Tampa Tarpon Report is the Tampa Bay area's tarpon fishing headquarters 1855 FLA-TARPON. TTR provides tarpon fishing reports, facts, tips, hot-spots ,tarpon fishing charters and tarpon tournament news  to Tampa Bay, St Petersburg and Boca Grande tarpon anglers. Get up to date tarpon fishing reports, tournament results and postings from South West Florida, the Tarpon fishing capital of the world!

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Tampa Tarpon Report - Tarpon Hot Spots

TheTri-county area of Tampa Bay offers phenomenal tarpon fishing. Tampa Bay is the number one tarpon fishing HOT SPOT in the world! Egmont Key, Don Cesar, and the Skyway Bridge are top tarpon hot spots and provide unparrelled tarpon action to any tarpon angler willing to test their mettle against the prowess and cunning of the Silver King!


Tampa Bay is home to thousands of resident tarpon year round.  However, the main population of tarpon is migratory by nature.  Many of these migratory tarpon winter in the Florida Keys , Caribbean, Central and South America before beginning their northward journey up the gulf coast at the start of spring.

Following huge hordes of baitfish up the gulf stream, large numbers of tarpon will venture into cozy bays and gulf passes to feed and rest before heading offshore to spawn. It just so happens that Charlotte Harbor and Tampa Bay are the two main pit stops for vast numbers of poons heading north.

With such large numbers of migratory tarpon going in and out of Tampa Bay, it is no wonder that Tampa Bay is the number one HOT SPOT for tarpon fishing the world! Of course many believe that Boca Grande holds that title, but rather than argue I will simply state, "Tarpon fish Tampa Bay and find out for yourself!"


Tarpon Hot Spot Ggmont Key Pass.

Passes are entrance points for migratory tarpon and exit points for resident tarpon heading offshore to spawn. Passes are best fished early in the season or on a summer hill tide. For best results free line crabs during a hill tide's out going flush.  When tarpon fishing Egmont Key's June and July hill tides, it is all about the drift. Egmont Key tarpon anglers have adopted a set of unwritten rules pertaining to how the pass is fished during summertime crab chews. This system is very effective as well as necessary. The word is out about the tarpon fishing at Egmont Key Pass (not that it was ever a secret) and each year the amount of tarpon anglers double, which creates a need for some type of order.

First off, drift your pass crabs out of the way of tarpon anglers fishing the drift. When tarpon fishing Egmont's crab chew you will be fishing the outgoing tide. The starting point for anglers is typically a few hundred yards south of the 'ol concrete dock on the north east side of the Island. The best way to gauge how to fish and where to set up in the drift is take a moment and observe other anglers.

When it becomes your turn, position your boat in drift and proceed to fish. Using spinning equipment and free lining pass crabs, cast as far as you can up current and away from your boat. The idea is to have your bait drift as naturally as possible. Depending on the speed of current in ratio to boat and bait alignment, adjustments will need to be made on the part of the angler. You do NOT want to drag your bait, the more natural it appears in the current the better chance you have of jumping a tarpon.

Once you hook into that boss hog of a tarpon, pull him out of the wolf pack. If possible continue to fight your tarpon away from other boat traffic. If you are unable to direct your tarpon out of the main drift then alert other anglers of your situation. Ethical anglers will always allow a boat with a hook up, the right of way.

After bringing your poon boat side and releasing it unharmed fall back in line and give it another go. That is how it is done in "Baby Boca Grande," Egmont Key Pass!

Tarpon Hot Spots: Skyway Bridge

Tarpon fishing Tampa Hot Spots Skyway.

Bridges are structures which attract baitfish. Baitfish seek protection from predators by holding close to structure in large numbers. These large numbers of baitfish present a feeding opportunity for hungry tarpon.

There are multiple ways to tarpon fish the Skyway Bridge, but the most effective way is the free lining of live threadfin herring. When tarpon fishing the Skyway it is important to "match the hatch." Threadfin Herring is the summertime staple, so you want to use threadfins for bait.

When tarpon fishing bridges, anglers want to fish with the tide. This means they want to anchor their boats so the current draws their baits towards the bridge, not away from the bridge. Once anchored a float should be attached to the anchor line, so the anchor can be casted off when pursuit of tarpon begins.

Soaking cut bait, especially when chumming the waters can often be very productive. However, most anglers choose to free line live threadfin herring while working the dolphins (the bumpers beneath the bridge). When working dolphins cast towards the center and open your bail to allow bait to be swept around the sides. Retrieve bait before it reaches the back of dolphin or line will become snagged around the backside of the dolphin. Reel in and repeat process until you have a POON ON!

When you jump a poon at the Skyway the Chinese fire drill begins! The thing about bridge fishing is the amount of obstacles you need to maneuver around. Anglers need to be on their "A" game. As soon as a poon is hooked all other lines should be reeled in and the anchor line casted overboard. The boat should have been started and turned in the direction of the fleeing poon. All this needs to be done in less than a minute and don’t forget to bow on that first jump. Once that tarpon figures out he has a hook stuck in his mouth the first thing he is going to do is peel line. Next, he's going to jump or head for structure. This is an exciting, yet critical time and requires quick precise team work on the part of angler and crew. Line must be recovered before angler is spooled and tarpon is lost. In order to recover line, pursuit of poon must be under way. Then captain must maneuver through an obstacle coarse of other boats, anchor lines, fishing lines, bridge pylons and dolphins. Once clear of the bridge the test of endurance begins, MAN VS. TARPON. Sometimes the angler wins, other times it's the Silver King who prevails, that’s Tarpon fishing at Tampa's Skyway Bridge!

Tampa Skyway Bridge is world famous for spectacular tarpon action. The Skyway poses a battle field of obstacles. It is these obstacles which offer an unparalleled sense of accomplishment among anglers, anglers who have done battle and came up victorious over the Skyway Tarpon!

Tarpon Hot Spots: Don Cesar Hotel

Tampa Tarpon Fishing Hot Spots.

Tampa Bay beaches offer great opportunities to sight fish for tarpon. Tarpon turn up on the beaches in early spring and are often seen daisy chaining over sandy bottoms.

That big pink castle on St. Petersburg Beach is the Don Cesar and it is an awesome hot spot for tarpon fishing in the summer. Fish outside the no boat markers, along the sand bars in deeper water troughs. Early morning is ideal and light chop conditions help when dealing with spooky tarpon.

After locating schools of tarpon, set up in the direction they are moving and allow the tarpon to come to you. Casting distance is the key when targeting beach tarpon. Light tackle is preferable, because it allows anglers to cast longer distances. Cork or free line with live bait often does the trick.

Rolling fish are often seen along the beach in deeper water. These fish can be taken using the same techniques as daisy chaining tarpon and are usually less spooky.

When multiple anglers are working the same pod of fish it is always advisable to practice stealth techniques and allow ample room between vessels.

Tarpon fishing along the beach of the Don Cesar can be an absolute blast in the summer time!

Copyright 2011 Tampa Tarpon Report All Rights Reserved|Tarpon Hot Spots.

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PTTS - Professional Tarpon Tournament Series