The annual tarpon migration has started in St. Petersburg! Schools of hundreds of fish are beginning to arrive as part of their journey up and around the gulf coast to feed and spawn.
These migratory fish are large breeding adults, sometimes up to 200 pounds, dwarfing the resident juvenile tarpon that can be found in the area year-round. Adult tarpon are so powerful, you have to feel it to believe it.
The peak of the tarpon migration will occur over the next two months (June-July), so you need to make plans soon if you want to experience a battle with the “Silver King”.
Capt Kevin Walton, with Non Stop Fishing Charters, has been catching tarpon in St. Petersburg for decades. He knows their patterns, what bait they are looking for, and has the right gear to increase the odds of successfully putting your hands on one of these ancient giants.
During the migration, tarpon can be found in different locations. Places like deep passes, bridges, and near the beach in pods of dozens or hundreds of fish.
Just off the beaches, you may be lucky enough to see the pods of tarpon cruising and rolling on the surface, we can then set up in front of them.
Other times, there will be hundreds of tarpons stacked up in deeper passes feeding as the current pushes bait through.
Tarpon will eat many types of baitfish, but a popular easy-to-catch bait is pinfish, in the 3-6 inch range. For gear, heavy spinning rods paired with 6000+ series reels are needed to apply the necessary pressure to break the will of these giant fish.
The reels are spooled with 30-50 pound braided line, and have a 5-7 foot 50-pound fluorocarbon leader, tipped with an extra-strong, and pinpoint sharp 5/0-7/0 circle hook.
When beach fishing, the pinfish can be suspended about four feet under a cork and cast in the path of moving tarpon or where you expect them to pass through roughly 50-75 yards off the beach. In passes, the bait can be hooked near their rear vent and cast out to swim down to the lurking tarpon.
There are few things more exciting than having a 100+ pound fish jump entirely out of the water, flipping and twisting in an amazing acrobatic display. Now is the time to experience catching a fish of a lifetime. Book your trip with Captain Kevin today, before the season is full.