2010 Keys Report
May 27 and 28, 2010
Greetings from Tarpon World:
May 27, 2010: My friend (Lucky) Mark Schifrin, spent the last of his four days of Tarpon fishing with me here in the fabulous Florida Keys today, we had lots of fun and accomplished the goals which we set for this trip. We launched my Dolphin super skiff at 11:00 AM and headed to a flat between Marathon and Big Pine Key where we located a school of 400 happy Tarpon, which were on the surface in crystal clear calm water with blue sunny skies.
Mark made a great cast and then a big 125 pound female raced up and ate the purple and black fly (Tarpon Mouse) and the battle was on. Mark used all of his newly learned fish fighting skills to fight this awesome fish from the dead boat and finally after a long battle the fish was boat side and I released it.
We spent the day until 5 PM chasing and casting to hundreds of Tarpon in daisy chains and very large schools. After 5 we headed to the worm bar, Mark wanted to see and photograph the Palola worm hatch. At 6:30 we decided to leave and headed to the launch ramp where we ran into Captain Lenny Moffo with my friend Tony Weaver. They were launching to head to the worm hatch, Lenny had inside information, (Directly from the worms) that they would hatch tonight after 6:30 PM. Mark and I went to the worm bar where we sat and watched the dozens of boats casting to thousands of slurping Tarpon, which were eating hundreds of thousands of worms. (These are the highest numbers that I can comprehend, not billions and trillions as the government uses). Mark got some good pictures and we had lots of fun. Another successful day of Tarpon fishing.
May 28, 2010: Bill Gabory and Mel Edwards from Orange County CA joined me for a day of fly fishing for Tarpon, which might include the worm hatch. We launched at Noon and within five minutes found a school of 200 "wrong way" Poons heading along a clear flat away from the worm bar. Bill and Mel cast every fly in the boat at these fish for more than an hour but they would not eat. Next I ran to a flat where I thought I might find some happy fish, they were there and we again had a big school which would not eat , they were deep, fast, and unhappy, I think due to the worms and the west wind.
I offered a "sure thing" at Tarpon Destination X or the choice to go to the worm hatch with dozens of anglers casting worm flies at crazy Tarpon, they decided to go to the worm hatch. We saw some worms, with lots of fish, and some boats hooking up several Tarpon on worm flies. We had no success and never got a bite, this was my first skunk of the season, but hopefully now that the worms are gone the Tarpon will get back to normal. Bill and Mel are great guys and fun anglers to fish with, I hope they will come back and try it again when the fish cooperate.
Tonight Emerson Cannon and Smoot Carter will begin with a trip to Tarpon Destination X and then fish fro the next 4 days, I look forward to watching these anglers rip some lips! I love this job, wish you were there, More reports to follow.
Greetings from Tarpon Central:
May 25, 2010: Today; my friend and client Mark Schifrin and I invited my friend, photographer Pat Ford, to join us to take pictures of my Tarpon. The weather was good with east wind under 10 knots and mostly sunny skies, the water temperature was 85.6 and the air temperature was 86 degrees. Pat drove down from Miami and we, launched my "Super Skiff" at noon to head to some flats between Marathon and Big Pine Key to look for a few tarpon to photograph.
We spent 5 hours aboard my skiff, with me up on the tower and Pat trying to get the correct angle on the Tarpon, while mark cast at some of the fish. Mark made lots of good casts in front of many Tarpon, several of them looked at my secret fly, several more ate the fly, 2 big fish ate the fly and fought valiantly with many awesome jumps, and one 100 pound female was cooperative and came in to pose for pictures before I grabbed her and made the release.
Next we spent several hours just following the 7 or eight hundred, which were migrating on some of my flats trying to get pictures of daisy chains and large schools on light bottom in less than 6 foot of water in the fabulous Florida Keys. We got a few decent pictures, we also had 5 hours of good Tarpon fly fishing, along with a pleasant day in Tarpon World! I look forward to the next couple of days fishing here with Mark Schifrin, he is a pleasure to spend time with, we are having lots of fun, I love my job.
