Tarpon Maps 2015  

look down the page, to give your self an idea of, where the Tarpon have been over the last few weeks
and if you check the other years, you might see a pattern, just like in the static on your TV, aliens Yes Tarpon are aliens,
or you might make yourself crazy looking for one. either way it is here and I have a button right above this showing other years.

  Pink dots = night fishing spots
  white dot = Fair less than 50% Chance

 Yellow dot = Better 50/50 chance
  Red dot = Good really good chance


Tarpon Fishin is all about the Lady fish, If you are looking for larger Tarpon
100 pound + . The Canals are still full of Smaller Tarpon,





Tarpon up-date

Tarpon east side 40 to 120 pounds are still very active.
Here is the scoop.
Step 1 Put in at Ponce and head south as you get to mangrove point you need two regular fishing rods on one rod a Storm twitch,
White & gray on the other rod a curly tail grub jig, a tandem rigs works even better than a single jig.
Cast them out and start trolling about 3 miles per hour.
You are looking for Lady fish. Your depth should be about 4 foot of water. follow the sand bar as you go south along the eastern side of the Harbor.
4 feet of water out side the sand bar, is a good trolling depth for these lures and that is prime Lady fish territory.
Once you hook the first Lady fish, stop the boat and start casting the lures for Lady fish, Find them then cast.
Once you have 4 of them in your live well, it is time to start looking for Tarpon, if you have not already seen them get your boat on plane,
then slow the motor down as slow as you can go while remaining on plane.
Watch for rolling fish or Tarpon breaking or slightly breaching the surface, It may be a very little bit of the back of a Tarpon which will tell you of its presence.
 Not often will you see a 6 foot Tarpon free jump 6 feet out of the water falling and laying back into the water.
 Thrilling to see but not what you are likely to see. It will be a flash of silver or white on a small wave, or just a bit of the back which appears to you.
Once you see the Tarpon go toward the sand bar 3 to 4 feet of water. You should be in shallow against the sand bar casting out into the deeper water.
One rod a lighter tip rod 25 pound class spinning rod with a 5000 or 6000 reel, 40 pound Braid line, 50 pound test fluorocarbon leader with a D.O.A. Bait buster lure,
either the dark green, or Root beer color 4 feet of leader by the way.

This you will use to cast at Tarpon. your other rod 6/0 or larger hook for the lady fish, put the hook through the lower jaw and out the upper,
4 feet or more of 60 pound fluorocarbon leader with a large bobber or balloon just above your leader knot.
 cast it out and set your live liner drag for about 2 pounds. Your front drag should be set at 10 pounds,
 maybe a little more but not much the Tarpon needs to run out some of its strength. I like having as close to 300 yards of line as possible.
 The line on my lady fish rod is 50 to 65 pound test braid.
Yes you can catch & kill as many Tarpon as you like with light line.
And kill you will the fight lasts too long and the Tarpon swim away and die later after you are home thinking how cool the fight was.
We saw this 50 times a number of years ago, Charlotte Harbor is closed in, un-like where Tarpon are caught in other places where the dead are swept out to open water.
 So please if you have to fish light line Tarpon, go somewhere else.
If you are a real Angler and use heavy enough tackle to land the fish in a reasonable time. Please come here to Charlotte Harbor. You are my kind of people.

Back to the fishing you have a lady fish out under a float 10 to 16 inches long is a good bait size Lady fish,
 I would say the float is the best thing but here late in the Year it should be said that a heavy sinker 4 ounces or even 6 ounces is a great idea for catching Tarpon with a whole Lady fish.
The sinker will keep it in one spot, free line is great and will catch fish, But only if they hit while you are not untangling your lines from the free roaming Lady fish,
which has wrapped up all of your lines into one bunch night mare spider wed of knots.

Keep your rod handy with the Bait buster, I am not much for random casting at Tarpon and will hold the rods at ready for when I see one roll.
besides casting the Bait buster will give you something to do while the tarpon hit the lady fish. It is good to stay busy.

Avoid the ergs impulse to chase the Tarpon up and down the Bar.
You will pack up and get to where they are rolling only to see them back where you saw them when you decided to fish the first time.
 I will only pack up and move if I see the Tarpon, down farther and then see them father away again.
Tarpon seem to feed up and back along the bar, working an area.
only after an hour or so will they really move down the bar,
 once they move they will work the area for food and then move again. You will spend a lot of time chasing Tarpon,
 If you sit and wait, not run and gun you will catch more fish.





