For tarpon from 5-40 lbs, medium spinning rods 6.5-7 ft and
4000 class reels will suffice. I prefer braided line from 10-20
lbs with a 40lb fluorocarbon leader of 12-18 inches. For the
larger fish, a 5000 or 6000 class reel with 20-40 lb braid and
a heavy action rod will be necessary. Leaders should be
from 50-100 pounds.
Catching tarpon on artificial baits is my preferred method.
They can be just as effective as live bait when used
properly. See the photo to the left for the lures I use.
I prefer to cast these lures directly to rolling fish. Let the bait
sink for several seconds and begin a slow retrieve. The
strikes on these lures are often very subtle. My go to lures
for large tarpon are the DOA Baitbuster and TerrorEyz. For
tarpon under 30 pounds, the 1/4 oz. DOA Shrimp is very
effective. While the large fish will certainly eat the shrimp, it
is often difficult to cast it far enough with heavy tackle. If the
small fish do not eat the shrimp, a Tiny Terror Eyz will
usually do the trick. Sometimes, the small fish will eat the
shallow running baitbuster better than anything else.
Change lures until you find what works on that day.
Topwater baits and swimming plugs can also be used to
catch tarpon. These types of baits have two disadvantages.
They are easily shaken by jumping fish. Handling a
thrashing fish with several sets of treble hooks dangling from
its mouth can also be dangerous. If you want a topwater
tarpon bite, try the DOA BFL. It has only one treble hook
making both hookup and release easier.
For spectacular strikes, nothing beats a small finger mullet
fished on the surface. Other small to medium baitfish will
also draw strikes. Menhaden, scaled sardines, threadfin
herring, ladyfish, pinfish, and mojarras are examples of baits
that can easily be caught with a cast net. I use circle hooks
exclusively. The use of these hooks prevent the leader from
wearing through as the fish are nearly always hooked in the
top lip or corner of the jaw. 4/0 or 5/0 size hooks will work on
all juvenile fish. Use 7/0 to 9/0 for fish over 50 lbs. Live baits
will also be targets for every other fish out there including
ladyfish, catfish, and bluefish/ They can be troublesome
when targeting tarpon and is the reason I prefer artificial
Tarpon are my favorite fish. I you want to learn how to
become a successful tarpon fisherman, contact me for an
Tarpon are available in central Florida from the late spring
through fall. Juvenile fish arrive first and can be found in
various creeks and canals off the Indian River and Mosquito
Lagoon. In the late summer, adult tarpon move into the
lagoon system. They will normally remain inshore until the
cold fronts start to arrive.
Fishing for tarpon is fun and exciting but, in our area, can
sometimes be inconsistent. There may be hundreds of them
around one day, and virtually none the next. I encourage
people to book a trip with the hope of catching a tarpon but
not with that being their sole objective. If the tarpon are
around, we will target them. If not, there are always other
types of fish to catch.
|Tarpon Fishing Near Orlando Florida with Capt. Chris Myers
Your Orlando Fishing Guide