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Hundreds of Tarpon Arrive to Homosassa

Capt. Mike Locklear
May 9, 2009
Homosassa - Saltwater Fishing Report

Click to Enlarge Photo

Boatman Mike Locklear poled for Lawyer and Angler Peter Moyer of Jackson Hole, Wyoming to 5 consecutive tarpon between 120-160 pounds starting off the 2009 tarpon season with only one other boat in the area as far as the eye could see.

Moyer fought 9 poons that stayed on long enough to get a jump and some that just ate the fly, but either the fish came toward us or the fly would come out after one jump.

The coolest eat was when Moyer casted to a stationary porker with the tarpon facing away. He actually was able to get the tarpon to eat by stripping the fly ever so slow and it was a perfect cast and elevation. I watched the gills flair from the rear and she moved off a little bit, then Moyer came tight laying the barbed steel to her bony mouth.

She actually broke a 4/0 Owner hook into. We never had that happen. We figured it was because we dinged the hook on the push pole a few times in the 20 knot winds.

Click to Enlarge Photo

Click to Enlarge Photo

Click to Enlarge Photo

Then, the full moon screwed up on where the fish went to and when they did find a school of 20 or 30, they were going at mach 4 warp speed. They had only one shot today and it was at some real big porkers, moving slowly, but still lockjawed from being up all night feeding on the full moon or thinking about sex.

The weather has been perfect and the visibility awesome. We can only hope that these fish return soon. I expect as the moon wanes to half, we will have better action. Also some easterly winds might help to send the signal to the tarpon somewhere far away offshore where hundreds lay in peace daisy chaining and doing there spawning ritual.

In general, May begins the start of tarpon season. Some years the big fish show up early and sometimes they show later in the month. Local lore and rule of thumb is after May 20 for stable prime weather and solid numbers of poons. In late May, a pattern change begins to develop with a northern migration that last into the end of July if you follow the fish around the big bend to Carrabelle and St. George Island.

While most of these fish average more 100 pounds, some can go over the 150 pound mark. The first arrivals only stay for two weeks unless special conditions allow them to hang out longer. There is no such thing as predicting where tarpon will be at any given time with the migrators.

It is believed by me, we have two separate runs of tarpon, the first being the largest with perhaps several hundred to maybe a thousand fish or two. Each veteran angler will have shots at some really big porkers, with bellies full of laden roe that helps push the 40-60 year old female to over the 200-pound mark. These fish are more common place off the west coast of Florida and Homosassa than anywhere else on the planet.

Since the early 70's, the west coast of Florida is where dozens of world records have been broken over and over again. There are three existing records caught near Homosassa up to 202 pounds on the fly rod.

The fly fishing tarpon guides off Homosassa are serious about the sport and work hard because it is their passion and it pays off with repeat clients year after year. Homosassa guides are a small close knit clique with just 4 guides who are so equipped to accommodate fly anglers.

The remaining line-up of world class guides prefer to use more isolated ramps south of Homosassa where they are closer to the coast. I prefer the Mason Creek boat ramp.

Because of the downturn in the economy, prime days remain to book a charter with Capt. Mike for the most fun experience and beautiful scenery in the world and you don't always have to use a fly rod to catch a big poon.

Looks like Capt. Mike will be getting more bow time this year than ever. Someone said, retirement for a fishing guide is 16 feet forward to the bow of the skiff. Well he could use some bookings to further the childrens' education.

Written by Capt. Mike and Sherry Locklear

Homosassa Fishing Forecast:

Looks great! May is my favorite month. It is still cool enough to feel the water temperatures of 76 degrees keep the air cooler offshore of land. This makes for a pleasant day on the water! Great Fishing just about anywhere you go in Florida

Target Species:

Tarpon Cobia

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