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EQUIPMENT


1. 8' HEAVY ACTION ROD OR SPINNING OUTFIT DEPENDING IF YOU ARE BEACH FISHING OR BRIDGE FISHING

2. 6 FT. OF 100# TEST MONOFILAMENT LEADER TIED DIRECTLY TO THE SWIVEL ON YOUR YOUR 50# TEST LINE USING A PALOMAR KNOT OR AN IMPROVED CLINCH KNOT .

CLICK HERE FOR THE KNOTS PAGE


3. USE A 6/0 GORILLA HOOK TIED TO YOUR 6 FT. LEADER USING A PALOMAR OR IMPROVED CLINCH KNOT.

4. MAKE SURE YOUR HOOK IS EXTREMELY SHARP. MOST OF THE HOOKS BY " OWNER " ARE PRE-SHARPENED.

5. DON'T TAKE A CHANCE ON DULL HOOKS. THE TARPON'S MOUTH IS AS HARD AS A PIECE OF PETRIFIED WOOD AND IS REALLY HARD TO GET THE HOOK TO IMBED ITSELF.

6. MOST OF THE TARPON WILL BE CAUGHT ON A TIDE THAT IS MOVING AT A BRISK PACE. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR TIDE AND SOLUNAR CHARTS FOR THE MOON PHASES.


AREAS TO FISH


THERE ARE TWO AREAS TO FISH FOR TARPON, UNDER THE BRIDGES AND ALONG THE BEACHES.



BEACH FISHING


1. IF YOU FISH THE BEACHES, THEN YOU MUST BE PREPARED TO GET UP VERY EARLY ( USUALLY ARRIVE AT THE BEACH BEFORE SUNRISE)

2. USUALLY THE FISH ARE FROM 1/2 MILE TO 1 1/2 MILES OFF THE BEACH. LOOK FOR THE FISH THAT ARE ROLLING AND MILLING AROUND.

3. WHEN YOU FIND THEM, YOU MUST BE VERY QUIET AND MOVE UP TO WHERE YOU THINK THEY ARE TRAVELING AND TURN OFF YOUR MOTOR. BE AT LEAST 100 YARDS FROM WHERE YOU SAW THEM.

4. IF THERE IS ANOTHER BOAT ALREADY FISHING THE SCHOOL OF FISH YOU SPOTTED, PLEASE BE COURTEOUS AND FIND ANOTHER SCHOOL SO YOU DON'T SPOOK THEM AND RUIN THE CHANCE FOR THE OTHER ANGLER TO HOOK UP.

5. IF YOU MISCALCULATED THE DRIFT, DON'T START UP YOUR BIG MOTOR AND TRY TO GET IN FRONT OF THEM, WAIT UNTIL THEY HAVE PASSED AND MAKE A LOOP AROUND THEM AND TRY AGAIN. IF YOU START UP YOUR BIG MOTOR, YOU WILL JUST SPOOK THEM AND YOU WON'T STAND A CHANCE OF CATCHING THEM. IF YOU USE A TROLLING MOTOR USE IT FOR JUST A FEW MINUTES TO REPOSITION YOURSELF. THEY CAN STILL HEAR IT AND WILL SPOOK, BUT JUST NOT AS EASILY.

BAITS

1. IF YOU ARE USING LIVE BAIT, THEN PUT A BOBBER ON TO KEEP THE BAIT AT YOUR DESIRED DEPTH.( USUALLY ABOUT 6 FT.) HOOK THE PINFISH AND THE SHAD UNDER THE DORSAL FIN. HOOK THE MENHADEN, THREADFIN, AND THE MULLET THRU THE HARD PART JUST UNDER THE NOSE. THE CRAB SHOULD BE HOOKED THRU THE END OF THE SHELL. RUN THE HOOK UP FROM THE BOTTOM.

2. DEAD BAIT SHOULD BE HOOKED NEXT TO THE ANAL FIN OR UNDER THE DORSAL FIN

3. DEAD BAIT, JUST LET IT LAY ON THE BOTTOM

4. CAST OUT YOUR LINES AND WAIT FOR THEM TO COME TO YOU.

5. ONCE THE TARPON TAKES THE BAIT, THEN SET THE HOOK WITH QUICK TUGS ON THE POLE. REMEMBER 6 QUICK HOOK SETS WILL DRIVE THE HOOK INTO THE MOUTH OF THE TARPON BETTER THAN 1 GIGANTIC HOOK SET.

6. USE A PAIR OF GLOVES AND HOLD THE FISH BY THE LOWER JAW. AS ONE PERSON RUNS THE BOAT , HOLD THE FISH'S MOUTH OPEN SO THAT WATER RUSHES THRU THE GILLS. YOU WILL KNOW WHEN THE FISH IS READY WHEN IT PULLS AWAY FROM YOU.

