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 Tips

 tips to catching tarpon in Tampa Bay. Tarpon tips that will increase tarpon anglers percentages of landing prize poons include, hook set, drag set, down & dirty technique, bowing to the silver king , Eupro tarpon tackle recomendations and more!

TAMPA TARPON REPORT: Eupro Pro-Staff Tarpon Tips

Eopro Tarpon Fishing Tips

EUPRO Pro-Guide 10  Tips To Catching Tarpon

1) Setting the hook for tarpon

Tarpon are notorious for spitting the hook, but there are preventive measures that can be taken that will put the odds back in the anglers favor. Tarpon have a hard bony mouth and a sharp clean hook is a must. Inspect your hook for burrs, bent points, damaged barbs and open eyes. Make sure hook is clean, rust free and most importantly razor sharp. It is always best to use new hooks, however new hooks are not always free of factory defects, so inspect them as well. Make sure the hook used is heat forged, 4x hooks are also less likely to  bend or break off when fighting a big fish. Stay away from the cheaper brands. Eupro, Gamakatsu and Owner all make quality hooks. Circle hooks are always recommended; they tend to hook in the corner of the tarpons mouth and are less likely to become unbuttoned once properly set. Circle hooks are also more fish friendly then standard J-hooks. Circle hooks are designed to release easily and seldom result in a gut hooked fish.

Getting a good hook set is absolutely vital when attempting to land a tarpon. A tarpon's mouth is 90% hard bone and it often requires force on the part of the angler to achieve a  proper hook set. This force can be dealt, with two or three vertical hard tugs of the rod. Angler should not attempt to set the hook while poon is surfacing or in jump mode, but rather when the the poon is making a diving run with its head down.

2) "Bow to the Silver King"

Everyone has heard the saying, but what exactly does it mean? Upon hooking a tarpon, most tarpon will make a quick run followed by an explosive jump out of the water. During this time it becomes critical that the angler is prepared to trace the vertical movements of the jumping tarpon with the point of his fishing rod. This simply  means for the angler to raise his rod tip up when the poon is gaining upward momentum and point rod tip downward as the poon descends. This is all done in a bowing motion, hence the term "Bow to the Silver King!" The logic behind this act of bowing is that, if the angler's rod tip is still pointing upward when the fish is heading downward the tightness in line will cause the leader to break or hook pop. Look for line to rise out of the water when anticipating a jump, ready yourself and Bow to the Silver King!

In most hook-up situations it is advisable to allow the tarpon to make a run for it. The benefits to doing so are that it allows the tarpon to tire. Also fighting a green tarpon on a short scope of line increases the chance of line breakage. If an angler is fishing around structure and is concerned about letting the tarpon run, heavy tackle is suggested.

3) Down & Dirty tarpon technique.

Getting down and dirty is a tarpon fighting technique used to tire out and bring a tarpon boat side as quickly as possible. After allowing tarpon to tire by making a few runs and jumps (not that you could stop him even if you wanted to) the Down & Dirty technique can be put to use. When getting D&D the angler needs to get on top and stay on top the fish.  When tarpon goes right, angler asserts side pressure to the left. When tarpon goes left, angler asserts side pressure to the right. Keep your fish on a short leash. No more than 30-40 ft from the boat. Apply constant pressure on the fish and continue to gain ground inch by inch. A low rod profile, side pressure, tight line, some light palming of the spool and a opposite counter move to your quarry's every move will break him in half the time. When you get your tarpon to the boat he will be whipped, but not overly exhausted like he would have been from a lengthy prolonged battle. Prolonged battles often end in a death sentence for many poons. So, do your part and fight your next tarpon down & dirty!

4) Setting your drag for tarpon.

Setting drag for optimal tarpon fighting performance. A common mistake among novice tarpon fishermen is setting the drag too tight. A drag set too tight is a lost fish every time in the world of tarpon fishing. Tarpon are large fish which demonstrate an amazing amount of power and force. Tarpon often feed in a drive-by fashion, which means they are known to accelerate their swim speed upon attacking their bait and a drag set too tight means a bent rod and a broken line. Drag should be set at around 20lbs and should be tested to make sure it doesn’t catch or lock when line is being expelled from spool. A clean well oiled reel is less likely to bind up.

5) Locating tarpon

Apart from hiring a tarpon guide, the best way to locate tarpon is to gain local knowledge of the specific area you intend to fish. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The local bait & tackle shop is a great place to start. Befriend the proprietor ask where, when, how and on what the locals are catching poons. You probably won’t end up privy to any super secrete tarpon spots, but you may walk out a little tarpon wiser than when you walked in. The internet is an awesome tool. Check out tarpon forums read what people have to say and join in on conversations by asking questions. Search internet fishing reports such as www.tampatarponreports.com, www.tampa-fishing-report.com, www.cyberangler.com all of which are excellent sources of information. If you have time attend local tarpon seminars given by professional tarpon guides or join a fishing club. Captain Sean Hagen hosts the Plant City Obrien’s “Reel Simple Fishing Club” and often gives tarpon fishing seminars. Capt. Sean and can be contacted at 1877 357-HOOK or www.tampa-tarpon-charters.com.

