Because of this, we try our very best to ensure a quick, clean release so the fish has the best chance of survival. Now there are some things that can tell you when a fish will jump. If you feel them thrash, surge, run, or give any indication they may be getting ready to jump, just point the rod straight at them ahead of time in anticipation. A video about how I clean and scale my fish. Labadie chose this spot because he knew the fish would be there, but, more importantly, it was on the way to their other targets, eliminating the need to backtrack later and burn up precious time. 20.1k Views. First off we use specifically designed rods for tarpon fishing. Basically we are usually fishing a bobber with a 6-8 foot leader with a mullet on the end. 305-747-6903 Tarpon … Although found throughout Florida’s Atlantic coast, ports and inlets south of Biscayne Bay offer the best Tarpon fishing. I try to maneuver the boat and keep the fish off the bow, though at times I may not be at the wheel or the fish may make a sneaky move. If the fish surges under the boat the rod can be easily broken, so be ready to drop your rod tip down into the water and swing it out around the other side of the bow if necessary. Basically you are going to be pumping the rod up, and then reeling as you drop the rod tip back down towards them. On a day that they were purely targeting tarpon, the Saltwater Experience hosts would tend to go somewhere a little more remote. Docks are holding big fish and schooling fish, … Capt. We were going to work in one of the ponds used for cleaning the redfish waters and fish for Tarpon. Although tarpon is fun to catch, they are not considered to be worth eating. Tarpon have very hard, bony mouths. In the United States, the tarpon usually is caught for sport — and then released. If you end up having to fight them for more than a few minutes, I suggest keeping the rod butt in your armpit, and just pulling lightly with the tip of the rod, no more than at a 45 degree angle. If you are not getting bites, sometimes trying to work the bait more erratically (jigging) it may help, or even trying to reel it as fast as you can sometimes can entice a bite too. Prized by fishermen for its spirited antics at the end of a fishing line, the adult tarpon can measure 8 feet or longer and weigh 200 to 300 pounds. Tarpon’s preferred water temperature is in the 74-88 degrees Fahrenheit range. Tarpon often swim around structure such as bridge pilings, crab pots, channel markers, and other things. These rods have light action tips with a stiff backbone which helps in hooking tarpon as well as keeping them on when they jump, plus giving you enough backbone to put ample pressure on them. I have a much better catch ratio doing this than trying to ‘over drag’ the fish. There is a large population of Tarpon around the Channel Bridges, Tom’s Harbor, Seven Mile Bridge and Long Key. They are ready to engulf the entrails being … This prevents him from easily being able to shake his head and throw the hook. Our world-class customer support is available 7 days a week, and will make sure that planning your next fishing trip is quick, fun and hassle-free. Once he settles down usually after this first 5-10 minutes, we tighten the drag down a little bit. The Turner River at Chokoloskee is also a good location famous for big Tarpon. I walk all my anglers through a lot of this stuff, however if you read about it ahead of time it will give you an upper hand. In most cases the tarpon will see the shadow of your fly line and spook. They grow to massive size, with the current IGFA world record at 286 lbs 9 oz. After you get tight on the fish, giving one good thump to set the hook is usually a good idea. Jack Bank (near Marathon) and Buchanan Bank (near Islamorada Key) are good places, as well. Are tarpons dangerous to humans? Tarpon are unforgiving about throwing the hook when jumping, and that is especially true with smaller tarpon. Tarpon can be a very technical fish to catch, but a few general tactical pointers can go a long way. Now once you’ve reeled, the line is tight and the fish is pulling drag (lots of pressure), you may give it a thump to set the hook. One fish per vessel limit is created for tarpon harvested with a tag. This takes the pressure off the line while it is rubbing against the structure and it will be less likely to frey and break. The Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) is among the most popular game fish in ... hard to clean bones. Tarpon are a very slow growing fish, with adult females living over 50 years. rick@islamoradatarpon.com, , Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), 9/26/2020 End of September tarpon fishing in the Florida Keys, 9/3/2020 Early September Tarpon fishing in the Florida Keys, 8/27/2020 Late August Tarpon Fishing in the Florida Keys. Bowing to the king refers to dropping your rod tip when they jump. From what I’ve heard they are very bony, oily, and taste like soap. Tarpon’s preferred water temperature is in the 74-88 degrees Fahrenheit