Spent today fishing with guide Aron Blaisdell in the 10,000 Islands, catching snook, red drum, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, catfish, and had one of our crew jump a tarpon (into a tree). Not a bad first day. Tomorrow and Friday will keep us at it, flinging flies and throwing lures and live bait under mangroves, and quietly floating to within casting range of rolling tarpon.
Some highlights from today:
We found a small cove filled with violently rolling tarpon. They were stacked on top of one another, fish from 20 lb to 100 lb, rising and splashing on the surface one after another. We fished them hard for 20 minutes until one finally took a small buck-tail jig. The fish jumped once, stayed on the hook and zipped back and forth in the cove, then skied from the water into a mangrove tree, snapping the line. Aron estimated the fish at 50 lb. I had shots on fly to a number of tarpon, but did not have any takes. Because I was so intent on fishing the tarpon, I did not get any videos or photos of these fish. I will try to do this tomorrow with the GoPro.
We had a slow day from 11AM to 1PM, finding a few scattered snook willing to eat live pogies (menhaden) cast and twitched under mangrove branches. We moved from location to location, finding a few fish here and there, but fishing did pick up around 2:30PM, and we finished with a few nice red drum and a number of snook before the day ended.
The Score: 1 Tarpon (jumped), 1 shark (hooked), ~12 snook, 5 mangrove snapper, 3 ladyfish, 2 red drum
Wildlife seen: Sawfish, stingrays, raccoon (swimming), manatee, egrets, herons, osprey, and porpoises