how to clean tarpon fish

If your fishing in a channel with rolling fish, simply tossing it out as far as you can and reeling it back at a steady pace usually works best. Both myself and the angler may have to jump around the boat very quickly, so try not to be blocking where we need to go. Also, look for them on the flats. Bowing to the king refers to dropping your rod tip when they jump. If you keep lots of pressure on the fish and he runs you will break him off OR break the rod. I say just pretend like you are a rod holder! There is a proper technique in fighting the silver king that will cut the fight times down tremendously and help your chances of landing the fish. This way when the fish feels the added pressure you can quickly let off if he kicks hard, runs, jumps, goes crazy, etc…. If we are fishing circle hooks, you just want to keep your rod pointed directly at the fish with light drag when you get a bite – do not pull back on the fish or tighten your drag until told to do so. Snook fishing is explosive right now, this is do to the warm weather patterns we have had. Now once you’ve reeled, the line is tight and the fish is pulling drag (lots of pressure), you may give it a thump to set the hook. In some cases we may not fish a bobber at all, though it won’t really effect what you do to hook your fish. Tarpon are also called Silver King, Silver Sides or Sabalo (Spanish). I walk all my anglers through a lot of this stuff, however if you read about it ahead of time it will give you an upper hand. Labadie chose this spot because he knew the fish would be there, but, more importantly, it was on the way to their other targets, eliminating the need to backtrack later and burn up precious time. If they are swimming for something like this, we crank the drag down and just try to pull them to swim away. Tarpon Facts. In the United States, the tarpon usually is caught for sport — and then released. Because of this, we try our very best to ensure a quick, clean release so the fish has the best chance of survival. S14:E2 - “Captains For Clean Water” (2019) Daniel Andrews of Captains for Clean Water discusses the state of the Everglades. © Copyright 2015-2020 - South Florida Reporter. FishingBooker is the world’s largest online service that enables you to find and book fishing trips. Hooking tarpon on artificials is often much harder to do. These fish are typically between 75-120 pounds and are on their yearly migration north to spawn and find more comfortable water… I don’t mind getting a good fish picture, however I don’t like to fight every fish we hook to the point of exhaustion as again it is not good for the tarpon. If it is a smaller fish that we do not have to chance, we usually leave one other bait out to try and possibly hook another. They also are not designed to be lifted out of the water by their gills, or handled as that knocks a lot of the slime off of them which is not good. A smaller fish or very tired fish you may be able to manipulate, however a large or fresh fish will be trouble. This will give you the best chance at keeping these smaller fish hooked. Tarpon are fish with a very keen awareness of their surroundings. Tarpon are rarely eaten because their flesh is filled with small, hard to clean bones. The ponds are connected by cut channels to the bay, and each is (largely) populated by redfish. One thing I see very often and am always cringing over is what we call high sticking. This will obviously cause it to snap if something grabs the bait and runs off line quickly like a tarpon. He will often be running hard and going nuts jumping at this time, so be ready to bow when necessary. From what I’ve heard they are very bony, oily, and taste like soap. The anglers in the group fishing bait enjoyed truly amazing fishing. They will swim along seemingly forever with strong kicks of their tail. While they are edible, people rarely eat Tarpon because their flesh is filled with small, hard to clean bones. The waters surrounding it are full of Tarpon. The mighty tarpon and the “trash fish” are two (technically, three) infamous species that are regarded for the distasteful, smelly, and potentially hazardous experience they present when considering whether to bring your catch to the dinner table or not. Let’s take a look at when and where you can hook these monsters., , Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), 9/26/2020 End of September tarpon fishing in the Florida Keys, 9/3/2020 Early September Tarpon fishing in the Florida Keys, 8/27/2020 Late August Tarpon Fishing in the Florida Keys. Feb 1, 2019. It goes against many anglers instincts, but I’ve really found it to be the best shot at landing these size fish. The key to tarpon fishing is keeping your presentation as natural as possible. With crabs I usually just recommend waiting until you feel pressure (a pull) on the line, then reeling and lifting your tip to a 45 degree angle. Now you can tighten the drag down more if it is getting to be a very long time, however if the