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!

Tampa Tarpon Report is brought to you by Obrien's Irish Pubs and Eupro fishing tackle. Tarpon reports are written by Tampa Bay area tarpon guides & Eupro Pro-Staff. If you have a tarpon report you would like to share please email text and pictures to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Tarpon News Hight Lights

Potential Georgia State Record Tarpon Released

Capt Greg Hildreth releasing a tarpon that would have been a new Georgia State Record

Tarpon guide Capt Greg Hildreth and angler Jeff Pierce of Atlanta recently landed a tarpon near St. Simons Island GA and using the BTT Tarpon Weight Card estimated the tarpon's weight at 188lbs, more than 27lbs higher than the current Georgia record.

When I got a good close look at the tarpon I knew she was in the 170-180 range and would beat the State record. I mentioned this to Jeff and he told me there was no way he would kill that tarpon, I agreed and once we had her boat side we got a good measurement. With the BTT formula she came out to 188 pounds besting the record by 27 pounds! What an awesome catch and to know the she swam out of my hands in good shape is a great feeling.

The Georgia Tarpon record was set in 1995 with a weight of 161 pounds, I happened to be on the dock that day when the angler brought the fish in and it made me very uncomfortable to see such a great fish weighed, photographed, and tossed back in the river. Fortunately, the Georgia DNR now has a law stating that a Tarpon can’t be taken without it being larger than the existing record. Most serious Georgia Tarpon anglers will best the record every few years but choose not to kill the fish just to get their name in the record book.

We were fishing with live Menhaden free lined and on a float rig.
Courtesy of BTT- Tampa Tarpon Report- Tarpon News.




BTT International Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Symposium Update By Tampa Tarpon Report.


Press Release For Immediate Release November 21, 2011 Fourth International Bonefish & Tarpon Symposium a Huge Success “Terrific! The entire symposium was just amazing.” – Meredith McCord “Thank you so much for a wonderful, educational and inspiring BTT symposium.” – Ali Gentry-Flota “The stars did truly come out and shine...I have my doubts that this one could ever be topped or even duplicated.” – Stu Apte “The "Evening With the Legends" produced more energy, emotions and love for the sport in one evening, than I have ever experienced.” – Chico Fernandez “The symposium and banquet that you organized was the best that I have ever attended. There was a fine balance of science, angling technique, and shared experiences of the speakers and legends. A fantastic job, well done!” – Steve Selway “This was the Woodstock of flats fishing.“ – Jon Ain These are just a few of the accolades that flooded in the day after the Symposium. The two day symposium followed a high paced format, with multiple sessions each day: research and conservation presentations by scientists from the United States, Caribbean, and Pacific; Expert Panel discussions on bonefish, tarpon, and permit by the most notable anglers and guides in the world of flats fishing; casting demonstrations by a who’s who of experts; the latest on best handling practices for catch and release fishing. More than $120,000 was raised for BTT’s mission from the event’s sponsors and auction. The Grand Finale of the event was on Saturday night at the Evening with the Legends Banquet. Bonefish & Tarpon Trust started the night off presenting three inaugural conservation awards: ■The Flats Stewardship Award was given to former Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Chairman Rodney Barreto for his efforts to protect bonefish, tarpon and permit. In addition, Barreto coined the term ‘rock stars of the flats’ to describe bonefish, tarpon, and permit. ■Lefty Kreh was presented with the first Lefty Kreh Sportsman of the Year Award in recognition of his leadership and innovation within the fishing community and for his lifelong commitment and efforts to promote the conservation of bonefish, tarpon, permit and other coastal gamefish. ■Former NBC newscaster Tom Brokaw received The Curt Gowdy Media Memorial Award, a prestigious award given to a literary or media icon who, like Curt, has helped to significantly raise awareness for the need to nurture and protect our precious fisheries. The evening culminated with appreciation for angling greats Bill Curtis, Lefty Kreh, Flip Pallot, Stu Apte, Chico Fernandez, Sandy Moret, Mark Sosin, Ralph Delph, Steve Huff, and Rick Ruoff. Andy Mill did a fantastic job as emcee, pulling some great fishing stories from the memories of these legendary anglers. There was more information on flats fishing under one roof than ever before. If you weren’t able to make it to the symposium, you can read the program here: http://www.tarbone.org/publications/symposium/2011/ To learn more about BTT and to contribute to the future of flats fishing by becoming a member, please visit our web site www.tarbone.org. Bonefish & Tarpon Trust is a non-profit, science-based, conservation organization dedicated to nurturing and enhancing global bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries and their environments through stewardship, research, education and advocacy. BTT accomplishes this mission by funding conservation-focused research, working with local, national, and regional resource management agencies to improve regulations to protect these fisheries and help restore fisheries that have declined, and by funding and conducting educational programs for anglers and the public. For more information please visit their web site www.tarbone.org . You can also reach them by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING or by phone 239-283-4733.

