Islamorada Tarpon Tips
It's possible to catch tarpon any time of the year near Islamorada in the Florida Keys but
the best time is during the May and June spawning time. That concentrates the tarpon
with only one thing on their minds - the natural reproduction cycle that takes place each
year. It makes the tarpon easy to find because they will surface in small circles when the
males are in the process of fertilizing the eggs. Although they seem to be totally occupied
with the spawning process, they will eat a fly stripped in front of them.
Bridge Fishing at Night:
Normally, tarpon are caught under the bridges or near the channels that go under all the
bridges in the keys. These tarpon hang out under the bridges at night eating food
attracted by the lights. Tarpon can see well at night, so you don't really have to fish right
in the light. There will be plenty of them hanging around in the dark water nearby the
light. Often the tarpon are on the small side but there are plenty of them and fight well on
fly gear. They feed on shrimp and crabs that gather around the lights.
You can use a sink tip or sinking fly line. The deeper you can get the fly, the more fish
you are apt to catch. Its best to anchor your boat upcurrent and cast upcurrent, allowing
the fly to sink as deep as possible. Let the fly swing past the boat into the area beneath
the light. This isn't the easiest type of fly fishing there is but it is usually very effective.
The smaller tarpon are inclined to hang you up on the pilings. The large tarpon will have
to be chased down, so be prepared to pull anchor at all times. You may loose some
tackle and even a complete fly line every once in a while, but you should be able to catch
some tarpon. Our "Perfect Fly" streamer and crab flies work great for this. Both our
Marabou and Mantis Shrimp Flies in any color will work for this. Our Brown Crab fly is also
good if the tarpon are feeding on crabs.
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