fish surges or jumps there is greater chance at losing him with tighter drag especially if they jump and you are not quick to bow. Sometimes you may be trying to take pictures etc… but also try to be aware of what is going on around you. After COVID-19, Many Businesses Still Struggle to Pay Rent – Is Bankruptcy A Solution? If the fish is very green and pulling hard, it may also be a good idea to back off on the drag some. It just happens a lot more with small size fish due to smaller mouths and they are much more acrobatic and violent when they jump. People are allowed to temporarily possess a tarpon for photography, measurement of length and girth and scientific sampling, with the stipulation that tarpon more than 40 inches must remain in the water. It’s well known for its acrobatics on the end of a line and capable of jumping up to ten feet out of the water while rattling its gills like an angry diamondback snake. This can take up to an hour or more and is not as healthy for the fish as releasing them with energy left. Nov 25, 2018. You can try to pull them away from it, though generally your not going to be able to stop them. Jan 4, 2019. Our world-class customer support is available 7 days a week, and will make sure that planning your next fishing trip is quick, fun and hassle-free. If the tarpon busts him and misses him (which they usually do), often you can just slowly and steadily lift your rod tip very high to straighten your line out, then drop your tip low again. At first you are just picking up slack line as we chase the fish, once he settles down we will put more pressure on him as needed. When the fish is back in the water, lift your tip back to a 45 degree angle and reel tight again. If you can’t tell which way the fish is going, just switch up the direction you are pulling from every 20 seconds or so. Basically we don’t fish the drags locked down very tight at first because you are not going to stop a tarpon with drag alone. The Sandy Key and Rabbit Key Basins along with the canals at Lake Ingraham and river mouths of Lostman’s and Harney rivers. Get the best fishy photos, videos, and stories straight into your inbox! Usually once we get the main leader on the fish and he is technically caught, we will then increase the drag and I will start pulling on the wind-on leader to try and subdue the fish in an attempt to get good boat side photographs. When tarpon or any other fish are near the boat, anglers will put the tip of their rods way up high in the air, as if they are going to try and lift the fishes head out of the water or some such thing. If a fish is going near something like this you really just have to keep an eye out and watch what he does. The Turner River at Chokoloskee is also a good location famous for big Tarpon. The best locations are Key West Harbor, Bahia Honda Bridge and Marquesas Keys. Simply blind casting and keeping an eye out for rollers is usually best. Retaining the fish is only permitted if you are pursuing an IGFA world record and have purchased a Tarpon tag, which costs around $50 and is limited to one per year per person. Jan 4, 2019. If you feel them thrash, surge, run, or give any indication they may be getting ready to jump, just point the rod straight at them ahead of time in anticipation. I’ve found with especially smaller tarpon, your best chance at landing these guys is to not lift up high on the rod at all. In this short guide, I’ll teach you the basics of Tarpon fishing in Florida. Never bring the rod up to a 90 degree angle (straight up or straight to one side). Tarpon fish (Megalops atlanticus) are plentiful, and yet they are heavily regulated in Florida because they don’t really have any culinary value. In this case just reel until you get tight on the fish and proceed to set the hook as described. Craig Korczynski December 26, 2011 Palm Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report. A lot of times you do not really need to put a lot of pressure on these size fish, and if you do all that is going to happen is they are going to throw the hook or the hook will pull out! Tarpon are rarely eaten because their flesh is filled with small, hard to clean bones. Are tarpons dangerous to humans? When the fish is swimming to the right, you pull back down and to the left. If you see this happen just sit tight and be ready – dont do anything to soon. 305-747-6903 Sometimes the fish swim in between structure that we cannot unfortunately get through, especially some of the bridge pilings or power line structures. Jan 4, 2019. The best months for fishing are May and June, when people from all over the world come to catch Tarpon. The other is if the line begins to scope upwards this is an indication he is coming to the surface, obviously if he is not running it may just be to come up and roll for air, though if there is force behind it he likely will break the water. tarpon. With live crabs they are much easier to eat then mullet so it is a lot easier to get a proper hookset as the crab isn’t