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Tarpon Fishing Boca Grande. Basic Etiquette.

Tarpon Fishing Boca GrandeRecently I was tarpon fishing in Boca Grande. The trip is a yearly family tradition. My husband, son and I prefer to fish the beaches and Charlotte Harbor rather than the often crowded and famed Boca Grande Pass.
Let’s get one thing clear here, I love to fish and I am a non-professional fisher-lady, actually somewhat of a novice at the sport.  Although a novice I was taught some basic fishing rules and etiquette, as I fish with a well known local guide by the name of Captain Scott Moore.
During our trip I personally hooked the tarpon of a lifetime! I fought the huge fish for more than 30 minutes when another angler cast into the pod that I was fishing, crossing my line. Thinking he had a fish on, he attempted to set the hook, and cut my line, I lost my tarpon. I was not happy.
I wanted to scream profanities but knowing my Captain would have not tolerated any aggression –  I actually just sat down and had a bottle of cold water. Captain Scott handled the situation with Captain grace and aplomb. It was his gentleness that made me think that perhaps the angler had no idea of what he was doing, or maybe he just didn’t care, but it made me aware that there are a few things that anyone attempting to catch a tarpon should know.
These are a few basic rules of etiquette that will increase everyone’s odds of actually catching a tarpon and keep everyone happy.
1) Running an outboard motor close to a school of tarpon will spook them and cause them to leave the area.
2) When making a presentation to the fish,  TURN OFF your motor well away from the school. Make the final approach with an electric trolling motor of just drift into the casting range of the fish.
3) When another boat is working a school of tarpon,  don’t approach them. Wait your turn, and consider that it might be a Captain who makes his living fishing.
4) If another boat hooks a tarpon close to you, give them room to fight the fish. Motor in the opposite direction slowly, or just sit still and let them move away from you. They will have a better chance of landing their fish and it may prevent a tarpon from jumping in your boat and smacking you in the head!
5) If you are just cruising an area where other anglers are fishing be mindful that it is tarpon season and give them a wide berth.
Tarpon season can be fun for everyone if we just show some simple kindness to our fellow fishers and other boaters.