Consecutive sizzling hot and calm days over the last several weeks once again prove that the July/August summer heat is by far the most productive (and astonishingly underrated) time of the year for bonefish, tarpon and permit. Aside from a few days of crazed lobster mobsters, boating traffic down south is almost non-existent. The “Big Three” are plentiful and receptive!
Bill Curly from Pennsylvania, put together back to back hat tricks, with the first kicked off by a healthy 120 pound Lignum Vitae tarpon before daybreak on a crab with 20 pound spinning tackle. Curly then picked off a 14 pound permit from a channel flowing near Twin Keys, also on live crab. His 4 pound mudding bonefish came on live shrimp from a school near Shell Key. Bill almost duplicated this performance the next day, but upped his tarpon to 130 pounder and the permit to 25 pounds.
Barry Burnette from Orlando took tarpon of 40 and 60 pounds on pinfish and 15 pound line from a segment of Indian Key Channel in the morning darkness. His bonefish of 5 pounds was removed from a school of 20 near the Peterson Keys. Burnette finished it off in style with a monster 37 pound permit, a single tailer on top of the crown near the main bank of Cotton Key. This fish shuddered and quivered the classic permitgasm when it munched down on the nickel sized crab.
Bob Puchinelli, noted longtime fishing radio talk show host from Tampa snuck in a 12 pound permit and 3 pound bonefish in some very unstable weather during a recent Islamorada outing. His buddy Jim Pitts tacked on a wildly jumping 60 pound tarpon on pinfish and 15 pound spin. While anchored under a bridge during an electrically charged downpour, Pooch slipped in a 30 pound tarpon for a bad weather slam.
Kal Blumberg from Fort Lauderdale hosted his brother-in-law Kent Miller and Kent’s stepson Hayden Benbow both from Middletown Indiana for an action packed slam day with bonuses! Kent and Hayden each landed their very first tarpon before sun-up on live pinfish and 15 pound spinning gear. Kent even added on another 50 pounder. Kal took a 7 1/2 pound bone on shrimp from a plowing mass of tailers along a strip bank near Crab Key and then caught a 14 pound permit on a crab only moments later. Blumberg went on to bang out two 24″ redfish on crabs near Rabbit Key Basin. After staking out on an edge near Lower Matecumbe, Kent and Hayden used bloody strips of fresh cut bar jack to add on a 15 pound crevalle, a 50 pound stingray, a 175 pound lemon shark and then a 300 pound 8 foot sawfish!
Steve Larsen and fiance Mary Jones from South Dakota, caught two slams starting with 2 tarpon of 40 and 80 pounds, a 26 pound permit and a 3 pound bonefish all taken on live crabs. The next slam began with a giant 175 pound plus tarpon on a crab with 20 pound spinning tackle, a 25 pound permit on 10 pound with a small crab, and a 5 pound bone on shrimp.
Alan Routman from Fort Lauderdale, double slammed with 2 tarpon including 110 pounder, 2 permit on crabs from mottled bottom near Duck Key and 2 bonefish taken on shrimp from flats near Tom’s Harbor Channel.
Rich and Michelle Barnette, Apache helicopter US Army pilots from Savannah, Georgia also double slammed, missing a triple by just one bonefish with 3 tarpon of 30, 40 and 55 pounds on crabs and 15 pound spin, 2 small bones on shrimp and permit of 14, 18 and 21 pounds on live crabs.
– by Capt. Mark Krowka
Editor’s Note: Barnette’s double marks the 600th Grand Slam Krowka has guided to in his career.