Running from the Law: "Stand By" for Tarpon Madness at Location X

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Stand By" for Tarpon Madness at Location X

I know, I know. It's been forever since I last posted. I'm sorry, Mom - I know you've been impatiently waiting for tarpon pictures and the story, so here they are!

It was a GREAT trip!! The first morning, before it was even light out, we met our guide at a little dump of a bait shop, boarded our flats boat and were off! As soon as we got settled in our magical spot, Ryan began "warming up" by casting and stripping. It wasn't light enough to see any tarpon more than 5 feet from our boat, but unbelievably, on his second/third cast...tarpon on! Our guide starting coaching Ryan through the process but his hook set was a little too aggressive (can you blame him...he was really excited!) and the fish snapped the line. We couldn't yet see the fish, but we now knew they were there - VERY promising!

The water was pretty muddy, which is apparently a good thing. It was bright and sunny, with very few clouds. The conditions were "perfect" and excitment was in the air. After another few sightings and stalkings, Ryan finally hooked and landed his first tarpon! It was a little guy (only about 60 pounds), but put up a hell of a fight. Upon getting hooked, these fish take off like wave runners, jumping and splashing and fighting. We chased it for quite a while and Ryan did great reeling it in and manuevering the rod. So, after three years of chasing silver, he finally landed one!

And then it was on! The next two were much bigger, 90 pounds and 110 pounds! We ended the first day with three tarpon caught.

Day 2 was very different than Day 1. The water was like glass that morning, with no waves and no wind. The guide was able to spot a tarpon over a quarter mile away and then position the boat to where Ryan could cast to it. Once the sun came out and warmed the water, the tarpon stopped moving and laid up on the top of the water, where we could happen upon them and surprise them. It was a completely different kind of fishing, and very exciting to watch. Ryan caught one enormous tarpon of about 120 pounds first thing in the morning. He had a few others that he "jumped" and chased. By the end of the day, the waves were pretty intense. I felt like I was riding a bull with all the bucking and rocking - not ideal fishing conditions, but we still managed to chase a few more. We ended our fishing expedition with lots of smiles and excitement for next year!

Great job honey! I'm so proud of you!


  1. Man, those are some BIG fishies! WTG, Ryan!

  2. What an awesome trip! Glad it was successful and that you both had a great time!