OMG Crazy Baby Tarpon on Fly - Dock Lights.
Its late summer 100 degrees in south Florida, Miami and the baby tarpon are still here. They have been around every dock light in Miami on a consistent basis. I met up with Gonzales my sport angler. A 15 year old fly angler from Chile. Immediately, I noticed his fly cast and loop was superb! I mean he was spey casting also so, I figured it was going to be a good night. We got to the first light and he was shocked to see 4-5 nice Tarpon cruising through the light
Ok, “baby Tarpon”. Well for me, FWC designates 40 inch to be the max size to be removed from the water. Most likely due to a number of factors including and not limited to weight and maturation. Tarpon can grow in excess of 200lb so these guys still have a long way to in both categories.
On my charters on both artificial its not common to get fish under 5-6 ft. So, Baby Tarpon! This week my guest sport angler and I targeted Tarpon around the bridges and lights.
In this video We used the following Fly tackle:
eight forward floating lines that are usually one line size heavier than the rod calls for, especially on rods with a powerful tip. 99% of our fishing is done with a floating line because the water is clear, shallow and the fish feed on or near the surface aggressively.
Weight forward floating lines. Due to heavy fishing pressure around cities where the small Tarpon are “pounded” daily we use fast clear slow sinking lines. I like the Scientific Angler Mastery Series Clear if you can pick it up on ebay or the Cortland Clear line is also an option although pricey.
LEADERS: We use leaders ranging from 8 to 12 feet depending on conditions. when the surface is calm we use longer leaders so the floating line does not spook the fish. We use 20# breaking tippet for the most part so we don’t lose as many flies and so we can strike the fish harder without breaking them off. We use longer (2 feet) shock / bight tippets than IGFA rules allow (sub-12 inches) because we can tie on more flies without having to change shock tippets as much. We also use longer lighter shock tippet in these clear spooky situations. We are using fluorocarbon shock tippet
Baby Tarpon/ Snook/Jacks
4′ of 30# clear hard mason mono for the butt section 2-3′ of 25# for the transition section 2′ of 20# for the breaking tippet 2′ of 30# for the bite/shock tippet. (40-50# fluorocarbon is an option.) **You can adjust these lengths to make the leader longer or shorter depending on the wind.
FLIES: We are using smaller flies (~2.″) tied with materials that are soft so the flies have more action and look alive. Rabbit strips, soft chicken hackle and turkey marabou plumbs are popular. New soft synthetic furs Like Polar Fiber and Craft Fur are used a lot for our bait fish patterns.
Following up on the OMG Insane Baby Tarpon on fly video Last Summer in the spillways and Miami canals.
This video has a few things to get you started fishing around the dock lights. This can be some of the most exciting sight fishing for Tarpon, hands down. Hungry feeding Tarpon it DOES NOT get much better. We cover the flies to use and the leader set up.