Tarpon fishing in Tampa Florida is a great way to enjoy some great action being so close to a full fledged city . Bridge fishing certain times of the year is a great way to capture the Silver King of your dreams . Large spinning rods with large reels are the choice for when fishing near bridges. A eight foot spinning rod in the twenty to thirty pound class rod will do just fine. A four thousand series reel or even a five thousand series with a very smooth drag is important . Braid line is a popular choice for these out fits because the braid is stronger than the mono filament and you don’t need as much on the reel. Also braid cuts the water faster which means less resistance when fishing around a lot of current such as the many bridges found in Tampa Florida.
The leader choice is usually of two choices mono filament or fluorocarbon . Both of these leaders will work just find. Fluorocarbon is made of different properties, and I favor it due to its abrasion resistance and transparency in the water column. These two lines braid and fluorocarbon can be connected by ether knot or swivel . The hook that you choose is as just as important . The size must match the bait size not the fish size . Bait for bridge fishing can depend on what type of fishing your doing. I like to anchor up the boat up tide of the bridge and fish down tide towards the bridge. Tarpon like current and water movement they also enjoy eating what’s in season. You’ve the slogan “ match the hatch “ well that’s true for all fishing application’s . If there’s abundant amount of bait within and around the bridge at the time of fishing . The chances of Tarpon eating that particular bait are good. I personally like using lady fish,mullet and thread fins. All three types of these baits can be caught and even purchased if desirable.
Most fish opportunistic and feed out of instinct . It’s important that when presenting these baits to the targeted species that they all look natural in their appearance. Where you cast these baits and how they are hooked is just as important as having the proper sized tackle . This is the first intersection point between you and your desired prey. The term “first impressions” fits nicely in trying to explain the presentation of bait to prey. Bait fish come in different sizes and shapes. The key is to hook these live baits so that they are able to swim naturally and look natural. You also must take in factor the tide. How fast is the tide going , which direction is the tide going and where are the fish your targeting in relation to the tide. If your bait is spinning out of control with not a natural appearance your wasting your time when trying to catch fish such as Tarpon. With any fish that your targeting you will be competing with not just other anglers, but more importantly “hook free bait” .
This is over looked most of time. Your concern expressed should be about your tackle and bait and not the angler next you. Everybody has to compete with bait that swims the way it should that’s very important when Tarpon fishing. The Tarpon is a great sport fish and is built to notice detail. This is explained in the comparison of eye size to body size . Tarpon have large eyes and they use these eyes very well when capturing their bait of choice. The position of their eyes is important as well. How a fishes eyes are positioned will give you a good indication of how that particular fish will usually feed. “What you can’t see you can’t eat.” Hook placement plays a key factor in catching these fish. When bridge fishing you must prepare for the fish when it’s hooked and being able to catch this wonderful sport fish.
Using a “ breakaway anchor” or the motor to control the boat is important when bridge fishing in Tampa. Casting down tide and letting the the bait swim naturally back towards the bridge were the tarpon are feeding is my preferred method of bridge fishing. When the fish is caught be ready to release your anchor or move your boat. Thus safely and ethically fighting your Tarpon. Tampa Tarpon Trips: HERE