Tarpon bite?

anglin_niccianglin_nicci Crystal RiverPosts: 3 Greenhorn
Hey everyone, Im new to the forum but not new to fishing!
Been seeing a lot of tarpon rolling and chasing bait around where I fish but cant seem to get their interest with anything Im throwing. Ive tried soft swim baits like Z-man paddlers, crank baits, artificial shrimp, spoons etc. Anyone have any go - to lures for tarpon? I prefer artificial. 

thanks!

Replies

  • seadog517seadog517 Posts: 170 Deckhand
    Are you fishing in tannic waters..how deep are they in
  • anglin_niccianglin_nicci Crystal RiverPosts: 3 Greenhorn
    The waters arent that tannic, its brackish though. Id say 8-10 ft. Theres a river/canal where boats go and a few deep spots that they seem to be hiding around, lots of mullet.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,476 Captain
    What size are the tarpon you’re seeing since that will strongly determine how to go about fishing them...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • anglin_niccianglin_nicci Crystal RiverPosts: 3 Greenhorn
    Juvenile to about 100lbs!
  • seadog517seadog517 Posts: 170 Deckhand
    check your inbox
  • 10kman10kman Posts: 541 Officer
      Like you prefer arties also but that may not fit it
    with what tarpon are eating.So try a very small hard
    head catfish or ladyfish.Or a chunk of fresh lady or
    catfish.Or a small chunk of sailcat.












     
     n


  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 1,043 Officer
    those fish in crystal river will mess with your mind.  Once light breaks and boats move on the river those fish get spooky.  A live mullet (or ladyfish) drifted in the dark could be your best bet, or cut one and soak it. Catching one in the springtime might be a little "easier" than December.  
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,476 Captain
    Every tarpon (anywhere you find them...) is ruled by water temperature... If the waters are too cold they not only won't bite - but you can bet they'll be moving to somewhere with warmer waters period...  The big girls come into the interior of the Everglades where I fish when water temps are around 70 degrees - but they're not eating anything until the waters they're in are at 74 degrees -and there are always places under the surface where water temps may be a bit higher than what we're able to read with our temperature gauges (which only read the surface temps or just a foot or so under the surface...).  Smaller tarpon are much more resilient and we're able to get bites from them in less than 70 degree waters most days (but not all...).

    Now to add to the "mystery"... seeing tarpon rolling is not feeding behavior at all - they're just gulping air to add to their oxygen needs... The moment they're down - they're headed right to the bottom since that's where they hang out when they're not migrating somewhere... 

    My advice to anyone tossing flies or lures at tarpon is to slow down and fish something that works deep (or at least deep enough for the water they're holding in...) whenever they're in rivers, creeks, or channels... This is very different from fishing migrating tarpon that you can see near the surface in shallow waters in spring and summer...  We have great success with DOA Baitbusters (the deep model), bucktials and leadheads with Gulp tails, big black flies, and Mirrolures designed to work at least at the mid depths.... The advice already given about live and dead bait is right on the money.  I can tell you that if you're using bait - go to circle hooks - nothing hooks tarpon better... and with bait we never drop back one inch on the bite.  I want every rod we're fishing in the rodholder with the fighting drag in place - and I don't want my anglers touching the rod until it's bent over hard and the drag is screaming...  I lost a lot of tarpon before we learned to fish this way with live or dead bait.  Our solid hookups now are in the 8 out of 10 category - as long as there's no slack in the line on a bite...

    Hope this helps... there's just nothing like a big tarpon on the line (or any size tarpon for that matter...).
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • MulletMaster239MulletMaster239 Southwest FloridaPosts: 59 Greenhorn
    You may prefer artificials but tarpon truly do not. They normally don’t feed as carelessly as other fish and don’t like to spend much effort getting food. Some days, a dead bait on the bottom is the only way to get a strike.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,476 Captain
    Last night in Biscayne Bay we put two in the air on the fly... Small fish in the 20 to 30lb range, 9wt rod, in very marginal conditions (water temps in the barely 70 to 67 degree range wind out of the north northeast at 10 to 15..). In a few days with the forecasted milder weather  and water temps, things should get better - but pretty good for only four hours on the water.... and a european angler who only gets to fish the salt once a year...

    When the night scene is on... we're looking at every fish we're tossing flies or lures at.... The smaller fish are much more tolerant of cold water than the big tarpon are... 

    Be a hero... take a kid fishing !
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 12,962 AG
    edited December 6 #12
    Cast small jig out.  Let it sink to bottom.  Reel straight in slowly keeping it close to the bottom.  If the fish are in the right mood (mostly temp this time of year as Capt. Lemay points out) you'll eventually get a bite.   Trying after dark around moonrise or moonset is an idea I'd try if they won't bite during the day.  Dead bait is also another idea to try if the artificials don't work.  Good luck....Mike
  • turkaholicturkaholic Eastern Connecticut Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    Just got back from 6 amazing days of fishing. Had 4 shots at tarpon, landed one about 25 lbs. my first ever and a long time dream. This is my second trip trying for these majestic giants. Had one about 100 lbs turn away at the last second. I was mostly floating live shrimp to them. Sometimes no weight but always as light as possible. Had several sharks and 4 or 5 jacks. One about 15 lbs. I’m so hooked now is unreal. Spent time in a kayak and shore fishing,  also took a few party boat trips. Can’t wait to come back!
  • kingfish_killer_69kingfish_killer_69 JaxPosts: 2 Greenhorn
    i like live shiners for tarpon
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