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Boca Grande tarpon

Sanibel fishing charters

2018 Fort Myers, Sanibel, Boca Grande Tarpon Season

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Even 14 year olds can have the catch of a lifetime!

Great news!  Big 200 pound plus Tarpon are showing up in the Caloosahatchee River. Book your charter now through end of July for the chance to reel in this sought after beauty beauty of a fish they call “Silver King”.

Spring is almost here which means Tarpon are making their way back to SW Florida! Tarpon are sought after for not only for their beauty but the pure adrenaline rush you get once you hook in to one. Tarpon, of course, being only a sport fish.  The SW Florida coast is a unique experience. Here in the Lee County Gulf of Mexico coast we have a shallow and slowly sloping bottom. We don’t have the large reefs of the Florida Keys or the huge drop-offs of the East Coast of Florida. What we do have is Tarpon and LOTS of them. There’s more than one reason we are called the “Tarpon Capitol of the World”. One reason is the fact that the very first tarpon was caught right here Tarpon Bay on the bay side of Sanibel Island. It was the first tarpon caught on hook and line. That started the ball rolling. When the word got out sports fishing anglers from around the globe came in droves to catch this magnificent fish and have the fight of their lives. They soon found out that the migration of the tarpon took them from off Fort Myers Beach to the north tip of our county, Lee.

Juvenile Tarpon can be the most fun to catch

At the north end of Lee County is Gasparilla Island, home of Boca Grande.  South of Boca Grand is the famous Boca Grande Pass. Boca Grand Pass is know for three things, deep water, Tarpon and lots of shark! The nutrient rich waters of Charlotte Harbor empty into the Gulf of Mexico through Boca Grande Pass. The waters carry what we call around here, pass crabs. These crabs are like candy to tarpon and they will pile up in layers waiting for their crunchy goodness.

Sanibel Fishing Charters

Capt. Matt’s great photography of bowing to the King!

Boca Grande Pass actually has Rules and Regulations of fishing. Along with the ecologically responsible anglers and guides came the money hungry tournament anglers. What was once a gentleman’s sport became a “take no prisoners” kind of fishing.  The boats got faster, fishing style over the top and testosterone running higher than ever. Luckily, in recent years the efforts of the responsible anglers have won out!  Sure, there’s the occasional yahoo that doesn’t know the etiquette of Boca Grande.  For the most part we are returning to responsible angling here in the Sanibel, Captiva and Fort Myers Beach areas. Capt. Bill and Capt. Matt practice responsible angling. This means you’ll get the best experience while fishing the fair and guilt-free way. We respect tarpon as one of the greatest species of fish in the oceans. Our Silver Kings are something to admire and we want to see them coming back to SW Florida for generations to come.

Heather Holland with a Tarpon caught off of Captiva Island

They don’t call them Silver King for nothing. To be treated any less of the royal fish they are is a crime. We never gaff. Gaffing can cause a hole in the lower mouth of this fish that gulps air at the surface in order to survive. We hand hold only for photos which makes it a little more work for the captain but a bigger reward as you see this gentle giant swim off unharmed to catch another day.

To just “jump” a Tarpon can be thrilling

Anglers can spend thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in pursuit of the famed Tarpon off Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers Beach, Cayo Costa and Gasparilla islands.   Hiring a Tarpon guide affords you the best opportunity to catch this magnificent fish and check it off your bucket list as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Presidents and Billionaires have for decades. All with little effort on your part by having the best Tarpon guides Southwest Florida.

Capt. Bill and Capt. Matt have put many anglers on these elusive fish and released hundreds if not thousands of the chrome beauties for numerous seasoned as well as amateur anglers.  To book your Sanibel flats fishing charter please go to our BOOK NOW page and simply choose a 6 or 8 hour tarpon charter in April, May, June or July.  You will not be disappointed in your hunt and catch of a lifetime.

Thanks to Florida Fishing ProductsDan James Custom Rods and Fins Situational Braid for supplying us with our 2018 Tarpon Season fishing gear for a great  season in SW Florida!

Call direct (239) 691-1966 or go to Endless Summer Charters to make reservations for the 2018 Tarpon Season.

