What an Unbelievable Experience…. Fishing with Captain Jeff on —-> Friday Night on 5/ 27 / 2011
My good friend and I were in South Florida on business… and we were both looking to check out the local fishing scene on our down time
Neither one of us had ever caught a Tarpon before
So via the wonders of the internet…
We found literally thousands of web hits at Lunkerdog.com…. all related to the elusive tarpon
After watching all that juicy Lunkerdog.com video footage of tarpon hook-ups … we figured that Captain Jeff Maggio might
just be the right man for the job
In my personal experience…
I have found that many fishing guides always promise a good fishing trip… and only wind up under-delivering and leaving you with
the feeling of solid disappointed
This — WAS NOT — my experience with Captain Jeff !!
We met Jeff at the Long Haul Marina… about 10 miles south of Ft. Lauderdale beach.
As we jumped in the boat… Jeff immediately pointed out 3 large tarpon finning around in the mangrove trees.. literally… right next to the boat ramp
Jeff scooped out a 4 inch mullet from the live well…. and we casted right out in front of the dark torpedo shaped shadows that were finning
around the shallows…. not 30 feet in front of us
The bait hit the water and ….”WHAM”….. an 80+ pound tarpon gobbled up the the bait
The drag sizzled…. and we were hooked up !!!
I fought this massive fish for about 3 minutes…. and in one mad rush… the tarpon exploded to the surface and with several shakes of his massive head…
he spit the hook on us
I was left with the feeling of both awe and anger !
We pressed on…
We headed out of the marina …. and we started to drift some live baits on our way to the local bridges
The baits were not in the water 2 minutes… when a 4 foot long dark brown shadow emerged from no where
Our live baits started freaking out on the surface….. and then the drag started hummming again….
My buddy picked up his rod…. and boated our first fish of the day … a real nice 15 – 20 pound barracuda
We put some baits back in the water… and not 5 minutes later… I landed my first fish on the day an 8 – 10 pound barracuda
We made our way to the bridge….
As we arrived at the causeway…. there were baitfish popping all over the surface … and Captain Jeff grabbed a small spinning rod he had already
prepared with a set of small gold hooks
Jeff casted right into a school of thread fin herring …. and on his first cast… he landed 3 herring ….. which he quickly threw right into the live well
He repeated his casts at the large schools of bait…. and we filled the live well with threads
Once again… we stated trolling the live baits…. right under the bridge
We didn’t get half way under the bridge… and right away…My buddy picked up his pole and it beant in half…. we were hooked up yet again !!
After a soild 10 minute fight…. We had a 25 pound Tarpon right next to the boat
This was the –> “First Tarpon” … an the first Tarpon of my buddy’s lifetime
It was a truly exciting moment… to say the least !!!!
Having missed a “lay-up” of an opportunity to score my first Tarpon back at the marina… I have to admit…
I was sarcasticly a little jealous
After releasing the first tarpon of the day ….. we set the baits back in the water and began trolling the bridge yet again
We didn’t make it half way under the bridge… and my drag was screaming…. yet again
After one hell of a fight….
I hauled up a solid 10 pound class Jack Crevalle…. This “Jack” had a beautiful brilliant color of
bluish-silver on his back and brilliant yellow belly…. a really gorgeous looking tropical fish
As the setting sun faded on the water…. and the darkness took over… that’s when the fun really started !!!!!
We started drifing live baits around the rocks…. right along the beach…. and It didn’t take long…. before the pole was beant in half…
and the drag started singing again
My buddy Bryant grabbed the rod and proceeded to fight and land a 36′ inch Snook… of close to 20Lbs
This was a truly majestic looking Fish !
Not 5 minutes later and right off the rocks… I too hooked up with a smaller 8 pound Snook
If that wasn’t enough…..
All at once the tarpon began to show up in the outside inlet to the bridge….. hundreds if not thousands of them…. they in there thick and heavy !
They were literally leaping out of the water and smashing the waves all over the place
It was as though they had been awakened out of the jealousy …..by the stir of the strong snook bite.
Broad bars of silver flashed in the shadows of the moon and boat…. as their tails and thick bodies slapped on the waves as they were chasing the baits.
We must have hooked into 20 tarpon that night…. and boated 5 to 6 —> 25lb – 30lb class tarpon
We could have caught fish all night …. but we were running low on Bait and Energy… so we had to call it a day !
What a Day it was…… One of the best trips I have ever had !!!
We will let the pictures…. tell the story
I would “HIGHLY” recommend Captain Jeff to anyone looking to catch fish and make memories in South East Florida
The scenery is majestic … and the Fishing is even Better !!!
Thanks Again Captain Jeff….. It was an Amazing Day on the Water
Let the Rod Work for You…. and Reel toward the Fish
And please Leave that 70+ Pound Tarpon in the Marina Alone….
Cause I’m coming back to even the score with that “Big Dude”….. this coming Fall !
— Tight Lines to All —
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