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Some Tarpon, Permit, Cobia

Well, it has been a nice little stretch with good weather and a lot of fish in the area. Now begins the fun of being 90 degrees by 9am. We had a lot of fun that I will share a little about, including a handful of the pictures that don’t contain any visible background:), some are good, some are bad. Enjoy pictures and more reading below...



Tarpon are creatures of habit that move huge distances on a daily basis. They generally come back to the same haunts year after year, but it can at times be a bit of a struggle to find out where they are on a particular day, unless you get them ‘dialed in’. Getting them dialed takes a lot of time, a lot of dedication and a lot of failed attempts, but once you figure it out the feeling of accomplishment is something else. A lot of people like tarpon fishing when it’s easy, out in the passes during the peak times of the year, when there are 100 other boats. While that can be fun for a few trips I find the more enjoyable experiences are when you find a group of fish all to yourself without another boat in sight. It is especially enjoyable when the predictions and decisions you make in order to put yourself in that position are accurate.



All decisions when tarpon fishing should be deliberate and purposeful; whether it is picking a spot to start for the day or deciding exactly where to anchor. When the fish are either not in the popular spots or not rolling for whatever the reason, this is where people get totally lost. Times like these are when having a referenceable experience that you had prior can put you on fish. Taking detailed notes of successful and failed fishing trips with information such as dates, moon phases, solunar periods, wind speed, wind direction, water clarity, baitfish movements, time of day, etc. all help when you analyze your logs after years of keeping detailed notes. I am like the vast majority of the crowd on this forum, I work Monday through Friday at a desk job and am able to fish on weekends. So, I don’t have any time to figure out where the fish are during the week so that I can get on them on the weekends with my friends. But, I do have my brain and some basic analytical skills to look at my fishing logs and say, “ok, it’s the full moon in August, we have a south wind this weekend at 10knts, an incoming tide in the morning, there is a major from 8-10am, the water has about three feet of visibility and there is nothing but fry bait around – I am going to go here and use this technique”.



To get a spot dialed in and understand the nuances of it, first, find an area where you think there are fish. Dedicate your time on the water to just understand that area. Try different tides, wind directions, moon phases, etc. Eventually you will have success or be able to figure out when the fish move in and out of the area based on those factors, or never go back again. Once you figure out an area, try not to just pound it day in and day out, the fish will simply leave if they get too much pressure. Instead, work on learning different areas. Soon enough, you will have a couple spots, then a handful, then a lot you can go to with confidence that the fish will be there based on what you have learned. Lastly, once you figure out your spots, don’t tell a gosh dang person about them because you worked your *** off for the information it took you years to uncover. Be your own network. The people who didn’t have to work at all for the information you may be kind enough to give out are the ones that take it for granted the most.



Once you do all of the work to learn areas, be prepared to have everything ripped out from under you when the fish up and leave or throw some sort of curve ball at you. Then the fun starts all over again…

All the tackle used when livebait fishing is 50lb mainline, 60-80lb leader and a 7/0 circle hook. For dead bait fishing we use 50lb mono mainline connected to 150lb leader crimped to a 4X 8/0 hook. Most common baits are threadfins, pilchards, pinfish, croakers, ladyfish, grunts, pumpkinseeds, crabs, fresh dead shad, mullet, DOA Baitbusters, Hogy 10in lures and much more.

Get out there and enjoy out area, we are all lucky to live here.

Replies

  • HOOKED UPP!HOOKED UPP! Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    Thanks for sharing all the great pictures.. Words can't define what the pictures show....
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 704 Officer
    I'm curious about what you're calling pumpkinseeds; the only pumpkinseeds I know are the really small freshwater sunfish and I wouldn't think they'd be suitable bait for tarpon.
  • mjrudd1mjrudd1 Posts: 278 Deckhand
    Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 13,927 AG
    Good stuff, Trent. :)
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,001 Officer
    Nice dude. The pictures make me want to bring out the DSLR and 70-200mm on future trips.
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 1,052 Officer
    crazy good!
    August has always been one of those months to tarpon fish that is often quite fun. One year when snook fishing mid Aug. I found tarpon everywhere, hundreds and hundred, really. I hooked and jumped the largest tarpon I had ever seen anywhere that day, it was tailwalking looked me right in the eye on the 3rd jump about 20' from boat and 80lb test was a joke to that one. But the fish were there at the same tide conditions at various points in the days over a 2 week period. Then they were gone. Had not seen en there like that since, til early may this year when they were about a mile from there and there hundred and hundreds once again. 4 yrs gone by since I saw them in that area in that concentration. Have not seen them there in numbers since before Colin came through.
    I live in Hernando county and still have not really ventured into these waters here for tarpon (or permit for that matter). It becomes whole different games on the flats, creeks and rivers up my way.
    No one wants to share that info with me or take me out...