Now that the Tourist are Leaving…

By | Boca Grande tarpon, Captiva Fishing, Sanibel fishing | No Comments

Well, it’s that time again!  Time for the tourist and Snowbirds to start packing their bags and heading up North, right?  Well, yes but that’s not what I mean…

NOW is when the bite turns on for all the fish that have been tight lipped for the winter and start chewing on freshly caught bait!  Now is the time for the beautiful Silver King to make their way up through the Gulf of Mexico to feast on the bounty of S.W. Florida.  The Snowbirds are going home just in time.  I would say it would have to be bad timing but they’re leaving none the less.

Tarpon season is nearly here and just got word today that the tarpon are frolicking and having a good ‘ole time off Sanibel beaches while moving their way to Boca Grande Pass.  Ahhh, Boca Grande.  The mere utterance of the two words meaning “Big Mouth” conjure up the excitement felt when a kid is told he’s going to Disney World.  At least for me and a few thousand others.

If fly fishing is the Waltz then fishing for tarpon in Boca Grande is slam dancing.  Not that slamming is looked upon favorably but it happens.

Imagine 150 boats drifting over an area of two football fields in strong current trying NOT to bump into each other while tarpon are jumping, the yahoos that don’t know the rules are darting in and out messing up the drifts and you’re trying to keep an eye on the depth finder to find the exact right spot to let out more line or reel it up!  Whew!

I know what you are thinking… Yes, I’ve seen my share of fights in Boca Grande Pass (even been in a few) but they’re mostly verbal and add to the excitement of atmosphere of the pass.  People get real brave when they know their opponent can’t just walk over and knock them out!

I’ll tell you the worst thing I’ve seen in Boca Grande Pass while fishing for tarpon…  It just happened to be the day of the PTTS (Professional Tarpon Tournament Series).  There is so much adrenalyn, testosterone and just plain ego that you can feel it in the air.  The tension is brutal.  All these guys trying to make a name for themselves and get their mugs on TV is unreal.  I have to admit…it’s a blast!  

Anyway, one of these guys jumps a tarpon.  By jumping I mean he hooks a tarpon good enough where the tarpon flies out of the air like a basketball player making a lay up.  At the same time an amature hooks up on a nice tarpon from the same pod.  The professional holds tight as the tarpon weaves it’s way through the boats.  It’s a fight just trying to not let your line get cut on another boats propeller.  That’s part of it though.  The obstical course of Boca Grande adds to the excitement of the catch and makes winning a tournament all that more sweet.  At least I thought.

As the ego driven angler with a testosterone driven captain crosses lines with the female angler in the amature’s boat (Now, they have the right to be there just as much as the professional tarpon angler does) I watched as the captain came out from behind the helm with what looked like a filet knife.  It happen so fast I didn’t have the time to think about why he left the helm.  In a split second the line from the lady angler was cut!  Sure it was in the way..but no more than they were in the way of the lady angler!  You might as well had cut her heart out.  Boy, was she steamed and I don’t blame her. She was seen complaining to the officials later.  Sadly, it did no good.

I have to admit there was $100,000 on the line and that changes things for some.  Oh, I guess I should add greed to the list of things you could feel in Boca Grande pass that day.

Come visit us during “Bite” season and not just Snowbird season.  I’ll be your guide through all the frenzy and you’ll have the time of your life!

https://www.sanibelislandfishingcharters.com/

Capt. Bill Hammond owns and operates
Endless Summer Charters in Ft. Myers & Sanibel
www.EndlessSummerCharters.net

This just in…

By | Boca Grande tarpon, fort myers fishing charters, Sanibel island fishing charters, snooking fishing | No Comments

Just heard on the news that the State of Florida could be sunned-in for the next several days. Residents have been urged to proceed quickly to the nearest beach and/or tiki bar for further instructions. We are asking our friends and relatives to the north to keep us in their thoughts & prayers!!

Seriously though…we have had some awesome weather and fantastic fishing in the Sanibel and Captiva Island waters.

This time of year the bigger fish are pushing off shore to deeper waters and the smaller of the same species are in abundance. We are catching 50-70 fish during a charter which includes redfish, snapper, sheephead, flounder and trout to name a few. We have even caught a few snook despite the fact that they get closed-lipped this time of year.

You may not catch that trophy this time of year but the action is non-stop! Just about the time your bait hit the water the fish are practically meeting it at the waterline to gobble it up.

So, if you like a lot of action and like to take home some fresh meat for dinner this is the time to take a charter with Endless Summer Charters!

Don’t forget, tarpon season is just around the corner! The hunt for the Silver King is on!

Capt. Bill Hammond
Endless Summer Charters in Ft. Myers & Sanibel
www.EndlessSummerCharters.net