Barbara’s first tarpon!

A fun tarpon fishing trip with friends turned into a momentous occasion!

What do I do on my day off?  Why, take my wife and some friends fishing, of course.  We just had to get on the awesome tarpon bite at Bahia Honda bridge.

On board wereChristy, Jason Bell, my deckhand, Barbara Maddox, proprietor of Captain Pip’s Marina and Hideaway and Porky’s Bayside BBQ in Marathon, Michelle Franklin, Porky’s bartendress extraordinaire, and her beloved, Eric Rankin.

We got to Bahia Honda at about 9 this morning and found the usual crowd of tarpon hunters.  Right off the bat, we saw school after school of tarpon rolling and cruising the area.  But, the bite was not as hot as it has been for the last several days.  We went about an hour before we saw any action at all.

Unbeknownst to me, Christy had a slice of banana bread on board.  Bananas!  As with most seamen, I uphold the belief that bananas are very bad luck.  She tossed the slice overboard as if it were an offering to the fishing gods and – seconds later – we were hooked up to two tarpon.

Jason lost the one on his line about as fast as he got the bite.  Barbara took over the one I hooked and it was game on!  She’s an experienced angler, but this tarpon gave her a real run for her money.  And, it gave us all an excellent performance.  It ran, it rolled, it jumped and it finally got tired enough that Barbara was able to get it to the boat twenty mintues later.  Jason worked his magic and brought it on board just briefly enough for a photo opp – a beautiful 70-pounder!  It was released back into the water and swam off to join its friends.

We all whooped and hollered and it was high fives all around.  But Christy and Michelle wanted their turn so we put more baits out.  I’m not sure if it was the strong current or what, but none of the hundreds of tarpon rolling all around the boat would take a bait.  So we headed home, already making plans to get out there again before the season is over.

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