05-18-2006, 07:45 PM
anybody care to suggest any tips for a tarpon/snook/red virgin?
Will be spending a long weekend on Marco. Would like to at least see and get shots at some of the gamefish in the area.
Although it's my first time, my Dad and brothers will be serving as guides. They've had plenty of experience down there.
Still, if anyone has a suggestions, I'd be appreciative. Will be on foot and possibly kayak.
Just looking for tips, hints, suggestions, favorite flies etc, NOT secret spots.
Good to hear from you brotha!
I will start, but hope the locals trump me for your sake ;)
Younger tarpon (my favorites) will hunt close to shore in the morning hours and congregate around lighted areas at night. Although I am by no means an expert I can tell you feeding tarpon love shrimp patterns.
A few pointers - they can make very subtle wakes or roll as gently as any trout (big trout) while being ready to explode on your fly on the first strip.
I can think of few fish as exciting as a 30 pound tarpon on light fly tackle. The fly is much less important with tarpon than most gamefish of this caliber, the deal is getting the hook set in that concrete mouth and then keeping the airborne suicidal maniac from breaking the line if you do. One thing's for sure you better not have a heart condition if you find packs of feeders on the hunt.
I would prefer to have an 11t rod where I am doing no blind casting, and a 10wt rod where I might have to probe the waters a bit.
Super heavy tippet is called for, these fish are not line shy and they will pop 20# test like string.
We've had some discussion on hook designs lately so you might read up on that.
They put a bluefish to shame in my opinion. Hope you get some poon.
05-19-2006, 07:57 AM
Since you will have local knowledge from you dad and brother the only advice I can offer would be to walk the beach at first light for snook swimming in the surf. Depending on their mood, throw clousers or small white bait imitations.
05-19-2006, 05:31 PM
Juro, you confirmed what I'd heard elsewhere. Being a terminal tackle fanatic [I don't use steel leaders for bluefish anymore, call me crazy], I was having a hard time with the heavy leader concept.
The baby tarpon you mentioned may be my most desired target for the trip. We hope to kayak into the back country a bit and those remote little mangrove ponds just seem very romantic and adventurous to me. I'd be very happy to hook and lose a tarpon in such a setting. Landing it would be sweet gravy.
I'll be using my trusty old 9 wt Sage. It is closer to a modern 10 wt and has tamed some pretty robust New England gamesters.
Stan, I apprecieate the suggestion of walking the beach at sunrise and look for fish. Although I'm a Fl virgin, that is something at which I have considerable experience.:wink:
05-19-2006, 07:28 PM
This is all based on my own experiences...only been there a few times... but there can be great fishing on this beach... Anyone I asked always told me to try there first... I have only tried there in the fall so I dont know the seasonal fishing... I did see some big Tarpon rolling off the beach while walking along...
I was nearly spooled twice there... never got to see the fish but what a rush..
walk it to the north to the end and back... keep a sharp eye right in the wash for big snook...by the wash I mean no more than 5 ft from the shore... I saw some beasts in the wash along with a lot of sharks...
use a heavy shock tippet because you never know what you may hit...
good luck and send us a report ... if you hit it right you can really do well there.
05-22-2006, 11:44 PM
The beaches are good bet. I would try the canals that line the road to Goodland. That's a little town just to the southeast of Marco Island. Probably a decent bet for small tarpon and snook, especially with the kayak. The bridge at 951 is a good spot, maybe not the best for the fly rod, but worth checking out. There is also a good sized waterway near the boat ramp at the base of the bridge that also might be a good bet for the kayak. There's also a lot of canals on Marco that are worth checking out for baby tarpon. They take up residence in many of them and in the mornings you can sometimes see them rolling away. There are few goo guides in the area too. The cost isn't too bad if you split it up. Try Steve Westervelt, he's in the book. Steve's one of the most experienced guides around, most haven't guided the area for half as long as he has. I'm heading into town in July to see the family, but I'm going down to Flamingo. Good luck to you.