Tarpon Fishing

by Fly Fisherman

Many times, bonefishermen working the banks in Florida Bay will see schools of tarpon circling or just lying still in the great holes that arc spotted like lakes through the banks. Here, where the water is seven or eight feet deep, is another ideal spot for baby tarpon, and it is much easier to land one in this open water than in the jungle-infested canals. If a school is worked carefully it is sometimes possible to land as many as four or five fish before they take it on the lam.

Back in the shallow bays of this same area, in the spring, the tarpon may be seen spawning, eight or ten fish swimming slowly around in a 20-foot-wide circle, the female dropping the roe and the trailing males fertilizing it with their milt. Although it seems a shame to interrupt such an important process of nature,
a light tackle fisherman can have a picnic with these fish. A fly or lure dropped along the edge of the circle will usually pull out a big fish in a hurry, big enough that when he comes out of the water all hell breaks loose. And then his terror strikes his milling mates and off they go in headlong flight. And more than likely the hooked fish is right with them and the angler is reeling in an empty line.

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