This is the month every serious angler in South Florida looks forward to all year long. May means Tarpon Season is fully underway. But this year May started out with all of us saying “What the heck is going on”? The first week of May this year had some of the baddest weather I’ve ever seen. And it didn’t let up for over a week. Usually we will see a day or two here and there as a tough weather day but this year I had one of my regular customers come down for a week and was totally blown out. We even tried bridge fishing for Tarpon at Bahia Honda and still weren’t able to get the job done. On the right you can see the first photo of what some of the weather we were dealing with down here in the Florida Keys.
But by the end of the first weekend that nasty weather pattern cleared out and Tarpon Season was back on again with the fish biting on the ocean side flats as well as at the bridges. This year I did a whole lot of split trips with my light tackle spin anglers. We would fish early morning till about 11 AM and then do another trip from 5 PM to 9 Pm for the sunset bite. Most of the time I could be found at Bahia Honda Bridge chasing these large poons with live crabs. When I had a fly fisherman I typically enjoyed fishing late mornings from either Marathon or down near Big Pine Key. This is where I found the least amount of fishing pressure from other fishing guides which made the fish eat a whole lot better. My spin guys were seeing about 5-25 bites per trip and depending on our luck and their skill level we would land 1-8 Tarpon during our 4 hour trips using live blue crabs about the silver dollar size.
Towards the end of May I moved more into fly fishing only mentality especially when fishing around the time of a Palolo worm hatch. This year I experienced several worm hatches from Islamorada down to the Lower Keys. Each was as exciting as the very first one I ever experienced. I was able to get some really cool underwater video of one of the worm hatches which I’ll be posted here shortly.
All and all I would have to say this May started out rocky but ended very much so with a bang. Especially, when fishing the Sunset bite at Bahia Honda. I’d have to rate those trips the most exciting for the month not only because of the great bite but also because of the spectacular sunsets that never get old. If you ever want to catch a large Tarpon May is surely the month you need to be fishing in Marathon and the Florida Keys.