aneary

Tarpon lockjaw

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Well it’s that time of the year again, tarpon are showing themselves in the intercoastal waterway in florida. I’ve found them the last couple days rolling on top in the early morning. Not sure if they are feeding or just gulping air. Seems too frequent to just be gulping, but I can’t be sure, I do see some small splashes which seems to indicate some bait around, but I can’t get a look to see what it is. Kind of reminds me of my trout fishing days when the fish are eating but I can’t figure out what to throw at them. Not sure what’s worse, no fish around or lots of fish but no takes. Went through pretty much all of my flys, small, big, light, dark, weighted and unweighted, nada. I will continue to try, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while. Anyone encounter this scenario and have suggestions, maybe take up golf again? 

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Not by any means a tarpon expert, but in 2 trips this winter I experienced what you describe (but in backcountry). In both cases it was after a period of fairly heavy rain, previous to that they were pounding my flies. The locals told me later that rain brings up a lot of shrimp and they gorge themselves to the point where they're not eating much, despite rolling. I tried some shrimp like patterns but couldn't crack the code, but might be worth a try?

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Are you in SE Florida — e.g., Indian River / Mosquito Lagoon; Vero Beach; or Port St Lucie? If so, talk to the knowledgeable fly fishing folks at White’s Tackle.  They’re quite close to many of the guides in those areas and might have pertinent information.

How deep is the water where they’re rolling?  What does the bottom look like beneath them: atop some sttructure or ledge; or near some turtle or other sea grass (that holds shrimp)?  

Meanwhile, I too have been similarly frustrated and will be trying a “flatwing” in Sept/Oct 

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Good thought Stormy, I was fishing one of the canals , I think the waters about 8ft, not sure if there is an grass but I was wondering if there might be some sort of shrimp hatch the way they were “rising’, I tried a small crab pattern

 

Retired,  I am fishing the Indian river, I go to whites quite a bit but haven’t had much help on the intercoastal, Dave does well in the ocean with the fly, not sure how much he chases the intercoastal tarpon, nice shop and Dave’s good people

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  I'm having no problems feeding tarpon right now. If you're on fish that get a lot of pressure, find new fish. It probably isn't you.

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Hey Local, glad to hear you are doing well. I haven’t given up the fight yet although I may need to check out the surf.

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I think local66 said it. Trout, snook, reds, tarpon will all be visible but if pressured they won't eat or when they do...(and they have to) ultra picky. Which is almost always here in central Brevard, FL Too many people/charters and too little water.

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Oh! The backwater tarpon here stumped me a lot along with big trout on flats. However my favorite for gators are in my avatar. VERY exciting fly wade sight fishing in clear 18" of water. Sometimes they get super close before hitting.

And sometimes the tarpon show up too.

28 trout.jpg

flats rd.jpg

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Cool photo salty, sight fishing is the best. I like the fly’s, look like snake fly’s, deer head moves some water which may help, will keep everyone posted if I connect

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On 7/2/2019 at 8:08 AM, aneary said:

Hey Local, glad to hear you are doing well. I haven’t given up the fight yet although I may need to check out the surf.

 

  The surf hasn't been bad. I moved to Vero in November, I still put in my hours: ) 

  Snook have been more consistent than tarpon. There are 10 boats fighting over the same pod of fish every morning, and that's not really my bag. I'm using plug tackle on the days I feel like targeting them. The fish I'm seeing are freakishly large compared to what I'm used to seeing. I'm almost certain the water quality issues they're dealing with in the gulf have pushed some larger fish our way. They're a pain in the butt, I miss 65lb tarpon.

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Had a small pod of tarpon on the beach on Friday night ripping a pod of mullet, close to shore, fishing the 8 weight, didn’t help and the mullet were 8-10 inches big, couldn’t get any interest with the flies I had. Think I need to tie up some big flies and get a 12 weight. I have a Penn 4, which should be able to handle them, just need to find a rod that will work with a reel that heavy, anyone have a suggestion on not too expensive 12 weight rods. I would like a two hand overhead casting rod

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aneary

 

The leverage against you with a TH rod if it is in the 11 to 13 category  would be  pretty uncomfortable.

 

Even small feel big on these long rods. Just something to think about.

 

mike

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I fish SWFL in spring,and have some canals that hold big tarpon,it's a spring fed 30ft deep hole and these fish are impossible to get to take a plug or fly. I give them a shot each time I hit the spot and then just go after the snook that are a lot more co operative. 

BTW I know how hard these fish are because the local guides  don't bother trying with their clients . You know they would if they could get hook ups.

Tarpon can be mysterious,but I haven't broken the code.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

On 7/19/2019 at 8:49 PM, Mike Oliver said:

aneary

 

The leverage against you with a TH rod if it is in the 11 to 13 category  would be  pretty uncomfortable.

 

Even small feel big on these long rods. Just something to think about.

 

mike

It's a bad fit. Watching active fish just out of casting range is aggravating, but there are smarter ways to close the distance. It'll be quite a struggle if you manage to get that fish in the trough, you'd need a buddy to help with the release.

Edited by Local66

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I was thinking of a switch rod of 10 feet or so but based on the feedback I have been receiving from some of the knowledgeable SOL Members , I’m going to start looking for a 9 foot 12 weight. 

Edited by aneary

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