Tarpon - Behavior Patterns and Reading Fish - Page 3
REPORTSREGIONSFORECASTPHOTOSBOATINGHOW-TOSPORTFISHGEARVIDEOS
Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 21 to 30 of 30
  1. #21
    Senior Member Tarponator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Under a Bridge
    Posts
    7,162
    They ate at moonset yesterday.

  2. #22
    Member Barnakiller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Terra Ceia, Fl
    Posts
    89
    Quote Originally Posted by stpetebaitman View Post
    I use Powerpro. I'm not convinced the line matters as much as your line to line connections. However, I respool all of my reels once a year as it gets worn down.
    The super slick or the original? I bought a 1500 yard spool of super slick and had it break a few times on the water, and more in the garage when getting rigged up; sometimes at the knot but often "not". User error I guess. Good post!

  3. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Pete
    Posts
    848
    They ate at moonset yesterday.
    That is an extremely valuable piece of information for anyone that plans to fish for tarpon over the next couple of days. Don't be running around looking for tarpon between 1-2pm today, you need to have baits in tarpon at that time.

    That also coincides when the wind has been laying down and the fish are easy to spot rolling on the surface. This is when you can cast baitbusters their direction. Watch those bubble trails and be ready to cast fast, the longer you wait to cast the lower your chances are of hooking the fish.

  4. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Pete
    Posts
    848
    The super slick or the original? I bought a 1500 yard spool of super slick and had it break a few times on the water, and more in the garage when getting rigged up; sometimes at the knot but often "not". User error I guess. Good post!
    I use the original. I have not used the fancy slick stuff.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Tarponator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Under a Bridge
    Posts
    7,162
    Quote Originally Posted by stpetebaitman View Post
    That is an extremely valuable piece of information for anyone that plans to fish for tarpon over the next couple of days. Don't be running around looking for tarpon between 1-2pm today, you need to have baits in tarpon at that time.
    That's why I shared it. ;) I may not post pictures or spots any more, but figured someone might find this info useful...

    We were in fish all morning yesterday. Found them before sunrise, and throughout the morning I made 50 casts that I thought were good enough to get bit while my two nephews were blind casting. Nothing. Fish just weren't in an eating mood, as they all too often are.

    Right about the time the moon got low on the horizon about to set, they started to eat. The first sign were they started busting on bait in the area. Sure enough, those bad casts all of a sudden turned into good ones.

    That's tarpon fishing....where paying attention to the moon is probably the single most important factor, IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by stpetebaitman View Post
    That also coincides when the wind has been laying down and the fish are easy to spot rolling on the surface. This is when you can cast baitbusters their direction. Watch those bubble trails and be ready to cast fast, the longer you wait to cast the lower your chances are of hooking the fish.
    Yesterday, it also coincided with a thunderstorm in the area we were fishing. Had to run not long after it started. But that's OK. They'll be there this week as well, I expect, as there was plenty of bait in the area (the reason they are there in the first place) and we still have some time left in this moon before the tarpon cards are shuffled and they likely move around.

    The best thing of all? Not another boat fishing near me the entire day -- on a weekend no less -- except the three googans (and a pair of jetskis) who motored right past me on plane completely oblivious that we were surrounded by tarpon from 40 to 150+ lbs.

    I love late summer.

    Have fun...>Mike
    Last edited by Tarponator; 08-14-2017 at 12:02 PM.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Tarponator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Under a Bridge
    Posts
    7,162
    As far as lines, I think that brand is more personal preference than anything else, but here are a few things I think about when spooling my reels...

    If I'm fishing around structure, let's say one of the bay bridges at night or fishing around the the Skyway, where casting distance isn't important, then I choose the heaviest line I can get away with -- that's generally 80lb.

    If I'm fishing in open water, where casting distance is paramount, I'll go light. 40 or even 30lb braid. Think casting crabs along the beach or casting plugs or jigs in the backwater. Times when that extra 5 or 10 feed can make a difference between a bite and nothing, but you don't have to worry about them getting you into structure.

