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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Hired Hand (Mark) and I tried something new last week… We left for Boca Grande last Saturday, when I finished up showing a few homes. Arrived in Boca Sunday morning about noon or so. Unloaded the boat, mark parked the truck and trailer at the VRBO and I motored in the boat and got tied up to the dock in the canal. Unpacked, got a snack, and headed for Boca Grande Pass. There were plenty of boats, this was our first time ever doing this so we watched for a while. We saw they were using crabs about the size of a ½ dollar coin. We had a couple frozen mullet we picked up along the way. Nothing was hitting the cut bait. Didn’t have a dip net for the crabs, so we watched and learned… Following 3 days we got crab, and TARPON! They were all bunched up within about a 300-400 yard rectangle. We got in line and did the drift, once hooked up, we let the fish dictate where we were going, some stayed in the same area, others decided to take us out to sea,where by the way, Mark had a Hammerhead about 10-12 feet long MUG his 75-80 Lb.Tarpon on the surface! (one of our goals to see) That was impressive…. Quick (3-7 seconds) but impressive as hell…. No time for pictures on that… the three days we fished pretty hard, the bite was on and off, all in all I think we had 12-15 Tarpon hooked (The jumping was unreal) and 7-8 to the boat with the largest being about 80-90 pounds. The smallest was in the 40 Lb. range (in the picture below). As I was taking the picture of the largest one, you can see mark losing control of it and the splash in the bottom of the picture. Just missed that one, but the fishes head was easily, twice the size of Mark’s head…. Both Mark and I, under estimated the power of the Tarpon, HolySmoly, what a fight!!!! The jumping was something like I have never experienced. There were bigger Tarpon in the Pass, some when they were on the surface looked to be twice or even larger than the largest one we managed to get to the boat. Awesome experience with my Brother, and I’m sure we’ll be doing this again. Note, There isn’t much water down there, it was extremely low around the canals and where we were staying. I would not want to have a boat any larger than the fat Jax down there… AWESOME time!!!!! Oh, the LOVE BUGS south of Gainesville are of PLAGUE proportions!!


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Neat place down there. 2 high school buddies guide Boca, Lemon Bay etc. glad y’all had a great trip.
May have seen them, plenty of charter boats there..... sure is a different type of fishing down that way.... took us a little while to catch on, but we got there...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
a few more pictures... spent a couple hours getting the love bugs off the boat this morning... sheeze…
 

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Nice. I’m from SW Florida and would go to Boca Grande pass frequently. The hammerheads are crazy big. There’s a local legend that talks about a 20-25 footer nicknamed Hitler. Never saw it...many claim they did.

Did y’all fish Cato Casta?
 

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One of the top 5 fishing trips of my life. We accomplished every thing we wanted to see and catch on the trip. Never did that before. Even saw 2 manatees and lots of big turtles. Totally enjoyed every minute of it, Thanks brother. We had a lot more fun than Jim writes it up as but you know Jim, Just the Facts with Pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One of the top 5 fishing trips of my life. We accomplished every thing we wanted to see and catch on the trip. Never did that before. Even saw 2 manatees and lots of big turtles. Totally enjoyed every minute of it, Thanks brother. We had a lot more fun than Jim writes it up as but you know Jim, Just the Facts with Pictures.

Holy Crap! how did I skip over the manatees? saw 2 of them just inside the pass. Awesome time, with you Mark! So much fun, I'll do that again in a second. The weather did run us to the rental the last afternoon. It was getting pretty cranked up with the lightning, so run, run away as fast as yo can we did..… Such a great time!
 

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Jim & Mark what a great report. Love the pictures!!! I never saw the Fat Jax up close, that is a super nice boat. Glad you 2 had a blast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice. I’m from SW Florida and would go to Boca Grande pass frequently. The hammerheads are crazy big. There’s a local legend that talks about a 20-25 footer nicknamed Hitler. Never saw it...many claim they did.

Did y’all fish Cato Casta?
Dang, we only saw the one that snacked on Marks fish... Not sure where Cato Casta is... so I don't think we fished there... Is that in that area?

Jim & Mark what a great report. Love the pictures!!! I never saw the Fat Jax up close, that is a super nice boat. Glad you 2 had a blast.
Thanks. The Fat Jax, is the best all around CC I have ever been on, not saying that because it's mine, but. you have offshore ability,a deck in front to cast from, plenty os storage, BIG fish boxes, and the Grady White quality.
 

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Heck yea, that's awesome. What size gear, rod/reel/line yall use? What size boats were in the pass? Smallest, lol. Would be awesome to take the 18cc down and give it a go, lol
 

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That is so way cool. Tarpon can be big fun, and they don't give up easily.

Hey, I've got a rod belt you can borrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Heck yea, that's awesome. What size gear, rod/reel/line yall use? What size boats were in the pass? Smallest, lol. Would be awesome to take the 18cc down and give it a go, lol
we saw a few "what looked to be" 18 ft boats. seemed small compared to the others though. depending on where you launch, the bay gets messy just like it does here...... I was using a heavy action with a spheros 14000 spinning reel, with 65b lb braid, 60 lb leader.

That is so way cool. Tarpon can be big fun, and they don't give up easily.

Hey, I've got a rod belt you can borrow.
Thanks, I had one of those yellow things on the butt of the rod. Yes, those Tarpon earned our respect in very short order..... BIG FUN!
 

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I reckon I'll be calling ya fer info!!! Been wanting to go down there fer a while, but never had a boat I trusted....I got the boat now!!!!


Awesome report and glad ya'll had a fantastic time and knocked off some great to-do's!
 

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What an awesome read guys!! I watch it on TV and find it amazing how they don't all get tangled up!! Glad y'all Bro's had a blast and thanks for sharing!!!
 

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I reckon I'll be calling ya fer info!!! Been wanting to go down there fer a while, but never had a boat I trusted....I got the boat now!!!!


Awesome report and glad ya'll had a fantastic time and knocked off some great to-do's!
They told us the tarpon are in the pass May thru August. That's 4 months of mayhem. Pack up and go.
 

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I enjoyed following you on FB while you were there. Glad you guys got tight!! Tarpon are awesome fish, hands down my favorite species to target. I was in the Keys the week before fishing for them. I can't wait to start pulling on them here next month.
 
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