It has been yet another beautiful week on the water here in the Florida Keys! The winds were light, the waters were clear, and the fish kept anglers of all ages grinning from ear to ear! Each angler leaving my boat had plenty of tall tails to tell their friends and family. The most tails will be about the Silver King (aka Tarpon) we were stalking this week!
The tarpon are now showing up around the bridges. Tarpon are powerful game fish with hard rough mouths, sharp gill plates and abrasive scales. The largest tarpon caught was almost 300 pounds but on average they will range from 80 pounds to 150 pounds. The female are larger then male tarpon and can grow to lengths of over 8 feet and reach weights of near 355 pounds, The female Tarpon can live more than 50 years. The males generally are smaller and live approximately 30 years. Tarpon will not reach sexual maturity until they are 6 years old and at least 4 ft long.
Fishing for tarpon takes skill and planning. I primarily use live bait such as crabs, shrimp, pinfish and mullet. It’s important to know what the tarpon are eating for the day as their taste buds change from day to day. It’s also important to rig the live baits in the most natural way possible. You can also use artificial such as Zero Spook Plugs and any kind of plastic swimmer bait such as Silver Shad Paddle Tail and or a Jerk Shad.
Casting is also very important. You need to cast cross current and adjust your depth by casting different distances up tide and down tide. The further you cast up tide the deeper your bait will go by the time it reaches the tarpon hiding under the many brides that pepper the Florida Keys landscape. When you feel the bite, resist the erg to set the hook! Let the tarpon do the work for you because if you don’t you are sure to be stomping your feet due to the loss of the magnificent fight you could have had!
In conclusion it is time for you to book a fishing trip here in the Florida Keys. There are some great game fish regardless if you decide to hunt the open ocean or venture into the Everglades. There is fun to have any which way you go. It is easy to find great guides here in the Keys, just visit the closest marina and you are sure to have your own fishing story to bring home making your friends and family jealous!
So until next time ask yourself this one question, Are you fishing yet?