Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Angling Techniques: The Tarpon "Strip-Strike"

An essential key to staying hooked up on Tarpon...

OK, here is the scene,... your Yucatan guide has quietly poled you into position for a prime shot at a cruising Tarpon. You skillfully lead the Tarpon with your cast and land your fly in the "zone". The Tarpon takes notice of your fly, charges your offering, and you see the water around your fly erupt. Up to this point, you and your guide have come through well on some critical steps in the Tarpon angling game. The next step is the determining factor of whether the game is over at halftime with a Tarpon lost, or if the angler will prevail and have the honor of hand-releasing the Tarpon to fight another day.

Here are some important points for setting the hook properly on Tarpon:
  1. "Feel" the Tarpon eat your fly - you may see the Tarpon erupt on your fly, but do not set the hook until you feel the weight of the Tarpon
  2. Set the hook with a quick and firm "strip-strike" (see image above) - sometimes, multiple line strips are required to get firmly tight to the fish
  3. Keep your rod tip low and pointed inline with your fly and fish during the strip-strike - this applies maximum energy transfer to drive the hook point into the Tarpon's hard mouth
  4. NEVER lift the rod to set the hook - your rod is a "shock-absorbing" lever that minimizes your hook setting power and will often result in just a "jumped" Tarpon (ie. lost fish)
Once you are hooked up on the Tarpon, the second half of the Tarpon angling game ensues and the fight is ON! There are numerous essentials for fighting Tarpon properly, however we will reserve those tips for a future post... FISH ON!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

On the Water,... On the Fish: BIG Tarpon

Here is a picture of one of the largest Tarpon ever landed at Tarpon Cay Lodge. This behemoth was landed by our customer Jerry Gates of Carmel, CA. An exact weight or measurement was never taken, as angler and guide wanted to quickly release this fish to fight another day. Hats off to Jerry for this fine angling accomplishment!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Angler's Tip: "If you spot'em, you got'em!"

Fly fishing is often a "visual" sport. Whether it be the intense search for tailing Permit, the hunt for rolling Tarpon, or the sipping rise of a trout, the ability to spot fish is essential in our sport.

A quality pair of polarizing glasses is often a fly anglers most precious tool. However, even the most high quality pair of polarizing glasses is useless if they are not maintained in the field. Keep them clean!

At Angling On The Fly, we never hit the water without lens wipes. These wipes are pre-moistened with cleaner and individually packaged for use when you need it most. These are essential for cleaning your glasses after getting sunscreen, salt spray, or other tough to remove contaminants on the lenses. These lens wipes are inexpensive and can be easily found at most drug stores.

A clean pair of polarizing glasses is your best asset on the water. Remember... "If you spot'em, you got'em!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Angling Moment: Labrador "Spotlight"

This is an image of my good friend, Don Powell, casting on Coopers' Minipi - Anne Marie Lake in Labrador, Canada. The incidental light broke through the cloud cover and put Don in the "spotlight". This beautiful moment lasted for only a few seconds and I was lucky to have camera in hand. And yes, there were trophy Brook Trout rising all around us...

-Keith Kaneko

Friday, July 11, 2008

Travel Report: Tarpon Tour with Dan Blanton

Ryan and I had the wonderful opportunity to introduce Dan Blanton to two of our destinations in the Yucatan - Tarpon Cay Lodge and Isla del Sabalo. We met up with Dan in Houston and boarded our plane for Cancun, Mexico. After arriving Cancun, we were greeted by Jesciel Mena and he shuttled us to San Felipe.

Our first stop on this "tour" was at Tarpon Cay Lodge. We fished for 3 days and were challenged everyday with an unseasonal blustery morning breeze and a howling afternoon wind. Despite this less than ideal fishing conditions, we had very good fishing sessions for both migratory Tarpon on deeper flats and baby Tarpon in the mangroves creeks. Here is the selection of flies that fished well on this trip at Tarpon Cay Lodge:

Migratory Tarpon FliesBaby Tarpon FliesOur next stop on the Tarpon Tour brought us to Isla del Sabalo. Our fishing conditions had improved since the wind was now an offshore breeze. This gave us a 50 yard wide dead-calm window along the mangrove shoreline. This glassy water enabled us to effectively sight fish to rolling and even cruising Tarpon. Additionally, we even ventured up the rios where we intercepted Tarpon on their way out with the ebbing tide. Here are the top producing flies at Isla del Sabalo during this trip:Dan, thank you for a wonderful trip - good times, fun fishing, and cherished memories.