Considered by many of our regulars group members as being one of the highlights of our fishing year, this years trip to Bud n’ Mary’s Marina, Islamorada, Florida, will be remembered as being one of the best yet. The fishing each day was nothing short of exceptional, with our arrival coinciding perfectly with the the main influx of tarpon making their annual migration. Consequently everyone caught their fill of these magnificent sporting fish, one of the skippers recording an impressive 29 tarpon to 150lb with the clients he fished over just five days.
A good fish takes to the air
That’s why we go tarpon fishing!
Those who fished for them caught plenty of sharks including huge bulls, lemons, blacktip’s and nurse sharks, and once again several enormous great sawfish were caught. On day one Andrew Leaves brought an estimated 400lb goliath grouper to the boat for Capt Jim Wilcox to release, with another of similar size caught a few days later by Jim Butler fishing with Capt Ricky Stanczyk. Several other big goliath’s weighing over 100lb were also released during the week.
Waiting for the next bite at ‘Channel 2’, an iconic Islamorada tarpon mark
Capt Jim Wilcox releases Andrew Leaves big Goliath Grouper
This year the variety of fish caught was amazing, I’ll list those I can remember: snook, redfish, permit, bonefish, cobia, bluefish, pompano, speckled trout, ladyfish, jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, bonnet head shark, amberjack, various species of snapper and grouper and numerous smaller species.
For me highlight of this trip was my first double figure bonefish, a monster of a bone caught sight fishing on an ocean side flat, that Capt Jeff Beeler conservatively estimated at 12lb+. An impressive fish, yes, and the culmination of a lifetime quest for a double figure bone, but my glory was short lived when the next fish aboard ‘Huntinator’ was a 13.5 monster caught by Andrew Leaves!
My estimated 12lb+ bonefish.
Capt Jeff Beeler & Andrew Leaves holding 13.5lb of bonefish
15lb redfish, Andrew Leaves playing its twin in the background
My next fish was a 5lb permit, and that was followed by a 15lb redfish. All I needed now to complete my second Inshore Grand Slam was the tarpon. However time was running out and unfortunately I never got a take; but thats just way completing these slams is always such a memorable experience.
A nice little permit caught sight casting
The weather this year was almost perfect. The hospitality was excellent and our favourite restaurants again excelled themselves, which is why I’m going jogging as soon as I’ve finished this! Yes we are going again next year and already most places are confirmed. If you would like to join us on what undoubtedly will be another exceptional trip, then I suggest you ring Anglers World Holidays on Tel: 01246 221717 ASAP!
See you next year!