How to Catch Tarpon: Top 5 Tarpon Fishing Tips

The tarpon fishing season is just around the corner and May and June are the best months. Catching tarpon is difficult enough, but stiff winds make it difficult to cast and spot fish. The fish are on the move, and you will find them cruising on the beaches, swimming over the flats, chaining daisies in the deeper water, and lying in the hinterland. Here are 5 tarpon fishing tips to use on your next saltwater fishing trip.

1. Sharpen your hooks. Everyone wants to know how to catch a tarpon, and that’s probably because only 37% of hookfish have landed (source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission). The main reason is that their bony mouths make a tough connection. Sharpen your hooks so that they stick when you pull the tip over a thumbnail.

2. Put the check mark. If you want to enjoy the tarpon’s stamina, fight and jump, then check the box. And adjust again. Fly tobogganists use three strip strikes followed by three tip strikes to ensure the fly is deeply immersed. Traditional anglers have switched from monofilament to synthetic mono because the line is less stretched. A few good sets will take the hook home and your chances of landing fish will increase.

3. Shock leaders are a must. A tarpon’s scales and gill plates are sharp, and a heavier monofilament shock absorber gives anglers an edge. Ramp the shock ladder up to 100 # fluorocarbon so the fish won’t cut you off.

4th Bow to the fish. Knowing how to catch tarpon is important, and when the tarpon jumps, lower the tip of your pole. You will remove the tightness of your line and reduce the number of fish breaking off. Resume the fight once the fish is back in the water.

5. Line management. Tarpon can swim the boat as fast as they can, and that makes line management important. Drags should spin smoothly and with perfect tension. One final tip for catching tarpon is to use as much drag as possible without breaking the fish. When the fish is walking towards you, reel quickly to restore the line and keep pressure on your hook.

The tarpon fishing season is just around the corner. Find out why the fish is called the Silver King. The best tarpon fishing this time of year is in Florida. So pack your bags quickly and join in.

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a contributing writer for Covey Rise magazine, a contributing editor for Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program. Keer is a regular contributor to over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics including fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor activities. When not fishing, Keer and his family hunt highland birds over their three English setters. His first book, A Guide to Fly Fishing on the New England Coast, was published in January 2011. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or www.thekeergroup.com.

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