Tarpon Fishing Is About To Take Over Tampa Bay

Fisherman showing a tampa tarpon

Tarpon Steal the Month Of May!!!

Its May and we have experienced a great spring. We have caught plenty of fish including Snook, Redfish, Trout and Mackerel up to this point. Great weather this year has moved everything ahead of schedule, I suspect that going into May that pattern should fast forward Tarpon season.Get ready for the invasion of the Silver King.

May is a is a month that always produces Tarpon on the bridges and inside the bay but our Migration fish typically don’t show on the beaches till about half way through the month. Weather and water temperatures typically dictate this and with the above average winter we had I suspect we should be fishing the beaches a bit earlier.

Tarpon fishing is a bit different from everything else I do in the bay. It’s a bit more involved and requires more planning. Bait itself is a chore at times. Tarpon can be very picky and having the right choice of bait is key. There diet changes from day to day but when you mix the right tides with the bait of choice you can be in for an epic day. Bait of choice varies but having pass crabs, live Threadfin Hearing, and cut bait will increase your chances of a good Tarpon day.

Another key would have to be tides. Around your New and Full Moons are good times to fish as tides typically run strong. This creates the crab flush as the crabs flow in and out of the passes. Tarpon love to feed on the crabs during this period and will be great times to fish. This doesn’t mean that quarter moons won’t be productive, I have had some great days fishing the beaches on the slower tides. Sometimes this will be better as boat traffic will be down.

Tackle is another key element to Tarpon fishing. I have customers bring their own gear and when they show up at the dock I explain how its just not going to work due to the quality or size. Recommended gear for Tarpon would be St Croix Tidemaster extrac heavy 15 to 40 8 foot rod matched with a 5000 Daiwa Saltist reel with 65 lb braided line of choice and 60 lb Fluorocarbon leader and a Daiichi Bleeding circle hook. Simple but effective gear that will get the job done.

Knots are also important. There are all kinds of productive knots to tie but I’m a simple guy and like to keep it simple. With today’s braided line you don’t have to as fancy and creative as the days on mono-filament. I like a spider hitch for double line and a double uni from line to leader and leader to hook just a simple Uni knot..

With technology advances in today’s fishing world fishing has become a little easier. It seems not long ago we were look at some of the industry’s first color units and now we are using side scan and 3D technology to help us become better fisherman. The Simrad 3-D and Structure technology has made a big difference for me when targeting Tarpon in deeper water. It enables me to see what is actually going on under water. Mix this with Rhodan Gps controlled trolling motor which helps you stay on a school of fish while being both quiet and fast and you will find yourself fighting fish versus fighting yourself on the boat.

Last would have to be booking a charter. I can give you all the tips and techniques in this article to help you get started in Tarpon fishing but one day with good instruction by me or many other qualified captains will be worth every penny. You will not only learn the basics of Tarpon fishing but you will also learn how the correct way is to fish the passes. If you are interested in booking a Tarpon trip please feel free to give me a call 813-727-9890 or www.steadyactionfishingcharters.com

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