tarpon fishing nearshore

This week has to be one for the record books on the space coast! The water is super clear and warm on the beach. This has made getting bait very easy! Cast net pogies off the beach where pelicans are diving or sabiki threadfins off the buoys or out of pods. Both baits are versatile and will get you in on a hot summer bite.

Tarpon ranging from 50 to 150 lbs are scattered all up and down the beach from the edge of the surf out to 40ft out of Ponce, Canaveral, and Sebastian. Finding bait pods and fishing in close proximity (but not right in it) is an easy and awesome way to bend some rods and pull some drag. Slow troll with your trolling motor up current and drift with the current. Tarpon are my favorite, but you never know what will hit a live whitebait off the beach. Large jacks, bonito, sharks, big snook, and even smoker kingfish are possible. If your bait gets sliced in half or you get cut off, it might be a king. I caught a 42 inch king in only 15ft of water this week, and I had a double hookup on snake kings. There also are a ton of spanish mackerel if you find glass minnows. Those are the only fish live bait won’t work for. You need small spoons or diamond jigs.

Heavy gear is important to minimize harm to tarpon and lost fish. I use a heavy Shimano Rod with a Shimano Saragosa 10000, 50lb braid, 60lb mono leader, and a 5/0 non-offset circle hook. Don’t be afraid to tighten your drag down after the tarpon jumps once or twice. Remember to keep big tarpon in the water, and never lip gaff them.

This is a video of slower action from earlier this month. Be sure to subscribe for more awesome content including tarpon videos from this week.