7. TARPON WILL FIGHT UNTIL THEIR LAST BREATH. THEY WILL BE TOTALLY SPENT

8. DON'T JUST RELEASE THE FISH WITHOUT REVIVING IT. IF YOU DON'T REVIVE IT, THEN IT WILL JUST SINK TO THE BOTTOM AND DIE OR IT WON'T HAVE ENOUGH STRENGTH TO GET AWAY FROM THE MARAUDING SHARKS.




BRIDGE FISHING

1. ANCHOR YOUR BOAT SO THAT YOU ARE 1 / 2 TO 3 / 4 OF THE WAY UNDER THE BRIDGE. THIS ALLOWS YOU TO FISH THE SHADOW LINE AND ALSO GET SOME RELIEF FROM THE HOT SUN DURING THE AFTERNOON.

2. WHEN BRIDGE FISHING, YOU MUST TIE A LARGE BALL OR BUMPERS TO YOUR ANCHOR LINE. WHEN YOU HOOK A FISH , YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO RETRIEVE THE ANCHOR, SO YOU THROW THE ANCHOR LINE OVER AND THE BALL WILL KEEP IT FLOATING.

3. CATCHING BAIT SHOULD BE VERY EASY BECAUSE THE BAITS LINE UP IN THE SHADOWS. USE SABIKI HOOKS TO CATCH THE BAITS.

4. HOOK THE BAIT UNDER THE HARD PART ON THE NOSE SO THE BAIT CAN SWIM INTO THE CURRENT WHEN YOU PUT YOUR LINES OUT.

5. SINCE TARPON CRUISE THE SHADOWS AND THE EDDYS, CAST YOUR BAIT UP CURRENT IN FRONT OF THE BOAT AND LET THE BAIT SWIM DOWN THRU THE SHADOWS AND EDDYS.

6. LET YOUR BAIT DRIFT APPROXIMATELY 30 - 40 YARDS BEHIND THE BOAT AND RETRIEVE YOUR BAIT AND START OVER AGAIN.

7. SOME PEOPLE LIKE TO JUST LET THE BAIT DRIFT OUT BEHIND THE BOAT. BUT WHEN THE TIDE STARTS RIPPING, THEN THE BAIT WILL COME TO THE SURFACE. SO TIE ON A 6 - 8 OUNCE SINKER WITH A BREAK-A-WAY COPPER WIRE AND WHEN THE TARPON STRIKES, THE WIRE WILL BREAK OFF RELEASING THE SINKER.

8. ONCE THE TARPON TAKES THE BAIT, THEN SET THE HOOK WITH QUICK TUGS ON THE POLE. REMEMBER 6 QUICK HOOK SETS WILL DRIVE THE HOOK INTO THE MOUTH OF THE TARPON BETTER THAN 1 GIGANTIC HOOK SET.

9. WHEN THE FISH JUMPS, POINT THE POLE AT THE FISH. THIS IS CALLED " BOWING TO THE KING ". THIS IS DONE SO THAT THE HOOK WON'T BE DISLODGED WHEN IT SHAKES IT'S HEAD AS IT JUMPS.

10. NOW THE " FIRE DRILL" BEGINS.

11. ONE PERSON HOLDS ON TO THE POLE WHILE ANOTHER PERSON STARTS THE BOAT AND RELEASES THE ANCHOR LINE. REMEMBER, YOU WON'T HAVE TIME TO BRING THE ANCHOR IN SO JUST RELEASE IT.

12. ONCE THIS IS DONE THEN BRING IN THE OTHER LINES AS YOU DRIFT, HOPEFULLY, AWAY FROM THE BRIDGE.

13. TRY TO POSITION THE BOAT BETWEEN THE FISH AND THE BRIDGE. SOMETIMES THIS WILL SPOOK THE FISH AND IT WILL MOVE AWAY FROM THE BRIDGE.

14. IF THE FISH DOES GO AROUND THE PILING, JUST LOOSE THE DRAG UNTIL YOU CAN MOVE THE BOAT AROUND THE PILINGS. HOPEFULLY YOUR LINE WON'T GET TOO FRAYED. IF YOU DON'T LOOSEN THE DRAG , THE BARNACLES ON THE PILING WILL CUT YOUR LINE AND YOU'RE HISTORY.

15. USE A PAIR OF GLOVES AND HOLD THE FISH BY THE LOWER JAW. AS ONE PERSON RUNS THE BOAT , HOLD THE FISH'S MOUTH OPEN SO THAT WATER RUSHES THRU THE GILLS. YOU WILL KNOW WHEN THE FISH IS READY WHEN IT PULLS AWAY FROM YOU.

16. TARPON WILL FIGHT UNTIL THEIR LAST BREATH. THEY WILL BE TOTALLY SPENT.

17. DON'T JUST RELEASE THE FISH WITHOUT REVIVING IT. IF YOU DON'T REVIVE IT, THEN IT WILL JUST SINK TO THE BOTTOM AND DIE OR IT WON'T HAVE ENOUGH STRENGTH TO GET AWAY FROM THE MARAUDING SHARKS.



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