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Good time for redfish, slower time for tarpon.

Redfish will be in big schools of hundreds of fish, we catch the most fish during that time of year. Most are 3-12lb. Water is crystal clear, best sight fishing conditions of the year.

Basically wrong time of the year for tarpon. They love the hot, warm weather. There are some baby resident tarpon around, but they are inconsistent for the most part in the winter. If we get a string of warm days we can get a bite or two, but any hint of cold weather and they get grumpy and lethargic.
 

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I just came back a few weeks ago from Tampa for Tarpon, Snook, and Redfish.

Overall, we got 5 redfish for a 2 day charter and that was it. No Snook or Tarpon. We just went Snook and Tarpon sight seeing and thats about it.

Spent $1g for 5 fish. We booked with Captain Clay.

I dont know what the norm is for salt water fishing but I thought the trip was absolutely a waste and boring as far as fishing goes. All we did was tight line live, dead, and cut bait. We were practically just catfishing off a boat. Managed a few cats too.

Im a bass fisherman so casting and working baits is what I like to do best. I had more fun catching the threads in early morning than the fishing itself.

Im trying to look for a better guide next time around. Also if you really want Tarpon, I hear the Boca Grande Pass is the best bet!
 

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Boca grande is by far the greatest fishing spot I have ever fished! I am lucky that one of my best friends is the head park ranger down their at gassparilla island. It is very expensive to stay actually in boca grande (chad thanks for opening your home!!) we fished every day I was their for snook,red fish & mangrove snapper all over charlotte harbor or the back country as the locals call it and we caught fish every day and lots of them. If you are in florida and are an avid fisherman you owe it to yourself to fish boca grande and charloote harbor
 

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I just came back a few weeks ago from Tampa for Tarpon, Snook, and Redfish.

Overall, we got 5 redfish for a 2 day charter and that was it. No Snook or Tarpon. We just went Snook and Tarpon sight seeing and thats about it.

Spent $1g for 5 fish. We booked with Captain Clay.

I dont know what the norm is for salt water fishing but I thought the trip was absolutely a waste and boring as far as fishing goes. All we did was tight line live, dead, and cut bait. We were practically just catfishing off a boat. Managed a few cats too.

Im a bass fisherman so casting and working baits is what I like to do best. I had more fun catching the threads in early morning than the fishing itself.

Im trying to look for a better guide next time around. Also if you really want Tarpon, I hear the Boca Grande Pass is the best bet!
Wow you got raked over the coals, 1k for 5 fishthat is bad, the guides in my area specialize in artificial fishing in the Estero Bay. If you ever want Snook,Redfish and Tarpon look no further than the Sanibel/Fort Myers area. Send me a PM if you want names of competent Capts that will put you on fish and let you fish the way you want( bait,artificial, or fly)
 

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Here is a video of the tarpon I caught with capt Matt. Best time of the year from Tampa to Boca is now until July. Less competition if you are further north towards Tampa. Give it a try.

http://www.walleyekid.com/my_tarpon
Did you pay for the Tarpon tag? You know it is illegal to boat a Tarpon for a picture. Most Capts will bring the fight to a sand bar where you jump in the water and hold your catch for a photo( better trophy picture in my opinion)
 

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68B-32.003 Tarpon Tags: Required for Possession; Report; Annual Issuance; Taxidermy; Limitation on Number of Tags Issued Annually; Limitation on Number of Tags Issued to Professional Fishing Guides.
(1) No person shall take, kill, or possess any tarpon, unless such person has purchased a tarpon tag and securely attached it through the lower jaw of the fish. Within 5 days after the landing of a tagged tarpon, the person possessing it shall submit a form to the Commission (Form DMF-SL3200 (3-05), incorporated herein by reference) indicating the length, weight, and physical condition of the tarpon and the date and location where the fish was caught. Additional tags may be denied to any person or guide who fails to provide the required information.
(2) Tarpon tags are valid for the period beginning July 1 each year and continuing through June 30 of the following year or until used, whichever occurs first. Before August 15 of each year, each tax collector shall submit to the Commission all unused tags for the previous license year along with a written audit report as to the number of unused tags, on forms provided by the Commission (Form DMF-SL3210 (3-05), incorporated herein by reference). Tarpon tags are nontransferable, except for those distributed by professional fishing guides pursuant to subsection (5).
(3) Subsection (1) shall not apply to anyone who immediately returns a tarpon uninjured to the water at the place where the fish was caught. The prohibition of possession of an untagged tarpon in subsection (1) shall not apply to a taxidermist who removes the tag during the process of mounting a tarpon. The removed tag shall remain with the fish during any subsequent storage or shipment.
 

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For your reading pleasure, this is the 2009 Tarpon regulations, you find on the first page it states "do not boat any fish" and during the tournament you will be able to boat a fish(not for picture purposes but to keep it from being eaten by sharks) any where else in the state of Florida you are prohibited from boating a tarpon unless you bought a tarpon tag.

http://myfwc.com/docs/RulesRegulations/Tarpon_brochure.pdf
 
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