starting early in the morning is crucial the water is calm and the fish are easy to spot. Once other boats start moving around you they seem not to as concentrated. When you get on them stay on your trolling motor to keep you moving with them as they tend to feed in a loop pattern. These fish will feed in a pattern and go through a series of feedings so if you get a couple of hookups and then things slow down but you still see the fish stay with them they going to eat again. Never leave fish to find fish! Once you have a good location on a school they will work the same area day after day not moving to far. It is a good idea to locate more than one school in different areas, because these fish do migrate and they won’t stay put forever.

You will need to step your tackle up from what you are use to using in the shallows. I personally use 30-pound class gear on extra/heavy action rods with 200 yards of line. I tie a hundred pound leader line to line with an Albright knot to a 6/0 circle hook. I fish two lines on the top with a bait under a cook and two rods free lined. Once we get a hook up I use the trolling motor to chase down the fish and keep the boat positioned for the fight. If you crank the motor to chase the fish you run the risk of spooking the rest of the school and ending your day early.

There are numerous schools in various places from Pineisland Sound, Matlacha, and throughout the Charlotte Harbor. I have been fishing 3-4 tarpon outings a week, and have taken tarpon as small as 90lbs to as big as 180lbs. So get out and work on your skills and reap the rewards of hooking into the Silverking in 12 feet of water or less and I guarantee you will be hooked on shallow water tarpon.

“Good Things Come To Those With Bait” Capt. Andy Boyette

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Go Fish Charters offers Tarpon fishing snook fishing, fishing charters from Boca Grande, Englewood, Ft Myers, Punta Gorda, Pine Island, Port Charlotte, Sanibel, Captiva, and Charlotte Harbor. Half day fishing charter full day fishing charter and night time fishing charters. Tarpon Fishing from mid April-August, Snook fishing year round. There are many other fishing charters such as redfish sea trout cobia and a host of other fishing in our area.

Contact Info:

Go Fish Charters Inc
Phone: 1-888-880-0006
Alt. Phone: 941-769-1582
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