Tarpon Fishing in Key West

There are two species of tarpon, one native to the Indo-Pacific region of the world, and the other native to the Atlantic Ocean. Anglers going Tarpon Fishing in Key West will have the chance to hook into Megalops atlanticus, a tarpon that can weigh in excess of 300 pounds, and is referred to by locals and fishing guides as “The Silver King.” In Florida, the record setting tarpon is a bit smaller, tipping the scales at 243 pounds. Tarpons migrate into the Lower Keys every year in February to spawn, and move out when their reproductive cycle expires in July.

Florida is recognized as one of the best fishing spots for tarpon in the world, thanks in large part to the abundant population of “Silver Kings” swimming in Key West’s extraordinarily clear and clean waters. Tarpon are the largest fish swimming in the flats of the Keys, with smaller species weighing between 30 and 75 lbs., and large tarpon ranging between 75 to 120 lbs. The fish feeds readily on large steamer flies, water plugs that sit on the surface of the water, and live baits such as Pinfish and Mullet. Because tarpon are so sizable and leap aggressively when hooked, a sturdy set of tackle is required for all anglers Tarpon Fishing in Key Westin the Spring.

Tarpon are among the most difficult fish in the Keys to spot because their silvery, shiny scales are well-camouflaged by the water. If conditions are clear, though, an experienced guide can spot them “rolling” on the surface of the water, showing their silver sides, black backs, or their flipping tails as they propel themselves back to the ocean’s bottom. (Wearing a pair of polarized fishing sunglasses can also assist a fisherman in spotting the fish.) When you finally spot a school of swimming tarpon, either cast right into the heart of the school or tease the leaders of the pack by casting just in front of them and slowly tugging your plug along. If throwing a fly, cast it three to five feet in front of the mass of tarpon, and let it sink for three to five seconds, teasing and tantalizing the fish. Because tarpon feed opportunistically, multiple hook sets are required to hook them when they hit a fly or surface plug. Tarpon have bony, spiny, hard mouths. The sharper the hook, the better.

If you plan on some Tarpon Fishing in Key West, please contact us with any questions.