Tarpon and Dolphins

At 5:30 Tuesday morning Capt. Rob Gorta’s optimism was soaring. By noon it had begun to wilt. 

So had that of his fishermen.

Our search for tarpon had yielded no fish but it wasn’t for lack of effort. Gorta (that’s him in the photo) was guiding Bryan Hendricks and Bill AuCoin and I along miles of beaches that surround St. Petersburg, Fla., hoping to find of pod of the silver sided critters.

The water was slightly off color and the sky hazy and overcast. Less that ideal conditions for tarpon. We saw a few fish roll but none that could be located within casting distance.

Why the fish do what they do is largely anyone’s guess, according to the captain.

 “There’s no rhyme or reason to anything about them,” he said at one point, not sounding at all satisfied with how the morning was unfolding.

No tarpon, perhaps, but the day was not without its high points. Dolphin surfaced all round us for most of the morning. One pod cruised close for an apparent visit and pair broke off and spent several minute playing within three feet of the boat.

Gorta was pleased but perplexed.

“They never do that.”