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

Captains corner: Right time for fly anglers to target tarpon

Top thrill time: The greatest thrill in fly-fishing is available within minutes of our shores: large tarpon. Prevailing early morning easterly winds create calm conditions for early risers to scout the beaches for fish between 80 and 150 pounds that are easily seen as they roll on the surface. Quiet nights have them relaxed and happy, which encourages them to eat.

Technique: A few trips will help you find the beach areas they prefer, usually ones with baitfish. Having the sun at your back makes their silver bodies easier to see as they slowly roll on the surface. I have seen them inside the swim markers. Shallow water will improve your chances. A push pole is ideal for stealthily putting your boat ahead of moving fish. Electric motors would be necessary in deeper water, but they are more likely to alert the fish to your presence. The tarpon should come to you for a head-on shot, the most successful approach.

Prepare: An 11- or 12-weight fly rod with a floating or a clear sink-tip lines that can be comfortably cast to 50 feet is needed. A 10-foot leader with a 60-pound butt section, 20-pound class tippet and 60- to 80- pound shock tippet will attach to your fly. A toad pattern (such as the fly of the month featured May 6 on the Gulf & Bay page) is ideal, although Keys-type flies are also popular. Lighter color flies will replace combinations of black and purple for early morning and low-light conditions as the day brightens. Yellow polarized glasses offer the best visibility. Resist setting the hook with a couple of hard strip strikes until you feel the fish. Then hang on for a thrill.

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

Captains corner: Right time for fly anglers to target tarpon 05/11/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 7:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Clemson reunion for Bucs' Adam Humphries, Vikings' Mackensie Alexander

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver Adam Humphries will have a familiar face lining up against him Sunday when he's in the slot and the Vikings have Mackensie Alexander guarding him as their nickel defensive back.

    Bucs wide receiver Adam Humphries (10) makes a reception before being tackled by Chicago Bears defensive back Marcus Cooper (31) Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. For starters: Rays vs. Cubs, trying to get even with Joe Maddon

    Blogs

    After a tough 2-1 loss on Tuesday, the Rays take on the Cubs again tonight, looking to split the two-game series with former manager Joe Maddon.

    The Rays are starting young lefty Blake Snell.
  3. Whatever USF has to say about Temple waits till Thursday

    College

    "The holes were wide open. Anyone could have run through them."

    South Florida Bulls cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (23) intercepts a pass during the second half of the home opener for the South Florida Bulls against the Stony Brook Seawolves at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  4. Five reasons why Kentucky can beat Florida for the first time since 1986

    College

    By Matt Baker

    GAINESVILLE — Florida's 30-game winning streak over Kentucky is one of the most impressive feats in the country.

    Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey (73) celebrates Florida Gators running back Mark Thompson's  (24) touch down in the first quarter, putting Florida on the board 6-0 during the game between the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Kentucky 45-7. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times

  5. Once targeted by the Bucs, Dalvin Cook thrills for the Vikings

    Bucs

    How good would the Bucs be with running back Dalvin Cook?

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) slips a tackle by Steelers strong safety Sean Davis (28) to score a touchdown Sunday in Pittsburgh. [AP photo]