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Tarpon in the keys

2015 was a great year for tarpon fishing, landed many tarpon from my personal best to the smallest micros. Tarpon have quickly become my favorite fish to target, no mater what season it is you can always find them down in the Florida keys. Once February kicks in the shrimp get flowing and the tarpon can resist them, my favorite way to target them is with a 1/8 circle hook jig head and a nice sized shrimp hooked thru the head this gives your bait a natural presentation as it drifts with the current. I prefer to fish the full moon week where the moon is well lit and up most of the night this gives you a nice shadow line to fish on ether tide. I have most luck casting up current a few feet past the shadow line once the shrimp hits the water I put the trigger finger on and leave the bail open with the rod tip up, as the shrimp passes infron of me I will lower the rod tip to let the shrimp drift under the bridge not till tehn will I start giving the shrimp line. ill hold the shrimp under the bridge for about 20 sec if no action I repeat the same process till I get hit. usually if the tarpon are there they will hit first cast if presented to correctly , Most hits occur as the bait is crossing in to the shadow line the tarpon will come up and swim down with shrimp this is why I prefer the circle hook. once you reel tight they just sit against the current not knowing what just happened, seconds later youll see silver in the air quite a few times. There is something about the way these fish propel up into the air that gets me every time. the fight on the bridge with the smaller poons is relatively fast due to you having to keep them away from the pylons, once you have them beat we lower the drop net for a quick picture then use the net to lower them back in the water. I recommend using a medium heavy rod with a 3000 size reel or bigger with minimum of 20lb braid and 60 lb leader if you want to have fun you can lighter your tackle I have gotten them on a 2500 stradic with 20lb braid and 30lb leader. If I'm fishing a mullet during the fall I will up my tackle to at least 50lb braid due to the bigger fish wanting the mullet and a 6000 size reel. When I go to the bigger bridges to target triple digit tarpon I prefer to throw swim baits, flair hawks and hogy lures. I like to cast these lures parallel to the bridge and reel them back reel slow this gets the tarpon mad if that's not working ill rip it across that surface and that will get hit. My goal for this year is to land 100+ I will keep you guys posted every trip.

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