    Fuzion...yeah those cameras and film have taken my best tarpon pics.
  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 1,434 Officer
    Good stuff..........
  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman St. PetePosts: 925 Officer
    I'm curious about what you're calling pumpkinseeds; the only pumpkinseeds I know are the really small freshwater sunfish and I wouldn't think they'd be suitable bait for tarpon.

    Atlantic bumpers
  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman St. PetePosts: 925 Officer
    Jason (Fuzion), we have been using an 18-140mm lense. I found that if the fish are further away than images you can capture on the 18-140mm it is really really difficult to get a good picture.

    PermitMe - It sounds like those fish in the area were drawn in by something, my guess is bait. An area can't support a large group of fish for a couple of weeks without an abundance of bait. But, why they wouldn't come back with any consistency is beyond me. That's tarpon for ya..

    Thanks to the others for positive comments as well
  • rkmurphyrkmurphy Posts: 71 Greenhorn
    Teach me! I'm a weekend warrior, too, and your post is inspiring! You've got skills...
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,001 Officer
    Jason (Fuzion), we have been using an 18-140mm lense. I found that if the fish are further away than images you can capture on the 18-140mm it is really really difficult to get a good picture.

    PermitMe - It sounds like those fish in the area were drawn in by something, my guess is bait. An area can't support a large group of fish for a couple of weeks without an abundance of bait. But, why they wouldn't come back with any consistency is beyond me. That's tarpon for ya..

    Thanks to the others for positive comments as well

    18-140 Canon or Nikon? What body are you using?
  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman St. PetePosts: 925 Officer
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,208 Moderator
    Great report, and nice shirt in the first pic.
  • releasegearreleasegear Posts: 758 Officer
    awesome!!
    bornoffshore-sig.jpg

    Mike Wilhite - Fisherman/President

    Born Offshore Gear
    www.bornoffshore.com

    'Performance Fishing Apparel'
  • LivinwideLivinwide Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    Your title said nothing of flag yellowtails! That's the best eatin' IMO! Nice work and a great reminder to grab the camera in the midst of battle!
  • releasegearreleasegear Posts: 758 Officer
    Hi Trent - I've been trying to get a hook up using the Hogys for last 3 seasons - no luck. In some cases it seems like they avoid it :(
    Any suggestions? I've been using 10" in black and white - with swim hook or with 2oz jig head...
    bornoffshore-sig.jpg

    Mike Wilhite - Fisherman/President

    Born Offshore Gear
    www.bornoffshore.com

    'Performance Fishing Apparel'
  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman St. PetePosts: 925 Officer
    Hi Trent - I've been trying to get a hook up using the Hogys for last 3 seasons - no luck. In some cases it seems like they avoid it :(
    Any suggestions? I've been using 10" in black and white - with swim hook or with 2oz jig head...

    First, I really only use black. If you are sight casting in shallow water like on the beach, I would just use a normal circle hook. If in deep water where the fish are feeding on or near bottom, use the 2oz jighead. I like a slow to medium retrieve with no twitches, just slow and steady. We have hooked hundreds of fish on them. I have no idea what they think it is but they will eat them in the right scenario.
  • releasegearreleasegear Posts: 758 Officer
    First, I really only use black. If you are sight casting in shallow water like on the beach, I would just use a normal circle hook. If in deep water where the fish are feeding on or near bottom, use the 2oz jighead. I like a slow to medium retrieve with no twitches, just slow and steady. We have hooked hundreds of fish on them. I have no idea what they think it is but they will eat them in the right scenario.

