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juro 11-29-2000 09:31 AM

Baby Tarpon
Call me a wuss but smaller tarpon, 50 lb and under, always appealed more to me than the 100 lb'ers. Since my passion for the sport was built upon steelhead and salmon, then the flame fanned on northeastern species like mondo stripers, blues and tuna... I like an intense fight but I don't want to wrestle a single fish for an hour.

Of course I'd have to try for the monsters at least once, and who knows my tune may change if I always got to chase tarpon, but from my northern clime perspective smaller tarpon seem to be just right for me.

Any opinions?

Aaron 11-30-2000 07:05 AM

RE:Baby Tarpon
Wholehearted agreement here, Juro. For me, the fun is in the presentation of the fly, the hookup, and the wild leaps and runs of the fish. The tug-of-war that can occur, even with the 50 pounders, can get old. I've hooked into tarpon of 75 lbs or so, and although all were lost, the fight had gotten old once the fish started to sulk in deeper water. Plus, there were all of those other tarpon rolling and splashing through the bait right next to me!
I've spoken with a number of long-time tarpon anglers who love casting to and hooking giant tarpon, but then intentionally break off the fish after 5-10 minutes, after all the acrobatics are over and the deep water tug-of-war begins.
As the rain falls through the almost-freezing air, backed by a slate gray sky, and the long cloak of winter settles over New England, I can almost hear the tarpon expelling air from their bladders as they roll through the clear lagoon waters. I can feel my arm swing into motion as I cast a deceiver into the midst of schooling baitfish, each one trying to best the others for a spot atop the school and farthest from the gape of the feeding tarpon. I can see the fly land softly among the baitfish, and see it batted about in the chaos, then drift slowly below the school... a twitch, and then tension; a hookset, and then pure energy as the tarpon feels the bite of the hook point and vaults skyward, again and again. Line peels off the screaming reel...

Damn, winter blues.


bigcat988 11-30-2000 08:58 AM

RE:Baby Tarpon
Then you woke up from your dream.I mean no offense but like you said the fight gets old, if you never landed one
how can you comment on that? If it was that easy every
flats boat in the Keys would have fishermen with bent rods.
A baby tarpon on a 8 or 9wt rod will give you all you can handle and if you mess up you will lose the fish in a heart beat.
Silver Kings Rule.

juro 11-30-2000 10:35 AM

RE:Baby Tarpon
Bigcat, Aaron, Rafa - you guys have me dreamin' too. So when's the tarpon clave?

Aaron 11-30-2000 01:42 PM

RE:Baby Tarpon
Hey Juro,

When's the tarpon clave? when I win the lottery!


Most tarpon I came across in the islands were in the 30 - 50 lb range, with the 75 pounders being near the upper end of the size range. I'm not sure why larger fish were absent/rare. Nonetheless, my statement on the fight getting old was based on the tarpon up to 50 lbs I landed, and those few larger fish I didn't. I agree that a mistake made while fighting a tarpon (of any size) will likely result in a fish lost. Tarpon are a blast.
Based on my experience with the smaller fish, other than the thrill that comes with landing one's first large tarpon, I'd rather cast to and catch numerous smaller fish than duke it out with a single deepwater tarpon. A friend told me a story about a guy who hooked a large tarpon and fought it for 6 hours before landing it. No thanks.
Hey, all things being equal, I'd rather catch blues than stripers - more bang for the buck, imo.


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