29 June 2015

Regim Maris

If the lion is the undisputed "King of the Jungle," then, the Tarpon has to be the undisputed "King of the Sea!"

Traveling to Cuba's Jardines De La Reina, Tarpon was a highly targeted species for Tailwaters' 11 fishing guests aboard the Avalon II and certainly the favored species among her guides.  For several of us, this beastly king was an accomplishment for our species bucket list, too. Fly fisherman Camilo regaled us with his first landed Tarpon on Thursday 25 June 2015.

On Monday of that week, Bill and Will Seals and Cody and I fished for the Kings of the Sea from the same, deep-water hole. Being the courteous and respectful friends that we are, we each took turns. Bill first, me second, Will third, Cody fourth, and then, we repeated the sharing again exactly as in the first time.  Those sea beasts were strong and beautiful.
Bill Jumps and Lands Tarpon #1
As I had done on the first and only Tarpon I had ever hooked previously (April 2010), I again forgot to pay homage to the king, and so, my second  hooked Tarpon slid over into the "Jumped" category. However, Keko was an excellent and patient guide, and not too much time elapsed before I had my third-ever hook-up with this might warrior.  This time, I paid my respects, and I was allowed to land this Tarpon and two more Tuesday 21 June 2015.  They are exhausting creatures with which to do battle, and so I had to resign myself that three landed kings were all I could muster.
My First "Landed" Tarpon
Will Bows and Lands Tarpon #3
Cody Lands Tarpon #4, a PB, as Keko Looks On
My 2nd Landed Tarpon
Cody's 2nd Landed Tarpon of the Day
My 3rd Tarpon of the Day

One of Cody's Five Jumped Wednesday Tarpon
On Wednesday, Keko again put us on Tarpon.  Cody masterfully jumped five Tarpon that morning; two were on back-to-back, long and perfect casts.  As graceful as Cody's bow was, creating slack in his line, those stubborn Kings battled and won the jousts that day.

My 4th Tarpon of the Trip
As others had done, I decided I wanted to catch Tarpon on the flats, so Keko tied on a beautiful purple and pink Tarpon Toad, spotted one Tarpon chasing sardines, and told me to cast at the 11:30 position.  It wasn't long before that 10# TFO TiCrX bent double.  It took a little longer to land this Tarpon, but landed it was.

In the afternoon, Cody decided to experiment with angle shots using his new GoPro Hero 4, and so he laid down on the bow in front of me and videoed and photographed my last Tarpon from beginning to end.  It was also my personal best, weighing a little more than 40 pounds and fighting for almost 25 minutes.  I was grateful for the 12# and calmer waters than Tuesday.  All-in-all, it was the Tarpon trip of a lifetime, as I jumped eight Tarpon and landed five of them.

My 5th and Final PB Tarpon


  1. Wow, what spectacular fish!

    1. As this was a new species for me, yes Joe, I totally agree with you. Tarpon are amazingly fun, but exhausting fish. Strength and beauty.


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