Tarpon are by far the largest inshore species of fish here in Florida. They range in size from 10-200 lbs. Tarpon are caught here from late April through September. May and June are the best months as the large concentrations of mature fish migrate up from their wintering grounds to the south. Large schools of baitfish also make this migration and the tarpon are hot on their heels. Tarpon are found around large structure such as bridges and along the edges of flats. Basically anywhere that large concentrations of baitfish are, the tarpon will be close by. Tarpon fishing is a difficult endeavor. Hooking four fish and landing one in a day is considered a good day. The tarpon has a mouth that is completely made up of almost rock hard cartilage and driving a hook into it is difficult. They are also capable of making fantastic leaps of 8 ft. or higher into the air with many somersaults and cart-wheels. This allows the chance of the line wrapping around the tarpon or being separated by a whip of the fishes tail. Although the task is a challenge, catching a tarpon is truly a memory of a lifetime.
A day of tarpon fishing starts by netting a well full of threadfin (a species of herring). This is usually accomplished in short order with one cast of a net. We then travel to where the tarpon are. You will know if they are present by seeing them rolling up on the surface of the water. Once in their presence, we bait up 30 lb. spinning gear with the threadfin and free line them out to the tarpon. When you feel the solid strike of the tarpon strap on your seat belt and hold on for the ride. The tarpon will immediately launch airborne and do spectacular acrobatics high above your line of sight. Once splashing back down he will then hit the turbo charger and scream out up to 200 yards of drag. More leaps will ensue as you try to catch your breath for what will be a long struggle. Pulling and reeling with all your might you may be lucky and get the tarpon boat side after only a half an hour. The fish will then see the boat and take out dozens more yards of drag. This is repeated usually about a half a dozen times with more leaps mixed in before the beautiful tarpon turns up on its side so that I may grab the leader and boat him. The celebration will begin with many photos taken for a mount to be made or just to remember the epic battle with the Silver King. Read also about Snook Fishing Tampa Bay