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Fly Fishing for Tarpon


A school of rolling Tarpons came out of nowhere, head-and-tailing our boat, oblivious of our presence. The fisherman was standing on the casting deck at the front of the boat, trying to keep his legs from shaking as he stripped off the line and tried to control it while keeping an eye out for the approaching fish. He began to spin the 12-weight fly-rod around his head as the fish approached, increasing the distance each time he false cast before launching a large 4/0 Black Death Tarpon Bunny at an intersecting angle. Pause. Allow the fly to sink.

“Strip! Strip! The Guide Said, “Strip!” and the Fish Came

It sped forward and began rolling the fly. The angler tightened the line and pointed his rod directly at the fish, before strip-striking the line twice or three times. The calm water erupted into a flurry of flashing silver and rattling fury. The tarpon did a jackknife out of the water while rattling its gills in defiance. It then crashed back into the foam. The reel started to protest when the fish flew away with a blistering display.

The Guide Instructed, “Let Him Fly! Let Him Fly!”

The angler turned the rod to one side to begin applying pressure to the fish. The tarpon thrashed out of the water again, this time releasing the fly. One more example of the law averages. It is said that you only catch one tarpon out of every ten fish you hook. But this does not make it any easier! The angler laughed in a slightly maniacal manner, which immediately told me that his battle with the Silver King had produced another tarpon addict.

Megalops Atlanticus is also known as Buttkickus Fishus.

It has its own fan base. Tarpons are exciting because they head straight for the skies when hooked. It is one of the oldest species of fish in the ocean and hasn’t evolved much over the past 60 million years. Tarpons have a lung that allows them to breathe air, which is why they roll. This can give them new life and prolong the fight. The smaller tarpon up to about 40 lbs is great fun to catch on lighter line weights. However, the larger migratory ocean tarpon can be a real challenge and will test your limits.

Many areas in the Caribbean have tarpon. Cuba is the only place that consistently has a large number of fish of a good size without it looking like there’s a regatta on the flats. Cuba offers a wide variety of habitats in which to fish for tarpon, from the deep Atlantic channels up to the flats with clear water that are perfect for sightseeing in shallow water.

The fisheries are less stressed than in the Florida Keys because only the fishing operations that have a base there can access these protected areas. Cayo Largo, Casa Batida Santa Maria, and Jardines de la Reina are all suitable for travelers who do not fish.

Call us at (813) 528-3572 if you’d like to take a break this fall for a saltwater holiday.

This post was written by a professional at Copeland Outdoors. Welcome to Copeland Outdoors, where the sun always shines and the fish are always biting! Right in the heart of St. Petersburg, Florida, our charter, owned and operated by the legendary Tyler Copeland, promises an adventure like no other. Embark on an inshore fishing trip and reel in some of the most prized catches The Bay area has to offer. Tyler, with his years of experience and a knack for finding the honey holes, will guide you to where the fish are practically jumping into the boat! For those craving a bit more adrenaline, why not try your hand at duck hunting or alligator hunting near you? Grab your sunscreen, and your sense of adventure, and come join us at Copeland Outdoors. Let’s make some waves and reel in some memories together! Click here to learn more!