How to land/release large tarpon from a Jetty

greyreefsharkgreyreefshark Posts: 413 Deckhand

When I fish the Hillsboro Inlet again, I was wondering how in the heck I would possibly unhook, photo and release a Tarpon from the Jetty. I know it would be an uncoordinated effort and possibly dangerous to the fish and myself. Would you guys simply avoid fishing the inlet and Jetty and maybe find a beach spot? Or do you have ways of unhooking, photoing, and releasing safely from the rocks?



  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,008 Officer
    edited February 6 #2

    You could always play/lead the fish around to the beach side. Or you could get down the rocks to the water.

    What you are gonna have to do is grab the leader and break the will of the fish - tarpon can breath air and will gulp air as you fight 'em from shore - you will see a surge in energy after they do that.

    Once you get the fish near the rocks/beach, you grab the leader and hang on thru the fish's final surge - once that is over, the tarpon will just lay there for you. The circle hook can then be unscrewed - you turn the hook out. Or you can cut the line. Some guys take a single scale off their first tarpon as a keep sake.

  • andrewthe1andrewthe1 Posts: 606 Officer

    not sure about the set up of that jetty but walking them to the beach is good if jetty/"walk" is not too far.

    Instead of drag the fish, you could just go light on drag while you run to beach then tighten back up to bring to the sand.

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  • greyreefsharkgreyreefshark Posts: 413 Deckhand

    Thankyou guys very much for the help on this!

  • Yeaaa_ChrisYeaaa_Chris Posts: 547 Officer

    Bringing them beach side is ideal, but not always possible. Strong incoming tide, and it aint happening. Best bet is to be wearing good shoes and climb down the rocks to get as close as possible to the fish. You might be able to remove the hook, but majority of the time you will just have to pop the fish off. If you are fishing plugs, get rid of the treble hooks!
    Using 50/60 lb leader will be much easier to pop than using 80/100. I almost got pulled in by a fish trying to pop 100lb. It hurt and wasn't fun.

  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 2,154 Captain

    I don’t jetty fish, but it seems to me unhooking a fully grown tarpon ( that you are trying not to tire out too much and kill) at the waters edge on a jetty seems like a good way the end up with a whole lot of barnacle rash

    You should have been here yesterday
  • greyreefsharkgreyreefshark Posts: 413 Deckhand

    That barnacle looks like it could cut a person good.

  • greyreefsharkgreyreefshark Posts: 413 Deckhand

    The point of the Jetty to the beach doesn’t seem that far. I will definitely go that route if I can’t do it at the rocks.

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