08/18/15 Tarpon continue to be filling the canals, There are more Tarpon this year in the
Canals than I have ever seen. We are getting really curious as to why there are so many, Small Tarpon.
One thing I can promise it has nothing to do with Jig or lack of Jig fishing. That said it may have something
to do with the changing nature of Boca Grande Pass, with no dredging the pass is just not the same place it was
for tarpon to hang out, as seen by the lack of Tarpon in the passes. this may have moved the spawning to farther out in the gulf.
But I do not really think that is it. I think it is the amount of rain, lack of bait fish, these along with the changing water flow in
Boca pass combined. would help move the tarpon out into deeper waters of the gulf. Tarpon like Snook can live in fresh water
but if they spawn in fresh water the eggs sink and do not hatch. the lack of bait, and changing of water flow in the pass, and
just enough rain to freshen the Harbor waters, would and could make all of difference in how many eggs survive.
I have seen this in the Snook population, and I believe this is where all of the small Tarpon are coming from.
Did something happen to trigger an excessive spawn or was the weather just perfect for hatching
baby Tarpon. . . Ok enough rant.
Big Tarpon can be found in the deep holes in the Harbor as well as in the Myakka River, there is enough cat-fish, Lady fish
and food for them and lets not forget about the massive Pin fish hatch, millions apon millions of pin fish
have hatched and they are great Tarpon bait this season.

Lures for tarpon are right on normal track, The D.O.A. Bait buster, mullets, and the
Storm Swim baits. Trolling Rat-L-traps for Tarpon is getting some attention
keep the front treble hook, but flatten the barbs, then replace the rear treble with a single hook.
do not replace both treble hooks, with single hooks. the lure will not swim right and you wont catch Tarpon.

When throwing storm or the more popular D.O.A. cast count to 10 after the lure hits the water
and then fast lift of the tip and slowly drop the rod downward, then take up the slack, repeat a lot





08/03/15 Tarpon. are hitting storm swim shads 4 or 6 inch color is your choice
with no clear best color, The same can be said for the D.O.A. bait buster. Working these
lures is still a cast out let it fall for at least 8 seconds, then a quick lift of the Rod and
a slow drop of the tip, reel in the slack and repeat.

There are a few schools of thread fins in the Harbor if you can find them, the tarpon
will not be far away. But finding them is a bugger. they are not often at the surface
Seeing them on your bottom machine has been the key to locating the schools
Once you find them Sabiki is ok but the dark water makes them hard to catch with the sabiki
So a 10 foot + cast net 3/8 or larger mesh is your best bet.

To use the Thread fin for bait, one under a float 6 feet below the bobber, drifting
keep another thread fin free line, 4 feet of 50 or 60 pound fluorocarbon leader and your just your hook
. hook size depends on the bait size but I would say 5/0 to 7/0. I will sometimes use a #2 split shot or
pinch weight just to get the Thread fin to go deeper.
But you need to have a rod to cast with. and one with the float/bobber just drifting along behind the
boat. The one to cast with is just so you don't go crazy as you see one roll.
The one drifting behind the boat is the one which will most likely hook up with.





Tarpon  fishing The fish have moved into the Harbor, The holes are your best bet
Thread fins and cat fish are the best live baits, as far as lures go the Bait buster
is the lure of choice, They will still hit a crab but the tarpon are keying into the fish
more and more. Here in the Harbor the fish will show them selves by rolling<
so it is a matter of waiting to a wave that is bright shiney silver
The fish on the beach are scattered out but the seem to still want the crabs more
here on the beach than the fish up in the Harbor. The Schools of Tarpon on the beaches
are smaller, but with less pressure they are more willing to take a bait.
So be prepared to wait a while to find them, but you should hook up when you do find the tarpon




Tarpon  fishing is ok lot sof fish, but hard to figure out how to get them to eat
Lot sof Tarpon along the beaches and in the pass, they are just done with the major spawn
So the party is over now the hang over time, Carbs are still the best bait,
The fish in the habor are in the deep holes but now rolling as much
all should change this week as the moon gets smaller. The darker nights will
be key to getting the Tarpon to eat during the day.




