He’s a picky eater, he’s hard to hook, even harder to land, and you'll be hooked the first time you reel in one of these elusive, powerful, and oh-so-defiant fish.
Any attempt to describe a battle with a tarpon comes up short. Tarpon or "the Silver King" rival almost any offshore game fish with their fearsome power and brute strength. These target trophy tarpon can tip the scales at over 200 lbs. In fact, they often reach sizes up to 8 feet and have been known to weigh up to 280 lbs.
If you've never tangled with a tarpon, you really should add this to your bucket list. You'll want to take advantage of the experience of a seasoned guide when targeting and fighting these famed bruisers, as hooking and landing a tarpon require a combination of muscle, patience, and skill. It’s estimated that less than 10% of hooked tarpon are actually brought to the boat.
Why? Once the tarpon realizes it’s hooked, it will run--fast. Tarpon reach speeds of almost 60 mph, so you'll want to keep your rod tip high to exert pressure. Whenever the tarpon jumps, you will need to lower your rod tip quickly in order to create slack which will reduce tension in the line and keep your line from snapping when the silver king falls back into the water. For most people, the first response to a jumping tarpon will be to pull back on the rod--but remember to think of Elvis, and bow to the king!
Unlike Florida, where the vast majority of tarpon are pursued on shallow flats, Texas tarpon are typically taken in deeper water. Even so, tarpon are often found rolling on the surface even in deep water. And, in recent years, an increasing number of tarpon have found their way into Texas bays from Port O'Connor to South Padre. But, the safest bet for Texas tarpon remains fishing outside the bay.
Seasoned tarpon fishermen will often zig-zag over likely locales with an eye on their depth finder, waiting to come across a school holding at depth.
Mullet, pilchards, shrimp, blue crab, live hardhead catfish, and ladyfish (skipjack)
Your charter fishing guide will have all the bait and tackle you need to make your fishing trip a success. And because these knowledgeable guides know the areas they fish better than anyone, they'll have you reeling in these fish before you know it!
We are proud to recommend these qualified guides and charters for your next guided fishing trip: