World Famous Boca Grande Pass, tarpon fishing Capital of the World, and the surrounding estuary system is truly a unique environment for large tarpon fishing. This deep water pass is one of the two places on Earth where the mature “Silver King” comes to feed and prepare to spawn in unbelievable numbers. The fish begin to gather in the pass beginning in Mid-April and remain well into July but the heart & soul of the season is May 15 through June 30th. Male fish weigh-in from 70 to 140 lbs. Mature “hens” have been known to exceed 250 lbs. The current record for Boca Grande Pass in 235 lbs.
The cry “FISH ON” signals the beginning of one of fishing’s most exciting experiences. Tarpon are known for their spectacular jumps and tail walking. When the fish is hooked, the angler may normally expect the fish to “fly” several times before the real battle begins. On the light tackle used by Capt. Lou, the fight may last from 20 minutes to 40 minutes. Whether you are an experienced tarpon fisherman or a novice, boating the “Silver King” is an experience never to be forgotten.
During the peak of the season, as many as 100,000 tarpon may be in the pass at any time. Additionally, thousands more are moving through the pass on to the adjacent beaches and backcountry. Once out of the pass, the fish are normally hunted by waiting for them to “show” in the shallow waters. Casting to a pod of hundreds of rolling fish only enhances the fishing experience of this unique environment.
Much has been learned through research and tagging programs of the vast numbers of tarpon in Boca Grande Pass. The pre-historic “Megalops Atlanticus”, or Big Eye of the Atlantic, has inhabited the Floridian waters since the Cretaceous Period, beginning 100 million years ago. One thing is certain, there is no place better than Boca Grande to land trophy tarpon!