    100's - im trying to get 1 !! LMAO Thanks for the confidence boost !!
    Seriously I appreciate it - going to try it again this week
    bornoffshore-sig.jpg

    Mike Wilhite - Fisherman/President

    Born Offshore Gear
    www.bornoffshore.com

    'Performance Fishing Apparel'
  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman St. PetePosts: 925 Officer
    100's - im trying to get 1 !! LMAO Thanks for the confidence boost !!
    Seriously I appreciate it - going to try it again this week

    That is absolutely no exaggeration- so have confidence, good luck!
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 1,052 Officer
    ... But, why they wouldn't come back with any consistency is beyond me. That's tarpon for ya.

    possibly fish moving back down south from panhandle and big bend areas following bait inshore???

    BTW, do the Hogy weighted Grip hooks work. I have some of 6/0 but not used them yet. they seem a little small for tarpon.
  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman St. PetePosts: 925 Officer
    possibly fish moving back down south from panhandle and big bend areas following bait inshore???

    BTW, do the Hogy weighted Grip hooks work. I have some of 6/0 but not used them yet. they seem a little small for tarpon.

    That is a definite possibility with the migration piece of it. In my opinion through no scientific evidence, just fishing, we have a fall migration of tarpon into our area that come from the north.

    With the Hogys, I usually just slap my favorite circle hook on them and call it a day. I don't buy the expensive circle hook connector things that Hogy makes. It works just fine.
  • FishTankFishTank Posts: 75 Deckhand
    Impressive! Great pics.
  • HansSoloHansSolo Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    Hi Trent - I've been trying to get a hook up using the Hogys for last 3 seasons - no luck. In some cases it seems like they avoid it :(
    Any suggestions? I've been using 10" in black and white - with swim hook or with 2oz jig head...

    The best color on the beach is 10" 6/0 circle hook Bubble Gum or "pink" - "white" is my second options. Its all presentation with tarpon - present the lure like the fly fisherman do with their flies. You have learn to lead that fish and put it in their "Box" and hit the trailing fish and not spook the lead fish. Long cast and accurate casting gets it done. You will learn a lot from fly fisherman, I learned. If you can get that done you might get more eats on the Hogy. Best day on the Hogy jumped 11 beachside. Its way more rewarding then live bait fishing and challenging IMO and the Eats are way COOLER!

    The black Hogy color works too for those deep fish or in low light. I was able to jump 10 fish last week on the Hogy and Baitbuster, but as the year get later. I think the Hogy takes a back seat to the Baitbuster as the tarpon seem to want baitfish rather than a Hogy that maybe looks like a lady fish to them.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 13,927 AG
    HansSolo wrote: »
    Its all presentation with tarpon - present the lure like the fly fisherman do with their flies. You have learn to lead that fish and put it in their "Box" and hit the trailing fish and not spook the lead fish. Long cast and accurate casting gets it done. You will learn a lot from fly fisherman, I learned.

    The above is worth restating. Dead on.

    One of the best things an aspiring artificial fisherman can do is to spend a day fishing with someone good at feeding them flies or a fly guide....or up under the bridges at night where the same feeding technique is learned.
  • releasegearreleasegear Posts: 758 Officer
    Tarponator wrote: »
    The above is worth restating. Dead on.

    One of the best things an aspiring artificial fisherman can do is to spend a day fishing with someone good at feeding them flies or a fly guide....or up under the bridges at night where the same feeding technique is learned.

    Thanks Guys!
    bornoffshore-sig.jpg

    Mike Wilhite - Fisherman/President

    Born Offshore Gear
    www.bornoffshore.com

    'Performance Fishing Apparel'
  • FlatsFrenzyFlatsFrenzy Posts: 893 Officer
    Tarponator wrote: »
    One of the best things an aspiring artificial fisherman can do is to spend a day fishing with someone good at feeding them flies or a fly guide....or up under the bridges at night where the same feeding technique is learned.

    Its amazing how differently they react to flies that are approaching / fleeing in different directions.

    Seems like common sense...but it can be tough to execute.
    -
    Chris
    Gulf Coast of FL
    @flatsfrenzy #flyonly #onelessspinrod
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,001 Officer
    That is a definite possibility with the migration piece of it. In my opinion through no scientific evidence, just fishing, we have a fall migration of tarpon into our area that come from the north.

    With the Hogys, I usually just slap my favorite circle hook on them and call it a day. I don't buy the expensive circle hook connector things that Hogy makes. It works just fine.

    I agree on the Fall migration and we catch tarpon in the passes around October. It's pretty crazy.
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