Fight of the Silver King
Few things come close to the fight of the Silver Kings. Before even attempting to go and hook one of these monsters you have to understand what it is you are up against. You have to know where to look and what kind of bait to use. Tarpon fishing is seasonal, usually from May to July and always on a catch-and-release basis. Tarpon can be found in almost every waterway in the Tampa bay area, with the most common areas being around shallow water estuaries, mangroves, and hard grassy bottoms. Although Tarpon are a saltwater species, juveniles can be found in fresh water. The warmer water is bringing the baitfish in the bay and on the flats. It is also that time of year when the crabs start flushing out during the afternoon tide. Crabs make great bait and are easier to keep alive.
Tarpon in this area range from 60 lbs. to 200 lbs! Because of their size and the fight they offer, catching a Tarpon is something you will never forget! Once the Tarpon is hooked it is a full on show of brute strength and surprising acrobatics. Once that anchor ball is dropped the fish is in control until it tires out. It takes persistence, strength, a ton of adrenaline, and patience to land a tarpon. And that is if you are fishing without a lot of “traffic”.
This brings us to a touchy subject, Fishing etiquette! Sometimes Tarpon will be in a large school and pretty much stay in the same area over a period of time. Off in the distance you see a few tower boats and fighting chairs that is an automatic invitation to go catch whatever they are catching. Of course you may be excited to try and hook a nice big Tarpon but it does not mean you can just run in disrupt the fish and cut off the anglers that were there before you. You have to think about it as if you are waiting in line at McDonalds. The person before you will order then get his food and drive off. Its the same thing. one angler will hook a fish then continue on their way trying to avoid as many boats as possible so the next guy can get his fish. It is common courtesy to wait your turn. Some anglers may be participating in a tournament where money has been invested. Cutting in front of another boat while they are hooked up could put the both of you in danger. There is nothing like line in your prop to ruin a day of fishing. Be respectful and everyone wins.
May 14 – Jul 22: 82nd Suncoast Tarpon Roundup, 501C3, to benefit Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Contact Charlie Crisp (813) 826-7548, email@example.com. More info at www.suncoasttarponroundup.org.