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Tarpon, permit are coming on strong
Posted May 4, 2012 by TBO.com
Updated May 4, 2012 at 02:33 PM
BY MIKE ANDERSON
GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Mike Anderson of “Reel Animals.”
From Fort Meyers to Homosassa, the tarpon are starting to go off. With this spring’s mild weather, they showed a little earlier than normal and are hungry. Reports coming in from Boca Grande Pass are off the charts, with several captains reporting 10- to 15-fish mornings. They are also scattered all along the beaches and should get thicker with Sunday’s full moon approaching.
We are also jumping good numbers of fish at the Sunshine Skyway and Gandy bridges. Large threadfin herring and half-dollar sized crabs are the live baits of choice. Be sure to beef up your tackle as a 150 pound tarpon can be as old as 75 and too long a fight on these beautiful creatures makes them tough to release unharmed.
Offshore, the permit bite has fired off, which normally coincides with the inshore tarpon bite. Permit can be found on any of the near shore reefs and wrecks and offer some of the best light-tackle action of the year. Smaller sized crabs are preferred, but they will hit a live shrimp, as well. Most of us forget to try to take some permit crabs with us when we run offshore and, therefore, the permit get overlooked at times. I promise, once you hook your first one, you will not forget to take some crabs with you ever again.
They also make some awesome table fare, but remember to keep only what you are going to eat fresh. Don’t waste this fish with a trip to the freezer.
Catch Billy Nobles and Mike Anderson on the “Reel Animals Fishing Show” on Saturdays at 6:30 a.m. on WFLA, Ch. 8, and from 6-8 a.m. on 970 AM, and on Sundays from 7-9 a.m. on 620 AM. To book a charter, call 1-866-GAMEFISH or visit http://www.reelanimalsfishingshow.com.