Late August and September are typically the slowest months for the charter fishing business in this area. This gives me plenty of time to fish during what is one of my favorite times of year. That is exactly what I have been doing the past couple weeks. Variety is the name of the game and it is often fun to see how many different types you can catch in a day. Tarpon, however, are my main target and I spend most mornings targeting them. While they are fun to catch, they can certainly be frustrating. You will almost always see more than you catch and hook more than you will land. Often times, you will see many and hook none. Knowing they are there and that any cast may produce the fish of a lifetime keep you going back to try again.
Last Monday, I tried the Tomoka River near Daytona Beach. This area typically holds tarpon during the summer but, on this day, I saw less than a dozen. I spoke to another guide on the water who relayed similar results.
Tuesday, I fished the Edgewater/New Smyrna Beach area with my friend Capt. Drew. After a bit of searching, we found some large tarpon rolling. I finally convinced one to eat my sinking Baitbuster and the 70 pound fish put on a nice aerial display.
When the tarpon quit rolling, we fished some of the many oyster and mangrove creeks. We caught redfish, flounder, trout, jack crevalle, whiting, snapper, and ladyfish. The DOA holographic 1/4 ounce shrimp was the top producer.
The following day, Drew and I tried again but this time the tarpon were few and far between. Again, the creeks saved the day and we landed redfish, trout, snapper, jacks, and snook.
Friday, we participated in a cleanup of abandoned crab traps in Volusia County that resulted in the recovery of over 80 ghost traps.
Sunday was another attempt at tarpon fishing. We saw a few and had a couple decent shots but caught none. Fortunately, redfish, flounder, bluefish, jacks, snapper, and trout were willing to eat the DOA shrimp.
Monday, I had a Mosquito Lagoon charter with James and Bobby. Throughout the morning, we encountered numerous redfish, both schools and singles. Each guy caught a red and had dozens of shots before we moved on. Around mid-day, we found numerous tarpon from 5-20 pounds rolling in 2-3 feet of water. Using the holographic shrimp, a golden bream Terror Eyz and the shallow running Baitbuster, both guys had lots of bites and jumped 6 tarpon. Unfortunately, none of them made it to the boat before shaking the hook.
Yesterday, I decided to give the Edgewater tarpon another chance. We saw a decent amount but many were out of reach. I gave up on them having gotten only one bite. We caught and released redfish, snapper, trout, and flounder before the rains moved in.
This month will bring the start of the southern baitfish migration. On any given day, you can find a wide variety of fish feasting on the bait schools as they travel through the area. The best fishing is often had when you take advantage of the situations nature presents.
Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Chartershttp://www.floridafishinglessons.com