Ever fished for baby tarpon? It's one of our favorites saltwater species. As a friend of mine would say, it's a hoot. The video below is less than a minute long but it encompasses the pursuit of these incredible fish to a tee. We have fished for baby tarpon in lots of places – Mexico, Belize, Venezuela, Florida, and have found them to be pretty much the same everywhere. We might think we are the pursuer or the alpha, but regardless of size, they will quickly bring us to our knees.....but, like them, we'll soon be back for more.
Baby tarpon don't necessarily spook like other fish, say permit or bonefish. They may behave like they're spooked or loose interest and go into the mangroves, but if one is patient and will wait for a few minutes there is a good chance the fish will come back – perhaps to see if we're still around. And, if he does, there is a pretty good chance that he'll take the fly again. Or perhaps he'll appear 60, 80, 100 yards down along the mangroves.
Ranging anywhere from about 8 to 40 pounds, baby tarpon will travel in packs and if you find two or more together it can be a lot of fun (a hoot) watching several fish chase the fly to see who will get it first. Once hooked, the others will often spook but like before, they will also often come back or pop up again close by.
Perhaps we fish for baby tarpon for the hook-up more than anything else. Once hooked these fish become acrobats. They run, they jump, they go this way – that way, they belly-flop, it's a crazy for the angler until you've got control of the situation and of course, the bigger the fish the more crazy it gets. Our outfit of choice is almost always a Sage SALT 9' for a 9 weight (990-4) loaded with a RIO Outbound Short line – perfect for this kind of work.
Sometimes tarpon aren't particular to fly patterns, other times they will be. We've caught baby tarpon on just about every saltwater streamer in our boxes, but if we had to pick a couple flies to go with we'd definitely have some black deaths, tarpon snakes and toads. We've also used Deceivers just about everywhere and this week Tim Flagler shows us how to tie the Half-N-Half. I bet it will work like a charm on baby tarpon.
Video Hatch: “Tarpon on the Fly”
Posted on September 10, 2018 by Erin Block
This short film from Capt Nick LaBadie features flats fishing for tarpon in the Florida Keys. This shows exactly what we love about baby tarpon! Thank you MidCurrent.
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