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Tarpon in 'the Jewel of deNile' Creek

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On: Mon, May 9, 2016 at 9:16AM | By: Captain Ron Kowalyk

Wind has been a factor; 10-plus knots made tarpon fishing tough, but with decent results from Knapp's Point north. Get out early for best results. There's a mixed  bag of biggies reported: sharks, cobia, tripletail, tarpon, kings on thee northern reaches of our region. Live bait in about any configuration will put you in the mix.

Grouper fishing is pretty good but snapper bites are even better. Cobia hunters are having success, so keep an eye out for cruising pods of fish from 18–40 lbs.; livies, bait-tipped jigs, and shallow-running plugs all took a share. The close marks are holding snapper, cobia, sharks, and scads of Spanish; lots of varying ground fish as well.Tarpon are in the pass mouths and following the bait pods; run-and-gun tactics are best.

Good all-around bite with reds the top target. You had to look for that fishy green water and often wait out a shift in the tides or wind. Estero Bay, San Carlos Bay, P.I., and Charlotte Harbor al reported good action with shrimp and shiners. There's bait on the flats; cast netters are finding pins and shiners. Trout are on a chew mostly in the northern areas of our region; flies, shiners and shrimp all took a share. Tarpon arein the passes and on the deeper flats; best reports outa P. I. and Estero Bay.Kayakers reported good tarpon action on evening trips at Matlacha; news from the "younglings", got be tough! Snookers reported good action in the passes and off the beaches; look for features that'll hold bait.

Freshwater: We fished the wayback brackish creeks and came upwith snook, bass, cichlids, and—best of all—juvie tarpon. Shiners, pins, and hand-picked shrimp worked well with softplastics a close second. Fly guys need to gear up for a tarpon blitz; purple & blank Zonker tail flies and brown & red deceivers work well!

Capt. Ron Kowalyk: 239-267-9312


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