Spring is officially here which means the Silver King are back! Tarpon are sought after for not only for their beauty but the pure adrenaline rush you get once you hook in to one. Fishing Sanibel Florida is a unique experience. Here on the Southwest Gulf 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 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 sports fishing anglers heard about the magnificent fish and the fantastic fight they came droves. 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. The north tip of Lee County ends a Gasparilla Island. Gasparilla Island is known for a little town called Boca Grande. South of Boca Grand is the famous Boca Grande Pass. Boca Grand Pass is know three things, deep water, Tarpon and 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 the tarpon and they will pile up in layers waiting for their crunchy goodness.
Because tarpon became so popular as a game fish it also became the downfall of the tarpon fishing industry. 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 pass or tarpon fishing as a whole but for the most part we are slowly 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.
Catching tarpon off Sanibel 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.
“I’m a passionate hardcore fisherman. Biggest fish I caught? A 200-pound tarpon.” – Dwayne Johnson
Anglers can spend thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in pursuit of the famed tarpon in the waters of Southwest Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. Hiring a 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 Millionaires have for decades. All with little effort on your part by having two of 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.
-Compiled from the family history of the Wilhelm, Wade, Johnson & Hammond families history in fishing for tarpon in Southwest Florida-
Call (239) 691-1966 or go to Endless Summer Charters to make reservations for the 2017 Tarpon Season.