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Trolling motors and the lost art of polling……

As most of you know the Tarpon season here in Key West is and has been in full swing for some time….hence the lack of posts from Ryan and I.  80* temps and high humidity takes its toll both on the brain and body, but that’s another post for another time. We enjoyed an April full of great weather that brought outstanding tarpon fishing to the backcountry and early oceanside fish to the front. May has been a roller coaster….one day rocking the next quiet. Today brought what seems to be a new push of fish….and with it hungry mouths to feed!

This tarpon season has brought a new creature to the scene, one that buzzes across the flats, up and down the edges, and runs circles around the basins…… an unwanted and unwarranted intruder to a pastime full of history and pride. This intruder promotes laziness, increases pressure, impacts the fishery (negatively)  and steals the very essence of what flats fishing has represented for years.

Trolling motors have become a menace to our flats, covering water in 1/4 the time it takes to pole.  I have spent multiple days this season watching single angler boats wipe out flats and quickly move to the next hardly making a cast while hastily covering ground. Our Oceanside fishing has also been affected by the trolling motor brigade….again single angler boats moving 200 even 300 feet in an attempt to chase down pods of migrating fish only to put them down before moving on to the next group.

Don’t get me wrong……I realize there are people out there who might have a bad shoulder or some sort of injury that prevents them from getting on the polling platform and the trolling motor allows them to enjoy our great sport. Cheers to them and its great that they can get out! BUT…..what we are starting to see are GUIDES and able bodied anglers putting trolling motors on their skiffs and they should be ashamed. YOU….(and we all know who you are) should hang your heads low. You are an embarrassment to all the hard working guides and anglers both past and present. Take some pride in what you do….get off the motor and on the pole! That 20+ foot pole on your boat is for polling…..it not a rudder!

Rant over………..

Capt. Don



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