Day #4 of our journey brought us
to the famous waters of the Homosassa River with
and friend Captain Earl Waters. We
try our hands at the elusive giant Tarpon.
Most anglers who are serious about landing a
fish of this lore often
invest a week of 8 hour days. Our
challenge was to accomplish the task in
four short hours. Captain
the odds weren’t great but the experience of fishing for
Tarpon was why we came
in the first place.
To start, Taylor and I experienced
the thrill of a lifetime as we navigated at 65mph the slalom-like
that lead to the big open waters 5 miles away.
Yes, a boat can make a 90 degree hairpin turn
at this speed – somehow.
It was like a
scene from a James Bond movie. I
for a moment that we went through the wrong turnstile at the dock and
at Universal Studios.
The water conditions were quite
northwest wind of 5 mph put a
light chop on the water. For
this would be considered dead calm.
a Tarpon aficionado this was not good.
In fact, Captain Waters commented that in 30+
years of guiding he has
never seen a northwest wind in June and it was fouling up the Tarpon
If you’ve never Tarpon
is as much like Deer Hunting as I’ve ever experienced. For the most part you sit
and wait for the game to come to
don’t cast, troll, or have a
line out – you stand quietly and keep watch.
As we sat and kept watch I quickly determined
that had a keen eye for
turtles and sticks. So,
that was my
proud to say that I
believe I spotted 6 turtles and 1 stick.
Captain Waters had the keen eye
though – he also had a slightly better perspective being 6
feet above us in his
deer stand. We were
definitely in turtle
four hours he spotted a
dozen huge Tarpon, some cruising super fast, others lazily rolling just
most of our casts. We
did however put
our lines on top of a half dozen Tarpon.
even had one “blow up”.
It’s not as
messy as you might think – it just means the Tarpon took a
swipe at Taylor’s
lure but struck
short and didn’t set the hook.
We had a wonderful time on the
water and experienced the amazing art of tarpon fishing with an
and guide – Earl Waters.
If you ever get
the chance to go tarpon fishing in these waters I would encourage you
contact Earl – he’s a real professional and given a
bit more time will get you
hooked up with one of these monsters.
are not discouraged – we have another day on the water
tomorrow – and so will