Pretty soon tarpon will wander back ashore to canals, bays, apartments and all the passes made famous by the great schools of the Silver King! For those of us who have failed to catch this enormous species of fish, we should prepare to attack them. There are many different ways to jump a spoon and here are 4 of the best baits for tarpon to reel up this spring season.
Best live bait for tarpon
Some of the tarpon fishing lures are shrimp, pinfish, mullet, and crab. Stake out over areas of tarpon and drive your live bait down to the fish. Hook crabs into the corner of the shell and bait fish by your mouth. The best bait for tarpon doesn’t spin in the current, so pinch the shrimp heads off. Mount it correctly and catch more fish.
Shock leaders are a must
Tarpon soaks in the best fishing bait. Because they have bony mouths and sharp gill plates, you’ll want to work with a shock absorber about two meters or two feet from 50 to 80 pounds of mono- or fluorocarbon. You will be less likely to break off tarpon on their long runs and jumps.
Drop it on the floor
Mullet that is. Mullet might be the best bait for tarpon. Tarpon love mullets however you serve them, and by that I mean dead or alive. If you’re not good at throwing a cast net to catch live mullets, drop a mullet head or piece on the ground. Then wait. Then wait a little longer. Patience is key when fishing for mullet or chunks. If Tarpon is around, they will find it.
A bait may not be a bait
Sometimes the tarpon fishing lure is not a fish. It’s a fly. If the fish are in the apartments or in the hinterland, a well-presented streamer can entice them to eat. Thin water is key and fishing is ideal. It is difficult to access deeper water with a fly.
The tarpon fishing season is just around the corner. In the meantime, you can work on your boat and tackle it. When the Silver King arrives, wait. Use our interactive fishing spots and boat map to find places to fish tarpon across the country.
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a contributing writer for Covey Rise magazine, a contributing editor for Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program. Keer is a regular contributor to over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics including fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor activities. When not fishing, Keer and his family hunt highland birds over their three English setters. His first book, A New England Coast Fly Fishing Guide, was published in January 2011. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or www.thekeergroup.com.