Tarpon fishing is one of the best ways to catch fish. The tarpon are strong and don’t tire easily so it’s important to come prepared with a line that can handle high-performance fighting fish. We’ll go over all you need for tarpon fishing, including how to use heavy tackle correctly, what bait works best, where to find tarpon in Florida, and more.
The post will be helpful for buyers who want to start catching tarpon now! This guide will help you understand how these big gamefish behave out on the water so you know what they’re capable of before getting into an intense battle with them.
How To Catch Tarpon Fishing
Tarpon fishing can be done exclusively with a fly rod, however, it is typically pursued with spinning tackle and baitcasting gear. Don’t let the lack of popularity in fly fishing for this species stop you from giving it a try. You’ll need to modify your technique slightly, but many successful fly anglers have hooked and landed monster Tarpon on the fly rod.
Tarpons are sought after for both their magnificent fight and their table fare. Make sure you have a rod that is up to the challenge of landing these powerful fish. I recommend a rod that is at least 9 feet in length and has a medium/fast action. A long, soft tip will give you a better hook-setting ability and the ability to more easily mend and control your presentation.
First thing’s first: What size tarpon do you plan on catching? A Tarpon of 100 pounds is a very difficult fish to reel in using a lightweight, mini-size rod and a tiny little baitcasting reel. Now if your intention is to land a five-pound tarpon then the size of the reel isn’t as important. All you will need is a simple spinning reel with enough line to make the catch.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to purchase an expensive fishing rod and reel in order to catch tarpon, as this isn’t the case at all. The size of the gear will depend on the size of fish you are trying to catch. The standard tarpon fishing gear will do quite well for all types of fish, including tarpon. There might be times when you’re really not sure what type of rod and reel will suit your needs best so if possible, it is always better to have both just in case.
A 20-25 foot length of 15-20lb fluorocarbon is typically sufficient for Tarpon fly fishing. You’ll need this extra pound test to help turn over larger flies and to get your presentations deep enough to reach the fish.
Tarpons often (but not always) feed in or near the top of submerged vegetation, so a floating line is an excellent choice when you’re fishing for them. It will allow you to mend and adjust your fly’s position in the water with ease. You’ll also need a floating line to throw all types of flies, be they top waters or nymph patterns.
Tarpon prefers to eat live or dead bait, but will also consume crabs and shrimp. Their diet consists primarily of fish like menhaden and mullet which they can only digest by eating it alive at first before graduating from zooplankton as an adult with other types such as mosquito larvae, small insects & crustaceans.
The young tarsiabs absorb bits of nutrients through their skin while still in freshwater rivers during autumn migration season- a time when food sources are scarce due to recent conditions being too warm for many species’ survival across various regions around the world.
Artificial lures and live or dead bait work well for catching tarpon when they’re on the feed, personally, I prefer artificial lures. Tarpon can suck in their food very fast, realize it isn’t food – and spit it – in a fraction of a second. So, you’re best to have your hooks sharpened and ready to go!
Where To Find Tarpon?
The conditions for Tarpon are favorable in northeast Florida’s saltwater estuaries during the summer months. The Tarpon are most abundant in water less than 6 feet deep and along grass flats with access to deeper water nearby. Schools of finger mullet are often associated with these shallow areas, around docks, mangroves, or ocean jetties.
When Is The Best Time To Catch Tarpon?
The best time for flyfishing for Tarpon is at dusk or dawn. During the day, Tarpon is often seen slightly suspended head down over areas of the grassy bottom. It is common to see Tarpon in very shallow water (less than 3 feet), darting about 30 yards across the flats and then suddenly dropping into deeper water only to return again a few yards away. The fly fisherman must make a long cast to reach the feeding Tarpon. The fast-moving fish will continue to move about until the fly is in front of them or they are spooked by the sound of the line hitting the water.
When it comes to fishing for tarpon, patience is key. Whether you’re a newbie or an old pro at this hobby, there are plenty of tips and tricks that can help you improve your skillset. We hope our article has helped prepare you with the basics of what tackle to buy, how much it’ll cost, and more! If we missed anything in our guide feel free to contact us anytime, we offer personalized service for all types of fishermen–from beginners like yourself up to seasoned veterans who need some pointers on improving their techniques.