In Boca Grande, there are many fishing charters with professional fishing guides ready to take you out to fight with a “Silver King.” Boca Grande and Boca Grande Pass are known as “The Tarpon Capital of the World” because over 5,000 of these large fish are hooked yearly. Tarpon is one of the most sought-after game fish in the world because of the fight and flight it gives every angler as they try to reel it in.
During the peak season, from April to September, thousands of anglers from all over the globe make a pilgrimage to this small opening between the Gulf of Mexico and Charlotte Harbor. No place in the world holds as many Tarpon in one place as Boca Grande during the season’s peak.
Tarpons are fun fish that love to leap for their freedom, but while most anglers do come for Tarpons, other fun and feisty fish make the waters in and around “The Pass” home. Tasty Redfish, Pompano and Sea Trout are found in the backcountry flats and mangroves and will all battle you with reel-screaming action.
With Boca Grande fishing charters, you have so many choices taking out 4-hour, 6-hour, 8-hour, and even 10-hour trips to the pass. You can target and catch Tarpon all day long or target several different fish throughout the day. No matter what your age or level of expertise, an experienced Boca Grande fishing charter fishing guide will take you for a day, you will never forget.
The price of fishing in Boca Grande depends on the time of year. There is the peak April – July, Tarpon Season where prices are at the highest with the average prices of between $900 for 6 hrs. to $1600 or more for 12 hour trips.
Off peak season, August – November, prices drop significantly with an average price for 4 hours around $600 up to 8 hr. trips for $950. These prices are based on 4 anglers per boat. Usually there is a $100 charge for up to two additional passengers. Some inshore trips are for only 2 anglers.
These prices vary depending on the length of trips, size of boat, number of anglers and for some Boca Grande fishing charters the fishing technique used. There are many charters specifically designed for particular popular fish species and Boca Grande fishing charters can also customize charters to cater to your needs. At this time there are no shared trips available.
Boca Grande is known as “The Tarpon Capital of the World” and for the peak four months of April to July, when the annual migration begins, is all that anglers that have come from all corners of the globe are targeting the “Silver King.”
Tarpon are so popular because of the fight and acrobatic flight they display when being reeled in and during these four months there is nowhere in the world with a larger population.
Even after the spawning season is over these giants stay in the area till early November and for some the off peak season is the time to go because there are less crowds and there are still plenty of fish.
Snook and Redfish are also popular inshore fish except during the Tarpon season. This is because landing a Tarpon is a thrill that every fisherman should feel at some time in their lives and coming to Boca Grande is one of the best chances of watching the dance of the “Silver King” as you fight to reel it in.
Some feel there are actually three separate seasons for Tarpon in Boca Grande. The first is the entrance of these giants to the area from April to May. This is when they come to feed and get fattened up for their spawning. The peak of Tarpon season is from June and July and this is probably the best time of year to land a “Silver King.”
This is when they gather in large groups to feed and to spawn. But the “Silver King” stay in the area till early November and for many of the Boca Grande fishing charter captains say this is the best time to try to hook up with one. They are still feeding, just not in the numbers before but still in good numbers, and there are much less boats in the water. So the season is actually eight months of the year.
There are many methods, and the best depends on time of year and time of day.
The first month, April, sight fishing is used by many. After that, drifting is the method of choice.
Also two types of bait work best for catching Tarpon in the Boca Grande Pass. Depending on your Boca Grande fishing charter captain they may follow one of two methods. First, in the morning hours many feel live crabs are best, but as the day progresses they change to artificial lures.
The second factor is the type of boat. If you are on a Boca Grande fishing charter in the Pass with an outboard motor your experienced guide will probably recommend using an artificial jig or during Hill Tides live crab. If your guide is on a smaller inboard boat then your captain will probably have you fishing with live bait like squirrelfish, live crab or shrimp.
Florida is known for its Tarpon population. They are located just about anywhere on the coasts of the Gulf and Atlantic.
So there are many places very close to Boca Grande Pass. Here are a few of the most popular.
To the north is Tampa Bay which is quickly getting a reputation for Tarpon like the Pass. There is also the Homosassa River, where giant Tarpon are known to frequent. There have been many world records caught in these pristine open waters.
To the South is Marco Island, The Everglades and Key West. Marco Island and the Ten Thousand attract the migrating Tarpon as they make their way to the Pass. The Everglades are more wild with backcountry creeks and rivers with giant mangroves and flats. The Florida Keys is probably the most popular destination for Tarpon fishing in the world. You can hook up with Silver Kings on both sides of the Keys throughout the spring and summer. Islamorada, halfway between Miami and Key West, is said to be the center of attraction for these most prized game fish.
There are plenty of other fish in the waters of Boca Grande and Charlotte Harbor. Charlotte Harbor itself is one of the largest estuaries in the US and is home to many fish species. Examples would be Redfish, Speckled Trout, Snook, Sheepshead, Bluefish and Spanish Mackerel.
Also the Gulf of Mexico has many other fish that live in the reefs, wrecks and oil rigs, Examples here would be many different species of Snapper including the delicious Red Snapper, a variety of Grouper, King Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, Amberjacks, Wahoo, Barracuda and a large population of sharks that unfortunately also eat a lot of the Tarpon you hook up with.