range. In this case just reel until you get tight on the fish and proceed to set the hook as described. You don’t eat Tarpon. Nothing crazy required – we are not trying to rip the lips off a bass – just one nice steady thump. Remember to bow to the king when he jumps! One important tactic is to use the rod to fight the fish. If your fishing in a channel with rolling fish, simply tossing it out as far as you can and reeling it back at a steady pace usually works best. For pictures we try to lay the fish alongside the boat in the water from the bow, wearing gloves and taking wraps on the leader. The flats surrounding Homosassa Bay and the Crystal River are also full of big Tarpon May through June. Sometimes you may be trying to take pictures etc… but also try to be aware of what is going on around you. The additional flow also brings pretty clean water in too. We also fish the drags extremely light, just tight enough so you can regain line as you reel. ... small bones that are hard to clean out for eating. Let’s take a look at when and where you can hook these monsters. Remember – braided line had no stretch to it and we use very sharp hooks, this is why in all cases you never have to give any kind of crazy rip-lipping hookset – this usually causes more problems than it is worth. When you do this be ready for the fish to surge and possibly jump, as they feel this extra pressure and often panic. It’s well known for its acrobatics on the end of a line and capable of jumping up to ten feet out of the water while rattling its gills like an angry diamondback snake. This is often a mistake of many anglers – they think when a fish is running hard and taking line you should hammer the drag down very tight to stop him. The person taking the picture goes to the back of the boat and gets down alongside the boat and snaps the picture of you holding the leadered fish next to the boat. Nobody is eating tarpon because they have a strong taste and smell, and they’re difficult to clean because they have so many bones. Jan 4, 2019. My personal favorite, there is nothing quite like watching a live mullet jump and run for his life as a big 100 lb tarpon tries to eat him 30 feet behind the boat! Fish are caught all year, with peak season from March to July, during the receding tide. Doing our best to prevent hooked Tarpon from being eaten by sharks allows us … One is if he makes a very hard run it is usually an indication of him getting ready to jump. Simply blind casting and keeping an eye out for rollers is usually best. I use scissors which are very easy for cleaning and gutting fish. Tarpon Tackle: As a fulltime Tampa Bay tarpon fishing guide for the last 20 years, I feel like I have tried just about every rod and real combination under the sun. This can take up to an hour or more and is not as healthy for the fish as releasing them with energy left. For this reason, we tell you to stop reeling and bow (point the rod at the fish) as this takes the pressure off the hook and line. The ponds are connected by cut channels to the bay, and each is (largely) populated by redfish. We do put a long topshot of mono on the end, however even so when the fish jumps and shakes like this it can cause a problem. The best locations are Key West Harbor, Bahia Honda Bridge and Marquesas Keys. The anglers in the group fishing bait enjoyed truly amazing fishing. This way when the fish feels the added pressure you can quickly let off if he kicks hard, runs, jumps, goes crazy, etc…. We fish mostly braid which has NO stretch in it. Tarpon Facts. In some cases we may not fish a bobber at all, though it won’t really effect what you do to hook your fish. The best months for fishing are May and June, when people from all over the world come to catch Tarpon. With live crabs they are much easier to eat then mullet so it is a lot easier to get a proper hookset as the crab isn’t actively trying to swim/jump away from the tarpon. Florida Weather Will Still Be Cool Monday. You often won’t see any indication you are about to get a bite, you’ll just feel a strong bump or two and then the line will start screaming. Try to NEVER let the line hit the boat as this weakens the line and can result in a lost fish. If we are anchored we unhitch our anchor buoy from the boat and throw it in the water and give chase as quickly as possible on a big fish. Sometimes we use artificial stuff for tarpon too. Tarpon Fishing Clearwater FL is exhilarating for anglers of all ages, offering a chance of a lifetime for a trophy fish. Tarpon fish (Megalops atlanticus) are plentiful, and yet they are heavily regulated in Florida because they don’t really have any culinary value. I was staying in a place off a saltwater lake that was teaming with tarpon in the twenty to fifty pound range. We use multiple different tactics and I’ll try to cover at least the ones we use most of the time. FishingBooker, excerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, Jan. 4, 2021. This is a brief synopsis of how you should hook and fight a tarpon. The