Tarpon News-Billy Pate Dies At 81

 Billy Pate Off To Fight Big Tarpon In The Sky! -Fishing Legend Dies At 81

TTR Readers, for those of you who have not already heard, this spring we lost one of the legends - Billy Pate. Billy was a BTT founder and long-time board member and supporter. He will be missed. You can access a memorial put together by friends at IGFA via one of the links below. Fisheries conservation is a two way street. Good conservation requires that the users of the resource become involved in responsible conservation. A special thank you to all of you who have and continue to be involved in the cause of bonefish, tarpon, and permit. Good conservation also requires that we share with you the information and progress that results from your efforts and support. This e-newsletter provides some of that information, such as the new article on bonefish spawning. And be sure to check out the information on an upcoming event designed to really blow the doors off any information extravaganza you have seen before - the Fourth International Bonefish and Tarpon Symposium. We're also pleased to announce that we have heard your requests, and we now have for sale the DVD for Season I of Buccaneers and Bones. As always, thank you for your continued support, spread the word and get others to join, and go fishing! As always, tight lines. Aaron Adams, Ph.D. Operations Director. Brought to you by TTR- Tampa Tarpon Report.

Tampa Tarpon Angler's Chance Win $200 Gift Certificate!

Hello Tarpon Anglers,

Please don’t miss out on the new bimonthly drawings that are taking place this year. All anglers who return a tarpon DNA sample during March and April are eligible for the drawing to be held on May 6th.  For this particular bimonthly drawing we will be giving away a $200.00 Sea Sucker gift certificate and Cutco Cutlery fillet knife.  Don’t delay and send us your samples!  You may be the lucky winner. 

 Our winner from January and February received a $200.00 gift certificate to Bob’s Machine Shop among other things.  Who knows what May and June will bring, but one thing for sure…it will bring plenty of tarpon!

 Thanks to all of you who support the tarpon genetics recapture study. For more information contact the FWC at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING  or call 1800-367-4461                


The Tarpon Genetics Team

Tampa Tarpon Report - Tarpon Tournament News

Tarpon Tournament News!
Follow Tampa's STR-Suncoast Tarpon Roundup on Facebook!
For tarpon anglers wanting to fish this years  77th annual Suncoast Tarpon Roundup have your registration forms and entry fees in by May 14th. For more information please contact Charlie Crisp at : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING or vist: www.facebook.com/pages/Suncoast-Tarpon-Roundup/191733585200

Follow The PTTS & Pro Tarpon Tournament Series on Facebook & Twitter!The Miller High Life PTTS is the largest and richest live-release tarpon tournament in the world, featuring five regular season events and one championship event all held in Boca Grande Pass, Fla. Teams may weigh one fish daily and obtain points towards
the Yamaha Team of the Year Race by releasing placing, weighing and releasing fish. Camera crews are on hand during the PTTS to capture the action for a 13-week television series that airs on Sun Sports Network and World Fishing Network. This year the show will be available in over 44 million households in the USA and Canada. The Women's Professional Tarpon Tournament Series presented by Andros Boatwaorks (WPTTS) is the largest and richest saltwater women's fishing series in the United States, featuring three regular season events, all held in Boca Grande Pass, Fla. The WPTTS pits forty-five teams of three women anglers in a head to head gunwhale to gunwhale battle for nearly $100,000 in cash and prizes. Teams may weigh one fish daily and obtain points towards the Reactor Watch Team of the Year Race by weighing and releasing fish. For more information and pictures please visit,


Tarpon DNA Sample Kits.


Hello Tarpon DNA Anglers- June 14,2011

We just wanted to let everyone know that the Dave Markett May/June Challenge is still on and coming to an end.  All tarpon DNA samples for May & June are eligible.  The deadline for submission is July 12th , so be sure to get your samples returned soon.

