The crisp morning westerly breeze slipped across our faces, as we headed out of Islamorada in search of the annual migration of the Florida Keys Silver Kings; Tarpon! Rick & Mikey Mandrel, his son age ten, were eager to get out on a father, son fishing trip and experience the thrill of angling in the Florida Keys together. During April through May, Tarpon can be found migrating both north and south along the banks off the coastline, throughout the Florida Keys. Tarpon fishing really begins to heat up in April, as these migratory fish show in increasing numbers and is smoking hot by May. Crabs and live mullet are the baits of choice. Yesterday, we were using live crabs as our offerings to the Silver Gods.
"Up on the flats, there too are plenty of tarpon, bonefish and still some permit being taken but our sights were on the Kings. These overgrown, herring-like fish, show up in good numbers, this time of year and as the waters warm up, so too will the Tarpon, both in bites to numbers."
A bad day out fishing the Keys is better than a good day cutting the grass and doing them chores that seem to come up every week, as Mikey and Dad, Rick, were throwing live crabs at a pod of around fifty fish. Nudging to poking and even playing with the baits were all these daisy chained fish seemed to do but it was the thrill of the cast, to just so many big fish right there in front of Mikey, that captured a smile to which he will never forget and he had a really good time in doing it all! The west wind seemed to put a lockjaw on these fish or maybe they were in pre-spawn ritual in jockeying for position to be King of the pod. Whatever it was, it was great to get the guys out and we all had a fun filled day in fishing for Tarpon off of Islamorada, Florida. We were running Ohero, medium action spin rods with a 40lb fluorocarbon leaders.
If you have never experienced tarpon fishing in the Florida Keys, this is one of the best times to find the fish. Springtime, is Tarpon time and it is not every day that you catch giant fish but we do have great fishing trips everyday; as it was great to get out with the guys, in practicing what the mentoring angler, Gary Anderson preaches, “Positive Mentoring through Fishing.” Mikey's smile was worth a thousand casts, and to one that will bring him and his Dad, back out on the water, in search of Florida Keys Silver Kings, another day!