March is the beginning of tarpon season!

Jessica from TN got to experience the thrill of tarpon fishing a few days ago.

Things are finally getting "back to normal" down here in Miami with all hotels, restaurants, etc... open and COVID infection rates hitting new lows.

As for tarpon, they were a bit slow to show but they showed! The last few days of February were really good for tarpon fishing and this is just the beginning. March is typically the official start of "tarpon season" for us in Miami as these fish in the 100-180lb range move from off the beach to the interior of the bay making for easier and more productive fishing for these silver brutes. The majority of this fishing is done in "basins" where they hold in 8'-15' of water within view of Downtown Miami, just a short run from the marina. For these fish live bait gets the higher number of bites but they also eat flies and lures, either way when you hook one you'll know!

March is also the start of spring for us with warming water temperatures and fewer cold fronts moving through making for good bonefishing and improving permit fishing. More on that in the "A Closer Look" section below.

Also on the list is snook. This species has become much more consistent since December and my clients have been doing well when we target them. When snook fishing they can be fished around manmade structure such as docks and bridges in Miami or in natural clear mangrove lined creeks 40 minutes south in Homestead. While live bait such as pilchards are great for snook, I have been using soft plastics and hrd top water baits and doing well.

Finally we have the other species overshadowed by the tarpon such as snappers, jacks, sharks, barracudas and more. This type of fishing is usually good year 'round and always an option either on the flats or in deeper structure so if lots of fast action or easier fishing for big fish is your goal, these are the targets for you.

I hope all of you and your loved ones are well, healthy and staying warm. It's been warm and fun down here so I hope to see you guys soon.
Jay from Iowa got to celebrate his birthday catching his first bonefish. Nice work Jay!
A Closer Look
One of the most celebrated sportfish on the planet takes center stage this month in Miami, the tarpon. Smart, tough, strong and fickle, these silver giants make it impossible to ignore when they arrive. Below are a few common questions I am asked about tarpon when speaking to clients:

Can you eat them?

What do they eat?
When I tarpon fish I will use a variety of baits and lures depending on circumstances. My typical set up is live blue crabs and big live shrimp while also using lures such as soft plastics to throw at rolling fish.

Can you fly fish for them?
Yes, using 12wt tackle and a dark fly the prefered method is to find schools of rolling fish and drift through them while blind casting into the school. They can also be fished on the flats very similar to bonefishing but that is usually later on in the season around late April.

How often do you catch tarpon?
The goal is to catch them every day but tarpon are tarpon. On a typical 4 hour charter it is common to have several bites and land between 1-3 tarpon between 100-150lbs. I will admit, most clients land one tarpon after a 45 minute fight and are ready to catch smaller fish. They are tough!

The other two species I mentioned earlier are bonefish and permit. These are on the flats but it's not uncommon to land big permit while tarpon fishing as they eat the same baits. Once on the flats, the larger number of fish spotted are bonefish but the permit will average between 15-25lbs. My typical permit tackle is a size 4000 Quantum reel with 20lb braid, a 7' medium rod and a live blue crab at the end of the flouro carbon leader.
If you want to chase bonefish and permit on the flats sharpen your skills, this is fishing in the big leagues demanding quick accurate casts.

That's my March run down, pick a species, pick the date and let's go for it!
Take care everyone!
James and his wife braved almost 30 MPH winds and were rewarded with his first snook and great action on almost a dozen species.
Andrew got his first snook at the end of the month in 20 MPH winds using artificial lures. Way to go Andrew!
Video of the month
Cuba fly fishing for tarpon

How to double haul
Client's Corner
Remember to send me pics to post!

Issac lives in Miami Beach and fishes off his dock. Here's a snook he caught with his buddies cheering him on. SPOILED!

Zach from Utah fished Chockoloskee, FL and landed this nice triple tail. They are ugly but great eating.

Four hundred bass on fly over two days in the Everglades? Ask Kevin from Utah how that feels.
The Traveling Fisherman
Capt. Jay Withers
Boca Grande/Charlotte Harbor

Capt. Byron Hennecy
800 Hennecy Lane, St Cloud, FL 34773
Phone: 407.908.3216

Capt. Scott Rose
South Florida

Intra Coastal Experience
Destin Florida

Bill Faulkner
Marco Island/Naples

Dan LeGere 239 792-6549 
(Marco to port of islands)
Fly fishing

Conner Mcnichols 239 821-4718 
Naples to Everglades City
Fly fishing 

John Stark 239 248-5142
Ft Myers
Fly fishing

Kevin Mihailoff 239 860-2570 
Everglades City
Fly fishing

New York
John McMurray - One More Cast - 
he does stripers/bluefish in Jamaica Bay and Western LI / NY Bight, as well as light-tackle tuna trips offshore

Vinny Catalano - 
light tackle and fly fishing for stripers, blues, albies in North Fork / Montauk

Douglaston Salmon Run

Dan LeGere 239 792-6549 
(Marco to port of islands)
Fly fishing

New Orlerans
Capt. Brandon Keck

North Carolina
Dustin Coffey

Captain Mike Oppengard 
Native Son Guide Service
910 233-8295

South Carolina
RedFin Charters


Highly recommended lodge

Costa Rica
Croc Bay Lodge

Glenn Eden Lodge
Eldon, New Brunswick

Scott Lake Lodge

Ian Britton
KINGS ON THE RUN Sport Fishing

Capt. Mo Estevez
Homestead, FL