With the warmer weather lately the tarpon bite has picked up! Some schools are showing up off the beaches and we are starting to get a good influence in the lagoon as well. Tarpon are one species that do not handle cold water well, although we do have some resident tarpon which hangout in residential canals and small ponds the majority of our tarpon fishing is best during the late spring and summer months and into the fall.
Tarpon are one awesome hard fighting species that can really test an angler, their acrobatic maneuvers and long runs make them quite a challenge. My favorite way to target them is on the fly. Black and purple or chartreuse are my stand by flies. For an early morning presentation with low light, I like throwing a gurgler or small popper. As the sun gets higher, a black and purple baitfish imitation or slider both work great too. Tarpon typically like murkier water with lower oxygen levels and even a good freshwater influence, I believe it’s because they can actually store oxygen in their swim bladder and use it to breathe unlike most fish which helps them dominate an area. In this dirtier water I find small and chartreuse can be deadly. For the spinning rod guys it’s hard to beat a Mirrolure Mirrodine in chartreuse, small paddle tail jigs or a gulp shrimp, as well as small live finger mullet and mud minnows fished about 6 inches under a weightless float.
The average fish right now is between 5 and 25lbs and are holding well around the residential canals, ponds, and creek mouths. As we approach summer we will probably start to see more along the flats.