June and July mark the start of the age-old migration of tarpon to our blessed waters. This is truly a special place, rivaled only by Boca Grande in numbers.
But instead of a courteous and balanced fishery, it is becoming a quagmire of self-interest and “me first” childish excess. I am speaking to the chummers of Bean Point, and the fishermen who feel they have to anchor in the pass and throw gallons of threadfins to get a tarpon. I get it that you have to make a living, but you don’t own the pass or the fish.
This pass has been fished a certain way for many years, where people were courteous and unspoken rules were followed — but no more. It is now about getting as many fish behind the boat and away from everyone else’s. It’s about keeping schools fed and happy behind a few boats. This is not sporting; it doesn’t even look like fun.
The correct way to fish Florida's passes for tarpon is the drift method, where all people get an equal chance in the strike zones, motor way out around and back into line. This can be done with crabs, threadfins and dead bait, and give a more realistic presentation.
Let’s let Boca Grande and Egmont be the model we follow. Not this mess, where a hundred boats sit all day in the pass, dump a thousand gallons of dead bait and drink beer all day.
Real Floridians drift the pass, not clog it.