” Silver Kings, Gummys ”
Tarpon channel 2 bridge “Released”
Tarpon is a non edible fish from my knowledge but I am sure someone eats them. size anywhere from 40lbs to 200lbs and bigger they are a great fight and can be alot of fun when nothing else is hitting. I fish for them in a couple of places, the number one spot is the bridges in the Keys, I prefer Channel 2 or Channel 5 you can be guaranteed 10 to 50 hook-ups a night and sometimes even more, another spot is the beaches of South Florida in the spring early summer.
First we will begin on the beaches of South Florida. Hookups are not frequent but one or two a night are possible and more when the fish are cruising the beaches. I normally use the head half of a large bait, it should be 8 to 12 inches long and that will help to keep the rays off of it.
I put this on a 9 or 10 foot bottom pole with a conventional reel with 20 to 40 lb line you can use what you want this isn’t a tournament you want to get your fish, “right” add a sinker that will hold the bottom and then place a bead and tie to a 60 or 80 lb leader using a double uniknot and use a 4/0 to 7/0 short shank hook tied with an improved clinch knot and I let this pole sit while you fish other poles for large croakers, gulf kings, bluefish, ladyfish, pompano, and anything else that is running the beach.
Now fishing the bridges in the Florida Keys Channel 2 mile marker 73 and Channel 5 which is the next bridge south of Channel 2. Channel 5 is known for tarpon but I also do very well on Channel 2. I fish them on a large spinning rod 6 to 7 ft with a shemano baitrunner 650 lined with 15 or 20 test. I tie a spider hitch to double the line and attach a 60 lb leader with a 2/0 to a 5/0 tied with and improved clinch knot and I use large shrimp for the smaller gummys at the first 8 pilings on both sides and what ever baits I catch on the bridge “pilchard, gold spots” for the larger tarpons at the center of the bridge.
Here at the bridges the tarpon feed into the current, they will actually line up. You should be able to see and pick the one you want. I throw out and allow the current to bring the bait back to the bridge they like to hit it as it comes into the bridge shadow line. You will want your bait at least two feet up or higher from the bottom and just wait for the tap, sometimes it’s big and sometimes barely feelable, tighten your line and you should feel the fish moving away then hook’em that fish is leaving the water every time, if you’re lucky you will get three or so jumps. The fish will want to go under the bridge so maintain pressure and as long as this fish isn’t a monster you may be able to turn him out and finish the fight in an open area if not, you have about two minutes of fighting the fish straight down and under the bridge so tighten down on the drag because if you don’t beat him quick he’s history under that bridge, your line will take some fraying but only two minutes or so, don’t give up until that fish is gone.
written by Boatless Fisherman….TA..