Distribution & Size
Tarpon are found primarily inshore although
adult fish spawn offshore. Most catches by anglers are in the region of 40 to
50lbs. The fish is found throughout Florida in the warm months. Major fishing
effort for large Tarpons are found by live baiting in the passes, inlets, channels and
The Florida record is a massive 243lbs which is also the World record.
I had caught that one ! Now how about this one.
(Photograph courtesy of Don's Dock)
The week of the
7th June 2002 the WORLD JUNIOR TARPON RECORD
was broken with a fish of
223.7lbs by a 13 year old Joey Rufin fishing just north of Clearwater Beach.
This fish was captured in 20 feet of water and 90% of the 1.5hr fight occurred
in just 6 feet of water. This fish is estimated to be 85 years old.
Tarpon are famous for the spectacle of
their aerobatic jumps which they do with regularity. The smaller fish are more
active than their larger brethren especially in shallow water where they dance with even
Tackle & Bait
The Tarpon is caught by casting, drifting,
still fishing and trolling. For large fish tackle of the 30lb variety is
necessary. Heavy monofilament leaders are required. The bait for drift fishing
is small fish and crabs. All Tarpon will take dead baits. They may also be
caught using jigs, plugs and perks. Fly fisherman use feather streamers and the
similar bucktail streamer.
Absolutely none. So please
remove just a scale from your quarry and return for someone
else's pleasure. Actually saying that, scientists now recommend that you do not
remove a scale as it leads to infection and possible death of the fish.
Our picture left shows Larry Mastry of Tampa with his
194lb Tarpon which won the 66th Suncoast Tarpon tournament being held here in Tampa
during 2001. Great fish !
Limits and Regulations
Rec. Bag Limit
per harvester per year
||Illegal to buy
Requires $50 tarpon tag to posses or kill. Vessel limit 1 fish. Harvest
tag can only be used when a fish is retained for potential IGFA Record.
Tarpon over 40" must remain in the water during release.
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