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Some tarpon advice please

Wra22Wra22 Posts: 197 Deckhand
A few questions.  

1.  I took off the three treble hooks on a super spook and put just one Owner 3/0 on the tail.  Is this a mistake?  Will this rig get a hookset?

2.  I fish with an Ugly Stick that has a very soft tip.  Is this a mistake?  Do i need a stiff tip to get a hookset?

3.  I lose them when they jump on both bucktails and plugs.  When should i try and set the hook?  As soon as they hit?  During the jump? When the jump is over?

Is using braid a mistake even with the soft tip?


Thanks in advance for the help.  

Replies

  • Diego_sosaaDiego_sosaa Posts: 117 Deckhand
    1. I don't use hard plugs for tarpon I much rather use a soft top water or a fluke with no weight.

    2. A soft rod like an ugly stick might be a problem. I use a med heavy st croix avid but you don't need fancy after all the fish don't care how your rod looks just invest in a solid rod with more backbone.

    3. The second I get ate I set the hook then let the tarpon do his thing and make sure to not have to much drag.

    4. Braid is not a mistake especially since you already have enough give with the soft rod.

    5. I am by NO means at all the best tarpon fisherman on this forum but I learn more every time I chase them and you will also so don't get discouraged.

    6. How big are the tarpon you are chasing?

  • Wra22Wra22 Posts: 197 Deckhand
    Usually they are 4-5 feet long with an occasional monster. Of course, I am using fishermen’s eyes to make these estimates. 
  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 3,237 Captain
    If you land 1 out of 4 you're doing good.  I bet I jumped close to 20 before I landed my first.  Thousands of tarpon later I'm still happy with 1 out of 4.
    Like Diego said, you'll land more with lures that aren't weighted, and plugs make it even harder than jigs.
    I've had good luck with soft tip rods on the juvis but not on the adults (which it sounds like you're into)...
    When they hit I like to pound that hook set it a few times, hopefully before the first jump.
    With live bait I actually like the give of mono, but with lures braid is almost a must to get a good hookset.

    Good luck!  Post up some pics when you get one in.  And don't forget, any tarpon over 40" has to stay in the water.  Respect the king.

    -Mag
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    Captain Keith - Crooked Rod Charters
  • SnookSlob1SnookSlob1 Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    edited March 2019 #5
    Wra22 said:
    Usually they are 4-5 feet long with an occasional monster. Of course, I am using fishermen’s eyes to make these estimates. 
    One thing I found is I lose alot less fish when fishing a light set up (Shimano 4K, 15 lb braid, on medium 7ft st croix), I believe this is because the rod has more give and when they jump I don’t really have to “bow”, the only problem is you fight the fish for a good bit longer. With a stiffer rod (penn 5500 on 8ft Star Heavy) they tend to throw the hook easier but you won’t run into the issue of being under gunned as much.
    just my experience 
  • Diego_sosaaDiego_sosaa Posts: 117 Deckhand
    edited March 2019 #7
    Wra22 said:
    Usually they are 4-5 feet long with an occasional monster. Of course, I am using fishermen’s eyes to make these estimates. 
    One thing I found is I lose alot less fish when fishing a light set up (Shimano 4K, 15 lb braid, on medium 7ft st croix), I believe this is because the rod has more give and when they jump I don’t really have to “bow”, the only problem is you fight the fish for a good bit longer. With a stiffer rod (penn 5500 on 8ft Star Heavy) they tend to throw the hook easier but you won’t run into the issue of being under gunned as much.
    just my experience 
    Id go for heavier than needed hate to be under prepared Incase of a monster, you can always have a loose drag but you can’t add yards of line.

    I remember you and me were fishing the same spot 2 weeks ago I believe?
  • SnookSlob1SnookSlob1 Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    edited March 2019 #8
    Wra22 said:
    Usually they are 4-5 feet long with an occasional monster. Of course, I am using fishermen’s eyes to make these estimates. 
    One thing I found is I lose alot less fish when fishing a light set up (Shimano 4K, 15 lb braid, on medium 7ft st croix), I believe this is because the rod has more give and when they jump I don’t really have to “bow”, the only problem is you fight the fish for a good bit longer. With a stiffer rod (penn 5500 on 8ft Star Heavy) they tend to throw the hook easier but you won’t run into the issue of being under gunned as much.
    just my experience 
    Id go for heavier than needed hate to be under prepared Incase of a monster, you can always have a loose drag but you can’t add yards of line.

    I remember you and me were fishing the same spot 2 weeks ago I believe?
    Yes haha, that spots been on fire
    How heavy of a rod we’re you using that day?
  • finbullyfinbully Posts: 764 Officer
    Want to learn tarpon fishing?  Book a guide that fishes the area you fish - and uses the kind of gear you want to use (bait, lures, the fly... or someone that does it all...). Split the trip with a buddy to reduce the cost.

    You’ll learn more in one day than you will in a year on your own.
    Capt. LeMay taught me more about tarpon fishing in a couple of days than I would have learned on my own in a year just like he said! Book a guide and come ready to learn. No bull!
  • Diego_sosaaDiego_sosaa Posts: 117 Deckhand
    Wra22 said:
    Usually they are 4-5 feet long with an occasional monster. Of course, I am using fishermen’s eyes to make these estimates. 
    One thing I found is I lose alot less fish when fishing a light set up (Shimano 4K, 15 lb braid, on medium 7ft st croix), I believe this is because the rod has more give and when they jump I don’t really have to “bow”, the only problem is you fight the fish for a good bit longer. With a stiffer rod (penn 5500 on 8ft Star Heavy) they tend to throw the hook easier but you won’t run into the issue of being under gunned as much.
    just my experience 
    Id go for heavier than needed hate to be under prepared Incase of a monster, you can always have a loose drag but you can’t add yards of line.

