TARPON IS KING!
Reel Life Adventures
Hello! I’m Capt. Jeff Hagaman. Hardly anybody calls me Jeff. They either call me “Hag” or “Hagalicious.” I’ve lived in Odessa, Florida, in Pasco County, just northwest of Tampa, since 1977. I’m not sure if I was lured here because the area is home to the largest concentration of my favorite fish––tarpon––or whether tarpon is my favorite fish because there are so many here.
Actually, I go for tarpon, because they present the greatest challenge. Also called silver king, tarpon have bone-hard mouths that are tough to hook; they’re huge (Florida’s record is 243 pounds); and you’re in for the fight of your life when you get one on your line.
I started my charter business, Reel Adventures, in 1995, and specialize in targeting inshore game fish using light tackle. When I take clients out, I head for Boca Grande––the Tarpon Capital of the World––in either my Shaffer or my Maverick with Yamaha outboards.
Tournaments, Conservation and Sponsors
I’ve competed in so many tournaments over the years I’ve lost count. However, I am a regular in southwest Florida fishing tournaments including the FLW Redfish Tour as well as tarpon and kingfish events along my coast.
Conserving our state’s marine resources is critical, which is why I’m a Life Member of CCA and why I teach my charter clients, especially kids, how to be good stewards of our natural resources. I also actively support the conservation efforts of IGFA.
Thank you to my loyal sponsors Yamaha, Accurate, Bass Assassin, Berkley, Daiwa, Deep Blue Marine, Engle Coolers, Maui Jim, Mustad, Navionics, Odyssey and Raymarine for the chance to do what I love: Take kids and first timers fishing.
Sometimes this area is referred to as the Forgotten Coast, but thanks to Capt. Rick Murphy, I get five minutes on every episode of Florida Insider Fishing Report to remind viewers about all the action along the west coast. Since 2006, I’ve been sharing photos of recent catches, and telling anglers where the fish are biting so they’re prepared when they head out for the weekend. Thanks Rick for making me part of your team!