One of my favorite times of year is upon us. The waters are slowly getting less crowded and the fishing is getting off the hook, but not the fish. I have fished several charters in the near shore waters from Fort Myers Beach to Sanibel in search of Tarpon. While I have heard some scattered reports of a few people hooking fish, we have only seen a few fish free jump, and have not seen one pod.

The good news is that the sharks are thick as can be waiting on the silver kings. We have hooked as many as 15 sharks in just a few hours, and have gotten at least a couple to the boat every time we have fished out front.

We are not fishing any steel leaders as the hope is for tarpon on all of the dangled lines, but the circle hooks are at least giving us a chance to bring a good number of sharks to the gunnels for the release.

Sharks to the boat so far have included Atlantic Sharpnose, Spinner, Blacktip, Bull, an estimated 8’ Nurse, and the first Hammerhead of the season.

The weather has chased us into the backcountry on a few trips where we have put the large threadfin herring I’ve been catching to good use on the inshore fish. Some large Jack Crevalles have made for some drag screaming fun, along with a pretty great snook bite on one trip.

After the first 2 baits got stolen, the third was the charm when the large threadfin got hammered and a giant snook broke the water when the circle hook came tight. My angler did a stellar job of leaning on the fish, with the 20# braid, as it raced to the mangrove roots hoping to escape. The slob snook barely fit in the net, and we gently cradled her for a couple of pictures before I spent the time to revive her, and she swam away strong. The next fish was another slob that measured just a hair under 33” and was invited home to dinner.

The same angler hooked another that raced into the trees and broke the 40# fluorocarbon leader before we had much of a chance. The weather chased us in on the last charter of the week again, but it worked out well with a couple of nice fish. First was a nice 20” redfish, perfect to filet out for dinner.

And the next was another serious quality fish, a beautiful healthy bronze redfish that measured over 29” and had to be released after posing for a picture or 2.

Well, I think that catches me up for now, and I look forward to guiding more great people to the chance for fish of a lifetime!