Submitted by Derek Botchford on Mon, 12/18/2017 - 19:38
We are now taking bookings for the 2018 Keys Tarpon fishing. We run a 4 week season out of Big Pine Key right in the heart of the best fishing. Guests fish 5 full days on a trip. Guides are nearly impossible to secure for this timeframe as it is the heart of the major tarpon migration. The tarpon are dificult to catch of course but the advantage is that you see lots and lots of fish almost every single day. If you aren't sure your single hand game is on point enough to catch these fish you will be happy to hear the average cast is only 50 feet. This is why it is great to join a bunch of spey fisherman down there as we are all in the same boat. The best presentation is quick and accurate during this migration. When the pressure is is on, and those fish are pushing hard to your boat, you’ll nearly always be better served by making a quick, well-directed medium-range cast.
The biggest problem us spey anglers have is calculating the angle and distance needed to intercept moving fish. Wind direction, the speed of the fish help make it even tougher. If your boat is moving toward the fish, closing the gap, you may have little time to cast. In May we use worm flies quite a bit before the hatch and you’ll have to start the retrieve immediately, striping to stay within the strike zone. It is similar to hunting big browns off the bank with streamers. On the other hand, if your boat is being pushed away from the fish, you’ll probably need to wait until they get a bit closer to make your cast. If you short casted you may have to delay the retrieve until the fish get closer, this way your offering will enter the strike zone and stay there long enough for the fish to focus on it.
All of this is difficult but with a liitle practice it is much easier than learning how to bomb an accurate 100 foot cast to a permit only to still spook it. The whole experience and learning curve is a lot of fun. Some of these tarpon don't care what you do, they just see a fly at the right time and right place and blow it up. That is why this is our favorite time to be down there targeting them. Anything can happen on any cast. The sight casting is mind blowing over the white sand.
What makes our guides in the keys so special is the fact that they work as hard as we do for our steelhead. They will leave at first light or stay out until dark if that gives our guests the best chance to hook up. You will see by our pics that a lot of our best fishing is that last bite before dark. Everyone else is off the water and the fish are much more aggressive. The house we rent is mere minutes from the fishing so guests can come and go as they please throughout a day. At some point during the week all our guests choose to take a nice nap in the massive, private airconditioned rooms and go out for that last light bite.
Tarpon are mostly night feeders, they are nocturanl by nature. They have those large eyes and cavernous, high-angled mouths perfect for binging after hours. The evening is a great time to fish for tarpon The evening is when the fishing is usually just starting to get good. The best bite may happen overnight, but you can definitely experience some great fishing just before dark. Moving water is still very important though. The better bite will usually come on the evenings that coincide with a strong incoming or outgoing tide. Our guides will match that up for you during your stay.
Common sight of guides fishing right in front of the pool
- Finest accomodation in the lower keys bar none.
- Accomodation is just a 3 minute boat ride to the best fishing and the boat is kept right on the dock in the back yard.
- Best guides - exacty inline with what our guests expect from our steelhead operations.
- Guides will take you out to fish during magic hour right before dark. This is very rare.
- One of the Epic team members will be on the ground at the house to ensure everything runs perfectly.
- 2017 was flawless, make sure to join the adventure May 2018.
- Epic Stamp of approval
It's all about the support team. Epics close friend Chris Coyne who spends his springtimes on Big Pine is always there to help our guests anytime
Epic representative Scott Baker-McGarva spinning up custom bugs for guests, he calls it the "bite of the day"
Most Fish are between 80-120lbs so hang on for your dear life
The Oceanside Tarpon house is in the best location you could ever imagine
Yet another late evening fish
Epics Joel Gourley and Chris Coyne getting their mitts on one
The entire team enjoying an aweome sunset on the water, don't miss out on this one.