Fridays 12:30 pm Starting July 26th 2013
Posted on Friday, July 29th, 2011
Never been tarpon fishing before but I have heard lots about it.
No where else in the world do tarpon congregate in such numbers as they do in Boca Grande!
There was a cluster of fishing boats, trying hard not to run into one another…sizing up the other teams, checking out their boats and crews, Guess we didn’t get the memo about matching shirts? Luckily our captain came well prepared, he surprised us with our very own team shirts!
Now we were a team, the Captive rod & gun club…
We hear over the radio, 7am , start fishing, lines drop quickly into the water…
Within the first 5 min, all the boats around us were hooked on a fish….alright, we are in a good spot, I got a good feeling, everyone around us had a fish on, any second now….
Lines up! Moving…lines down….
Lines up!! Moving out of the way of another boat…lines down
Lines up!! Another boat almost hits us,…new spot…lines down
Was it a bite or was it just bottom?
40 min pass,,,Now starting to get frustrated because caption Jimmy mentions, the earlier it is, the better the fishing is, hence….we need a bite soon or I’m going get an anxiety attack! Especially watching all these boats around me getting hooked on monster tarpon, and half of them weren’t even fishing the tournament!! Geeze….alright, I throw my rod down and grab my Iphone…I need some music to pump me up, keep my spirits alive……We don’t have to win (although that would be nice) but I really just want to land my first tarpon and bring him to weigh in! Goal for our boat…weigh in a fish!
I’ve seen it work before while fishing off a dock…for some strange reason we were dry until a friend put on a B52s song and each of our lines got hit….kept fishing but didn’t get bites until we played the song again…coincidence , possible, but I like to take that as these fish just liked jamming out to the B 52s.
Picked the song…Nitty Gritty Dirt Band..Fishing in the Dark…yes I know it was morning but I needed a good fishing theme song….
Now, jamming out to my tune, a minute goes by and all of a sudden I felt something hard hit my rod…gave it a sec, then started reeling…I didn’t want to start yelling “fish on” unless I was 100 percent sure I had something on and it wasn’t just bottom…well my rod tip bent completely in half and was now touching the water…I was concentrating now on just holding onto the rod I didn’t have energy to speak but the captain saw it right away…Larysa you got a fish on!! You definitely got a fish on (he joked later how I didn’t make a peep )
So, fishing foul on our captain, he did NOT have a belt that fit a female and second, the rod I was using was broken in the fact it did not reel correctly, it kept getting stuck or jammed and was rough to try to reel. I let the fish run until he let up and I took over control. The fish jumped twice and I knew it was a big one and was I trying everything to not let it break the line or get away. I was so determined to get this fish up NOTHING was going to get in the way. I just gave it my all and starting reeling except it kept getting jammed. This created a challenge.
Jamie asked to take over so I handed her the rod and I held on because I didn’t want the fish to get away. She could barely turn the reel; she’s like what’s wrong with this thing? I’m like exactly, its broken, here just give it back to me, I’ll try the best to turn it because I can actually get it going but just help me pull up on it so I can focus on turning this jammed reel. So with some teamwork, sweat, muscle power, and tears we just non-stopped fought this Tarpon. Jamie held onto the rod since it kept slipping out of our oversized belt that was now pressing on an uncomfortable spot, helped pull up while I tried my hardest to reel in…
Now we got away from the pack of boats and we were on our own fighting this fish. I knew, lets call him Tom the Tarpon, didn’t have a chance with me, I was not going to let this fish get away. I fought through the pain, my muscles felt like they were going to burst; this was definitely the hardest fight I have ever encountered!
I see him! So close, almost there, I was owning this Tarpon. Now I was starting to worry. Once I got it close to the boat, I was worried the line would break before the captain could gaff it. Whoo-hoo!! Got it!! SO excited…now it’s time to celebrate!! We got it in!! I landed my first Tarpon!! With the help of Jamie, I reeled in that Tarpon in less than 15 minutes!! I am going to give that credit to Power Balance bracelets!!
Once we had it gaffed and attached to the boat, on our way to weigh in…we pass a team fighting a tarpon with a SHARK after there’s!! Our captain speeds up so we get pass the shark quickly, just my luck a shark would come up and eat half my tarpon while we are trying to bring it to weigh in…I was standing over my tarpon with a rod in my hand ready, I was now being protective of my prized tarpon. We got yelled at to slow down but hey we were trying to get around that Shark!
We were the second team to weigh in…the first team weighed in at 125 and Captain Jimmy says, “Yours is definitely heavier than that!” The captain couldn’t help us during weigh in, we had to jump in the water and grab the fish. I grabbed my tarpon and brought it to the net. Now the lady told me to take the gaff out….wait, what? All I could picture was my fish just swimming out of the net before we get a weight right as I try to take the gaff out. It started slipping away and I grabbed the fish and pushed it back on the net. I was not going to let this fish get away after all that work!
And officially, our fish weighed 1….we start raising our hands cheering 20….yeah!!!!! 4…..oooooooh, our hands drop in disappointment….
So close, well I guess we are currently in 2nd place. We take a quick picture with the Tarpon and then let it swim away. Now it was just chill time. I was proud of our team to weigh a fish in, and just excited that I had reeled in my first Tarpon! Jamie hooked a nice tarpon and sweated it out reeling it in, it jumped about 3 times, just unreal watching this huge fish jump out of the water like that so gracefully. She brought it all the way up to the boat and it broke the line!
Out of 60 boats only 7 boats actually weighed in fish!
So right there I felt like a winner
But Tom the Tarpon came in 5th place, not bad for my first tarpon tournament!!
Can’t wait until next year!!