Florida Inshore Tarpon Fishing

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Mike

The summer time fishing on the reef continues to remain in its normal pattern. Blue water, north current, good edge, and lots of bonito, kingfish, and barracuda. Just about the time you get tired of pulling on bonito, one of them turns out to be a blackfin tuna. Mix in an occasional sailfish and you have the makings of plenty of action. Dolphin fishing for the most part still remains slow. There have been a few fish up to 10 pounds caught, however, most anglers who go out and search for dolphin have come back very disappointed. A bit of encouragement on the dolphin front is that today (7/19) a fair amount of the throw back undersized fish made an appearance. This doesn’t put any fillets in the fish box, but at least you get more action than there has been.

The pleasant surprise is that the tarpon are still hanging out in decent numbers at Government Cut. The best bet for action has been late in the dusk period and after dark. Live crabs are still the bait of choice. The fish are in the 40 – 100 pound range.

Monday (7/10) evening, Mark and Sue Schorr from Plantation along with Sue’s brother-in-law Mick from Shelbyville, IN were out for some tarpon fishing. This was Mick’s first time fishing in the ocean. We got in one quick drift before the weather closed in around us and we made a mad dash for shelter at Monty’s. As is typical of our weather, the storm passed over in about an hour and we ran back out to resume fishing. It was just about the right time of the evening and on the third drift, we got our first shot. The fish made a nice run and jump before giving us back our hook. We continued our drift and a few minutes later, we got a solid hook up and Mick was fighting his first tarpon. Prior to this fish, Mick’s best catch was a 5# bass. He’d been told about what a great fight a tarpon is, however, I don’t think he was prepared for the real thing. It was a see saw battle with Mick enjoying every minute of it. He kept the pressure up and the fish finally gave in and was released. The next drift we jumped another fish. The next drift had Mark hooked up solid to a mean and nasty tarpon. We kept increasing the drag and the tarpon kept laughing at us and pulling out more line. Every time we got straight up and down with the fish it sprinted under the boat and dumped lots of line off the reel. Then it started making surges at the surface and gulping air. This gave the fish more energy. After what seemed like an eternity, we got the leader to touch the rod tip for the catch. At this point, Mark passed the rod off to Sue so she could do some pulling on a tarpon. The fish must have sensed the change in angler’s and started pulling harder again. It was back and forth and back and forth before Sue finally got the leader in to my hands and we released the fish. We made several more drifts with no further action and the evening ended with a 2 for 4 count.

Saturday (7/15) we fished offshore on the reef. Tim Gipe and his friends Mike and Rich got to pull on bonitos and barracuda. We had to work for our herring in some fairly rough water. Persistence paid off and we had a livewell full of herring with some cigar minnows and bluerunners. We started straight out from Government Cut and made drifts in the 100 to 300 foot range. We had a beautiful blue edge and a strong north current. Most all of our action came in the 100 – 150 foot area. Flatlines, downrigger, and kite lines kept us busy and we had action on most every drift. By the end of the trip, we were straight out from Haulover Inlet.

Sunday (7/16) we had much calmer seas than on Saturday. Bait fishing was much easier and we filled the well once again with herring and small bluerunners to go along with the pilchards we bought before heading south from Haulover Inlet. Brian and Deepali Tracey from Ft. Wayne, IN were out for a relaxing day of fishing. Did I say relaxing? It started out that way off the southern end of Key Biscayne and then back north to the tree area of Key Biscayne. The conditions looked perfect with one thing lacking. CURRENT!! We moved north to the Cuban Hole area and the relaxing went out the window. We had some type of action on every drift from that point on. If it seemed like it was slowing down, Deepali would lay down to try and catch a quick rest. That was all that was needed to get another strike. When the dust settled at the end of the trip, we had a 15 and 22 pound kingfish, 1 kingfish released, 1 barracuda released, 8 bonito caught with 4 being released, and at least a dozen, I lost track, pulled hooks or mono leader chop offs. All the action came in the 100 – 160 foot range on flatlines, downrigger, and bottom rigs.

As you can see, the action is fast and furious. There are plenty of days open and this is the time of year when it’s not to hard to get the day you want. Lets get that day scheduled and get out and get in on the action before the real heat of the summer gets here. Give me a call @ 305 965-9454 or send me an email nkostyo@bellsouth.net for information or to book a trip.

The edge is sharp. See you out there.

Captain Dave Kostyo
Knot Nancy Fishing Charters
305 620-5896 Charter
305 965-9454 Cell