Tarpon are still eating crabs but in the Harbor the tarpon are switching over to thread fins
the good part is they are easy to get and not as expensive as Crabs. The bad news is the Cta fish
like them as much as the Tarpon, and the Cat fish are big enough to eat a 5 inch thread fin no problem
The Pass and the hll are carck of Dawn to about 10:am the Tarpon then just kind of done,
after 10 you might want to try the beaches, it is an one and off again bite all day.
Up in the Harbor is sort of the same oas the beaches with on and off again bite.
The Tarpon bite in the Harbor is mostly all bait, with no real reports of Tarpon hitting any lures.
but that will come soon.



Tarpon. are really feeding on the crabs, the "hill" tides are in full outgoing rush
which is what the crabs use to get out into the gulf to finsh thier spawning
so the Tarpon are on the hill first thing in the morning then moving into Boca
Grande Pass, where they spend the day, Once the late afternoon hits the tarpon
get a big meal, starts then it's boy/girl stuff all night. By the morning they have had enough
and move back into the Harbor and passes from along the beaches.
Some of them head into the Harbor on to the hill and others seem to be staying in the pass
the bite was from 6:pm to 7:pm, and yesterday it was from 4:pm to 6:pm.
Short version this is the time to hook the Tarpon you are dreaming of in the pass or
on the hill.



Watch at night for thunder and lighting , when that happens the Tarpon seem to head out into
the gulf and then north, So if you are along the beaches from stump pass to Boca
early in the day, very good shot at your tarpon..


The tarpon fishing have been spawning so, Every evening they will leave and head out into the Gulf
notice the dots out of Boca pass. some where between 2:am and day light the party is over and the tarpon
head back towards the beaches and Passes, the most fish use Boca pass, but all of the passes are seeing this
happen, So from Punta Rasa to Gasparilla the same thing with tarpon bunching late in the day, and
returning over night. This why the fishing along the beaches is so good right now.
after the party, A snack is order, Haven't we all stopped for a bite after a night at the Clubs?




The Storm really the lighting seems to be affecting, the Tarpon have run out into the Gulf
the red & yellow dots going out into the gulf are here to show the Tarpon have
gone out to about 4 miles off the beach, The Red & yellow dots along the beach,
is because the Tarpon are still moving along the beaches but slowed down as I said
I believe because of the lighting storms.
Up in the Harbor there are still tarpon but If there is no storms tonight, the number will go
up and so will the catching. Jig fishing in the pass is getting better, red head and green tails.
The morning bite is getting very good, until around 10:am
Now on the beaches and in the Harbor, is great form 4:pm to dark
If you are ok with just hanging out and waiting , and want to hook a lot of Tarpon
Anchor off the side of the ICW from Useppa, to Captiva Rocks, and cast out cat-fish tails
chunks of mullet or Crabs, and the Tarpon will come by one here and one there,
But they will come by and they will eat, not as much fun as running the Boat all
over from hell to breakfast, but you will hook Tarpon. Almost too simple,




5/19/15 The fishing here has been an afternoon bite, early is good
But the tide is really the factor in the afternoon bite, the strong out going tide after lunch
are producing a tremendous crab migration/ spawn run. where thousands of crabs are being flushed
out of the Harbor to the gulf, 
Here is a thought, if you catch the Crabs you need, not just keep all you can, next year
the crabs may still be here. every two you keep and kill for greed/ oh look there are so many
crabs. each pair of crabs could have produced hundreds of babies. Just think about it.
while you watch the passenger pigeons fly by. nothing wrong with keeping a few.
you know what you need, stop there.



5/15/15 Tarpon have Been on a crab bite but the last few days it has been
more about thread fins, But we expect that to change back to a crab bite when the tide start changing
the tide are going to be more extreme and that will start flushing more crabs.
The Tarpon in the Harbor are more mixed in their diet, Pin fish, thread fins and
as far as lures go the DOA bait buster in the root beer and the Chartruse colors seem
to be the best. root beer far out selling the Chratruse but the guys buying the Chartruse are
buying lots of them. The after noon feed has been better up in the Habor,
the beaches are a early morning thing, I mean the crack of dawn. to around 9:am
then it slow to a good bite, until noon then it gets more slow Late in the afternoon



The Tarpon are moving and as the maps show they are thick along the beaches
Early in the morning like day break, when you see dawns crack, you will see fish in the air.
Thread fins a primary Tarpon bait are moving into the Harbor again, making them even batter
as bait. the crabs are the abit right now, on the hill and on the beaches. 
as you go north along the beaches like stump pass the Thread ifn seems to be better
than the crabs but hey no telling for sure try to have both.



