6/19/17 Half Day Tarpon Fishing Charter in June

Got out with Sarah and Barry again today for our final trip.  A couple days ago we absolutely smashed it with multiple tarpon and a bunch of snook and few redfish.  Today though conditions changed and it was blowing 25 mph out of the south.  I knew fishing would be difficult with the conditions, as yesterday it wasn’t quite as windy but we struggled for a single bite.  We left a little earlier in the dark and hit one of the local areas.  After 45 minutes or so barry hooked into a nice 70 lb fish.  We were marking several on the machine too before that.  We made fairly short work of the fish and headed back.  Things seemed to quiet down, so I moved further down the channel, and didn’t see much but after 20 minutes, Sarah got into a nice fish.  Not sure how big but it was dumping line, so I’d say easily a 100+ lber.  Unfortunately as we were chasing her, Sarah had tightened the drag a little too tight and the wind-on leader just snapped!  Strange because that is 60 lb test and it popped way high up on it, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a part of the line that would’ve had much weakness to it…  Anyways this is a good lesson and could happen to anyone, as logically thinking you may want to tighten the drag to slow a fish down from running so much.  However with tarpon… never tighten the drag real tight when a big fish is dumping line, unless you are about to run out of line.  You’ll never stop a big tarpon with drag alone, and all that will happen is you’ll have too much pressure on the line and it’ll break at whatever point is weakest (usually at the knots, though in this case just the line itself snapped), or the fish will jump and possibly throw the hook (the more drag/pressure on the line, the greater chance a hook will be thrown when a fish jumps, especially if you are slow to bow to them).  And with big fish that can move erratically and pull hard, sometimes you don’t realize you have a weak spot until it does snap.  You only want to tighten the drag down hard when you have the fish mostly subdued and he is no longer making long, hard runs or going crazy jumping… basically when he is already ‘caught’ and you are just trying to subdue for a picture.  Anyhow at least we had caught the other fish, and both Sarah and Barry had landed multiple tarpon on our other trip, so no big deal.  After that unfortunately the bite was pretty much over with, we didn’t see much more for tarpon though in the last stop we made we did see a fish roll but didn’t get a bite out of it.  Scheduled for a full day tomorrow but we may cut it short and try to do what we did today.  1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk