Welcome to the beautiful Florida Keys, where fishing is living! If you are not on the beautiful turquoise waters then you better get yourself to the nearest marina and book yourself one of the many experienced local captains. Things are heating up as I have had some wonderful luck catching, Mangrove Snapper, Sea Trout, Lady Fish, many species of Sharks, Spanish Mackerel and Goliath Grouper, Best of all the Tarpon are filling my evenings with some rod bending, drag screaming excitement.
The best tarpon bite has been at night just before sunset as the tide is falling. The bridges are holding “silver kings” ranging from 100 pounds to 200 pounds. On average we have been catching tarpon around 150 pounds. What a fight! As soon as the tarpon bites hang on because you are in for the ride of your life. Tarpon are known to run line the farthest during the initial hook-up followed by some jumping and thrashing. Hopefully, after approximately an hour of your captain and you working simultaneously in hopes to land this massive creature, you get to relish in the sweet taste of victory! Tarpon to the boat tagged and freed for future generation to enjoy. After the excitement you maybe too exhausted to do it all again, but we all know you will try!
Fishing the bridges for tarpon takes skill, knowledge and experience. There are a number of objects to avoid and rough waters to contend with making night tarpon fishing dangerous even for the experienced. I have seen many novice fishermen put themselves at risk as well as other fisherman. I’ve witnessed novice fisherman run over the fish causing the other fisherman to loose their chance for success. I have also seen fisherman hooked through the hand while de-hooking the tarpon. I highly recommend you learn from an experienced guide and not all guides are experienced, especially at night. Your boat drift and casting is important but even more important, if you hook a silver king they will run feverishly and if you do not understand there normal movements then you are putting yourself at risk, as well as other anglers. Please respect the fisherman and know before you go! The last thing I want is for one of my fellow fisherman to be hurt do to the inexperience of another fisherman.
Tarpon produce some heart pounding action so I hope you find yourself a reliable, capable, knowledgeable guide to help you experience this thrill ride! When done right you will never forget the thrill and fight a tarpon provides. Please be careful and considerate so all fishermen make it home safely.
Until next time, ask yourself this one questions, Are you fishing yet?