This being Memorial Day, we would be remiss in not taking a moment to remember those who gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy in this great country. If not for them, and their sacrifice, we would not have the choice of enjoying the recreational pleasures around which we plan our free time.
The big news on the fishing front is the report of the first tarpon landings of the year. It appears Capt. Chris Jamail, Hookset Charters, might be the one who had the first tarpon. Jamail had the day off Thursday and decided to go tarpon hunting. He found a huge school of the silver kings off Galveston and had three hook-ups and landed one.
When Jamail relayed the information to Capt. Jamie Pinter, Angling Adventures, Pinter changed plans and hit the beach front Friday. Not a bad decision on his part as he landed a 160-pound tarpon.
As the word spread, other guides broke loose and started the tarpon chase. Capt. Michael LaRue, LaRue’s Guide Service, made it to tarpon territory on Saturday and found the fish had moved farther out. He estimated there was a 2-mile swath of tarpon lounging about in unusually warm water.
Larue noted there were many different sizes, ranging from about 50 to more than 180 pounds. Although this is unusually early to see such a concentration of the big fish near Galveston, LaRue feels we may be on the cusped of a banner year for tarpon.
July through September are normally the big months for the silver kings around Galveston, with August to mid-September being prime time.
Tarpon are basically a catch and release fish, with regulations allowing anglers one tarpon 85 inches or longer to allow for a new state record. The current record is 210 pounds and was set here in Galveston in October 2006.
The West End Anglers Fishing Club had 32 participants in its recent Black Jack Fishing Tournament. First-place winners in each category were: redfish, Thomas Barlow; trout, Glenn Stevens; and flounder, James Reynard.
The club’s next tournament is scheduled for July 10. For information visit www.fishwestend.com.
The Santa Fe Police Officers Association and K-9 Unit will have its first Saltwater Fishing Tournament on June 12. Weigh-in will be at Blues Bar and Grill in Santa Fe. For information, call Richard Watson at 832-896-0234.
Sunday, the Reel Report had an early press time due to my late afternoon and early evening fishing trip. No reports had been received by then and any that arrived later will be in Tuesday’s edition.
To get your catch in the Reel Report, phone Capt. Joe Kent at 409-683-5273, or send an e-mail to reel.report(at)galvnews.com. There’s no charge for this service.