Once your homework is done and you have a plan it’s time to hit the water. Tides are important so pick a day with good tidal movement. Incoming or outgoing tides are both good for tarpon as long as they have adequate tidal flow. Upon entering your targeted area scout for tarpon signs, look for rolling fish (tarpon breaking the surface gulping air), birds or other fish crashing the water, balled up schools of bait fish, or fellow anglers geared for tarpon.  Pick a spot to execute your plan. If you catch a poon right off the bat awesome, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t. Switch it up, try something different, go to plan B, learn to adapt and over come. It is the successful angler that endeavors to persevere. Eventually your rod will have that sweet bend in it and the Silver King will be dancing on the other end of your line!

6) Knots and tackle for tarpon

Check your knots and tarpon tackle. The biggest rookie mistake, and one everyone has made, is improper knot tying. So, double check your knots. If you are not convinced the knot is 100% take a minute and retie it. Don’t lose the tarpon of a life time 'cause you're too lazy to tie a proper knot. The same goes for the rest of your tackle. Check rod eyes for cracks & chips that can cut your line. Make sure main line and leader is free of wear and abrasions. Inspect hooks for defects and make sure they are sharp to the touch. Fishing reel should be in good working order and proper size for tarpon. A quick knot and tackle inspection can make all the difference.

7) Boat your tarpon quickly

The longer an angler fights a tarpon the more that tarpon becomes at risk of chronic fatigue. When a tarpon experiences physical fatigue and is not resuscitated correctly before release, its chances of survival are minimum. Tarpon often die from complications brought about by physical exhaustion. Also tarpon in a weakened state easily fall victim to predators such as, large hammerheads and bull sharks. To avoid over taxing a tarpon, anglers should attempt to boat their tarpon quickly. This can be accomplished by implementing the down & dirty technique or by using heavy tackle when fighting tarpon.

8) Bringing tarpon boat side.

Once your tarpon is boat side and the leader has been touched, the poon is considered caught. Next angler needs to retrieve the hook and revive tarpon if necessary. Using the leader, guide your tarpon towards boat so that he is positioned parallel to the boats gunnels. Keep tarpon's head up to prevent it from diving and making another run. Then lip tarpon using a gloved hand or short swivel gaff. Do not attempt to boat a large tarpon.  Photos or measurements can easily be taken while safely holding the tarpon over the side of the boat’s gunnel.

9) Releasing your tarpon unharmed.

Naturally your tarpon is going to be whipped after a good fight and may need to be revived before being released. One method is to set the boat at idle speed while holding on to the tarpon, allowing water to circulate through the open mouth and gills. This revival process may take anywhere from 2-20 minutes depending on the amount of stress and fatigue the tarpon has endured. Once the tarpon begins to head shake and kicks its tail with signs of renewed energy, slowly let go. If the tarpon kicks its tale and swims off, chances are he will be okay. If the poon begins to sink or belly rolls grab it immediately and repeat revival process until signs of life and fight return.

10) Eupro tarpon tackle recommendations

Eupro makes a great line of products for tarpon fishing. The Diamond 15-30 rod is recommended for tarpon up to 100 lbs. For tarpon over 100lbs Eupro's PoonDaddy 20-40 is the way to go. The PoonDaddy 20-40 was introduced in 2010 and has become the top choice of many south Florida tarpon guides. It is an 8' spin rod with great cast ability and live bait sensitivity with enough backbone to boat the big girls! Eupro's MSU 20/50 Tarpon stick is an excellent rod for jigging tarpon in Boca Grande Pass and is a top choice with PTTS tarpon teams.

Eupro fishing rods- Fugi components

Eupro's virtually invisible IT fluorocarbon leader line makes for an awesome tarpon leader. Eupro Pro-Staff leader recommendations are 4-8ft of line ranging from 50-100lb test. A double uni-knot is recommended when attaching leader to main line.

Eupro braid is designed with big tarpon in mind. It is very abrasion resistant and has an unparalleled strength which is a must when fighting tarpon. Eupro Pro-Staff Recommends spooling a 6000-8000 series reel with 150-300yds of 30-80 lb Eupro braid.

Eupro braided line for tarpon fishing

Eupro Hooks are all heat forged for superior strength and sharpened to perfection. Hook qualities is a must when targeting tarpon. Eupro Pro-Staff recommends tying the hook with a loop knot when fishing with live bait for tarpon. A loop knot allows bait the freedom to swim more naturally. Also tarpon posses a very abrasive mouth and the loop allows movement verses constant wear in the same spot. 4-6/o circle hooks are recommended when live bait fishing, where as 7-9/0 circle hooks are suggested when bouncing break away jigs in Boca Grande.

Eupro tarpon hooks circle hooks


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PTTS - Professional Tarpon Tournament Series