Hi everyone. I see these guys on TV in the PTTS tournament catching all of these monster Tarpon. What I am wondering is what are they using for bait? They never seem to show that or what kind of outfits they are using so I was hoping someone here could provide some insight. I am heading out saturday for a trip and would love to hook a silver king of any size. Any help is greatly appreciated.
One of the common methods is to use live bait. Live blue crab is the stand out in this category, but menhaden, ladyfish and shrimp work well also. It really depends on where you are fishing and the type of fishing you are doing. The tarpon may be biting in any number of areas in and around Charlotte Harbor and the Boca Grande Pass, if that is indeed where you are talking about fishing. As mentioned, jigs are used too. Cotee jig heads with oil colored grubs, Cotee shad bodies, 4" shad tail jigs, Cotee button eye minnows and liv eye jigs with 4" shad tails are effective. Mirrolures in 7" diving variety and 65 and 52M are productive in shallower water. Another hitter is the reel tarpon jig. Use a 13/0 circle hook with this jig. Make sure all your hooks are super sharp. Couple any of the above with a test leader around 100 lbs. Normally, tarpon really get active around the moon cycle and with the moon being the way it is tonight, you should have some action. Also, June is good month. If you need any additional info let me know.
Great information Seth. I appreciate it very much. I am heading out Saturday to the Boca Grande Pass and Captiva Pass areas.
I see you reccomend jigs, how come here on this site http://www.bocagrandefishing.com/Rules.htm it says no jigs? Is this a law or just a "guideline"?
Thank you for your reply.
That recommendation is probably due to the number of boats that stack up in the past and the tendency for less experienced anglers to get snagged on the bottom. Also, I was not sure exactly where you were fishing, so I wanted to offer several options. In the general Charlotte Harbor area jigs are used. Personally, I like to get out and away from the chaos of the pass. If you have not fished there, you will see how busy it gets. Good luck. Let us know how things turn out for you.
Thanks again for the reply Seth.
I have lived here in Ft. Myers my whole life and have only been to Boca Grande Pass three times. Those times I was there, there was never a whole lot of boats in the pass like I have seen on TV. I would expect this time of year for it to be very busy. I do not plan on getting tangled up in the mess of boats if there are lots there.
The areas we are targeting this Saturday are going to be Boca Grande Pass and the beaches near the pass. If time permits we plan to run south to Captiva Pass and the the mangrove shorelines heading back to Pineland.
The "regulations" you linked are from the Boca Grande Guide Assoc. They are not FWC regulations, so yes you can use jigs. The style of jig that is banned is the "breakaway" style, designed to break away the lead once a fish is hooked. This is the popular method used in Louisiana, know as the Coon Pop jig. The Guide Assoc. is against the use of jigs as they claim the angler is actually snagging the fish. They tried unsuccessfully to get it banned from the pass. The PTTS anglers must be using jigs, because they fought the ban in court. The guides are using live bait. This debate of live bait vs. jigs causes quite the stir.
Well Saturday was a lot of fun. Got out just before 6 and went to catch some bait. After about 30 mins we were heading to Boca Grande. Once we got there there was very little boat traffic but the water was a little nasty for my taste and my little flats boat. Im not too keen of waves over the bow. So I turned around and headed south to Captiva Pass. We drifted the pass a few times with nothing. Headed outside and north. Caught a few mackeral up here. No sign of any tarpon or snook up on the beach.
After that we headed over towards the shacks and fished the flats for a little while. No reds, no trout, but a lady fish.
Next we decided to try Boca Grande again. The wind had died down a bit. It was still a little rough but not like early morning. There were a ton of boats in the pass so I decided to stay out away from the chaos. There were a few tarpon pods busting the surface here and there. What a site that is! No tarpon hook ups but did manage 2 gags and 2 red grouper.
All in all a good day!
So I have another question about tarpon. In the Caloosahatchee we have been jumping smaller tarpon for the past 3 months or so. Maybe one or two per week. There are still quite a few fish in this area and they are eating something on or near the surface. The luers we have been using seem to work okay but not great. I have tried to cast net in the area to see if they are eating small fish but never catch anything in the net. I think they are eating bugs or something on the surface but my brother thinks im crazy. We have tried almost everything in the tackle box. This is almost 100% freshwater too. Any ideas on what tackle for these little guys?