Capt. Chris says It is a hill thing< the tarpon are om the hill and try to get in front of them
They are full on feeding mode. Morning bite is great so is the late day,
During the middle of the day. it is only really good, Best Time to hook a tarpon ever.



The trend continues that when the wind is blowing the Tarpon put their nose to
the wind and move. So if the wind is blowing from the west, the Tarpon are
heading into the gulf, If the wind blows from the East the Tarpon move into the Harbor.
If the wind is light they scattered where ever the bait is.
The new Tarpon Jig for the Pass are working well, and a new thing which is bobber
jigging, now don't get up-set I am not talking about a Pass Jig for you idiots who
re-act with out thinking. When you are drifting in the Harbor, Often it is hard to find
live bait and casting a lure at the Tarpon is tough, So place a Bait-Buster or Swim bait
under a bobber about 6 foot or so, and use a hitch hiker screwed in about half way between
The eye where you tie on your leader and your hook, Loop your leader under
the hook of the hitch hiker and Wah-lah the perfect rig to bobber jig. Put the rod
in a back rod holder and let it sit there until the Tarpon wacks it.




4/20/15 From Capt. Mat Hagg
tarpon have moved out in to the Gulf with the weather but they have already
started to come back to the beaches, several tarpon have been jumped along the beacches
to day. and it is gooing to get way better for the next couple days, Then Wed or Thursday
if the next front comes through it will chase them back into the Gulf, But with
The spawn in full mode they wil be back on the beaches by Staurday.
Mat says the Tarpon from Englewood to sanibel island are thick, Some of the best tarpon
Fishin of the lastweek has been right off of Fort Myers Beach







The Tarpon have been very steady here in the 14 ft hole and the mouth of the Myakka
River for the last 2 days. and What we dont know is which lure is going to be the one
to really light up here. I am betting on the Rat-L-Tarp 3/4 or 1 once. Storm Swim shads
have bben ok, and the DOA bait-buster is ok. But nothing has really been "the one"
maybe a 16 long A bomber?  Any way the Tarpon are here and feeding on thread fins
and Spanish. The is a lot of Lady fish here as well.
Good luck I have heard so much about these fish, I thought I should share



04/02/15  Robert,s
  The tarpon are not rolling much yet, as the water is a little cool
But they are free jumping, which means for no reason that humans can really under stand
Best guess is they are feeding. I think they are showing off for the Girls. Part of a mating type ritual
Like guys smashing beer cans on their foreheads.
A free jump is when a Tarpon launches its-self completely out of the water,
Often 6 feet or more clear of the surface. I think the girl Tarpon are watching,
and give style points for how high, & landings Every once in a while a Tarpon will clear
the water and make it over So it's appears to be a perfect dive, and then there is the belly flop,
Most common is the lay over pushing a wall of white water out like a boat crashing into on-coming waves
Best Bait right now if some kind of fish, Thread fin or Pin fish, The big schools of Thread fins
are off the beaches, But there are some in the Harbor. Pin fish are a good 2md choice with lady fish
or whiting doing ok as well. Crabs do not yet seem to be what they are looking for.
Good luck

04/02/15 Bonus round
This is from Captain Josh Greer

As Tarpon move and Captains find them we will try and get you the latest info.
 It is not surprising when a Map from one Captain will not match the other as each fishes a different area.





  This map is with the Help of Capt. Chuck Jenks

Capt. Chuck this is the best pre-season and it is only gonna get better,
Watch for bait, Birds or something moving on the water, That is where you will
find Tarpon, Now the best bait this year so far is Thread fin herring or Threadies
as the locals call them, You will need a cast net 10 foot or bigger with 5.8 inch mesh
to cast net these Thread fin in the open Harbor the ones you are looking for are at
least 5 inches long or more. If you are not good with a cast net. Thread fins can be
caught with a Sabiki rig.
Capt. Chuck is putting on a 6 foot leader with a float at the top of the leader.
Then get in an area with bait or fish activity and just drift or use your electric
trolling motor on slow to keep the bait fish swimming.



Yes the Tarpon have started showing up . this could be a very early season this

Year. For the smaller Tarpon the 1/4 once Rat-L-trap is still rockin them in the canals
along with the DOA terror eyez



The Tarpon are doing well in some of the canlas in Cape coral close to Matlachee.
 The Port Charlotte and PGI canals have quite a few as well.
The Rivers are seeing Tarpon come down at night to feed on bait by the bridges, We feel it is the lights
of the bridges which brings the Tarpon to feed at night, Like an every night full moon.