actively trying to swim/jump away from the tarpon. Apalachicola Bay is a good spot, from June and throughout the entire summer. Tarpon can be a very technical fish to catch, but a few general tactical pointers can go a long way. I learned much about tarpon a long time ago in Florida. My personal favorite, there is nothing quite like watching a live mullet jump and run for his life as a big 100 lb tarpon tries to eat him 30 feet behind the boat! If we are anchored we unhitch our anchor buoy from the boat and throw it in the water and give chase as quickly as possible on a big fish. Catch a tarpon while your fish are being cleaned One of the best places to catch a tarpon is under the fish cleaning table when the days catch is being filleted. If the fish surges under the boat the rod can be easily broken, so be ready to drop your rod tip down into the water and swing it out around the other side of the bow if necessary. Also, Tarpon fishing gear is limited to hook and line only. This way you’re pulling AGAINST the fish and making it harder for him to swim and breathe. Remember to bow to the king when he jumps! Depending on the water temperature, they … Tarpon often swim around structure such as bridge pilings, crab pots, channel markers, and other things. The Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) is among the most popular game fish in Florida. Tarpon … Basically we are usually fishing a bobber with a 6-8 foot leader with a mullet on the end. You will not stop a tarpon with drag you have to apply pressure at the right time, at the right angle, and let the fish wear himself out as you do so. How to Create an Exceptional WordPress Website to Boost Sales? In the United States, the tarpon usually is caught for sport — and then released. Docks are holding big fish and schooling fish, … First off we use specifically designed rods for tarpon fishing. 20.1k Views. High Sticking and when the fish is near the boat. As a bony, strong-smelling saltwater fish, it may be more trouble than pleasure to eat. Tarpon are catch and release only in the state of Florida. Keep the rod pointed towards where the bait is. If we have already gotten good pictures of a previous fish, we usually just cut them off once we get close enough to the main leader to do so, this way we do not unnecessarily stress or harm the fish. A video about how I clean and scale my fish. We give chase to tarpon for this reason. Although tarpon is fun to catch, they are not considered to be worth eating. Now, let’s talk about tarpon. When he swims left, you pull back down and to the right. Want more stuff like this? Tarpon are a game fish … I generally like to fish J-hooks with live mullet as often the tarpon grab them at all kinds of different angles and the bait flips and flops all over, so you really need to be ready and set the hook appropriately. Otherwise you are just going to either break him off, or have him throw the hook when he starts jumping and going crazy. First, I’ll show you where to look for them, and at what time of year. To get a good picture of a tarpon often it requires fighting them till they are exhausted completely. It may be counter-intuitive as many fish you always want to keep the line tight, though with tarpon when they jump this is not the case. This takes the pressure off the line while it is rubbing against the structure and it will be less likely to frey and break. As a bony, strong-smelling saltwater fish, it may be more trouble than pleasure to eat. Although tarpon are a catch-and-release fishery in many locations, scientists at the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust argue that the species still faces many challenges from habitat loss, recreational harvest, and commercial or subsistence harvest in other countries. One thing to always keep an eye on is your rod tips – especially with slow moving tide – make sure that you don’t get ‘tip wrapped’ where the lines wraps around the tip of your rod. We fish them medium/medium light, just enough to get a good hookset, and then let the fish do his thing. This takes the pressure out of the backbone of the rod and puts it up near the tip. Be VERY CAREFUL doing this, if the fish kicks hard and runs or bucks at all, just let off and let him go. If you want to enjoy the tarpon's stamina, fight and jumps then set the hook. Newsletter. These fish are fully equipped with great night vision, with big eyes that can see really well in the dark. Let the fish run off a bit of line for a while, usually 30 seconds or so, and keep the rod pointed straight at him, if he his pulling drag just let him go – if he is not pulling drag then reel. We fish mostly braid which has NO stretch in it. If your seeing lots of fish roll, waiting and throwing in front of rolling fish can be effective, though often you will not necessarily have that opportunity. When the fish is near the boat you want to make short pumps only lifting the rod a foot or two, then reeling back down. We DO NOT lift tarpon into the boat as they