Sunday, August 22, 2004

Yucatan 2004

Cancun, Mexico-The start of a fly fishing adventure.

Birth of the Tarpon Neutralizer.
In August of 2004, a small group of 6 guys, including my partner, Don Senkeresty, headed to Cancun to fish for Tarpon, primarily, but also for permit and bonefish.
I had been working on a neutral buoyancy fly pattern for winter stripers and decided to try the concept on shallow-water, estuary tarpon.

The results were incredible!

In one particular situation we found a pod of tarpon, 12-15 lbs., chasing bait under the mangroves, and every so often they would emerge from the cover of the mangroves and swim right along the edge, for 20', or so, and then swim back under the trees. Making a cast without spooking the fish was almost impossible. However, by using the Neutralizer, we were able to cast in the vacinity of the cruising fish, and simply wait. The 50# bite leader would sink the fly about 10", and no more. Sure enough, "here comes a nice tarpon...". It seemed like eternity, but eventually the tarpon would move near the fly, and when almost to it, a short strip was only necessary to enduce a vicious strike.

Here is a picutre of a tarpon, taken in this way, with the mangroves in the background.
In addition to mangrove edges, and open water areas, we would pole through
the thick mangroves, following narrow creeks,
always looking for cruising tarpon in the shallows.

Most mornings found us poling the flats, looking for permit and bonefish. Both Don and I were fortunate to catch several permit during the week.

One morning we made a long run up the coast to search for larger tarpon, that
might be feeding in deeper water.
Here is a typical 15# baby tarpon....

....caught once again, on a Neutralizer!!

This trip certainly showed us that a neutral buoyancy fly is a deadly pattern for Yucatan tarpon!