Late last summer during the early stages of South Florida’s annual mullet run I spent a morning walking the beach at Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. The air was still and humid and the surf was clear and calm. Once the sun rose high enough to backlight the small waves crossing the outside bar I could clearly see snook and small jacks working schools of mullet in the trough between the bar and the beach.

 I pulled out my camera and began shooting the backlit schools of mullet and the small jacks ripping through them.

As I headed back towards my truck after a few sweaty hours of shooting I spotted something larger working along the outside of the bar. It looked like a small bottlenose dolphin and I raised my camera thinking I might get lucky and catch it in the crest of a passing wave.

Sure enough, the ‘dolphin’ turned towards the beach and I started shooting. As it turned across the wave I realized that it wasn’t a dolphin and I started praying that I had managed to capture the right moment.

In a stroke of unbelievable luck, I had captured a beautiful tarpon just as it turned broadside to the camera. It’s a moment and a photograph that I’ll never forget.

We asked Josh what camera setup he used to capture this epic shot:

Nikon D800

Nikon 70-200/2.8G @ 200mm

f5.6, 1/3200s.

The image is the middle frame of a 5 frame burst (the first two are either side of the cover shot).

When you take a perfect photo, there’s a good chance it will end up on the cover of a magazine. And that’s exactly what happened to Josh’s Tarpon shot, gracing the cover of The Drake – fall 2016 issue.

For more awesome content from Josh, make sure to check him out on Instagram @tidalcreativeco

You can also find him at tidalcreativeco.com