Also known as the Silver King, tarpon are noted for their brilliant silver sides and underbelly, five-gallon bucket jaws, bug eyes and massive size. Young adult tarpons often weigh in at the 50 to 125 pound mark and a mature adult tarpon can weigh in excess of 200 pounds. Adult tarpon are voracious eaters and their prey includes mullets, pinfish, marine catfish, needlefish, sardines, shrimp, and crabs. Because of their size, their predators are limited but include bull and hammerhead sharks, dolphins and alligators. While reeling in a fatigued tarpon, it is not uncommon to have sharks move in and prey on the easy meal.
A combination of size and a relentless and fierce fight gives the tarpon their infamous reputation among sports fishing enthusiasts. Tarpon are powerful fish known to hit prey and bait with incredible ferocity. Boating a tarpon is a thrilling, adrenaline charged and often exhausting fight that requires proper technique and skill as their size and ferocity make them experts at throwing hooks and breaking lines.Once the hook has been set, tarpon deliver a hard and frantic run, complete with thrilling acrobatics. Tiring a tarpon takes time and effort; in five to ten feet of water, where a tarpon has less room to move around, it can take about twenty minutes to tire a tarpon enough to boat it. Get into fifty to eighty feet of water such as the Boca Grande Pass and it can easily take an hour.
Tarpon are native to the western and eastern shores of the Atlantic and are especially plentiful in the warm coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. In southwest Florida, large schools of tarpon can be found in coastal waters, bays, estuaries and mangrove lagoons. The Boca Grande Pass is the deepest natural pass in the state of Florida and has proven to be one of the world's premiere tarpon fishing locations. While tarpon are not a popular fish for human consumption, their abundance, distinctive physical characteristics, thrilling fight and sheer size have made them a popular game fish and a boon to the southwest Florida fishing charters industry.
Tarpon fishing requires great skill, strength and patience, but is perfect for those seeking a one-of-a-kind angling experience. Capt. James Willis of Beach and Backcountry Charters is a seasoned Boca Grande tarpon fishing expert and can deliver the action and excitement pulling in one of these magnificent fish can offer. Contact us today to book your charter.
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