Big Tarpon on the Vibe
Captains log 02/19/2022 - My client Kevin Mcmahan had never fished in salt water before and we were hoping to target Tarpon in the Everglades. Unfortunately, a cold front came through before our trip, dropping the water temps down to 64-65 degrees Fahrenheit. With 74 degrees and above needed to target Tarpon, we targeted big Snook for the first 3 days of the 4 day trip instead.
Kevin caught Snook up to 15 pounds which is very respectable, especially in winter. By the end of day 3 the water temps rose to 71-72 and a couple Tarpon showed up.
Fishing the Vertrex Max 95 in The Boo and GGG on a NIS 7’2" 10-20 pound Rod with 20 pound braid and a 4000 Stradic, Kevin jumped one off about 40 pounds and had 50# fluorocarbon get worn through by another 30 pounder after a few jumps and a sizzling run.
For our final day of fishing, I asked Kevin if he would like to target Large Tarpon. We had a little bit of hope since the forecast was good, the temps were rising and we had a couple smaller Tarpon eat vibes. I chose to fish the NOS2P 7'4" 1.5-3 paired with a 5000 Saragossa, 40 pound braid, 60 pound Flurocarbon and a Vertrex Max 110 in The Boo. We fished a deep channel with a lot of current. The water temperature was 72, not as warm as I would have liked but this was Kevin's last chance. It was too difficult to fish the usual Tarpon swim baits in the current and the Vibe felt like the right choice to fish the lower water column effectively.
Kevin was fishing it the same way we were for our big Snook and smaller Tarpon bites. He fished the Vibe with a double vibing action. To do this he would cast the lure and let it sink to the bottom, give the rod a short lift and crank the handle once simultaneously, then pause and let lure glide to the bottom being ready for a bite. When you do this twice in a row it is what I call the "double vibe". If done correctly it takes 3-5 seconds for the lure to reach bottom after vibing. Kevin got a subtle bite, he had slack line because the fish ate coming at him and then it jumped ten feet off the transom.
Kevin ran down the side of my skiff, clearing the motor as the fish took a few hundred yards of line and did a spectacular series of jumps. The fight lasted about 30 minutes which is really good for a fish of this size. The BKK Fangs looked immaculate after the fish had been landed and we were able to get come quick photos on a nearby sand bar before release.
Captain Jarad 'Dingo' Boshammer
Dingos Sportfishing Adventures - Jupiter Florida