Every winter I look forward to heading to Florida to chase tarpon. Not the migratory tarpon that rarely eat, but the laid up resident fish that aren’t super spooky and eat flies more often then not.
We made plans to join my buddy Captain Carl Ball this past March, for five days of fun in the sun. Always great to leave the winters of north Idaho behind and head to sunny Florida for a week.
We arrived in Miami right along side an unexpected and uninvited guest who decided to pay the region a visit. Mr. ColdFront came barreling down from the north and decided to just sit on us for the week. That first morning optimism prevailed and we hopped in the boat wearing our typical flats gear. Ten minutes later I was fighting the urge to scream, “Take me back to the dock”, which was made all the tougher knowing my fishing parter and wife, was toughing it out far better then me.
“48 degrees with winds blowing NNE at 22 knots,” shouted Captain Carl. Made all the worse was the fact that he was wearing a jacket that looked like it belonged to an arctic explorer.
By the second day we had and traded flip-flops for shoes and wool socks. The good news was that the water temps were holding steady and the fish acclimated quickly. They were still on the flats, just laying right on the bottoms and tougher to see. But once we found them they ate as if they were starving, and if nothing else, fighting a 100+ pound tarpon will warm you up from the inside out.
During the week I could not help but notice the weather in North Idaho experienced a strange warming trend that saw temperatures jump up into the mid 60’s. Go figure.