tarpon time space coast

Summer is here and the tarpon are starting to show in good numbers across the entire east coast. Anglers can find fish in the 5-15lb range anywhere around shallow water flats with lots of small silver finger mullet, as well as residential canals and deeper mangrove sloughs. The more rain, the more these fish will push towards these deeper creeks and areas that have low oxygen levels and lots of flowing water, these fish can be caught on a variety of baits — live and artificial from small finger mullet and mud minnows, as well as topwater plugs, and small swim bait lures such as a d.o.a paddle tail. Typically the smaller the bait, the better, in my personal experience.

The space coast is also known to not only find smaller fish showing in large numbers, we also have a great migratory population of larger fish in the 50-150lb range that roam outer sanbars, channels, and even around the bridges. These fish are an intense battle and can be caught using larger tackle such as 5000 to 8000 size series reels, 50lb braid, and an appropriate matching rod. It’s important to land these fish as fast as possible and never try to remove them from the water, not only is it dangerous for yourself and the fish it’s also illegal.

These large tarpon follow the same diet as when they are smaller however they do like a larger profile, large black mullet, pogies, and big swim baits such as hogy, and savage gear make several great options. Not only will these larger fish be in our river system but you can find them all along the beach as well around pogie pods, glass minnow schools, and sometimes in larger migratory schools just moving up the coast.

We should see more and more as summer progresses, step up your gear and get in on some of the great opportunities the space coast has to offer!