Inshore salt water fly fishing can be the most challenging and rewarding sport under the right circumstances. It does take the right saltwater fly to be productive.
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Tarpon Fishing

[Flounder] [Bluefish] [Grey/Speckled Trout] [Spanish] [False Albacore] [Drum] [Spot] [Tarpon]
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Tarpon, Megalops atlanticus, are considered one of the world's premier saltwater gamefish. Tarpon are large and powerful sport fish. The tarpon's long, thick, streamlined body give it great strength and stamina yelling spectacular fishing once hooked. The tarpon will put a great fight sometimes lasting hours. They have great bursts of speed and their and can make spectacular leaps reaching as much as 10 feet. This prowess can each tax the skill of the most experienced angler. No wonder the powerful tarpon is one of the most sought after fish in salt water.


Size: most angler can catch 40 to 50 pounds.
Records: Florida-243 lb, Texas 210 LB, NC 175 LB

Tarpon are not a very edible or palatable fish. They are not commercially fished in the United States although they are elsewhere; it is not common. Most tarpon caught by sports fisherman are fished for sport only and are released after catching. They live to fight another day.

Tarpon range in the western Atlantic from Virginia, and sometimes north, to Brazil depending on climate. They are common to the tropical waters between North and South America, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Florida contains some of the very best water. The tarpon is an inshore species that primarily inhabits coastal waters and estuaries. They may be found as deep as 100 feet, but generally are shallow-dwelling game fish. They can survive in waters with varying degrees of salinity.

Tarpon seek warm waters temperatures in the 66F to 86F range. For example, in the Florida Keys:

Tarpon Jumping

Photo Credit: The Tarpon Express w/
Captain Mike Williams 713-723-1911
Galveston, Texas

  • The best tarpon fishing of the year can be in January, February and March if the weather cooperates.
  • April, May, June and July are good, especially with cold fronts. The weather is more reliable during these months than earlier. Tarpon will likely start the migration sometime between April and June -- this is an excellent sight fishing experience.
  • The fishing is again good in August to December with good weather.

All months will yield fish in varying numbers. Cooler climes can be adjusted from the above. The Oriental, NC Tarpon Tournament is usually around very late July as a point of reference.

Tarpon generally travel in schools and are opportunistic feeders. Tarpon are active night feeders thus night fishing is very popular. Tarpon feed on crabs and a variety of fish, including sardines, anchovies, mullets and pinfish. When casting, anglers commonly sight fish. A variety of plugs and stick can be used to catch tarpon. Shallow runners jerked, then pause, then jerked often works. Jigging deep water and passes works nicely. Live baits including crab, shrimp and small bait fish are normally used while drifting or still-fishing.

Fly fishing for tarpon with the right fly is thoroughly breath taking experience. Try any of the flies mentioned below. I fish with a 10 or 11 weight floating line and sinking clear tip. A 12 weight line may caster further.

Note that tarpon can be a tough hookup. They have a bony mouth and a tough gill plate -- extremely sharp and strong hooks on the end of very strong leaders are a requirement. Once hooked tarpon can easily be lost after one of their powerful jumps or fast runs. Fly casters especially should use a strong tippet. The all-tackle world record for tarpon is 283 pounds at the time of this writing.

Enjoy fishing.

Chasing Silver
A Tarpon Journey
Now you can own the nationally acclaimed TV series that cinematically chronicles the most irrational (and most addictive) act in angling: hooking and landing a tarpon on a fly-rod. Includes all episodes of the acclaimed 4 part mini-series. About two hours of fishing action and special bonus features. "The bar has been officially raised for fishing entertainment" --Jim Bartschi, President, Scott Fishing Rods. About two hours
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Dr. Slick's Angler Tools
Hook File - 6 inch
6 inch long. Diamond surface with Medium and Heavy Grit
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Rainy's Flies
Saltwater: Tarpon Fly Assortment (FL912)
Got tarpon? This is a perfect collection for hunting these silver kings! This collection has 12 flies in the traditional Keys-style, some of Rainy's Signature tarpon flies, as well as some proven saltwater patterns such as double bunnies and whistlers that are excellent for this species. These flies come in a very nice hard-plastic, re-usable, fly box designed for longer flies. All you need for your next tarpon trip.Includes: Double Bunnies, Pinocchio, CD Whistler, Tarpon Shrimp, Rainy's Tarpon Fly, Tarpon Fly Cochroach
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Checkout safely at NCFishAndGame with Paypal[Fly Shop] Most orders over $50 shipped free!!!

Good Tarpon Fishing Links
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