    If I'm fishing in deep water vertically -- let's say a crab fished with heavy weight near the bottom -- then I use mono. After two seasons getting my butt handed to me by my girlfriend who used to fish with this old Penn Senator conventional reel spooled with 50lb mono, I finally got a few reels set up like that and I instantly upped my production by more than 2x. The theory is that braid fished with a weight in high-current areas like Egmont or Boca Grande pass "hums" and the fish hear it. Regardless of the theory, I do not question the results any more. If I'm fishing vertically with an ounce to four ounces of weight, that rod will have 40 or 50lb mono on it.

    If I'm freelining/splitshotting crabs or whitebait in deeper water while drifting, let's say fishing the upper or middle part of the water column during a crab flush, then I go with a medium weight line -- say 50lb or 65lb -- so you can put some extra pressure on the fish when they decide to be grouper and stay deep or you get tangled with another boat in the area, as there often is in these situations.

    Having at least two spools for every spinning reel really helps as well. I'll usually keep one on the light side and one on the heavier side. For instance, if the reel is smaller (say, an 6000 shimano), I'll spool one with 30lb and the other with 50. If the reel is bigger, like my old 10k stella (that I've had for so long it's name is now "the grinder") then I'll spool one with 50lb and the other with 80. That way, depending on where I end up that day I have some flexibility by simply changing out the spools.

    As far as line brand -- to be honest I've just about fished them all...and they all work. I prefer Suffix 832 or Spiderwire Stealth for casting distance, and Tuffline XP or old school PowerPro for abrasion resistance. But YMMV. The only problem I ever had with braided line was I got a bad spool of PowerPro -- the line had some clumps and suffered from snapping at well below the rated strength. This was many years ago right when PP became popular. I simply called them and they replaced the spool for free. Haven't had a quality control problem since.

    Every season I try to make it a point to try something new -- hooks, baits, and, in this case, line. This year's line experiment is PowerPro Maxcuatro. The jury is still out, but it seems to be better than the regular stuff -- casts quite a bit better off the spool that's for sure. And I just ordered some P-Line TCB to experiment with as well after hearing some good things about it from a guide friend.

    Spool 'em up and let 'em rip....Mike
    Last edited by Tarponator; 08-14-2017 at 11:59 AM.

  7. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Lakeland is where my yaks stay.
    Posts
    238
    Wow, thanks guys for that awesome info. You are very kind to share your knowledge & experience.
    In contrast to my typical return to the states, I get to fish again in a few couple of weeks. I'll try some of those tips. As far as line goes, this year I respooled one of my 7500 reels with 65 lb Jerry Brown braid. It was recommended to me by a tackle shop on Big Pine Key and the stuff has lasted for 4 years! I turned it around once, then later took the center 150 yd section out and backed it up with other line. Never a break, just replaced it because it was getting old - better safe than sorry. I'm keeping the best part for backing at a later date. Green before, white this time for visibility. JB is stiff at first but loosens up quickly, and is real tough. I also bought some Power Pro hollow core for another reel, tried splicing my leader to get a smooth connection. I liked the splice very well except for time it took to do it. Also tried the FS knot - that is awesome, I can do it pretty quick & easy in my kayak. Important since I usually replace my leader after a good fight. Reels right through the guides and even onto the reel, then casts out smoothly again with 65 lb braid & 60 lb flouro leader and nothing but a threadfin and hook. The PowerPro hollow core is expensive but soft - casts very well. Have to wait and see how well it holds up.

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Pete
    Posts
    848
    Right about the time the moon got low on the horizon about to set, they started to eat. The first sign were they started busting on bait in the area. Sure enough, those bad casts all of a sudden turned into good ones.
    That is tarpon fishing summed up in a couple sentences. The most important thing to do when you sit in fish for a long time is to keep at it. Very, very unlikely that you'll find another batch of fish that will eat when the fish you are in are not eating.

    Now, if that was me yesterday and planned to fish the next day (today), you could bail on the sunrise session and the 4 hours of downtime in the fish to fish from say 12-3 today. Hit the minor solunar, get your bites, not melt in the heat, and head in after catching a couple of fish.