problem is if you are pulling tight on the fish when this happens, the shaking can cause the hook to dislodge. The key to tarpon fishing is keeping your presentation as natural as possible. When the fish is back in the water, lift your tip back to a 45 degree angle and reel tight again. In particular, Government Cut (between Miami Beach and Fisher Island) and Port Everglades, from January to June. If we are fishing J-hooks, I like to fish them the same way as circles keep the rod pointed straight towards the fish in the beginning and just reel, but you don’t have to wait 30 seconds to lift your tip up, you can do that a little bit sooner after you’ve reeled and gotten tight on your fish in that case. This means there should be no bend in the rod at all as the fish is pulling out line. The mighty tarpon and the “trash fish” are two (technically, three) infamous species that are regarded for the distasteful, smelly, and potentially hazardous experience they present when considering whether to bring your catch to the dinner table or not. When he swims left, you pull back down and to the right. Get the best fishy photos, videos, and stories straight into your inbox! Again I explain this all but being ready to do the right thing just makes things a bit easier. At first you are just picking up slack line as we chase the fish, once he settles down we will put more pressure on him as needed. Tarpon are rarely eaten because their flesh is filled with small, hard to clean bones. Most of the time you will see the mullet get nervous and zip around quickly if a tarpon is nearby. And set it … This will give you the best chance at keeping these smaller fish hooked. This way you’re pulling AGAINST the fish and making it harder for him to swim and breathe. During springtime, Tarpon are mostly on the Florida Bay side, but as the year progresses, they start moving to the Atlantic side. While they are edible, people rarely eat Tarpon because their flesh is filled with small, hard to clean bones. You need to keep your eyes out and on the fish (or at least where you think the fish is), this way you can see when he runs and is going to jump, if he is going to swim around that lobster buoy, if he is going under the boat, if he is going around that bridge piling, etc, etc…. We often are still using the same gear that we fish for larger tarpon with, but obviously it is a bit heavier than you’d like to use for small tarpon. Tarpons are a popular fish to catch during a backwater and near water fishing trip because they are often found in shallow, warm coastal waters and estuaries. If the fish is very green and pulling hard, it may also be a good idea to back off on the drag some. Fluorocarbon Leader VS Fuorocarbon Line. You will feel the pressure in the rod and line increase when you are pulling the right direction against the fish. Basically we don’t fish the drags locked down very tight at first because you are not going to stop a tarpon with drag alone. If it is a smaller fish that we do not have to chance, we usually leave one other bait out to try and possibly hook another. The Bahia Honda Bridge is a disused bridge that used to connect Bahia Honda Key with Spanish Harbor. Apalachicola Bay is a good spot, from June and throughout the entire summer. Choppy water conditions you can get away with placing your fly closer to the fish. And for the first few minutes, I would really recommend just keeping it pointed straight at them. How to Create an Exceptional WordPress Website to Boost Sales? Slit up the center of the trout's belly in a straight line. Tip 9: Calm flat water calls for fly placement farther away from the tarpon. I don’t fish this way personally very often though occasionally it is fun while we have other baits out to toss an artificial, or if you were sighting moving fish you could toss in front of them. We DO NOT lift tarpon into the boat as they can be very dangerous to bring in and can toss around and break things. Feb 1, 2019. Also, look for them on the flats. Often I see anglers looking at their friends, smiling for the camera, fumbling with things in the boat, and all other kinds of things when they are trying to fight a tarpon. S14:E2 - “Captains For Clean Water” (2019) Daniel Andrews of Captains for Clean Water discusses the state of the Everglades. In the United States, the tarpon usually is caught for sport — and then released. That’s mostly because their flesh is filled with tiny, difficult-to-clean bones, and it is also said to have an unpleasant odor. Bow to the king when he jumps. I generally always recommend anglers hold their rods however, and only leave them in the rod holders if you are busy doing something else and it is necessary. Tarpon are very opportunistic feeders and are usually not far away. This will obviously cause it to snap if something grabs the bait and runs off line quickly like a tarpon. I will check baits at appropriate times, freshen them up, put new ones out, etc… when we need to. Rick Stanczyk If one is actively trying to eat him he will often jump and flip out of the water. Generally if he goes through or around something, you want to LESSEN the drag on them. Basically if you’ve made umpteen casts and not had a bite, try something new – when fishing artificial stuff presentation is a much bigger deal and something as simple as changing the speed your reeling, or adding a slight twitch every few seconds, can make the difference between catching a fish or not. Jan 4, 2019. Because the fish are so long-lived, damage to a population can have effects for decades. To get a good picture of a tarpon often it requires fighting them till they are exhausted completely. That was nice! Same rules apply when the tarpon jumps, bow the rod to him. I say just pretend like you are a rod holder! Certain times of year (especially in the summer) we have a lot of smaller-on-average size tarpon around. Set the hook. The waters surrounding it are full of Tarpon. Using their swimming bladders, tarpons can breathe, something that most other fish do only for buoyancy. Sign up to receive news right to your inbox every day, All You Need to Know About Tarpon Fishing in Florida, New Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Video). They will swim along seemingly forever with strong kicks of their tail. After you come tight you can give a small thump to set the hook. It goes against many anglers instincts, but I’ve really found it to be the best shot at landing these size fish. When the fish is swimming to the right, you pull back down and to the left. When tarpon or any other fish are near the boat, anglers will put the tip of their rods way up high in the air, as if they are going to try and lift the fishes head out of the water or some such thing. They also are very powerful and when they jump they shake their heads violently. Nov 25, 2018. ... Monday Fish Pics (53 Colorful Images for the Start of the Week) Hot . FishingBooker is the world’s largest online service that enables you to find and book fishing trips. If you do get a bite, it will usually be a very hard smack and all you need to do is keep reeling fast and lift your tip up. As a bony, strong-smelling saltwater fish, it may be more trouble than pleasure to eat. Usually you would be working a larger jig with a sharp hook and a jerk bait attached. Tarpon are fish with a very keen awareness of their surroundings. One thing to always keep an eye on is your rod tips – especially with slow moving tide – make sure that you don’t get ‘tip wrapped’ where the lines wraps around the tip of your rod. If the fish jumps you want to bow to him. When fishing for tarpon, use crabs, shrimp, and pinfish or dead bait like catfish tails or cut mullet. This takes the pressure out of the backbone of the rod and puts it up near the tip. While present near the Keys year-round, peak season runs from mid-March and until mid-July. If we have already gotten good pictures of a previous fish, we usually just cut them off once we get close enough to the main leader to do so, this way we do not unnecessarily stress or harm the fish. When a Tarpon becomes exhausted, it will usually roll on its side. Though in all cases it is usually best NOT to do any crazy hook set – even with J hooks. Each day they fished they caught numerous tarpon in the 50-to 100-plus pound range, with at least one 150-pounder hooked, jumped and lost. If you want to enjoy the tarpon's stamina, fight and jumps then set the hook. When a fish is near the boat or under the boat, you DO NOT want to stick your rod tip up high. In this short guide, I’ll teach you the basics of Tarpon fishing in Florida. When tarpon or any other fish are near the boat, anglers will put the tip of their rods way up high in the air, as if they are going to try and lift the fishes head out of the water or some such thing. Don’t just stand there and pull straight up the whole time. You don’t really need to give them a hard hookset in my experience, though if you want to the same rules apply – reel first and lift up your tip and once you are tight and the fish is screaming drag and you feel the heavy pressure give it a nice thump. Big Redfish, black Drum, Trout, and Mullet the size of a giant’s club can be found in … HOWEVER do remember off the bow, often the trolling motor is down in the water, so you must wait until I lift that up out of the way to go around to the other side. Otherwise you are just going to either break him off, or have him throw the hook when he starts jumping and going crazy. It takes some time to really nail this down but I will give you some pointers to help you out as we go along. Jan 4, 2019. If you can’t tell which way the fish is going, just switch up the direction you are pulling from every 20 seconds or so. 10 facts about the tarpon fish. The Sandy Key and Rabbit Key Basins along with the canals at Lake Ingraham and river mouths of Lostman’s and Harney rivers. All too often anglers start reeling, jerking, and all kinds of things before the fish has had a chance to eat the bait. 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