As always, we thank you all for your continued support,

The Tarpon Genetics Team

 Tarpon anglers participation in the FWC's Tarpon Genetics Recapture Study Program is vital for the long term species preservation of Florida's number one gamefish, megalops atlanticus -the Atlantic Tarpon!

Tarpon anglers can assist by obtaining a tarpon DNA sampling Kit and scrubbing their tarpon before it's release. DNA sampling kits are available at many local bait and tackle shops through out costal Florida or can be shipped free of charge to the anglers home by calling1-800-367-4461.

Tarpon Offshore Spawning Grounds


In search of the legendary tarpon spawning grounds, the Gulfs best kept secrete.

M/V Ocean Tarpon Trip Report: The Hunt for Tarpon Spawning Grounds Continues Where tarpon spawn is still a mystery.  Although we have a good indication that many tarpon spawn offshore in the Gulf of Mexico near the full and new moons in spring and summer, an exact location has yet to be determined.  Part of the challenge has been finding a vessel that can travel offshore 100 miles to search possible spawning areas for tarpon. We were recently very fortunate that Chris Fischer of Fischer Productions and the conservation foundation OCEARCH, generously donated the use of his vessel, the M/V Ocean, for an offshore trip to search for spawning tarpon.

A generous offshore fisherman based in Boca Grande, FL, had previously given BTT coordinates for a potential spawning location. This fisherman has witnessed multiple times what appears to be spawning tarpon near the full and new moons; thousands of fish on the surface bumping and rubbing, and noticeably milky water.  With this information in hand, a group of scientists boarded the M/V Ocean on the morning of July 1, and departed Boca Grande Pass for a three day trip with only one mission on this new moon of July: find spawning tarpon.   On the 12 hour trip to our waypoint, conditions looked promising with flat calm seas, cloudy skies and plenty of Atlantic thread herring and menhaden to eat.  Everyone on board scouted (some with binoculars) for signs of rolling tarpon or any heavy commotion at the surface.  We reached our coordinates at sunset on the eve of the new moon, but there was no activity at the surface – no tarpon, no baitfish.

Two graduate students from the Florida Institute of Technology were onboard to sample plankton by pulling two types of nets, one for surface and one at 10’ depth, with fine mesh with the hope of finding tarpon eggs and young larvae.   Once at the waypoint, the students pulled the surface plankton net twice – for 20 minutes each – followed by two 20 minute pulls of the net at 10’ depth.  Each pull produced multiple eggs from approximately 7 species of fishes.  Lab analyses to determine the exact species are still under way.  The plankton nets were pulled at morning and dusk each day over the three day trip, four pulls each time (2 surface, 2 subsurface) at 20 minutes for a total number of 16 pulls on the trip.  Water temperatures averaged 85°F and salinity was 37% - perfect for spawning tarpon.

After the first series of plankton pulls, we decided to drift since the new moon prohibited any type of scouting.The next morning, after dodging thunderstorms, Captain took the boat along a north-south search pattern (10 miles in each direction), using the coordinates as a center point. Researchers were on deck scanning the water for signs of tarpon, but without a single tarpon sighting.  At the end of Day 2, we ended the search at our waypoint and ran the third series of plankton pulls.  Our position coincided with a weedline which resulted in much Sargassum algae in the net along with its inhabitants including crabs and filefish.

On the morning of Day 3, the last series of plankton nets were pulled, and after searching the area for signs of tarpon, we began the long journey home.  Throughout the voyage home, all hands on deck scouted the horizon for signs of tarpon, but again to no avail.  We arrived at the Boca Grande channel around 9:00pm on the 3rd of July to a welcoming committee
of fireworks from three counties.

Although this offshore trip was not successful in finding tarpon spawning offshore, persistence is key. For example, BTT continues to fund satellite tags for tarpon in the spring with the focus of finding where these fish go to spawn.  And offshore searches will likely occur again in the future.  Once spawning locations are found, BTT will then work toward ensuring these locations are protected so that successful spawning continues to occur, ensuring future generations of tarpon

Fishing For Atlantic Tarpon On The Pacific Of Costa Rica? Article Courtesy Of BTT.

