The Florida Keys beckon when winter fishing is tough, especially if you live nearby. Rich Janitsek, Florida resident and host of Fishaholics Fishing, recently headed south in search of a better bite. Along with a friend, the angler targeted creek tarpon in the Keys and hooked up with one fish that nearly jumped in his kayak. Too bad for him it didn’t quite stick the landing.
Florida Keys Tarpon Jumps in Angler’s Kayak
We join Janitsek and his buddy Matt in the morning after arriving in the Keys. As the host describes, the winter bite has been “pretty brutal” in his home waters on Florida’s Treasure Coast. But in recent days, Matt has caught “some fun-sized tarpon” on a popper lure, leading Janitsek to try the same tactic in the canals of the Keys.
The anglers launch and spot a manatee hanging out nearby—hopefully a lucky sign for the day.
Janitsek is armed with a Dark Matter Fishaholic Pulsar Popper, Vudu Shrimp and live shrimp as a fall-back. He also brought along a fly rod in response to suggestions from YouTube subscribers.
Janitsek tries them all, working up and down the grassy canals with tarpon busting all around. He hooks up with some small- to medium-sized fish, trying a Clouser minnow on the fly rod, but live bait works best on this day. Subtle changes in water temperature may be the reason, the angler suggests, turning aspects of the feed on and off.
Tarpon Flips Like a Figure Skater
The spinning fish brings to mind a figure skater trying to land a triple salchow jump. Unfortunately the tarpon fails to complete the maneuver, bouncing off the boat’s hull before shaking the hook and swimming off. Better luck next time.