Clearwater is famous for its exceptional tarpon fishing charters. Booking with an experienced guide, like the pros here at Salinity Now, will ensure your time on the water is action-packed. But maybe you are itching to catch tarpon fish on your own. If that’s the case, we are here to help. In the following article, we’ll go over several tips that the captains of Salinity Now use to have a successful day on the water, so you can too.
The Silver King
Tarpon fish, otherwise known as “The Silver King,” are one of the most sought-after sportfish in Florida. It’s also a fish that requires more of a technical approach to produce reliable results. Here’s a brief overview on when, where, and how to be successful making catches outside of having to book any one of the numerous tarpon fishing charters available in Clearwater.
Tarpon Season in Florida
Tarpon fish are targeted between the months of March and December as they migrate up the coast. They start their journey near the Florida Keys in the spring, traveling through areas like Clearwater and ending up in northern Florida by late summer/early fall. They then start making their way back down south through the fall and winter months and are usually south of Florida’s waters by January.
Where to Catch the Most Fish
Tarpon fish have one of the widest ranges of habitats of all known fish. They can tolerate freshwater as well as saltwater. This comes in handy because they often travel hundreds of miles up freshwater rivers and eventually end up in the open ocean where it’s believed they spawn.
Tarpon fishing charters in Clearwater tend to target these sportfish near bridges, grass flats, deep channels, or along beaches. Whether or not this elusive sportfish is present largely depends on the season due to their migratory nature.
It’s important not to go too light when choosing what tackle you will use. These fish do not go down lightly. They will leap into the air several times after they are hooked, thrashing their heads wildly while doing so. Of course, this is after they’ve nearly spooled you.
*Extra Tip: Line the underside of your spool with braid when lining your reel. Its smaller diameter allows you to fit much more than if you only used monofilament. You’ll have more line to work with when you hook that monstrous 200+lb fish.
The ideal set-up is a 7/7.5-foot medium action rod with a stiff backbone coupled with a heavy reel capable of handling 50lb test line.
- Spinning Reel/Rod – Tarpon fishing charters use spinning reels when the water is relatively open. It’s simply the easiest rod to use. Less time spent untangling your line equals more time actually fishing.
- Baitcaster – Using a baitcaster is an excellent choice when fishing near bridges or other underwater structures. This is because you’ll need more leverage to pull them away from whatever you’re fishing near. If you use a spinning gear in this situation, the fish may end up pulling too much drag and get you wrapped in the pilings.
Most tarpon fishing charters use live bait and you should too. This is particularly true on days when they just don’t seem to want to bite. Using bait found in whatever waters your fishing is usually your best bet. Other baits that work include mullet, menhaden, pinfish, jumbo shrimp, and blue crabs. Generally speaking, any hand-sized, shiny fish that is active on the end of a hook will produce results.
Just because live bait is king does not mean artificial lures won’t also work. Lures used include fish-mimicking soft baits, large spoons, and bucktail jigs. Of course, flies are an option if you are a fly fisherman, the best ones being slow-sinking “toads.” These are irresistible to sportfish in shallow water areas around Clearwater.
Salinity Now’s Professional Tarpon Fishing Charters
If all this sounds like too much to remember, then you could always make things simpler by booking a trip with us. The professionals at Salinity Now pride ourselves in our excellent tarpon fishing charters in Clearwater. Our top-notch captains will ensure you have an eventful day on the water that you won’t soon forget. Call (727) 480-3620 or contact us online to book your charter now!