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Our Florida fishing report page offers up to date information on fishing in the Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Orlando and Boca Grande area of Florida's West Coast.For more information on our Florida fishing charters and tarpon fishing charters, please click the link below

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Giant Tarpon Full Swing

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Giant tarpon fishing is in full swing here in the Giant Tarpon Capitol of the World. Each day, on both the morning and afternoon session, multiple fish ranging from 80 to 230 lbs. are just another day at the office aboard the Bounty Hunter.

Fish are thick along the beaches, flats and in the passes. Naturally Boca Grande Pass is taking center ring of another fantastic season. Fish are taking jigs, crabs and shrimp fish just off the bottom in most cases. Afternoon breakouts the technique is sight casting live bait on spinning tackle to schools pushing 2000 strong. 

Jamie Pinter (right) poses with his estimated 230lb on his first day in 2002

The past dark moon saw an incredible mass exodus of Calico crabs riding the afternoon outgoing tides through the big pass. Commonly referred to as the "hill tide", the natural phenomenon of the flush of crabs through the pass offers the most frenzied tarpon bite anywhere in the world. Nowhere else in the world is triple and quadruple giant tarpon hookups even a dream. Here it is reality. While the “hill tides” are difficult to predict as actually occurring, the full moon is just ahead and likely to be just as good as the past dark moon.

The weekly Miller’s Tarpon Tide Tournaments started last week. Last week we released the first fish of the three-hour tournament and with that fact, could have taken “most releases” with our second fish, but elected to take a borderline stab at second place that turned up short just a few pounds. 

Jamie Pinter (left), mate Brian Timmons (center) and Melissa Pinter (right) are all smiles after Jamie sight casted a dollar sized crab to this monster off the beach on their second day. 

Michelle Pollard strikes a pose with her first tarpon. 175 lbs. is not a bad way to start!

Last Saturday, again, we released the first fish of the day and then the third (first boat to score two). Later in the day two teams had caught up to our fast start and each of us was hooked up to our third fish in the final minutes when: one team fell to a pulled hook, ours broke off when it jumped underneath another boat and the third team took it by staying glued in overtime. The competition is fierce and exciting. In the past two weeks first place fish have weighed 185 and 180 respectfully. With our consistent releases the past two weeks and accompanied with the prospects of a little luck, our team is fishing with much confidence in reaching victory lane.
A ridge of Canadian Artic air made a very unseasonably appearance through the eastern seaboard on Sunday. Since-winds have been sustained at 20 knots and gusty. Captains worth their salt and with the most up most respect for the water are remaining in port and/or returned to their domains until the winds subside (forecasted by the end of the week) as it is not worth the risk. On my last ride through the prime spots, the fish have temporarily left the shoreline. The protocol during these first days off since March has been catching up on some much needed rest, maintenance and restocking. In this very rare event of such a spell of turbulent seas (in the peak), I sit now reflecting to the water for solitude. Mother Nature is reeking her havoc and Father Time is patiently waiting. In these times I realize how fortunate I am and too know--- she is no match for his tried and proven ways. The seas will calm with dignity, serenity will fill the empty spaces with grace, and giant silver lined dreams will soon come true again this week in world class fashion.

Chuck Hawkins (left) takes a deep breath after landing this beauty on a jig in Boca Grande Pass.

Screaming Drags and Tired Arms!

Robert McCue


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Last Update 21MAY02
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