tarpon ,florida keys
Posted 26 September 2005 - 12:12 AM
Posted 26 September 2005 - 01:25 AM
depends a bit on your preferred style of fishing. You can take tarpon on drifted livebaits, float fished livebaits, spoons, saltwater fly or trolling.
They tend to congregate inshore around channels, drop-offs etc and between deep water between bridge piers, moorings and the likes. Whatever your preferred method think along the lines of tuna circle hooks, sizes say 4/0 through 8/0 depending on bait. Local bait in season at the time is best, shrimp, mullet etc. If spinning you can do a lot worse than silver toby, copper toby etc in the 4-5inch range or large (old fashioned) copper Jim Vincent pike spoons. Whatever method you try use wire. Other things with teeth are also there, barracuda, shark etc. Trace min 3ft of 120 -150 test stainless (not or never plastic coated nonsense) Piano wire also works well. Main consideration is a quality hook sharpener. The inside of the mouth is like armour plate. The hooks must be as sharp as a hypodermic needle or you simply wont set them. A lot of sight fishing is done for tarpon which helps with setting the hook as the best chance comes when the fish has actually closed its` mouth over the bait or lure. If you can`t see the take dont be striking too soon, give it a second or two to close the mouth.
Fish them night or day with probably dawn and dusk being best times. Fishing the piers or bridges you could do worse than a 3lb TC spinner or 20lb up-tider. Abu 7000 size reel or salmon / pike size spinning reel loaded with (a lot)20lb test mono. Fly fishing your looking at a 9-10ft 8/9 weight rod with fast tip action and 20lb tippet + loads of backing. (IGFA dont allow wire on fly leaders but if your not after records I`d use a short length, say 6-8inch. also helps sink the fly or lure). Be prepared for some acrobatics.
Smokin` drags, Stan.
Posted 26 September 2005 - 05:43 PM
Of course you can if you have the time go purist and fish the flats with a guide, but it is a difficult game. If you are into it, try both so you get a fish or 2 under your belt before you get specialised.
I have to say it is the best fishing I've had, great if your not the best sailor. The keys has a huge choice of other fishing too and some of the best guides/captains in the world IMHO. But be prepared to get hooked and have great fun. PS remember it is seasonal so check before you book your holiday!
Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:05 PM
Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:08 PM
It may be a bit late in the year for the bridges though. I hooked a Tarpon fishing from channel 5 bridge, was freelining a small dead mullet for the snapper and this 30 odd pound fish slammed the bait and did the off. It cut me off on some rocks just as I thought I was getting the upper hand. Mind you, eight lb line and 30 plus Tarpon don`t go well together......
Seven Mile bridge is always worth a look but as I said, it may be a tad late for them.
The backcountry offers some incredible sport if the Tarpon don`t want to play ball. We had snook to 9 ish, sting rays (yeuch) plus bull and lemon sharks over the ton.
I never had a chance to fish Key West harbour, big mistake. If you go down there have a walk round the bars and restaurants on the wooden walkways and keep an eye in the water. Some huge Tarpon come right under your feet.
Brilliant place to fish, great place all round. I`m green with envy!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a great time.
Oh, circle hooks are the tools of choice for most skippers, they`re a lot more likely to find a hold in the scissors. Apart from that I can`t really comment on tackle, the skipper had all the necessary, all I had to do was chuck it out and hang on.....