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How To Choose the Best Anna Maria Fishing Charter for Tarpon

How To Choose the Best Anna Maria Fishing Charter for Tarpon

Search for “Anna Maria Fishing Charters” and you’ll see dozens if not hundreds of results—and with good reason. Between the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota Bay, Tampa Bay, the Intracoastal Waterway and all the waters in between, AMI charter fishing companies have a lot to offer. Not only do we have numerous species thriving in our many varied local habitats, but we also have calm waters, fabulous weather, and can’t-miss scenery year-round. Who wouldn’t want to fish here?


But sorting through all of these local companies can be really tough. And if you’re vising a fishing haven like southwest Florida, you don’t want to waste your limited fishing days on a sub-par charter operation.


That’s doubly true when it comes to a once-in-a-lifetime sport fishing excursion for tarpon. Catching one of these “silver kings” is exciting enough to create lifelong memories. You don’t want to miss your opportunity because of an inexperienced charter captain, or have those memories overshadowed by other bad experiences on the day.


Here are some of the many reasons Reel Experience is your best choice for Anna Maria Island charter tarpon fishing this year.


We understand why tarpon are such a prized catch.


You can’t eat tarpon, and you can’t even take them home with you (unless you’re pursuing a record and you’ve purchased a single annual tarpon tag to prove it). So why do hundreds of eager anglers flock to Anna Maria Island every year to fish for tarpon?


Short answer: Tarpon are super fun.


On any given tarpon trip, we’re targeting fish over 80 lbs and catching specimen over 100 lbs. And it’s not unusual to hook tarpon pushing 200 lbs. Yes, our goal is to reel in fish that might be bigger than some of the humans on our boat, and that’s inshore fishing Anna Maria Island!


On top of their monster size, tarpon are incredible fighters, They can famously “gulp” air while pulling at your line, inspiring jaw-dropping leaps out of the water.


At Reel Experience, we know that we’re setting you up for this kind of action-movie excitement, and we take that responsibility seriously.


We understand the tarpon migration.


Tarpon are big in AMI this time of year because they’re not only migrating north for spring/summer, but they’re also spawning. Interestingly, tarpon like to hang out in the shallow inshore waters like Sarasota Bay, but they spawn in deeper places in the Gulf. This means a daily mass migration of hungry, active fish.


For the last couple weeks in May, we will be targeting tarpon near the Skyway Bridge, as this is where most of them are. Bridges are fantastic tarpon feeding spots, and in many cases, bridges are a halfway point between the tarpon’s daily migration out to deeper waters and back. (This is especially true of the Skyway, which is the gateway for tarpon throughout the Tampa Bay and AMI area.)


Once June hits they will migrate around the tip of Ana Maria Island, Bean Point, and then south down the beaches. We target these spots early in the morning, generally starting at 6 a.m.


We give the tarpon what they like.


For bait we use live pass crabs as well as threadfin herring, and I catch my own supply in order to ensure we’re getting the freshest crabs out there. I don’t mind it, either, because pass crabs are one of their favorite foods so it’s like serving the tarpon some home cooking straight from the waters they’re in.


We’ll set you up for a fantastic photo alongside your catch.


You know tarpon are an amazing and popular fish based on the FWC tarpon regulations alone. One of these regulations dictates that you can’t pull a tarpon more than 40 lbs out of the water. Doing so can harm the fish beyond recovery, and we definitely don’t want to do that!


Still, there are always ways to lean down and pose alongside your very own silver king when we get it close to the boat. And if we catch your tarpon along the beach, we will happily pull the boat up to a shallow spot and hop in the water to grab a cool picture (as long as there are no sharks are around).


Don’t waste your money and valuable time during tarpon season booking with an inexperienced or indifferent fishing charter operation. If you’re in southwest Florida for tarpon, then book an Anna Maria Island fishing charter that can give you all the fun and excitement you’re looking for.

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