Tampa Bay Tarpon Fishing
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
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
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
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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