“Sargassum hosts an oasis–in a desert sea–for heaps of marine life. That said, when these vast mats arrive to our fishery, they bring all the shrimp, crabs, baitfish, eels and ornamentals along with the “catch-all”… And this can turn the bite on, we have the ability of landing a big fish in a sargassum blob!”
Although current media hype may make it seem as though the impending Sargassum mats are going to ruin all activities as we know it. We can take some positives away from what is being offered. Having grown up alongside these annual Sargassum blooms as a fisherman, diver, surfer and all around waterman, my take is ‘just another South Florida summer’.
Sargassum, a kelp like floating weed, arrives here in the Lower FL Keys every year to some degree. Some years have “heavier flow’ than others. Generally, this is a naturally occurring event that most, if not all, South Floridians have dealt with every year–in abundance.
We can now address the effect clumps of Sargassum have on the angling portion. Fishing around Sargassum chunks can provide feeding fish and can give anglers a unique casting situation. Actively feeding Tarpon give us an advantage that generally doesn’t exist, and we have the Sargassum to thank for this!
What we do not have the Sargassum to thank is when a fish sounds then runs clear across a 300 yard, 12-inch-deep mat of floating-weed. DON’T PANIC! The ship is easily righted.
“By steady, even pressure on the fish and picking through the weeds…quite literally. Reeling the weed that hangs on the line, to the rod tip, and quickly shaking back and forth to fling what has caught.”
Do not fret, when you’re confident in your knots, leaders and tackle, this is just a minor speed bump along the way to success. Its not the end of the world, just a little caveat on landing a Silver King!
To have a better understanding of the elements that exist in an unfamiliar environment, we need to take-on the barrier to entry, and in this case, a massive blob of Sargassum. However, this is why we do what we do…we are gluttons for a challenge!