Tarpon trouble

Questions about Saltwater Fishing

Tarpon trouble

Postby Tyson_in_VA » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:56 am

Here in Va, every year around july and august, there is a tarpon migration that happens. Its taken us two years just to locate the fish, and now that we have found them, we need help.Last year we saw plenty of fish rolling in about 25 ft of darker almost stained water, but couldnt get bit.Should we pitch them a live freelining bait when we see them roll? Is this because we didnt have the right live bait? We also realize the place we were fishing gets a pretty good amount of boat traffic. Could they be spooky?Should we be fishing at night as opposed to the middle of the day? Also,the usual tactic around here is to use a fishfinder rig with a live croaker on the bottom, but so many fish are able to gain leverage to dislodge the hook by simply using the heavy lead weight when they jump and head shake.We talk to guys who will jump off 10 fish per day and I feel like we can do better than that. We rarely lose fish on circle hooks as it is, so we think our average will be better, but we need some advice as far a the hook size and leaders we should be using.There has to be a better way.I have so many questions. Can we catch these fish on artificials?
Tyson_in_VA
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:28 am

Re: Tarpon trouble

Postby dahlberg » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:50 am

Tarpon can be really frustrating.
The night and early am idea is a good one for sure, especially if those time coincide with tide changes.
Without going into an hour long essay on possibilities, tarpon can sometimes be very, very selective. This makes it tough if they are eating something that's too small to get a hook strong enough to land the fish into.
Very often, a lure or bait has to be right in front of a tarpons face and at the right angle and drift speed to get it to eat.
Often when you see them roll they are traveling and may not eat until the settle down or get to where they are going.
That being said, I have been in a boat where one angler using lures for tarpon gets a bite every six casts and the other angler with the same lure goes all day with one or two bites. Usually it's because the unbit guy was moving his lure too fast.
They can be caught on giant 12" poppers in some cases, but usually something quite small, in the four inch range is more effective.
The environment they are in is usually what dictates the best approach, but what they are eating is of course a big deal as well.
If blue crabs are present, it's hard to beat. Poke a small hole in the horn, run copper wire through it and wrap on a 9/0 circle hook. You might want to add a few split shot. Cast up current and allow to dead drift until straight back. You can leave it hang or crank up and cast again. I like to anchor and cast an imaginary grid.
It's also very effective drifted or suspended on a balloon. I've caught tarpon in 100 feet with crabs and lead drifted on a balloon. The resistance of the balloon sets the hook for you.
Live bait is almost always by far the easiest way to catch them. The best lure I know for casting to them overall is my small sinking wide glide in redhorse color.
best,
L
Larry Dahlberg
The Hunt For Big Fish
User avatar
dahlberg
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5204
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:49 pm
Location: Taylors Falls, Minnesota

Re: Tarpon trouble

Postby Tyson_in_VA » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:09 am

I know I have seen you catch tarpon on that wide glide before. Is there a size preference that you have? I have noticed on the last few shows that you are catching them on smaller size lures, so I thinking I will start with those. Also, what size leader should I be using for the crab? Or any live bait for that matter?
Should I be positioning the boat in a heavy current area like a channel, or are they more apt to be feeding in a bay or lagoon type pool? I ask because if we are seeing them in transition to a feeding area like you may suspect, we may not be in the best spot if we see them rolling?
Tyson_in_VA
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:28 am

Re: Tarpon trouble

Postby dahlberg » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:25 pm

I'd go with 150lb leader. They could be caught in any and all of the places you describe. Most of the time the smaller size works best for tarpon.
Good luck!
L
Larry Dahlberg
The Hunt For Big Fish
User avatar
dahlberg
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5204
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:49 pm
Location: Taylors Falls, Minnesota

Re: Tarpon trouble

Postby Tyson_in_VA » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:36 pm

thanks for the reply! we will try it out and see how it goes
Tyson_in_VA
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:28 am


Return to Saltwater Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron