3/9/14 March Tarpon Fishing Report Islamorada

Had a half day morning tarpon trip this AM.  Looked for bait but it was very tough, after the cold front a few days ago the mullet haven’t been thick in the usual morning spots.  We had plenty from a couple days ago still though and a friend gave me a few livies he caught the afternoon before.  We fished the local channels and action was slow, saw a handful of fish roll and stuck it out.  After an hour or so we hooked up what seemed to be a tarpon.  No jumps but it ran drag out like a big tarpon not a shark.  We gave chase and unfortunately had my spinning gear fail, the drag completely locked up with no previous indication it was faulty and I had just serviced them a couple months ago.  Bummer but that happens when you pull on as many big things as we do with the drags locked down!  Anyways we regrouped and set back up (minus that rod of course), after another 45 minutes we hooked a big tarpon that went airborne immediately!  We chased him and after a 30 minute battle had a nice 110 lb tarpon boatside!  Biggest I’ve seen lately.  A good end to the morning I was very glad to get a fish after the unfortunate mishap.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk