Tarpon are the most difficult fish to hook, play and land of the flats fish – in my opinion. I’ve decided that about fifty things have to go right in order to land one. I think Murphy developed his law while tarpon fishing… These guys are tough! One, two or more tarpon cruise flats that are two feet and deeper. As large as tarpon can be – up to one hundred pounds and more! – they are still hard to see. During spawning season tarpon can be found in enormous schools. Tarpon feed on a variety of critters including sardines and other minnows as well as crabs, shrimp and small cat-fish. The guides who work tarpon flats know what’s happening, and that’s what’s important for flat anglers. Flats that are close to deeper water and channels seem to attract tarpon. They’ll come onto shallow flats to feed, but seem to like deep water escapes, small tarpon like hanging around mangroves.
Tarpon have tough mouths and are difficult to hook. Flies must be very sharp and the angler needs to set the fly hard in the fish’s mouth. When they jump, tarpon will throw the fly right out. It is important to bow the rod to them when they are out of the water, especially if you plan to keep them on. A friend once said that if flyfishing could break your heart, tarpon fishing would destroy your spirit … Beware of the tarpon!