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What were they eating?

AG.AG. Posts: 5 Greenhorn
baby tarpon busting on what seemed like invisible bugs? on the surface but wouldn't eat anything i had.


  • Tarpon TanglerTarpon Tangler Posts: 58 Greenhorn
    They are most likely coming to the surface for air but feeding near the bottom. Try throwing small 1-2" dark sinking flies like a black wooly **** or small black clouser.
  • deerflydeerfly Posts: 767 Officer
    I agree with TT, most likely they were what I call divers, meaning rolling very quickly and diving straight for the bottom. When they do this the surface disturbance may seem like a strike at something on top, but it's not. Usually, it's the first tail kick for the bottom that leaves a blast of sorts behind. You'll see this behavior in brackish or fresh water often, seemingly for no reason at times and elsewhere for traveling or pressured fish on the move. If it's babies in protected water they may hit something down deep as TT suggested. If they are moving from one place to another, like leaving a creek or shallow bay for deeper water on a falling tide, they may not eat. If they're staged up around there and just holding near the bottom you have a better chance.

    Something to keep in mind with tarpon, especially juvi's in dark or tannic water, is you're most likely not seeing all the fish there and the one's rolling aren't necessarily at the front of the pack either. In those situations fishing intermediate or sinking lines is almost never a bad idea, unless you have your heart set on getting a surface strike (no harm there for sure either), but you may end up fishless if you stay on top. Even when lazy rolling, unless you can see them milling about in the upper water column, blind casting the vicinity down deeper with a dark fly may be the ticket to get one in the air.
    "impossibility cannot be concluded from a sample of failed efforts" - Edsger W. Dijkstra
  • JJDJJD Posts: 13 Greenhorn
    What general area were you fishing? Our last time out in the Everglades backcountry they were only hitting very small black flies <2". I've done OK with #1-#2 black muddlers. I've heard of several prominant guides going down to #4's for even relatively big fish.
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