Early Tarpon Fishing Is Starting To Show Up

May 02, 16 Early Tarpon Fishing Is Starting To Show Up

Captain Jason Prieto 

IMG_0693It’s still a bit early but with the warmer weather I expect the big schools of Tarpon to show up around the Outer flats, channel edges and bridges throughout the bay. Getting an early start will increase your odds in hookups for sure. Tarpon are no different than schools of reds when it comes to noise and boats they are just found in deeper water. With that being said your eyes under the water is your sonar and using the Lowrance HDS side imaging is something that helps you locate schools of fish especially around the deeper areas around the bridges and channels. Tarpon use these areas as highways just as our inshore species do on the flats. Using technology to your advantage will reduce the learning curve to find fish.

Bait is key when catching Tarpon. They eat a bunch of different baits and each week they seem to switch what they like. Threadfin Hearing both live and cut are the top choice this time of year. Using cut bait is probably most effective when anchoring. Tarpon just like big Snook love cut bait and the Threadfins are readily available in the bay around the towers. Make sure to bring your 12 foot 1⁄2 mesh net so you won’t spend the entire day getting bait.

Finding fish can be challenging but the bridges throughout the bay are great areas to go and hold fish on a consistent basis.  Fishing around the new and full moons will be a great time to fish but you know the old saying the best time to go fishing is when you can. Tackle is another key ingredient to actually landing Tarpon. I see people fighting fish with rods that are just too small. When you want to catch the big boys you got to bring the big toys. I love the 8 Ft St. Croix 40lb rods matched with 60lb Fins Braided line and 5000 Daiwa Saltiest spinning reel. Fighting with too light of gear could also fatigue the fish and eventually kill them so I cannot stress the importance of having the correct gear.

Last is the and most important would have to be the release. Tarpon will fight themselves to almost death. Most fish are so exhausted that they need the correct reviving techniques to ensure a safe release to live for another day. Supporting the fish and holding the lower jaw with the boat moving forward will run water through their gills. She will let you know when she is ready to be released……. If you are interested in booking a charter please feel free to give me a call 813-727-9890 Good luck and tight lines!

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