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First Tarpon Jumped!

By March 24, 2015March 1st, 2018Fishing Reports

I had the pleasure of fishing with Brad Ryan & friend Yanni on Monday… the morning began with a slow bite, so I suggested that we try a little Tarpon fishing. The words barely left my mouth before both agreed without hesitation.

We went to a little spot close by and as soon as I rounded the last corner, to the entrance of this particular bay, I saw in the distance the distinct silver flash of the morning sun reflecting off the backs of rolling Tarpon.  Needless to say I was excited for the guys!

We pulled into the bay and I set the boat upwind of at least 30 Tarpon frolicking in the bay. I set 2 rods up with dead baits and handed 2 other rods, rigged with a popular artificial pattern, to the eager anglers, giving them special instructions on retrieval rates, as well as what to expect should we get a hook-up… all the while telling both that the chances of jumping one of these big girls was slim.

Well I couldn’t have been more wrong… the guys worked the arti’s for roughly 20 minutes or so, when out of the corner of my eye I saw Brad rear back and set the hook, just as I had told him to.

For the next ten minutes we saw no sign of what Brad had hooked into. He wrestled with the fish while I coached him on what to do when the big girl finally decides to take flight… bow to the king, bow to the king, bow to the king… I say this over and over because I know when adrenaline levels are high, the angler’s hearing is the first of senses to be affected.

Without warning, she jumps. I must say this was no typical jump. It was more of a porpoising style jump in which she just layed herself out horizontally and hovered just over the surface. Then with no effort, turned her head towards Brad as if to say, not this time, and sent the lure back in his direction.

As I looked at Brad and saw the position of his body, I knew immediatley what went wrong… he forgot to bow to the king…

Based on Brad’s reaction, I expect I’ll be seeing him this time next year, so he can change his stats… Tarpon 1 – Brad 0.

It was fun fishing with you guys and I can’t wait until we do it again next year!

Geoff Crouse

Capt. Geoff is a full-time fishing guide in Naples, FL and specializes in light tackle and fly fishing adventures.