May 26, 2010, Tony Weaver, my friend from Alaska, along with his friend Shaq from Eagle River Alaska, boarded "Fly Reel" at midnight for a few hours of Tarpon Fly Fishing. The wind was dead calm with a few clouds covering the full moon, while the Tarpon were eating shrimp from the "shrimp hatch. Tony hooked the first Tarpon which was a 90 pounder that he fought to the boat for release in about 10 minutes. The fly fishing was good tonight, Shaq caught and released 2 Tarpon on fly while Tony released 5 from 7 which he jumped. I apologize for having no pictures of this but Tony has not sent me any of the pictures which he took. When I receive the pictures which Tony has I will post them on my site, here is a picture of one of his fish from my point and shoot camera.
May 26, 2010: Mark Schifrin and I launched my Skiff at 11 AM and headed to some ocean side flats near Big Pine Key. The wind had changed to west and then northwest and it became cloudy, we spent 2 hours on those awesome flats and only saw a few deep swimming Tarpon. Next a big rain cell closed in on us so we ran to a marina and spent some time in the store having an ice cream cone and talking with other fly Tarpon anglers and guides.
When we returned to the flats where we fished the day before it was like a different world, glare, northwest wind, clouds, and deep running, unhappy Tarpon, flying past too fast for us to get any good shots at with the fly. I forgot about the last Tarpon on fly which mark caught on his first day so we need to add a 100 plus pound Tarpon to his 4 day total at the end of his trip. Next we headed to the worm bar where we looked for worms until 6:30 PM with no worms present and only the chamber of commerce Tarpon putting on a show and not eating. Mark and I quit at 7 PM and had a great seafood dinner at "The Keys Fishery" and then a great, full nights sleep for this old Captain. This morning May, 27, mark and I will head back out for another fun day of Tarpon fly fishing, and then after Mark sees a few worms in a possible minor worm hatch I will send out another report. Oh yea, did I mention that I love my job, wish you were here, more reports to follow.
May 22, 23, and 24 2010
Greetings from Tarpon World:
May 22, 2010: Michael Bates from Tampa fish with me this last night at Tarpon Destination X. The wind was blowing from the north, north, west, at 20 to 25 knots and the water was choppy. Of course Tarpon do not favor North wind however tonight we fished fro 4 hours, got two bites, and released one big (110) female on 20 pound tippet. Michael said that this was the most exciting trip of his life, which made me feel good about my Tarpon.
May 23, 2010: Tonight my friend Tony Weaver from Anchorage brought his friend Shaq along aboard "Fly Reel" to catch some Tarpon on fly. We fished from 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM, in 10 knot east wind with great fishing. The Tarpon were eating my flies real good which allowed Shaq to jump and fight 5 big Tarpon on fly, while Tony jumped 6 and caught 4 Tarpon on fly.
Tonight we never went more than 10 minutes without hooking and fighting big Tarpon on fly, Tony's biggest fish looked to be in the 120 pound class. We had a great time and they will fish again with me in a couple of days.
May 24, 2010: Today my Friend Mark Schifrin began his 4 days of fly fishing for Tarpon with me, we launched at 10:30 AM and fished the flats around Marathon until 5:00 PM. We saw several large (hundreds) schools of Tarpon migrating on these flats, they were spooky in the calm seas and were acting like they do when looking for worms. Mark made quite a few good presentations using several different flies with little interest from the Tarpon. I finally put on a small purple "Tarpon Mouse" fly, Mark put it in front of a large female which charged to the surface and gobbled that fly. Unfortunately when the Tarpon jumped while charging the boat, some slack got into the line and she spit the hook back at us.
After dinner and a short nap we headed back out at 11:00 PM and the Tarpon were feeding hard. We fished for 3 hours and Mark caught 3 large Tarpon and landed all three. Mark asked me to show a technique which I had told him about, so I made one cast to a rolling, feeding, Tarpon, instant hookup on the first strip. I fought that 90 pound Silver King for 10 minutes, from a dead boat, I never let that Tarpon get into my backing. After the 10 minute battle in which my fish jumped 6 times, I wound the leader into the tip top and released that Tarpon. Our score fro the night was 4 Tarpon hooked and 4 Tarpon caught and released.
I am off now to take Mark out to catch some more Tarpon, My friend Pat Ford will ride along with Mark and I today to take some good pictures. I didn't get any pictures from Tony yet and do not have time for downloading my camera now, so this report will show some of Pat's great photography. More reports to follow, I love my job, wish you were here.
Captain Jake Jordan
Jake Jordan’s Fishing Adventures
PO Box 309
Havelock, NC 28532