In recent weeks, persistent east winds have made offshore fishing a challenge. While strong east wind creates a rough sea, closer to shore the wind is buffeted by buildings along the beach towns. Staying within a mile or two has allowed for favorable fishing conditions. Calm water keeps baitfish closer to the surface and easier to find. These schools of bait have been under attack by shoals of Spanish mackerel, king mackerel and sharks. A recent surprise catch of a huge tarpon was caught by one of my clients. The massive fish, estimated to be around 225 pounds, was an incredible 88 inches long and had a girth of 46 inches. The battle took 2 hours and 45 minutes before we were able to get the fish boatside. It was quite a feat considering all of the stone crab trap buoys we had to avoid. The tarpon was released alive. The client decided the once-in-a-lifetime catch was so great that he wanted to have a fiberglass replica mount made. I took my 6-year-old grandson, Vaeden, fishing the following day. He was rewarded with an awesome experience of catching his first shark, a 6-foot, 6-inch hammerhead. Memories we'll never forget.
Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit captainlarryblue.com.