I surprised Lauren with a staycation at one of our most favorite spots in the world for her birthday. We stayed at Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island, it is a historic Inn and one of the prettiest properties in Florida. While Lauren was at work I went out and got bait then went to the Lodge and checked in for the weekend. At the dock I ran into an old friend, while discussing recent fishing over a cold beer, we decided to go for a boat ride. We jumped in his boat and ran some shorelines, I stood on the bow watching. During the ride I got very excited after seeing all of the redfish and other schools of fish that were in the area.
Once Lauren got to Tarpon Lodge she changed out of her work clothes and we were gone. We went redfish fishing, there were a couple of opportunities but we couldn’t connect. All of the sudden there was an explosion in front of the boat, then a small redfish rod doubled over nearly being ripped from the rod holder. With the drag screaming Lauren was running out of line fast, I chased the fish down using the trolling motor. After a 5 minute fight Lauren had a 4-5′ bull shark boat side. The leader was broken off and the shark swam away in a hurry. We then went to some structure in about 5′ of water just off of a flat. There we used small rods to catch mangrove snapper and small gag groupers. We decided to go try for some snook at this point. On our way we came across a very recently dead manatee, still seeing effects from this unprecedented red tide, which we reported to FWC then tied up to the nearest channel marker so they could come and collect it. After that we decided it was time for dinner, so we went to Barnacles on North Captiva and then back to Tarpon Lodge in time for a sunset swim.
The next morning we slept in a little and after breakfast made our run to get bait. After getting enough bait for the day we focused on snook. We fished for a couple of hours and caught some nice healthy snook. Lauren was ready to stop fishing for the day so we went back to Tarpon Lodge and enjoyed the pool until dinner time. After dinner we met up with friends who were also staying at the lodge and closed down the bar. The next day we passed on fishing all together. It was a great weekend at an amazing location.