Dan and Linda Back For More

kayak tarpon

As a guide I see many “first catches”. Snook, Redfish, Trout, Sharks, you name it and chances are, I’ve seen it. Regardless, the results are the same. They all leave a special stamp placed in our memories to never forget and share. (ok and maybe to brag a little to our friends)Wink But nothing puts a smile on my clients face like a Tarpon! Whether it’s a 5 pound Juvenile or a 150 pound adult, the gratification seems equal.

I must give credit to those that actually do get to land that “first” Silver King especially on their first try. Tarpon are one of the most acrobatic fish in the flats of Tampa Bay commonly spitting the hook with one of their aggressive head shakes. That’s where the term, Bow to the King, comes into effect.

Bowing to the king simply means that you must bow the rod tip as the Tarpon jumps. This temporarily allows the fish to lead the fight during a jump as it gives him a slight amount of slack to allow for head shakes and flips. Tension is the enemy as tension on the jump will aid in the hook coming undone.

Well, Linda did not have this problem as she was able to land her first Juvenile Tarpon!

tarpon fishing
“Congrats, Linda!”

Little did the couple know that Linda was not only going to catch a Tarpon but it also happened to be the biggest Juvenile of the year for Phatfish Kayak Charters!

It wasn’t an easy as I make it sound. Linda worked hard for almost 2 hours before the Tarpon showed any interest in feeding. It started as a bit of a struggle. First, she had bumped one on the head that caused a huge explosion on the surface and second, made one that sky rocketed showing the clueless couple how big these fish actually were. It wasn’t until the lucky 3rd try that she finally was able to hook up and land one.

fishing community
“Here’s Your Baby!”

Dan was not as lucky but very determined. He was about 3 and 0 with no jumps but that’s the name of the game! There is a solid reason why we count Tarpon by the hook ups then rather the actual number landed.

After the bite slowed down, we worked the flat where Dan and Linda caught Ladyfish, Catfish, a small Redfish and Trout. After a while, the wind started to pick up as a storm brewed nearby so we headed in.

To wrap it up, today was a good day for ALL of us! Not only did one of my favorite couples come back for more but I got to witness Linda catch the biggest juvenile Tarpon of the year! Thanks guys and I look forward to next time!

All fish were caught on the Unfair Lures Rip-N-Slash 70 in Pearl Gold, Olive Ghost and Black Ghost.

Tight Lines,


Derick B.




© 2021 Pure Florida Watersports. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED