Notes from the Fishin Club meeting
From Laura our un-official, Official genuine reporter
 

 

May 9, 2017 Fishing Frank's Class:
> 20th Anniversary of Fishing Franks
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> Frank & Robert
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> Fishing Report: Cobia & Sheepshead are in Alligator Creek. Frank recommended a split shot when fishing into current or a fast moving tide. You can free line shrimp and they will come out of the reef to hit it as it drifts by. With Cobia, free line shrimp with a bobber and a fist size chunk of Ladyfish about six feet below the water and let it drift away about 30 - 50 feet. Instead of shrimp you can use a thread fin for Cobia.
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> Mackerel are out by Marker 2 and the Cape Haze reef. He mentioned that with last summer's rain, plants really grew everywhere and now they have died and you see the decomposing material floating. He said it is good the harbor is getting cleaned out. The salt water will flush out the harbor. The drought has been good for the harbor!
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> When fishing for Tarpon Frank and Robert say have a Plan B. Their name means "Mega Eye". The record for them is between 250 - 283 lbs. He said they are the only marine fish that breaths air. They also are afraid of lightening. They will all clear out of the harbor and head to the gulf for at least a day! Hot days, it decreases the oxygen in the harbor. Tarpon don't need to get oxygen out of the water, they have an air bladder to buoyant themselves. In order to see (hunt) Tarpon have your brown lens sunglasses for in the harbor, wear your blue, green or gray lens sunglasses in the gulf. Look for a wave that isn't a caused by a boat, start looking by Alligator Reef or at the mouth of the Myakka River. A depth finder will not pick up Tarpon because of that air bladder because they expel their air and that is how a locator picks up on fish. Watch for free jumping fish, Robert says it doesn't necessarily mean you'll hook one up but he says you'll tend to hook one up in that kind of a group.
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> Tarpon rolling - there are two types. If they're rolling in every direction that is good, means they're hanging out.
> It's worse if they're all rolling in the same direction! It means they're heading away. Head the boat a half a mile ahead of them (they travel nose to the wind), get quiet, and bait ready. Compensate and cast 5' in front of the fish and wait 6 seconds at least.
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> When they go down, tail up he's going straight down, so toss a cast past him 3' - 4' on the other side of his roll. Frank loves a DOA Bait Buster and it'll take 4 seconds to get to the bottom. They are believed to smack their tail if they are annoyed so if that is happening, switch to a Rattle Trap otherwise they won't bite. Watch for the bubbles they expel their air (tarpon farts LOL). If they're "rolling in the pass" it's probably a boy meets girl thing. Pre or post spawn mode. Watch for a place they come up 2 or 3 times then fish there.
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> "Where to catch them" - Pull throttle back, ease up and always have the driver look back behind the boat for them. As you go South through the harbor, zig zag starting by Mile Marker 1/Alligator Creek and watch for them. Head to the middle hole, Pirate Harbor hole and go in between the 20' hole. Robert thought Cape Haze (The Hill) is worth trying also. He uses fresh thread fins & he gets them on a Sabiki (blue & red L947-8 Lazer Sharp Eagle Claw Zabicki). He says to get in front of them and use a small split shot, slows the thread fin down to entice the tarpon. He uses our kind of round bobber so it will hold up a thread fin. Has to be an Owner J Hook with a bead on it (keeps the presentation of the thread fin on the hook).  He said to make sure hooks are sharp. He uses Squirrel Fish (frozen), pass crabs (just had a full moon when pass crabs float down river to spawn off shore). Tarpon will be at the Placida Trestle at night from 7 to 11 pm. Take a lantern broad based light. Hook pass crabs between the white part of the legs. Use a Penn rod with leader line to line knot. 64 lb for distance, best though is 80 lb leader for power and the No. 1 Tarpon lure is the DOA Bait Buster…Anytime, Anyplace! There are lots of colors, best is root beer or gold. Use a jigging motion, reel down slowly pause, repeat. Robert uses a DOA bobber off the back of the boat. Add a bait buster for better presentation, it won't hinder the strike at all (see my drawing). You can use Pro Cure or scents to increase your chances because of the sunblock, etc on your hands. For slow trolling use VMC single hook but get rid of the barbs with a Storm Swim bait (Rapala SXRL-14, 3 for $5.19) or a Magram? Long Bomber. Start at 2 miles and work up to 3 miles per hour.
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> Sharks are fun and can be Plan B. You don't want to use a circle hook. Flatten the barb so you can release the shark safely. Put your larger bait on the bottom, smaller bait under a bobber. Slack tide try the phosphate docks for goliath grouper! - Laura