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Tarpon - Marathon

Hi Guys,

I'm UK angler heading to Marathon for the first week of May and have hired a self drive for 5 days. Weather permitting the plan is to hit the reefs and back country but I would also like to target a tarpon. I'll mainly be fishing by myself so anchoring up on the bridges for them maybe to tricky. Other than the bridges what other areas (not after anyone's marks) hold tarpon where I stand a chance of hooking up?



  • Capt HansenCapt Hansen Posts: 30 Deckhand

    I'll be down in March doing the same thing. I hope someone has some suggestions, as doing a solo bridge mission could be a mess.

  • AOKRVsAOKRVs Posts: 2,082 Captain

    Save time and don't fish where the fish aren't
    hire Piner-Wahoo on your boat - he will get you dialed in on where to go
    website for Capt Harlan


    Marathon, FL -- World Cat 320CC -- Charter Service cheaper than renting
    573-216-4078   -- The best prices on the best best brands everyday.

  • msk99msk99 Posts: 362 Deckhand
  • stc1993stc1993 Posts: 10,610 AG
    edited February 2018 #5

    @AOKRVs said:
    Save time and don't fish where the fish aren't
    hire Piner-Wahoo on your boat - he will get you dialed in on where to go
    website for Capt Harlan

    I agree that's the best thing to do to learn a new area. Go with a local Capt. at least once to learn the area some. You'll have a much better chance of catching some fish.

  • Capt HansenCapt Hansen Posts: 30 Deckhand

    I fully understand how a guide can help, and I have done that before. With mixed results, ranging from awesome to a complete waste of time and money. This time I'm spending my money on a boat rental.

  • ManxWarriorManxWarrior Posts: 5 Greenhorn

    I am in a similar position to Capt Hansen. I've done various charters through out the keys but this time I would like to go it alone and try and learn. I know by doing this the results will likely not be as good but hopefully if I find a few fish it will be a bit more rewarding as well as learning heaps.

  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 1,997 Captain

    Hiring Harlan will save you money in the long run. Rental company`s charge an arm and a leg for replacement props and lower units!

  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,702 Captain

    vaca cut at nite

    CUSTOM CHARTERS u pick the boat- Capt.Harlan Trammell
    American Allegiance Charters -LOWER KEYS BACKCOUNTRY FISHING,LOBSTER dives, fish the 33' WORLDCAT w/ AOK+Allegiance!
    your boat or mine, my spots+my gear, your fish.
    checkout our new website-[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski Posts: 16,703 AG

    @piner_wahoo said:
    vaca cut at nite

    That current is ripping, I don't think i'd be able to get an anchor to bite

    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • Capt HansenCapt Hansen Posts: 30 Deckhand

    @piner_wahoo said:
    vaca cut at nite

    Thanks for the tip. Anchoring in that current at night sounds sketchy. Maybe a slow troll into the current? I'll be staying right by there, I'll figure something out.

  • AOKRVsAOKRVs Posts: 2,082 Captain

    Live crabs for Bahia Honda
    Pinfish or mullet for 7 mile bridge


    Marathon, FL -- World Cat 320CC -- Charter Service cheaper than renting
    573-216-4078   -- The best prices on the best best brands everyday.

  • capt.cohocapt.coho Posts: 18 Greenhorn

    Honestly the bridges are your best bet without messing up the fishing for others. The spots to anchor and drift baits that aren't bridges are banks leading up to them. The problem is if you do not know exactly how to anchor up on them, you change the flow of fish that would move through them. The bright side to this is the bridges hold fish and by walking them you can do recon as to where the fish are holding. Mullet are easiest, set it and forget it. Crabs are great as well but take a little more finesse. Slow trolling into the current won't work, or wont work well enough. Tarpon are real skidish during the day, good chance prop noise will turn them off to feeding. That being said too, if you're slow trolling and hook up it would be very hard to take care of both and you will be in close proximity to other boats pretty much anywhere you go. I'll echo the sentiment here about hiring a captain at least once. You've gone this far to rent the boat, might as well get everything you can out of the experience. The hour after sunset is by far the best but you can catch fish any part of the day. Dawn is also a really great time and chances are if you set up on a bridge before sun rise you'll be the only guy there. Tarpon do most of their feeding at dawn and dusk. they'll move around a lot more at night so at dawn you'll find them running the length of the bridge more than stacking up one on top of each other.

  • UK AnglerUK Angler Posts: 298 Deckhand

    It's just like stick float fishing for big roach ! 😀😀😀

  • SteelhullerSteelhuller Posts: 23 Greenhorn

    Question on setup. I have one 8,000 spinner that I'm bringing for our trip in June. Could I get away with using a 6,000 size spinner for a second rig or am I more than likely going to get spooled?

  • capt.cohocapt.coho Posts: 18 Greenhorn

    no you'll be fine with the 6000 if you can chase in any way

  • Capt HansenCapt Hansen Posts: 30 Deckhand

    What's everyone's opinion on line for tarpon? I can't decide if I should go straight 20 lb mono or spool up with 50 lb braid

  • capt.cohocapt.coho Posts: 18 Greenhorn

    both have their pros and cons. At some point during the fight shes going to get a long ways away from you. There is always weeds and **** in the water and braid having such a smaller diameter, its less likely to get a carpet of weeds on it. So when that fish jumps, and she will, there is less of a likelihood that the fish will pull the hook or break the line due to the force of the weeds on the line. Now, mono has stretch and is substantially more forgiving so when she jumps and head shakes and you don't bow perfectly you probably won't throw the hook or snap the line. Really if you're not casting to fish then i'd run a top shot of mono with about a foot or two feet of fluro. If you go that road though, get **** good at those connecting knots. Do them a few times prior to doing the game time set up. Nothing will test tackle like a tarpon. Good like man. I honestly don't know if there is a day that goes by that I don't think about things, they're really something special.

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