Patric Fleischer from Germany poses with his first beautiful tarpon of this trip caught at Bahia Honda.
Fishing conditions have been very windy but permit and tarpon abound both on the Oceanside sand runs and the local bridges and channels. I took out Michael Margitan and Joe Ludwig on a half day morning trip to the backcountry of the lower keys just yesterday and we were able to find a very large school of permit on the flats were the boys were able to hook five permit up to 15 pounds and were able to release two of the five that were hooked. We had two double headers that morning. I was able to pole the skiff quietly just upwind to over 80 permit that were holding in one particular spot over a grass flat which made it easy to present a shrimp to them. After fighting each fish we continued motoring around to a position upwind of this large school and were able to stay on the school until the permit became skittish.
The day before, we came up on a school of about two dozen large bonefish near by and we could not make the proper presentation due to the strong winds we have been dealing with. It has been nice to run into these big bonefish in fairly large schools in recent months and I expect we will be seeing more of these big schools roaming our flats in both Oceanside and the backcountry waters of the lower keys as Spring rolls on.
Pictured below are The Hoffman family from New York City with a bonefish and permit. The Hoffman’s have been fishing with me for many years now and it has been a pleasure for me to see these kids grow up into young adults and to have introduced this family to so many of our species here in the Keys. Here, Samantha is holding a very nice bonefish she caught and released all by herself with her Grandpa Mike by her side. Her Dad Charles is holding a very nice permit that he caught and released as well. Great job guys. YOU ROCK!