Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Fisherman Fights Monster Tarpon into The Night From The Beach
Around South Florida the hard core locals have a special term for the Mullet Migration, they call it Happy Bait. Its the time of the year that just about everybody can get bait, and if you can get bait, there is a decent chance of catching a nice sportfish off the beach. Most of the Happy Baiters are getting a few dozen pilchards to flip into the waves for Jack's and Snook, but there are a few guys that are just a little more selective about what they are going to be fishing for. You see, in Fort Lauderdale you can't really fish the public beaches until after the lifeguards leave for the day, so that leaves a pretty small window to get in some sight casting. Tim O'Connor has established himself as a Happy Bait legend. O'Connor won last years highly contested Happy Bait Championship by Catching a Huge Tarpon infront of a huge crowd in front of the World Famous Elbo Room on Fort Lauderdale strip.
This year Tim O'Connor has again captured the Happy Bait Championship and is the first Back to Back winner since Lamont Jones won back to back titles in 1996 with a slew of massive Snook releases. This year O'Connor was able to fight this monster Tarpon on a quiet piece of sand on Halloween evening without much fanfare. O'Connor uses what many fisherman would consider to be extremely sporty tackle for fighting a 100lb fish of any kind from a shoreline. He uses an 8 foot heavy action surf rod with 30lb class Shimano TLD and a fair length 100lb leader.
With just a camera phone, longtime O'Connor friend, Michael Grimm got whatever video he could get while the sun was setting, but this fish was going to put up a fight that extended well into the evening. It was dark by the time O'Connor, Grimm, and another fisherman were able to leader the fish in shallow enough water to get a few flash photography pics which appear at the end of the video.