Tarpon Roundup update: If you think that tarpon fishing was slow last weekend, you're not alone.
After the first weekend of the annual Suncoast Tarpon Roundup all-release tournament, only one fish was reported, by James Roehm fishing from the Long Pier in Redington Beach.
Tarpon tale: Fighting a tarpon is no easy task, even harder when done from a stationary position such as a bridge or pier. So skilled tarpon anglers often come up with ingenious ideas during battle.
I once witnessed a pier angler fighting a tarpon that went under the pier. I thought the fish would be lost to the barnacle-encrusted pilings. But the angler quickly snapped on a small-diameter nylon rope to his rod and reel outfit and let the fish pull it, with the rope attached, in the water through the pilings while he held the rope. When the rod came out the other side, a buddy with a long-handled gaff caught the rope and pulled the rod and reel back up so the angler could continue the battle and eventually bring the fish to gaff.
Rick Frazier, who will provide occasional Roundup updates, runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 510-4376.