Florida Homosassa River Tarpon  Day #4  State #5 June 16, 2009 06/13/09 Pennsylvania
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Back Country Concepts
Guide: Captain Earl Waters
10330 West Yulee Drive
Homosassa, FL 34448
Phone: 352-302-0359
Email: backcountryconcepts@earthlink.net
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Day #4 of our journey brought us to the famous waters of the Homosassa River with renowned guide and friend Captain Earl Waters.  We would 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 Waters knew 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 channel ways 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 thought for a moment that we went through the wrong turnstile at the dock and wound up at Universal Studios.

The water conditions were quite strange.  A northwest wind of 5 mph put a light chop on the water.  For most watermen this would be considered dead calm.  For 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 migration patterns. 

If you’ve never Tarpon fished it 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 you.  You 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 contribution.  I’m 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 position.   In four hours he spotted a dozen huge Tarpon, some cruising super fast, others lazily rolling just beyond most of our casts.  We did however put our lines on top of a half dozen Tarpon.  Taylor 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 incredible man and guide – Earl Waters.  If you ever get the chance to go tarpon fishing in these waters I would encourage you to contact Earl – he’s a real professional and given a bit more time will get you hooked up with one of these monsters.  We are not discouraged – we have another day on the water tomorrow – and so will Earl.


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     an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue."  ~ John Eldredge [Wild at Heart]

Fish    Last Updated June 16, 2009  - Copyright 2009