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Great Tarpon Fishing Tips

Great Tarpon Fishing Tips

If you are a fisherman then most likely you know what a tarpon is and have a desire to catch one. These fish are one of the most sought after sportfish in the world. They are huge fish sometimes up to 150# and when hooked they tend to leap for the sky. They are called the “silver king” for this reason. When the tarpon jumps you lower your rod as if bowing to the king.

Spring time is the best

In Key West the time to fish for tarpon is in the spring, that is when the migratory fish are in Key West. There is a number of tarpon which live here year round but the number is much less than in the spring. These migratory fish will congregate in the harbor and the channels surrounding the harbor. Sometimes there will be hundreds of fish in the school.

Finicky eaters

Tarpon are finicky eaters and sometimes you can see them swimming around the boat but they will not eat our bait. This can be very frustrating. Sometimes the cure for this lock jaw will be varying your baits. Like today they may be eating mullet but won’t eat a pinfish. Or perhaps they will eat a crab but nothing else, or they eating dead bait and are getting caught by people fishing for sharks.

There will be many boats fishing at the harbor for tarpon at this time of year and some boating etiquette will need to be observed.

Flat fishing for tarpon

Another popular way to target tarpon is on the flats. The flats of the Florida Keys are huge shallow sea grass beds. Fish cruise these flats looking for prey. Due to the clear water in the keys you will actually be able to see the fish in the distance swimming along and you can actually cast you bait at the fish. This is kind of more like hunting than fishing and it is extremely popular.

tarpon fishing

When flat fishing many people like to target the fish with fly fishing gear. This makes it extremely challenging but that is why some people seem to like it. Keep in mind if you are fly fisherman that where you fish at home might have a lot less wind than on a saltwater flat.

Hiring a guide

They can be strange and temperamental fish and having a good tarpon fishing guide can help. There are numerous Captains in Key West for charter who know how to target tarpon.

You can look up a guide online or walk the docks if you want to get a look at who you are hiring before you go out. Most captains will have a bunch of different strategies to get the fish. The fish will tend to move around based on the tides, bait and weather. Having someone who knows about the fishery can greatly increase your chances of success.