WHAT IS BIG, SILVER, AND THE MOST AWESOME INSHORE SPECIES ON THE PLANET? If you guessed the MEGALOPS ATLANTICUS a.k.a. TARPON then chances are you’re Tarpon obsessed just like the rest of us.
I refer to Tarpon fishing as an obsession because after doing battle with the Silver King just once many anglers loose their minds and devout the rest of their fishing lives to chasing these incredible fish. If you don’t believe me ask my good friends and fellow anglers Dr. Art Mowery, Mark Wormser, or even my mentor Capt. Jimmy Long. Capt. Jimmy Long (whose been married for close to 3 decades) once told me that he loved his wife with all of his heart. He then followed that comment up with that if he were to ever have a mistress it would most likely be a Tarpon and with close to 30 years of guiding Tarpon under his belt I believe him and ironically enough I find myself having those same feelings too.
What I have found during my time as a Tarpon guide is that most Tarpon anglers find their passion for chasing Tarpon rooted in the undeniable respect for this prehistoric baitfish. For hundreds if not thousands of years Tarpon have roamed the Coastal waters of Florida dodging predators twice their size along their migration route to ensure the survival of their species and still to this day they ride out Hurricanes with toughness, dodge droves of boats bombing baits on their backs, and laugh off overly educated fly anglers that think a little fluff and feathers is suppose to look appetizing. Tarpon are a lot like scratch off tickets. Some days you win, some days you loose, but no matter the circumstances we continue to play the game despite the mental and financial costs.
As our 2021 Tarpon season nears it’s end I want to thank all of the anglers that chose to tackle the challenge of landing a Nature Coast Tarpon. We all know that the next “World Record” will come off our flats in the near future and those are the fish we search for every season. There are not many places on this planet where a fish of a lifetime could be caught on any giving day but here along the flats of Homosassa and Chassahowitzka any day could be your day during Tarpon season!!!!!
Attached to this article are a few photos of some of the Tarpon that felt bad for us this season and ate our flies. J
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN TARPON!!!!
Capt. Kyle Messier