And away we go!!!! The false albacore are here. We had a flood of little guys in the three to six pound range start up about two weeks ago, with a decent number of bigger fish making sporadic appearances. But four days ago, the big brothers really started in. I boated a solid fifteen pounder on wednesday and my guys on thursday did very well on fish averaging right around ten pounds. At least the ones they managed to get past the sharks. Lost several much bigger albies to the “man in the brown suit”. They seem to be arriving a little later than years past, but since it was only a week or two ago that the wind and waves started laying down, it wouldn’t have mattered anyhow. Dolphin are also around in very good numbers, hordes of small schoolie dolphin in the three to seven pound range. And more monster dolphin,(forty pounds and up into the sixties) than I’ve heard of in many a year. I think all the wind that kept the boats south of me in port the past month let a bunch of fish slip past into my area. We also had some pretty good king mackerel fishing last week. Wednesdays trip boated three fish in the ten to fifteen pound range. And last but not least, the first waves of the really big tarpon have showed up. Pods moving up the beach will provide some exciting sight casting opportunities for the next month. These fish have been typically uncooperative, but throwing flies at a hundred tarpon all over a hundred pounds is enough to make you question your heart condition. And this will be the menu for the next eight to twelve weeks. My favorite time of year to really test your tackle, your body and your psyche.
Fishing has started to really pick up in the last couple of weeks, even if the weather hasn’t been cooperative. Water temperatures have crossed that magical seventy-five degree mark, and just like clockwork, the tarpon, snook, dolphin and bonito,(false albacore), have begun the spring feed. The main targets being snook and tarpon inside the inland waterways until the wind and seas get back to a more comfortable level, tarpon in the twenty to sixty pound range have been cooperating nicely. Night trips for snook have been decent, though the inclement weather has made them a little less than cooperative. Area docks have good supplies of snook in the twenty four to thirty inch range. Another month and hotter water temps will bring in the big fifteen pound and up snook. Both the tarpon and snook have been hitting small to medium streamer flies due to large schools of glass minnows and pilchards/sardines moving in. At times shrimp flies get good attention, spring is shrimp-run time. The dolphin have been building in numbers and size. A very good number of twenty pound and up dolphin were caught last week, and the past five days of wind and rain should ensure a good number of un-molested fish coming up the coast. The first couple of bonito,(false albacore) were caught last week, a prelude to the up-coming flood of the tackle busters. Last year the assault started the second week in may and stayed at a break-neck pace right through july. There has also been blackfin tuna, cobia, a few sailfish, monster jack crevalle, african pompano, king mackerel and some wahoo around. Now thats what I call a full plate! This should continue to get better and better over the next couple of weeks and then remain good through June and into July.