Still More Beach Tarpon!
Florida Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers Annual Conclave, October 23 & 24, at Ramada Celebration Resort, 6375 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee. Come out and see some of Florida's best fly fishers. I'll be tying flies.
Mosquito Lagoon Show and Tell Seminar, November 7, with Capt. John Kumiski. http://www.spottedtail.com/shop/?cart=145129&cat=13
I got out four days this week.
On Tuesday I went out of Port Canaveral with Shawn Healy in his Sea Pro. We found ladyfish and Spanish mackerel almost immediately in Canaveral Bight. After some searching we found a large school of menhaden with tarpon rolling. There were already several other boats there.
We fished there for a couple hours. We got lots of bites but none from tarpon. Bluefish were annoying, and we got two sharpnose sharks. Several boats came and went, but we didn't see anybody else hook a tarpon either.
On Wednesday Bill Gunn took me out in his boat. We went out through Sebastian Inlet and ran miles of beach. To my surprise we saw nothing at all out there. We went back inside. All I got was a single redfish about 22 inches long. Bill got a mangrove snapper, a mutton snapper, two gag grouper, a redfish, a crevalle, and a bluefish, all on a Clouser Minnow. We saw one big snook, no luck there. The ocean, although apparently fishless, was just beautiful.
I didn't fish Thursday. Thursday evening son Maxx and I went to the Plaza Theatre in Orlando to see Johnny Winter. There were two other bands there before Mr. Winter. The first was a band from Sanford, 22Blaac. They were tight and good. I would go see them locally any chance I got. The next was a trio from Tampa, Damon Fowler. Fowler is a guitarist/singer, extremely talented. They were excellent.
Johnny Winter has certainly aged since I last saw him. He had to be assisted to his seat, from which he did not move throughout the performance. He can still play, though, like a bat out of hell. Yeah. It was real good.
In spite of getting home pretty late Maxx and I got up the next morning and took the Mitzi out of Port Canaveral. It was pretty rough, with winds southwest at about 15. Along the beach it was fairly calm but farther out there were whitecaps.
There were a couple of shrimp boats a mile or so off the beach. The run out was bumpy and wet. There were dozens of dolphins behind the boat we checked, but nothing with gills. We headed back to shore.
Dozens of diving gulls and pelicans were over a ball of glass minnow, right in the surf. Tossing white jigs we got the usual selection for this time of year- bluefish, Spanish, ladyfish, jacks.
That activity slowed so we headed south. Again, we found a large school of menhaden with rolling tarpon. I netted some bait and we cast a couple out. Almost immediately I hooked a tarpon in the 100 pound class. When I got him up to the boat I had Maxx grab him. Maxx had never handled a fish like that before, but did it perfectly. He's a talented and capable young man, an excellent fishing partner. We jumped two other tarpon, losing them to breakoffs. The weather appeared to be deteriorating so we headed back to the dock.
Today Jack Barr and David Lucas joined me for a morning on the Mosquito Lagoon. It was windy out of the northwest, and dare I say cold? I had long pants, a long sleeve jersey, and my raincoat on and was chilly all morning. The weather is finally changing!
The water is still high and still dirty in many places. The wind and overcast made seeing fish impossible. We alternated bait fishing with blind casting Johnson Minnows. We got several spectacular catfish in the good spots, nothing in the others.
Finally in the last spot, time running down, Jack got a bite on the ultralight while chunking. I had to chase the fish, which turned out to weigh 12 pounds, a very handsome fish and a very nice way to end the day. It was also 76 year old Jack's first redfish. Congratulations, Jack!
Life is short- GO FISHING!
And life is great and I really love my work!
member Florida Outdoor Writers Association (www.fowa.org), Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (www.seopa.org), Indian River Guides association (www.irga.org)
Maxx had never handled a tarpon like this before.
Jack Barr and his first redfish ever.
About The Author: John Kumiski
Company: Spotted Tail Charter Service
Area Reporting: Florida's Space Coast
Bio: Guiding fly and light tackle anglers on Florida\'s Space Coast for over 20 years.