Everglades National Park Fishing Trip

I had the opportunity to explore the fishing of the Everglades National Park with Mark Giacobba from Gladesoutfitter. My primary goal for this trip was to get a tarpon on the fly. We started out the day getting warmed up with ladyfish, jacks and a trout.We moved on through areas for snook, gar and bass and I was able to manage several bass on topwater and a gar which is always a blast.

Speckled Sea Trout
Florida Gar

After hitting the spots on the way, we worked our way through a creek for tarpon. Mark heard and seen signs of tarpon. As we try to be as stealthy as possible while moving through the creek, we spooked a nice tarpon. As we reach near the end of the creek, Mark suggested that I use a spin outfit with a yozuri lure and make a few casts since it was not realistic for a fly rod with the tight mangroves. I made several casts and one of the cast, a 5lb tarpon came right after the lure. It was incredible to see the tarpon and its shear strength but I did not set the hook hard enough and the fish came off seconds later. Mark navigated the boat a bit further and suggested I make a couple cast. Then a 20lb tarpon slammed the lure and this time the lure stuck the fish good. The tarpon made several jumps and ultimately straighten out the hook as I did not bow to the fish.

After those blown opportunities, we made a few rides to some mangrove shorelines where Mark poled me around for tarpons on the fly rod. We spotted numbers of tarpons around 15-20lbs either right under the mangroves or in the mangroves. Majority of these shots are extremely tough for someone like myself that does not fish for tarpon on a regular basis but I did what I could. I made 1 good shot at a fish that came for the fly but turned away last moment. As Mark said "this is a game of inches" and I totally agree.

Overall, this was a great experience to explore the Everglades fishing. I landed several species and experienced first handed how challenging tarpon fishing is but definitely more knowledgeable after this trip. You can be certain I will be going back to get one!

Thanks for reading!