can be very dangerous to bring in and can toss around and break things. Tarpon are a very slow growing fish, with adult females living over 50 years. The problem is if you are pulling tight on the fish when this happens, the shaking can cause the hook to dislodge. The Marquesas Keys, since they’re uninhabited and not connected to Key West by road, have Tarpon in great numbers if you can get to them. It is VERY important to REEL first as that is going to start the hook to set in his bony jaw. Tarpon fishing in Puerto Rico is truly of the world's great fisheries, and I’m already looking forward to my next visit. You really just want to leave the baits out there, leaving some slack in the line as we often are swinging around especially if the tide/wind are not together. We often are still using the same gear that we fish for larger tarpon with, but obviously it is a bit heavier than you’d like to use for small tarpon. Often we fish a variety of  dead baits for tarpon. Bow to the king when he jumps. You often won’t see any indication you are about to get a bite, you’ll just feel a strong bump or two and then the line will start screaming. Large fish like Tarpon, require a little larger offering. Tarpon Tackle: As a fulltime Tampa Bay tarpon fishing guide for the last 20 years, I feel like I have tried just about every rod and real combination under the sun. Again I explain this all but being ready to do the right thing just makes things a bit easier. Fluorocarbon Leader VS Fuorocarbon Line. Tarpon’s preferred water temperature is in the 74-88 degrees Fahrenheit range. Tarpon have very hard, bony mouths. The Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) is among the most popular game fish in ... hard to clean bones. If you reel and you don’t feel a significant amount of pressure – stop reeling – as your bait likely just pulled the bobber down and the tarpon may go after it again. Certain times of year (especially in the summer) we have a lot of smaller-on-average size tarpon around. Read more on Waypoint… Always try and keep the rod at a somewhat horizontal angle, especially when a fish is near the boat or directly under the boat. Using their swimming bladders, tarpons can breathe, something that most other fish do only for buoyancy. After you give a thump, drop back down to the 45 degree angle and keep reeling. If we are fishing J-hooks, I like to fish them the same way as circles keep the rod pointed straight towards the fish in the beginning and just reel, but you don’t have to wait 30 seconds to lift your tip up, you can do that a little bit sooner after you’ve reeled and gotten tight on your fish in that case. We use multiple different tactics and I’ll try to cover at least the ones we use most of the time. If you end up having to fight them for more than a few minutes, I suggest keeping the rod butt in your armpit, and just pulling lightly with the tip of the rod, no more than at a 45 degree angle. Fish are caught all year, with peak season from March to July, during the receding tide. Each day they fished they caught numerous tarpon in the 50-to 100-plus pound range, with at least one 150-pounder hooked, jumped and lost. A typical morning of Tarpon Fishing Clearwater FL begins with locating the right bait. Otherwise this ‘high sticking’ can result in a broken rod and lost fish. 10 facts about the tarpon fish. I usually have anglers hold the rods while doing this so they can feel and hook their own fish and also if done correctly increases your chance of hooking a fish. They also are very powerful and when they jump they shake their heads violently. by rjahqsgu-ca 13.6k Views. A few other things to remember, if the fish goes under the boat, always stick the rod tip (not reel!) I was staying in a place off a saltwater lake that was teaming with tarpon in the twenty to fifty pound range. I like to start with the drags fairly loose and then slowly tighten as needed once the fish settles down. We also fish the drags extremely light, just tight enough so you can regain line as you reel. You don’t eat Tarpon. An Atlantic tarpon can grow from 4-8 feet in length anywhere and they are very active and strong. Tip 10: Never have your fly moving towards the fish. And for the first few minutes, I would really recommend just keeping it pointed straight at them. Most of the fight the fish is going to be within 30 feet of the boat. However many anglers seem to constantly want to reel or tug on the lines, check the baits, and do all sorts of things that hinder are chances at getting a bite. Using a short lip gaff, pass it through the fish’s lower lip and the fish will be held while someone removes the hook or clips the leader as close to it as possible. There is a large population of Tarpon around the Channel Bridges, Tom’s Harbor, Seven Mile Bridge and Long Key. As a bony, strong-smelling saltwater fish, it may be more trouble than pleasure to eat. Florida Weather Will Still Be Cool Monday. GUT some flounders, wash them clean, dry them in a cloth, just