Despite all reports that there are as many tarpon in NC's waters as anyone can remember seeing in recent history, it's still tarpon fishing......not always catching. In fact, no matter where in the world you go, even at the best times to be there, tarpon are not always predictable and for whatever reason they sometimes don't bite, even when they are rolling all around the boat. That's what makes them so frustrating.....and rewarding for those who have the passion to give them everything that they've got.
Sure, anyone can go out there and throw a line in the water with some rotten bait and maybe get a bite, but to consistently get bites, that takes commitment and the lessons learned from countless hours of trial and error. There is no magic bullet, no secret bait or rigging system, it's a combination of a lot of "little things" that makes the difference and separates the dedicated tarpon fisherman from a good trout fisherman.
As newcomers to tarpon fishing have heard from the old timers many times, myself included: "Put your time in son, it'll come to you." And for those who have put their time in......and it has come to them.....they relish in being able to say the same to other newbies. With all the blood, buckets of sweat, sunburn and countless hours waiting for the bite, we are not willing to just hand out that information freely.
Down East books charters for many great guides, but only a few of us fall into the category of "tarpon guides". If you want to look into our world, it'll cost you a full day. If you pay attention and ask the right questions, you'll pick up a few tricks and save some of that time that you'll inevitably have to put into it.
Our full days are $800 and this guarantees only that we'll give you our all. Capt. Brian Harrington gave his all yesterday, fishing his customers for 12 hours without a bite. Having paid a day of dues and recognizing how hard Brian fished for them, they'll be back and hopefully they will be able to redeem some of the points that they earned yesterday.
If you want to give it a try and see what all the fuss is about, these are the openings for our "tarpon guides":
July 24, 25, 29, 30, 31 and Aug. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. After the middle of August, most of these tarpon guides are booked up with drum fishing......it just happens that the hard work and lessons learned while tarpon fishing transforms these guides into pretty good drum fishermen as well.
Having all these tarpon around is eating into me......especially since I'm not there in the middle of it. But I will be soon. Right now, I'm in another airport, boarding another plane and heading to CR for a quick business trip.....fortunately, my business often involves fishing and I'm going to try and get out there tomorrow. If all goes well, I'll be sweating it out there next week.....and after everyone has given up and gone home, the tarpon guides will still be there, waiting.....until we get ours.