Best Tarpon Fishing In The World – The Florida Keys are the best place in the world to catch tarpon. The fish here average close to 100 pounds and many are much larger. Catching them usually involves fish or live bait or crab near the deep channels that separate the individual islands and connect the ocean to Florida Bay.
An increasing number of anglers are now fishing for tarpon, either casting crossing fish while swimming in the shallows from an outrigger boat, or looking for ‘imposed’ tarpon to raise the fly.
Best Tarpon Fishing In The World
In recent years I have noticed that I prefer a fly rod for my fishing, especially in the tropics. The number of species I have caught with the fish has steadily increased and includes numerous small tarpon up to about 20lbs. On a trip to Islamorada, I decided to spend several days just catching a big tarpon on the fly, and this is my story.
Lefty’s Short Course For Giant Tarpon
Fishing from Bud N Mary Marina with my very good friend Capt. Bill Bassett I caught a beautiful sixty pounder the day we went fishing. We set off along the edge of the ocean-side plains north of Long Key, casting to intersecting fish. It was once home to the famous Long Key Fishing Camp, where many former US presidents and then-famous authors, such as Zane Gray, regularly fished for silver kings over the years before the camp was destroyed. The Great Hurricane of 1935 with winds of 180 mph.
Standing in front of Bill’s boat we scanned the flat in front for crucian carp. Over the course of a few hours we fished several tarpon swimming with casting range, either individuals or pairs or groups of a dozen or more fish including individuals over 150 pounds, fish that would make you think there was something under fire. Fly rod!
I had to cast many of these flies and most of the time the tarpon didn’t recognize my fly and simply swam back to where the species appeared. Some swam out to refuse at the very last moment, while others were shocked and swam off the flat like a cat. Finally I put the fly in front of a group of four fish, one of which broke the line and moved towards it, opened its mouth and the fly inhaled. I hit, set the hook, fish jumped, jumped again, ran, jumped a few more times and about 15 minutes later we released it at 60 pounds. A great fish on the fly rod yes, but I wanted a bigger one.
On my second day of fishing, Capt. Bill took me to the bay side of Lignum Vitae Key, an area known as Texas Lake, a great fishing spot. The plan was to sit quietly on the edge of the flats for an hour or two looking for tarpon coiled up, waiting for the right tide time to return to the oceanfront flats, so Long Key could try again. day and won.
Tampa Bay Tarpon Fishing Where, When And How
Almost immediately we started seeing some tarpon rolling. Most of the large fish were gently moving their ‘heads and tails’ through the glassy surface film, the rich morning sunlight giving them an almost golden glow. It was a really perfect morning for fly rod fishing, with not even a slight breeze disturbing the surface of the oily calm water. Standing on the bow, fly rod in hand, I patiently waited for the first shot of a fish I knew. I remember that at one point and for no apparent reason I started to laugh and thought to myself: life is really, really good; Tarpon Fishing in the Florida Keys Can Affect Humans!
Then a big fish was dead in front of us, about 100 yards, and Bill pushed us very carefully to stop it in the direction it was going. When we got into casting range I started pulling some extra line off the reel, quickly cast a few false and shot the line to a point approximately 12 feet in front of the fish. I waited a few moments for the cockroach to sink to the floor, then began to pull it back with long, slow strokes.
I will never forget catching that fish as long as I live. Why a large tarpon would attack a 2 inch fly is beyond the aggressive nature of the fish, but it did, with its large head, gills outstretched, all bulging vertically out of the water and a small production of feathers and fur. If that fish had screamed, I certainly would have thrown the rod overboard and ducked for cover!
I don’t remember being shocked, but I think I must have been shocked, I think I was in a state of shock for a moment or two. Thankfully the fish tore all the free line off the deck and pulled easily out of the rudder rings and across the flat on the first 200m run, the reel screeched as the higher I held the rod the faster I was ready to bend. As he jumped.
The Top Seven Tarpon Flies
At the end of the run, the tarpon began to jump, putting on a show of spawning fish! Several times during that frantic, explosive opening phase of the fight Bill asked if I was still hooked, honestly I think we both expected the fish to break line or throw the fly at any moment.
As the frenzy of those first few minutes wore on, I thought to myself that I really had a chance to land this fish. At first we concentrated on putting the end of the 90 foot flyline on the reel and keeping the fish as close to the boat as possible. A few other boats passed through the area, which posed a risk of cutting fish, but the greater risk was the number of crab traps caught in the area where we were fighting the fish. If the fish had swum the line around one of them, it would have been over.
As the fish moved away from the bow, I applied as much lateral tension as I could, trying to push it in the direction it was trying to swim, trying to tire it out. When the crochet tarpon begins to move, it rises to the surface to gasp for air, and when it immediately receives it, you feel the extra power of a revived fish. So every time the fish landed I applied as little side tension as possible and sometimes the trick worked.
By the time half an hour had come and gone, I had a fish swimming 20 feet from the boat, moving effortlessly with its massive tail paddle. On two or three occasions Bill went ahead and grabbed the leader, but each time he tried to pull the last few feet of fish to the boat, he found the necessary energy to fly away from him.
It Should Be A Good Weekend For Fishing Inshore And Offshore On The Treasure Coast
But on that particular morning my name was on the fish, and after an hour’s fierce fight the bill came down, grabbed the leader, and pulled the fish ahead of the boat; It was immense. She was clearly over a hundred pounds, just how big we’ll never know. Bill and I hit the 110 pound mark. It was caught on an IGFA regulated 20lb class tippet: truly the fish of a lifetime.
The tarpon, Maglops atlanticus, is essentially a species of Atlantic fish typically found in the tropical regions of that ocean. As a result, tarpon are found throughout the Caribbean and along the US east coast as far south as the Carolinas and as far north as northern Brazil. In recent years, a small population of tarpon has become established along the Pacific coast of Central America in Panama and southern Costa Rica, with some fish apparently passing through the Panama Canal.
Tarpons are also found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean from the coast of West Africa between Angola in the south and Senegal in the north. In fact, the largest tarpon ever caught was off the coast of Africa, 286lb 9oz for the current IGFA species, caught in Guinea-Bissau. Many fish over 300lbs have been reported to have been caught in several countries, notably Sierra Leone. Tarpon, the silver king, is a bucket list species and one of the few inshore fish for which anglers around the world travel hundreds, if not thousands.