Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Best tarpon fights for you and the fish

This is the best time of year to catch big tarpon on fly. Stories of needing 11/2 hours to get a silver-side to the boat are common. Is this necessary or even good for both fish and angler? When a bucket-size mouth inhales your small fly, usually a size 1 or 1/0, and you manage a successful hook set, then what? The fish instantly reacts, usually jumping and heading away. If you raise the rod and let her run against the drag, you can have an empty spool. Tackle should be adequate, 11 weight rod, good large arbor reel, smooth drag with 30-pound test backing. Many good guides will use a 40- to 60-pound shock tippet attached to the fly. Skipping the lighter class tippet, used mostly for record book work, will give you a mechanical advantage. Immediately concentrate on keeping the fish off balance and confused. You must bow when they jump, giving slack to prevent breakoffs. And put as much pressure as possible on the fish. When the fish goes right, with rod tip low, apply pressure to her left side. Getting the line over the fish and off balance is helpful. Keep a moderate bend in the rod to prevent rod breakage. Avoid rest for you and the fish to shorten the fight and release a healthy fish.

Fly fisherman Pat Damico runs charters in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com and (727) 504-8649.

Captain's Corner: Best tarpon fights for you and the fish 06/14/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 5:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Harmeling first woman to receive lifetime honor at Sneaker Soiree in Tampa

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the last quarter-century, she has combined passion and meticulousness to keep the Gasparilla Distance Classic humming and evolving. Indefatigable and detailed, Susan Harmeling braces for every race-weekend contingency.

    Susan Harmeling gives a speech after accepting an award  during the annual Sneaker Soiree, at TPepin's Hospitality Centre, Thursday, June 22, 2017.
  2. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh

    Soccer

    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  3. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during TCU’s 4-3 win in the College World Series.
  4. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.