Fishing Report May 17, 2015


Tarpon reign again as king in local waters


Tarpon addicts from all over are heading to the waters around Anna Maria with hopes of connecting with a silver king.

Whether you’re a tarpon junkie— an angler who waits all year for a fix, or a tarpon novice — someone who has no idea what you’re about to get into — tarpon season is filled with high levels of anticipation and anxiety. Dreams of hooking up with one of the strongest, most beautiful fish to call our waters home — if only for a brief season — will clog your brain.

Plan to start your hunt for tarpon around sunrise or shortly thereafter for the best chance of a hookup. As you approach Bean Point at the northern tip of Anna Maria Island, you’ll understand why — a virtual outboard motor city — a group of boats targeting fish as they move into the pass. As you join the pack, you can see anglers ready for a hookup. Your pulse will rise and you’ll break into a sweat in anticipation of your first cast to the school. Silver kings are rolling just off the stern. Boats begin to close in on the school via trolling motors as you quickly cast your bait. Quickly your bait sinks and you wait for the moment to get connected.

Almost immediately, a silver king sends the drag screaming off your reel, faster than you can comprehend. It takes everything you’ve got to hang on. There’s an explosion on the surface as the fish comes skyrocketing out of the water. The fight continues as you struggle to regain line. Thirty minutes go by — the fish circles your boat, refusing to come closer — circling, circling and, finally, giving way, to surface alongside the boat. After a leader touch, a quick photo and careful revival, the silver king is released to fight another day. After this experience you realize you’ve caught tarpon fever you’ll never be the same.