The month of February has provided excellent fishing. Conditions have varied from hot and dry to windy and rainy. Temperatures are pretty cool at this time of year once the sun goes down. High number of big tarpon have been moving through the channel under the bridge, many of which are feeding aggressively. I have continued to use live bait with great success.
I spent almost every night of the week fishing down on the east end of Tortola and saw high numbers of large tarpon each night. Monday conditions looked good. The current was moving north and a good breeze blew northwest. Visibility was not great but I could see several active fish on both sides of the bridge. A couple tarpon were battled and lost, and at the end of the night all I had landed was a good sized jack.
Tuesday night had similar conditions. The tarpon below were quite active once again. Bait seemed a little more difficult to catch. A friend of mine named Nick joined me Wednesday night and had his first battle with a nice sized tarpon before it spit the hook on its third jump. Very large tarpon started to move in later in the evening but a lack of bait resulted in no tarpon caught. We tried out a few lures with no success.
Thursday I headed out toward the west end of Tortola to play some volleyball and made a few casts with a silver spoon at Nanny Cay Marina at sunset. After only about fifteen minutes of fishing I caught a small horse eye jack and a baby barracuda. Both fish were caught on a silver spoon.
On Friday night I fished with a couple that was visiting from British Columbia and despite seeing several large tarpon swimming around, it was difficult to trigger bites. After a few hours our patience paid off and we were rewarded with a very nice sized tarpon. Surprisingly, the large fish put up less of a fight then all of the previous tarpon I have caught. This particular fish had a small ramaroa attached to it, the first time I have witnessed this on any of the tarpon I have caught.
Saturday and Sunday were quite windy which proved to be difficult to fish in. I did not spend too much time out on either night and decided to come back another day when the wind was cooperating.
On Monday night Nick joined me at the bridge shortly after seven. We didn’t see too many fish, but the ones we did see were feeding. After struggling to find bait, Nick located a sweet spot for bait which required casting some distance off the bridge. Generally bait can be caught by dropping a sabiki rig straight down from the bridge into deeper water. A variety of small fish were caught including jacks, yellowtail, mutton snapper and squirrel fish. Nick battled another tarpon for several minutes before suffering the same fate as before. Once we began catching bait we had several hits on the north side of the bridge, including a couple hits from fish that broke our line (most likely barracuda). Shortly after nine I landed a good sized tarpon, and Nick followed up by catching a nice horse eye jack which was accompanied by its companion that was much bigger.
Rod: Uglystik Tiger / Berkley Workhorse
Reel: Shimano Calcutta 251 / Quantum Quickfire
Line: PowerPro 50lb
Lures: Silver Len Thompson spoon, Sabiki rig, live bait