Sportsmen from all across the globe travel to our area in quest
of the world's greatest inshore game fish, the Atlantic tarpon.
Tarpon are caught from area piers, docks, roadside ditches, bridges, bays, rivers, beaches, passes, canals and jetties. They are virtually accessible by everyone.
Tarpon are fished from kayaks, canoes, rowboats, jon boats, jet skis, $50,000 skiffs and million dollar yachts. Seemingly, they care less about what you use to reach them, even if by foot.
Tarpon are tackled on everything from hand lines to $1,500 fly rods. However they will bust all tackle, regardless of its cost.
Tarpon live the American way!
Each year, tens of thousands of tarpon migrate to our area and aggregate in the passes as part of their reproduction cycle. From the passes, the fish will separate into schools according to their readiness in spawning maturity.
Each day, schools of tarpon that are 'ripe' will move out of the passes in the afternoons and head offshore to spawn. The fish return to the shoreline under the cover of darkness. At dawn, they migrate down the beaches once again as they head back to the passes to repeat the cycle until they are "spent” for the season.
Along each point of the tarpon's daily 'loop' in the 21st century is the likelihood of someone fishing for them. Some sight fish with live bait or artificial lures, others may choose a fly. Some anglers prefer to anchor and fish with dead bait, while others pitch or drift baits around structures. Finding local knowledge on how and where to fish tarpon is not difficult in our modern era as the popularity of tarpon fishing is at an all time high.
Less talked about these days are ethics on how to be fair to the fish and fellow fishermen. A passive approach is required to fish tarpon for nearly every method used in our area. While the fish are not harvested for food, they could still disappear. It is important to try to be as non-intrusive as possible to the tarpon’s patterns and pre-spawning rituals if we expect them to return each year. Furthermore, the passive approach is required to successfully get the fish to feed, particularly when others are fishing the same school.
Anglers should take turns lining up in front of and in the path of the approaching fish. Allowing the tarpon to come to you will produce bites. Permitting the fish to pass you and waiting for the next boat in line to make their presentation before heading back to the end of the line will preserve the fish's temperament (ideally slow moving). This technique is called 'leap frogging'. Anchored boats patiently waiting for the fish to come to them should be avoided until the fish are well passed them.
By fellow sportsmen working together, the fish will continue to return to our area and respond to our offerings.
Capt Robert McCue can be reached @ 800 833 0489 or through his website www.Gianttarpon.com