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Tarpon fishing

Joined:
2013/1/15 12:02
From Pipersville Pa.
Posts: 655
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Fly fishing is not just about trout, although trout is one of my favorite quarries.

There are many other species, including salt water fish, that I enjoy going after. One of my favorites is the tarpon. Some fishermen refer to the tarpon as the “silver king.” Fishing for tarpon is a very different kind of fly fishing. Lots of fishing for tarpon is done in the Florida Keys.

Tarpon fishing in the Keys is very interesting. You have a choice of fishing the bay side or, as we refer to it, “the back country.” Fishing in the back usually involves a knowledgeable guide. Your guide can take you places where you may find tarpon hanging out on the edge of a bank or near to an island. The fish there will be laid up, meaning just laying still, or they might be slowly cruising along.

Your guide will pole the skiff around slowly looking for signs of fish. He or she will be looking to spot them rolling, or just looking to see where they are laying. Tarpon roll gently across the surface to grab a gulp of air, you see. They have a swim bladder that allows them to gulp air that is then dispersed into their lungs and circulatory system.

Now let’s talk about the fishing itself. On day one of my recent tarpon-fishing trip, my guide, Robert Line, took me “out back” in the Keys. Conditions were not great. It was cloudy and a bit breezy. Robert stopped us at one of his spots and, after a couple of minutes, he saw a tarpon roll about 50 yards away.

Robert poled us up to the spot and then held us still. That’s when I saw it: a huge tarpon just sort of floated to the surface about 50 feet away from our position. I wound up and cast, landing my fly about 4 feet in front the tarpon’s face, then slowly stripped it away. I saw the fish move forward and then watched him eat my fly.

This tarpon was about 6 feet long. It always amazes me that a six-foot fish will eat a fly that’s only 2 inches long. I set my hook with a strip strike... and all hell broke loose.

The tarpon jumped several times and made a couple of blinding runs. After about 20 minutes, I had him boat-side. I asked Robert to grab my leader and break him off. There is no reason to fight a big fish like that, past that point. IT’s just too hard on the fish. Robert estimated my tarpon to be roughly 125 pounds. What a way to start the trip!

I ended up with one other fish as the day progressed. That one was about 70 pounds. All told, Robert and I fished together for 5 days and I had a great time. I caught a decent amount of fish, despite the fact that conditions were not ideal, and ended the trip with 9 tarpon on the boat. A couple broke me off and a couple just did not come tight, but all in all, it was a great trip.

Robert is a great guy and a great guide. His knowledge of the back country is phenomenal. We plan to fish the same week next year. Who knows — maybe the weather will be a little bit nicer, and maybe we’ll see more fish. All I know is that I’ll be there.

I tried to add another pic. For some reason it wont let me.

GenCon

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Posted on: 2017/7/4 8:02
_________________
I can make you feel. But I can't make you think.

Ian Anderson, Thick as a brick.


Re: Tarpon fishing

Joined:
2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
Posts: 652
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Nice write up, Mike. Sounds like a great trip with some truly awesome fish!

Posted on: 2017/7/4 8:59


Re: Tarpon fishing

Joined:
2013/1/15 12:02
From Pipersville Pa.
Posts: 655
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Thanks John, was great fun.

GenCon

Posted on: 2017/7/4 9:11
_________________
I can make you feel. But I can't make you think.

Ian Anderson, Thick as a brick.


Re: Tarpon fishing

Joined:
2007/5/29 14:32
From SE PA - Montgomery County
Posts: 333
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I read this last year and I did not comment then, but nice write up there GenCon.

I am headed down Sat. and revisited this post. I know the big boys are not around yet, but I am fine with the babies at 15-20lbs!!

Posted on: 2018/3/8 11:09


Re: Tarpon fishing

Joined:
2006/9/11 15:10
From collegeville, pa
Posts: 84
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go get em!!!!!!

Posted on: 2018/3/8 19:59


Re: Tarpon fishing

Joined:
2011/9/13 11:13
From Flourtown, PA
Posts: 273
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Tarpon fishing is where it's at. Nothing compares to delivering a fly to a fish the size of a surfboard.

Posted on: 2018/3/9 11:09


Re: Tarpon fishing

Joined:
2007/10/17 10:49
From florida
Posts: 2527
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Wild fish in wild places,#1. April in Homosassa when the 200 lbers come out to play. GG

Posted on: 2018/3/9 18:03
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Re: Tarpon fishing

Joined:
2013/12/8 21:26
From Granville
Posts: 1407
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When I lived in Boca Raton I remember my first trip to the keys. Feeding those semi-tame tarpon at Islamorada was amazing. I can only imagine lashing onto one of those on the fly rod.

Posted on: 2018/3/10 6:48


Re: Tarpon fishing

Joined:
2009/2/13 4:12
From West Chester,PA
Posts: 321
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Mike..great write up.These beasts are so powerful that once in Belieze,I jumped out of the boat in 4ft of water to revive a 70ish lb Tarpon.After a few back n forth pushes,he pushed off and his tail hit my side.The next day I had a back n blue the size of a dinner plate.Incredible power!!

Posted on: 2018/3/10 7:52
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Re: Tarpon fishing

Joined:
2007/5/29 14:32
From SE PA - Montgomery County
Posts: 333
Offline
Quote:
When I lived in Boca Raton I remember my first trip to the keys. Feeding those semi-tame tarpon at Islamorada was amazing. I can only imagine lashing onto one of those on the fly rod.


Those were the only ones I saw on my latest trip down there. Robbie's Marina and also at Bud & Mary's.

I would imagine it is difficult to catch them on the fly in that area since they are hand feed by tourists constantly . . .





Posted on: 2018/3/19 10:18






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