Caught my first Tarpon yesterday!
Still was feeling pretty sick, but after going to the doc and getting loaded up on drugs, I had a brief spurt of energy, and really wanted to go try my sabiki rig for baitfish. It was just the hour before sunset, but with plenty of light left. The sabiki yielded a few nice little 3″-4″ fish, so I hooked the smallest and dropped it back in to try and tempt the resident pair of Tarpon that live around our work dock.
After a bit, there was still nothing, although the Tarpon could be seen doing their usual circuit. I saw a disturbance in the shallows under the mangroves, and thinking it was probably a decent barricuda, I lobbed the bait right on top of it. All that casting practice paid off!
The bait got hit like a cannon, and 100 yards of line was stripped off my reel in seconds. It was only when the Tarpon started the first of several great leaping displays did I know what I’d hooked into! I lost track of time a bit, but it must have been 20 minutes before I managed to get the fish anywhere close to the dock, but of course it had another burst of energy and was sounding deep, then leaping again. After half an hour total I got it in close enough to get a hand on it.
Just for Clive I really wanted that “trophy picture”, holding it up before releasing it, but it just wasn’t to be. The best way to lift up such a beast is really to get in the water with it. Off our low floating cement docks, it was very awkward to try and get my hands under the fish to properly land it, and after it lost a few scales against the side of the dock, I figured it just wasn’t worth the risk to the fish.
The 6″ wire leader was already frayed down to a single strand, and all i needed to do was stand up, thumb the spool, and let the fish break free as if it was never hooked at all. Such power! 40lb+ fish on 20lb line… Great fun, and once i’m feeling well, I’ll definately be trying my luck some more.
My friend Erin was around to take quite a few pictures too, so I’ll try to get them posted asap…