Tampa Bay – Bradenton – Sarasota – Boca Grande

Tampa Bay Tarpon Fishing

We are lucky to have some of the best Tarpon fishing anywhere, as well as the longest season that I know of, it starts as early as March and depending upon the weather it could last as long as November. When people ask what time of year is best for Tarpon, I usually tell them that it is pretty good all year the fish are just in different places.

Early Season Tarpon

We start fishing around the Skyway Bridge. When fishing around the bridge you have to put your bait in just the right spot and let it drift back with the tide. When you hook one of these Silver kings then the fight begins. Right away you release the anchor and start the pursuit following the Tarpon hoping that he will go with the tide and away from the bridge. If he doesn't cooperate then we will maneuver the boat so you don’t lose the fish. Before drifting too far away, everyone will cast back to the bridge to see if we can't hook up to two fish at one time, sometimes more! Once the fish is away form the bridge then the fight to all up to you!

Tarpon fishing then moves out into the mouth of Tampa bay. There are several rock piles in the bay that these fish like to hang around. They move from rock pile to rock pile looking for food. That is the reason the Tarpon are on the rock because the bait likes to hang around the structure. We fish the rocks early in the morning and as the day goes on the fish move farther out in the bay. This doesn’t mean that we can’t catch these fish they are just harder to find sometimes depending upon visibility.

The Tarpon eventually find themselves on the beach, and we start doing sight fishing. This is when my tower is very helpful. Sight fishing is exactly what it sounds like, you look for the fish, and where you see them is where you fish. It is a really neat experience to see 25-30 Tarpon (sometimes more) on top of the water. Once you find the fish, you have to cast the bait in just the right spot, look for the silver flash, and then set the hook. Finding the fish is the only hard part.

How to Fight a Tarpon

There is nothing in the world quite like fighting a Tarpon. Once you get one of these great silver kings to take a bait the rest is all up to you. The first thing is the setting the hook! Set it again, maybe even a third time just make sure the hook is set real good.

Usually a few seconds after you hook these fish it starts pealing drag or taking line. Then it jumps in to the air trying to throw the hook! This is when you bow the rod to the Silver king that is right putting slack in the line then as soon as the fish lands in the water you tighten the line back up then the fish jumps again then repeat the process.

Then the Tarpon is pulling to the right you pull to the left pulling the rod almost side ways turning the Tarpon head then when the fish turns left you pull right always trying turn the fish the out way putting as much peruse on the Tarpon as you can.

One of the real important things to remember is when the fish is taking drag or pealing line off the real to not real. You want to pull the rod back getting a little slack then real down keep repeating. It is not how fast you pull the road up and down it is that you keep a lot of pressure. After time these fish will start rolling if and when these fish do this you can take the tip of the stick it under the water and some times you can stop the Tarpon from rolling.

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