boil them, cut off the meat clean, from the bones, lay a good crust over the dish, and lay a little fresh butter at the bottom, and on that the fish; season with pepper and salt to your mind. The additional flow also brings pretty clean water in too. After you come tight you can give a small thump to set the hook. When a fish is near the boat or under the boat, you DO NOT want to stick your rod tip up high. Though in all cases it is usually best NOT to do any crazy hook set – even with J hooks. When a Tarpon becomes exhausted, it will usually roll on its side. And set it … Try to NEVER let the line hit the boat as this weakens the line and can result in a lost fish. One important tactic is to use the rod to fight the fish. Though you can’t always pick which one is going to bite so you have to be ready for the bigger ones in my opinion. Choppy water conditions you can get away with placing your fly closer to the fish. Usually you would be working a larger jig with a sharp hook and a jerk bait attached. Tarpons are a popular fish to catch during a backwater and near water fishing trip because they are often found in shallow, warm coastal waters and estuaries. I generally always recommend anglers hold their rods however, and only leave them in the rod holders if you are busy doing something else and it is necessary. Just wait for him to come back. We were going to work in one of the ponds used for cleaning the redfish waters and fish for Tarpon. When a fish is near the boat or under the boat, you DO NOT want to stick your rod tip up high. Once he settles down usually after this first 5-10 minutes, we tighten the drag down a little bit. Tarpon are unforgiving about throwing the hook when jumping, and that is especially true with smaller tarpon. You don’t really need to give them a hard hookset in my experience, though if you want to the same rules apply – reel first and lift up your tip and once you are tight and the fish is screaming drag and you feel the heavy pressure give it a nice thump. Sometimes we use artificial stuff for tarpon too. Bowing means drop the rod tip and point it straight at him (give him some slack). If the fish jumps you want to bow to him. HOWEVER do remember off the bow, often the trolling motor is down in the water, so you must wait until I lift that up out of the way to go around to the other side. The person taking the picture goes to the back of the boat and gets down alongside the boat and snaps the picture of you holding the leadered fish next to the boat. Doing our best to prevent hooked Tarpon from being eaten by sharks allows us … Again I only recommend doing this at the END of a battle once we’ve gotten the leader and you are satisfied with having caught the fish to this point. Captains For Clean Water. Often I see anglers looking at their friends, smiling for the camera, fumbling with things in the boat, and all other kinds of things when they are trying to fight a tarpon. In the United States, the tarpon usually is caught for sport -- and then released. May through late July are the best months here, with the exception of Key West Harbor which is full of feeding Tarpon January through March. If you just jerk right away, often the hook will bounce right off the bony jaw. These rods have light action tips with a stiff backbone which helps in hooking tarpon as well as keeping them on when they jump, plus giving you enough backbone to put ample pressure on them. This prevents him from easily being able to shake his head and throw the hook. Do not cut deeply — just through the skin is … Remember – braided line had no stretch to it and we use very sharp hooks, this is why in all cases you never have to give any kind of crazy rip-lipping hookset – this usually causes more problems than it is worth. Generally speaking, tarpons are wary of humans and tend to spook easily. These fish range anywhere from 60 to 200 pounds. When fishing for tarpon, use crabs, shrimp, and pinfish or dead bait like catfish tails or cut mullet. Welcome to South Florida Reporter, your go-to source for news and information for the Sunshine State. It takes some time to really nail this down but I will give you some pointers to help you out as we go along. Tarpon are very opportunistic feeders and are usually not far away. Lifting a Tarpon by the lip gaff may severely injure it, so don’t try lifting it from the water. On a day that they were purely targeting tarpon, the Saltwater Experience hosts would tend to go somewhere a little more remote. They are ready to engulf the entrails being … Sign up to receive news right to your inbox every day, All You Need to Know About Tarpon Fishing in Florida, New Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Video). The flats surrounding Homosassa Bay and the Crystal River are also full of big Tarpon May through June. This is a brief synopsis of how you should hook and fight a tarpon. Boca Grande is the most famous Tarpon fishing location in the world.

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