Fishing Report May 31, 2015

Once a tarpon fisher, always a tarpon fisher

A gleaming mass of chrome fury erupts skyward amidst an orange sunrise on the horizon of Anna Maria Island. A sequence of aerial acrobatics followed by a series of drag-screaming runs that put the strongest angler to the test. Multiple jumps, skyrocketing, thrashing, twisting in the air as the sound of the gills rattling like castanets can be heard echoing off the Gulf waters as the fish tries one desperate attempt after another at freedom.

If you haven’t gotten your hands on a tarpon rod yet, what are you waiting for? It’s time for serious anglers to put their stamina to the test against Florida’s most popular game fish — the silver king.

Remember to keep your rod tips high, line tight and drag set accordingly when matching wits with these magnificent fish. You’ll draw every bit of knowledge from your angling past once connected with one of these tackle-busters. And here is where the obsession is born. Once a tarpon fisher, always a tarpon fisher.

Visiting anglers from all around the world, as well as native anglers are now suffering from tarpon fever as the abundance of fish is ever growing in the weeks to come. Whether a novice angler or seasoned fisher, the instinct to compete with one of the strongest fish that swims compels us all to be on the water as much as possible. Fatigue, lack of sleep, sunburn, dehydration and a constant feeling of anxiety are all side effects of these phenomena. Don’t be alarmed — this is a time of celebration. Tarpon are the main attraction in May and June throughout our region and always will be.

Although tarpon fishing is becoming ever popular, we can celebrate the fact that the numbers of this fish are ever increasing. Tarpon have no food value and therefore the fishing is all catch-and-release. There may be the occasional casualty due to a gut hook or a hammerhead shark, but these occurrences are rare. After catching a tarpon, spend ample time reviving the fish to insure the success rate of survival and we should have an ample tarpon fishery for the years to come.