    I remember you and me were fishing the same spot 2 weeks ago I believe?
    Yes haha, that spots been on fire
    How heavy of a rod we’re you using that day?
    That spots always on fire but the tarpon don’t go anywhere so I give them breaks.I was using a med heavy avid with a 5k Saragossa and yeah I could have used lighter and I did catch a few after you left on my 2500, but I rather use heavyier stuff.
  • greyreefsharkgreyreefshark Posts: 508 Officer
    edited March 2019 #11
    Obviously there are many people that use circle hooks for tarpon. But could using a circle hook that has a very short distance between hook point and shaft help to land more fish?

    This is just a photo I found online. Not necessarily this hook, but one that has either this distance or even closer between hook point and shaft. My thinking being, the less space between those 2 spots, the less room there is for the hook to be thrown.

    Any thoughts?
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,898 Captain
    All we ever use is an owner circle size 6/0 for baits up to 12-13”
    long.  Bigger baits will see bigger hooks (7/0 or 8/0...).  We avoid really heavy circles.  I’ll look up the exact model and post it up later today if I have time.   A single day off this time of year means lots to do...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • greyreefsharkgreyreefshark Posts: 508 Officer
    That was Awesome Bob! Thankyou so much for that! Just a wealth of info, have a fun and successful fly fishing trip! 😊👍
  • greyreefsharkgreyreefshark Posts: 508 Officer
    That is odd that they get hooked in the top of the mouth with the circle hook. Any species of fish I’ve ever caught get nearly always in the corner.

    Sometimes a Flathead Catfish will get it on the top because many times you are fishing for them directly under the boat.
  • NopratKoonsNopratKoons East CentralPosts: 40 Greenhorn
    Lure fishing for tarpon is a tough gig, though it's my favorite way to target them.  I've had a bit better luck hooking up using a smaller hook or jig like what's found on the DOA Terroreyz.  I caught a 30lb tarpon on a round 1/8oz jighead that you'd use for a shakey head bass worm.  What you want is a fine wire, razor sharp hook.  Once you are hooked up, back off the drag and enjoy the show.  The only downside is pulled, bent-out hooks from time to time.
  • reelfirereelfire ny/flaPosts: 55 Greenhorn
    anyone use a VMC 7150 hook My crew started using them up here in NY and we are getting good hook up ratios on many fish species.
    If you aren't fishing on the edge, youre probably blocking the channel.
  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 3,237 Captain
    Nothing in NY compares to a tarpon.  Respect the king.  :)
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    Captain Keith - Crooked Rod Charters
  • 10kman10kman Posts: 659 Officer
      Have a neighbor,92 years old who still goes tarpon fishing.
    He has caught many over 140 lbs.You may not like his 
    methods but 80#l braid,100lb.flourcarbon leader & 300
    yds.of line.Catch a hardhead catfish,cut off the fins and
    hook the cat on 7/0 hook and drop the fish in 8-15ft.You
    will also catch alot of sharks this way also.
        Little wind,in particular no North Wind with rising,moving
    tide.Across the state methods will vary but in 10k area works.



  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,010 AG
    edited March 2019 #20
    Wra22 said:
    A few questions.  

    1.  I took off the three treble hooks on a super spook and put just one Owner 3/0 on the tail.  Is this a mistake?  Will this rig get a hookset?

    2.  I fish with an Ugly Stick that has a very soft tip.  Is this a mistake?  Do i need a stiff tip to get a hookset?

    3.  I lose them when they jump on both bucktails and plugs.  When should i try and set the hook?  As soon as they hit?  During the jump? When the jump is over?

    [4.] Is using braid a mistake even with the soft tip?


    Thanks in advance for the help.  
    1.  I'm not a fan of treble hooks and tarpon, nor topwater baits and tarpon, so I can't really comment.  If I were dead set on using an artificial bait for tarpon, I'd use a swimsuit (like a DOA Baitbuster Trolling Model) or one of the Hogy baits with a jig head.
    2.  A soft tip is not necessarily a mistake, but setting the hook on a tarpon at the wrong time certainly is.  When you set a hook on a tarpon, you should do it when the drag is going out.  Not when you see the hit, and not when you feel the line come tight.  Wait to hear your drag going out, then set the hook a few times.  If done correctly, the whippy tip doesn't matter, but your drag setting most certainly will.
    3.  You'll lose tarpon no matter what you do, but setting the hook after the drag is already going out will help.  You don't need a stiff tip to hook a tarpon, not at all.  When a tarpon hits, just reel until the line comes tight, the fish feels the hook, and the drag starts to go out.  As soon as your drag starts to go out, then set the hook (several times), preferably before they take to the air.  Setting the hook on slack line is the single biggest mistake I see rookies make.  
    4.  No, using braid is not a mistake.

    As far as circle hooks are concerned, I prefer light wire circles.  My favorite is the Mustad 39951BLN in 7/0.  In my own testing, it hooks and holds tarpon better than any other hook I've tried.  It's a light wire hook though, and you can definitely straighten it:



    Capt Lemay's advice of hiring a guide is solid.  You'd be wise to take his advice.

    Good luck...Mike
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,010 AG
    reelfire said:
    anyone use a VMC 7150 hook My crew started using them up here in NY and we are getting good hook up ratios on many fish species.
    That's the same jig hook that's in the Hogy jig head.  It's an OK hook, but I'm not sure I would use it except in a jig.


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