Fishing Report Late March 2024

TARPON FISHING & MORE!

Tarpon and sharks have shown up in the backcountry and I’m also seeing tarpon off the beaches.

As is the norm for this time of year tarpon and sharks have shown in the backcountry in 3-5’ of water. They seem to come to the same spots in the same bays every year. Cut bait works best. Mackerel is my favorite but ladyfish and jacks work finer also.

Lemon and bull sharks are the most prevalent but black tips, nurse and on a rare occasion hammer heads.

It’s a little early this year but I have started to see the migratory tarpon off the beaches and on some of the white sand shoals. The other day the water was gin clear and you could see the tarpon coming for hundreds of feet over the pure white sand. Quite a site watching these 70-100 lb herrings cruising silently looking like silver green torpedoes. 

Flies work for these fish along with crabs and live big eye shiners. I use 30-50lb braided line with a 60-80lb fluorocarbon leader. Good casts and patience is important but once you’ve hooked up it’s always quite a show with the acrobatics of the silver kings.

I’m also starting to see snook along the edges off the beaches and they’re becoming more prevalent in the passes and adjacent bays.

Redfish have also become more prevalent with many of the reds under slot, which is 18-27’ but we are catching some keepers.

Overall the fishing is getting better and will continue as we get into April then my favorite months May & June. 

NOW BOOKING MAY & JUNE TARPON TRIPS.

Call now for availability with best tides.

Capt. Mark 239-450-9230

TARPON FACTS FROM FWC

  • Fossil research shows that tarpon have been swimming in our oceans since prehistoric times.
  • Tarpon can reach sizes up to 8 feet and can weigh up to 280 pounds.
  • The lifespan of a tarpon can be in excess of 50 years. The oldest tarpon in captivity lived to be 63 years old.
  • Due to its majestic appearance of size and color, the tarpon is nicknamed “silver king.”
  • Tarpon are primarily found in shallow coastal waters and estuaries, but they are also found in open marine waters, around coral reefs, and in some freshwater lakes and rivers.
  • Tarpon range from Virginia to central Brazil in the western Atlantic, along the coast of Africa in the eastern Atlantic, and all through the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.
  • Because of its strength, stamina, and fighting ability, the tarpon is one of Florida’s premier game fish.
  • Tarpon have a special ability to gulp air at the surface when they are in a habitat that doesn’t provide enough oxygen.
  • In their larval stage, tarpon are transparent, have a ribbon-like body and prominent fang like teeth, and are less than an inch long.
  • Tarpon can only be fished recreationally in Florida. The majority of recreational anglers practice catch and release since the fish is not considered to be of any food value. However, anglers can possess them for trophy purposes at the cost of $50.00 per tag, per fish. Without this tag, possession is illegal.

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