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Review of the year part two

No review of a year fishing in the Florida Keys is complete without the mention of the two iconic fish of the Keys the tarpon and the permit.  2016 was a good if not better than other years the only problem I now have as people have grown old with us as we enter our 14 th year of doing Fishing Holidays in the Florida Keys catching that 100 lb plus bar of silver is no longer top of the to do list.  We have guys who first came out for their 50 th have been coming back year on year past their 60 th and are still coming back.  So when your Captain says see you all at 3 am and yes we still loose 3 in 4 fish, and yes you might be a spectator for 2 hrs, and yes a 1000 lb shark might want your tarpon more than you,  not quite the same replies as I used to get all those years ago.  However saying all that there is still in my opinion nothing in fishing that comes close to seeing your 150 lb tarpon many feet in the air as the sunrises in the Florida Keys pulling you around like a rag doll.  2016 saw the return of two of my hard core tarpon parties  Rodney Rigby and Neil Ford both were still well up for it and both parties did very well.  I know I have said this before and it seems a bit silly but it is so true  ” the people who catch most tarpon are the people who fish for them the most ” I hope you understand that and I cant make 3 am move.

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Rodney was rewarded this year and I have to give him 10 out of 10 for effort as for years he has always wanted to catch a tarpon on his beloved Moocha  reel a type of centre pin reel.  Well in 2016 his efforts were rewarded and the fun started with no good drag or any sort of gears he did an amazing job the rest of the boat did not help at all in fact we were all in hysterics.  However he proved us all wrong and in about an hour he had the fish to the boat leader touched and job done stella.  Also during the tarpon season we lost a few fish to the grander  1000 lb + shark they are only doing what is natural to them and it makes the holiday for many anglers.  To see the whole attack is just a once in a life time experience yes not the end you wanted but when an apex predator wants a tarpon its only going to end one way.

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Permit again a fantastic year by far the best year ever for trophy fish and also the best year for a lack of shark on the wrecks where the permit spawn.  The big plus facts on permit fishing in the Keys no early start and fight not often over 30 mins and often the case more than one on at a time.  An other big plus we often due to the fact the wrecks are 8 miles offshore get a shot at passing blue water fish feeding birds giving them away and the fact we drift fish for permit we are quick to react   So what will 2017 bring well more of the same I hope but what was the saying  ”  the early bird gets the worm ” so  Tarpon.