    The best thing of all? Not another boat fishing near me the entire day -- on a weekend no less -- except the three googans (and a pair of jetskis) who motored right past me on plane completely oblivious that we were surrounded by tarpon from 40 to 150+ lbs.

    I love late summer.
    It's amazing how many fisherman drive over tarpon spots and have absolutely no idea the fish are there. Including me, I'm certain.

    We went exploring yesterday into a new area I'd never fished or driven a boat through. Found two new spots that I plan to go back to soon, quite a few tarpon around, and big fish which means there are many more not showing. We were forced to head in early due to storms approaching as well. Didn't hook any fish, but it was mission accomplished in getting two new GPS marks. Did manage to bring a 25lb cobia back to the dock that we found on a marker on the way home.

  9. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    434
    Great write up, thanks for sharing with the FS forum community!

    You will now be entered in our forum giveaway! Keep posting new reports until September 31st for more chances to win the fishing trip of a lifetime with Fishing Nosara in Costa Rica!

    Check out http://www.floridasportsman.com/2017...ing-adventure/ for more details.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Tarponator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Under a Bridge
    Posts
    7,162
    Quote Originally Posted by stpetebaitman View Post
    The most important thing to do when you sit in fish for a long time is to keep at it. Very, very unlikely that you'll find another batch of fish that will eat when the fish you are in are not eating.
    This time of year, I completely agree. Earlier in the season, let's say pre-spawn on the beaches, I would probably take issue with that statement. Allow me to explain...

    This time of year, most of the fish inside the bay are generally lazy and located in the generally deeper areas of the bay. They are just hanging out in these areas for the most part, all post-spawn fish with some juveniles mixed in. The fish are spread out but in a general area. They all act just like we were talking about -- they all seem to go on the feed at the same time. They also somehow all seem to roll just about the same time -- it's weird and I will never understand how they do it. These are the fish you are probably better of just sitting on and waiting for them to eat.

    Earlier in the season, let's say pre-spawn along the beach in May, you find pods of fish in very different moods. Some are milling (not unlike the fish in the bay were were just discussing, but more tightly grouped in a school), others are zipping down the beach, others are daisy chaining. In this situation, I will often leave a pod of fish (or not go after them at all, for instance if I see a pod of fish zipping down the beach at 5+mph as they often do) to find better fish.

    But this time of year inside the bay, if one group of fish isn't biting, then there's a really really good chance none of them are. It's almost uncanny in that regard -- talk to someone fishing in Hillsborough Bay when you're fishing in Old Tampa Bay and compare notes -- they will be extremely similar.

    Quote Originally Posted by stpetebaitman View Post
    Now, if that was me yesterday and planned to fish the next day (today), you could bail on the sunrise session and the 4 hours of downtime in the fish to fish from say 12-3 today. Hit the minor solunar, get your bites, not melt in the heat, and head in after catching a couple of fish.
    Had I fished a few days already and was confident in their pattern, I agree. Couldn't fish yesterday or today, so I'll probably have to do the same thing tomorrow. There's always the morning bite, and now we'll have another minor with moon overhead in the AM as well. It's a huge advantage when you can fish for a few days in a row....and a bit of a challenge when you go more sporadically.

    I could always go at night, which is a bit more of a sure thing, but, man oh man, I just love tossing jigs....

    Quote Originally Posted by stpetebaitman View Post
    It's amazing how many fisherman drive over tarpon spots and have absolutely no idea the fish are there. Including me, I'm certain.

    We went exploring yesterday into a new area I'd never fished or driven a boat through. Found two new spots that I plan to go back to soon, quite a few tarpon around, and big fish which means there are many more not showing. We were forced to head in early due to storms approaching as well. Didn't hook any fish, but it was mission accomplished in getting two new GPS marks. Did manage to bring a 25lb cobia back to the dock that we found on a marker on the way home.
    I'm sure I run lots over as well.

    Exploring is something I think we all should do more of.

Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •