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Fishing for silver kings

By Staff | Feb 20, 2019

Fishing enthusiasts across Southwest Florida who haven’t experienced tarpon fishing, or are looking to gain further insight on one of the area’s most sought-after fish, can do so via a club that’s been in Cape Coral for nearly half a century.

The Cape Coral Tarpon Hunters Club – “the premiere tarpon fishing group in the world” – is holing a public presentation for prospective members Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Cape Coral Yacht Club.

Established in 1971, the group’s 48-year history includes over 10,000 catches and provides a strong foundation to introduce new members – men and women alike – to the world of tarpon fishing.

“We emphasize ethical catch and release,” said Cape Coral Tarpon Hunters president David Beam. “We teach and practice humane tactics so that the fish can survive after enduring the fight.”

Members can strive to learn about strategical tactics in catching a “silver king,” such as rod/reel selection, terminal tackle rigging, bait prep and on-water etiquette.

The Tarpon Hunters fish out of the Gulf of Mexico, Pine Island Sound and the Caloosahatchee River.

Tarpon season runs from March 1 until the end of September, and the group holds monthly tarpon hunts, where members can get out on the water for a day of camaraderie and angling – no matter the skill level.

“It’s the spirit of friendly competition that makes this group special,” said Beam. “I used to fish in other clubs and tournaments where people would keep any tips or information close to the vest, our club is the opposite. Everyone helps one another learn how to fish for tarpon, provide insight and share the wealth so everyone can join in on the fun.”

Beam himself got involved during a pre-season membership meeting a few years back, and said the club has been “beyond my expectations.”

Other than just the love of fishing, those involved create personal bonds that exceed time on the water.

“It’s just a great group of people,” he said.

Being active in the community is also a goal of the club, holding a Special Pops outing each year for youth.

The Tarpon Hunters also hold monthly meeting throughout the season featuring speakers on a variety of angling and sport fishing topics.

The group has had 11 Grand Master Tarpon Anglers in its history – meaning individuals that have caught and released 200 or more tarpon.

One member, Jerry Geyer, has caught 926 tarpon heading into the 2019 season, as he’s hoping to hit the 1,000 plateau.

There are four other active members who have notched at least 300 or more catch and releases.

An annual awards banquet is held each year to celebrate the season that was and to recognize the group’s top anglers.

Membership is $40 for the season, and $45 for the family.

For more information on the Cape Coral Tarpon Hunter Club, visit www.capecoraltarponhunters.com.

The Cape Coral Yacht Club is at 5819 Driftwood Parkway.