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Tarpon on fire

Well the 2013 tarpon season has just been amazing wave after wave of these giant prehistoric fish making their annual migration run through the Florida Keys. Nearly all anglers on our fishing holidays during April, May and June it is the number one fish on the wish list and this year we have ticked the box many times. This year we have had the biggest fish to the measuring tape coming out at 174 lb we have also had three fish way bigger than that, one so much bigger than our 209 lb fish of a few years ago. Longest fight so far over 2hrs 30 mins , people say give it more drag or some side strain but when a fish has towed my 23 ft boat over 3 miles I can tell you there is nothing more you can do.

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We have also done far better than the 1 in 5 that is the norm for tarpon we have been much nearer 1 in 3 I have to put that down to the way I fish. Firstly I use crabs instead of the mullet which is used by most guides and even small less than two inch ones have worked. Then we work the crabs mid water not like the mullet which are fished on the top. However I think the number one reason for our good hook up ratio is I still use good old J hooks and this season not one of our fish was deep hooked. Circle hooks were made tuna which have a very different mouth than tarpon and feed in a very different way. We also hit the fish hard winding all the slack then a very hard strike not the just wait you have to do with circle hook as soon as the tarpon feels the hook it jumps and shakes it head throwing a not set hook. Fishing and methods are very personal but the saying goes if it aint broke don’t fix it and I will be sticking to J hooks.                                                  Video clip is a very fine fish that Rodney had, they just look so amazing under water.