 An Atlantic species not native to Pacific waters, tarpon have made their way to the Pacific to the delight of Costa Rica’s west-coast anglers. Fish Out of Water: Saúl Porras holds a baby tarpon caught on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. Tarpon is an Atlantic species that has made its way over to the Pacific. Courtesy of Leandro Porras. .Oscar Villalobos was on a mission. The talk around town was that Pejeperro Lagoon, between Matapalo and Carate on southwestern Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, had opened up to the Pacific Ocean because of heavy rains. The week before, locals had caught lots of snook up to 30 pounds, casting jigs into the surf. Villalobos wanted in on the action. It is not an easy task to get there. Fishing from a boat is impossible because of the big surf. The only possible way to catch fish is from shore. The nearest place to park a vehicle is at the elementary school at Río Oro, and from there it’s a one-hour walk in soft, hot volcanic sand. If you have any luck fishing, the walk back is worse with the additional weight of a few nice snook or snapper. With a pair of rods over his shoulder and a handful of white bucktail jigs, Villalobos finally arrived to find a couple of locals already making a few casts. “Any snook around?” he asked. “Not one,” they replied, “but since yesterday we’ve caught 16 sábalos (tarpon).” In no time, Villalobos hooked five tarpon and landed two. The size of the tarpon being landed by the group ranged from just a few pounds up to about 40 pounds. Tarpon, Megalops atlanticus, is an Atlantic species not indigenous to Pacific waters. The Caribbean side of Costa Rica is world-famous for its tarpon fishery. The first time I encountered a tarpon in Pacific waters was in 1995 in the Golfo Dulce. I was fishing up near Río Esquinas when I saw one roll on the surface near the boat, then another, and another. I thought I was going crazy. I asked some of the locals about it, and they suggested I may have seen a school of milkfish. A milkfish looks strikingly similar to a tarpon; in fact, Ticos call it sábalo falso, “false tarpon.” They average about 40 inches. The fish I had seen were much bigger. Several years later, one of my captains here on the southern Pacific coast brought a 37-pound fish into the dock that caused quite a stir. He had never seen a fish like it before, and said it jumped like crazy when the customer hooked it. I took one look at it and laughed. I thought to myself that I hadn’t been crazy after all, all those years ago; I had indeed seen a tarpon on the Pacific. My theory was that the tarpon had passed through the Panama Canal and somehow made their way up to the Pacific side of Costa Rica. The Panama Canal almost didn’t get built. There was a big controversy as to whether sea snakes from the Pacific would be able to pass through the canal and set up residence in Caribbean waters. A study finally showed they couldn’t make the passage through the canal because they do not enter freshwater, and the canal was constructed. The same doesn’t hold true for various types of fish. Snapper, snook, certain types of jack and tarpon enter freshwater at will. Tarpon often travel from the Caribbean Sea all the way up the Río San Juan and make camp in Lake Nicaragua, on the Pacific side of Nicaragua. Over the past few years, my customers have hooked a few tarpon every year and have caught tarpon over 125 pounds. My captains now know to release them if the angler is lucky enough to keep a hook in them long enough to get them boatside. But it wasn’t until recently, when locals started catching small tarpon here, that I realized there is no way these little guys are swimming all the way up here from the Panama Canal; tarpon must be breeding in the Pacific as well. I contacted marine biologist Didiher Chacón, president of Widecast, the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network, in Costa Rica. Chacón did an extensive study on tarpon on the Caribbean side of the country 20 years ago. There are very few baby tarpon in the most popular fishing areas of the Caribbean coast. The habitat is not suitable for juveniles. But down near the Panamanian border in the wetland estuaries, Chacón found tarpon as small as two inches. He said Pejeperro Lagoon is suitable habitat for juvenile tarpon. Tarpon larvae make their way from the ocean into the mangrove estuary, where they develop. “The chance that someone carried those tarpon across the country and placed them in the lagoon is very slim,” he said. “It is quite possible tarpon are breeding in the Pacific, but it would take genetic sampling to be absolutely sure where they originated.” He went on to say the fish could be originally from the Costa Rican, Panamanian or even Venezuelan tarpon populations. Wherever they are from, it is exciting news. Brought to you by Tampa Tarpon Report- Tarpon News, article by BBT Bonefish Tarpon Trust.

Vist www.tampa-fishing-report.com for more great Tampa & St Petersburg inshore fishing reports. Up to date Tampa area inshore fishing reports for tarpon, snook, redfish, trout, cobia, shark, grouper, kingfish and more!


PTTS - Professional Tarpon Tournament Series