Where: Anna Maria, FL
When: Memorial Day Weekend 2011
Method: Tossing live whitebaits at pods of rolling fish in the clear waters off the beach.
Success! We hooked up with two. The first, a 150-lb fish, was lost thanks to the efforts of a local bozo guide. Despite the fact the beach literally swarmed with fish, he zoomed up in his tricked-out Pathfinder complete with twin Power Poles and trolling motor to fish the pod of tarpon we had been fishing and insisted we turn off our motor, lest we spook them. Never mind the Silver King we were much more worried about at the time.
There are probably profanities still floating over the Gulf but he wouldn't back off and give us space. What a loser. Travis’ tarpon went under his boat and pulled off. That put us in orbit.
Strangely, he didn’t engage in the war of words but wouldn't leave us or these tarpon be. This glutton for punishment, after we hooked up again shortly after, approached us once more. Couldn’t believe it!
We swore him back off, and he gripped his wheel and wept over it. I’d identify him online here, but I’m sure the client he had with him – who was absolutely silent through the whole ordeal – will do enough to damage his business.
Either way, he was seriously in the wrong. I'd never seen so many tarpon. He was poaching us – all he had to do was drive another 200 yards down the beach and find more. Makes me angry all over again.
Which it shouldn’t. Forget that dude. Glorious morning of fishing. This time Nick was able to land the fish. We decided Travis’ should count, too. Plenty of folks around us - who we didn't bother - hooked up that Saturday morning as well. A fine start to the weekend.
I’ll let pictures tell the rest.
Salt Spray breaks up the Sunrise behind the Skyway Bridge
The 1st Hook-Up
He was a Macho Man fan.
Another Hook-Up. Holla if you hear me!
A 70-80 pound tarpon.
Grabbed the leader. Caught fish! He swam away for another day.