The Boca Grande Pass, located on the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Florida, has long been considered by fishing enthusiasts to be the Holy Grail of tarpon fishing. At roughly the size of three football fields, the pass is a destination in a tarponís migration pattern that spans about one hundred miles of Florida coastline, north and south of Boca Grande.
Boca Grande Pass rests at the mouth of Charlotte Harbor, between the southern tip of Gasparilla Island to the north and the northern tip of Cayo Costa Island to the south. Composed of a series of holes, flats and shoals and featuring an average depth of eighty feet, the Boca Grande Pass is the deepest natural pass in the state of Florida and is the gateway to Charlotte Harbor. Fed by the Peace and Myakka Rivers, Charlotte Harbor is one of the largest open water estuaries in the state of Florida. The estuary flushes a plentiful stream of crab, shrimp and bait fish such as threadfin herring, pilchards, pinfish, grunts and mutton minnow into the Boca Grande Pass. During peak tarpon fishing season, Boca Grande attracts hordes of tarpon that congregate in the pass to relentlessly feed day and night on the crab, shrimp and bait fish before moving offshore into the Gulf of Mexico to spawn.
Thanks to the Boca Grande Passís unique geography, during the months of May and June the new and full moon phases produce strong tides known as hill tides that flush millions of crab out of Charlotte Harbor and into the pass. Waiting for an easy meal, thousands of tarpon congregate and cruise the inside of the Boca Grande Pass, known as the hill, and wait for the powerful tides to flush the crab down. The tarpon are easily whipped into a feeding frenzy as the vulnerable crab is plentiful and makes for easy prey. A strong hill tide is difficult to predict, but when they happen, the tarpon abound and the fishing is an adrenaline charged thrill-ride.
Book a charter with Beach and Backcountry Charters during the tarpon fishing season and discover for yourself why the Boca Grande Pass is known as the one of the premier tarpon fishing destinations in the world.