I fish some of the best waters in the country for tarpon. What makes our tarpon fishery so unique is the vast opportunities we have. Our migratory tarpon usually show up in mid April and stay through the month of June. On the full moon at the end of June or beginning of July, those fish leave us and head offshore to spawn. Most years, they return after their spawn and stay well into fall. We have an excellent population of resident tarpon which winter in the Caloosahatchee, Peace, and Myakka Rivers. Tarpon fishing is my ultimate passion; specifically chasing them with a fly rod. A tarpon on fly is the most challenging and rewarding experience. The resident and migratory fish both average 60-150lbs, and a fish over 200lbs is not uncommon.
Migratory tarpon show up as the water temperature approaches 80°F. The tarpon can be found in the bays and along the beaches. The most effective way to fish for them is to drift the beaches with live threadfin herrings. We look for tarpon along the beaches rolling and free jumping. There is nothing more exciting than watching a rod bend over and listening to the drag scream out line as the tarpon launches into the air!
I target tarpon from March through October, however the peak times for consistency are late April through June. When conditions are right, the early season (March-April) and late season (July-October) can be excellent.
Fishing for our resident tarpon around Sanibel Island can be excellent. Some years are better than others, depending on rain and temperatures. Although they can be caught all year round, fishing for the resident fish is generally best in the spring and fall. We usually begin catching them in February or March. I fish for them at night and during the day.
A tarpon on fly is the ultimate experience. There is no other fish that will compete with the screaming runs and aerial displays. Watching a 100+ pound tarpon suck up your three inch long fly with its bucket sized mouth is a truly incredible sight. Tarpon fishing with a fly rod is a sight fishing game. I recommend high quality polarized amber lens glasses. I also recommend a casting lesson ahead of time to familiarize yourself with the 12 weight rods we will be using. A lot of times you will be using an intermediate tip fly line, which requires a slightly different technique to lift the line out of the water. I custom tie all of my tarpon flies myself on premium quality Owner hooks.
If you are interested in tarpon fishing, contact me for more information on the best time to book a trip, or check my fishing report blog for weekly updates.