What can I say, May is one of my favorite months to fish and that’s because it’s prime time Tarpon season, from Miami to Key West. By the time the month of May rolls around, the tarpon migration is in full swing, and people come from all parts of the world to land the world famous Silver King.
My favorite method of chasing tarpon is with fly tackle and 90 percent of my clients who come from all parts of the world to catch a big tarpon on a fly rod. We are typically using 10 WT to 12 WT Fly rods for catching tarpon. My favorite rod to use is an 11 WT fly rod, but there will be times where you have to downsize to a 10 WT or step up to a 12 WT. Conditions, locations, and where we fish will dictate the weapon of choice for that particular day or spot we are fishing at that moment.
There are several different scenarios on how we catch tarpon. There areas that I call staging or feeding areas, where the bite is best in the early morning where you can find fish actively feeding and rolling around. You have migrating fish swimming on the ocean side banks heading South in May, and we also find fish laid up/sleeping fish that are holding in some protected area or cove. Conditions and locations will normally dictate how we will target tarpon for that particular day, and many times all the different scenarios will be perused through out a single day.
Fly-fishing for tarpon is not for everyone. You must be prepared before booking a fly fishing tarpon trip. First off being able to cast is number one. If you’ve never fly fished before and booking a three or five day tarpon trip, you will feel very humble and disappointed at the end of your trip if you haven’t practiced.
Saltwater fly-fishing takes practice and time on the water. One of the most important things to learn how to do is called a Double Haul. That is a technique that is used in saltwater fly-fishing in order to create line speed and distance to your cast. Distance casting as well as making accurate cast is the key at being successful at fly-fishing for tarpon.
Fly-fishing for tarpon is just like booking a big game hunt. You don’t go to Africa and hunt for one day, or go on an Elk hunt and expect to shoot a trophy in only one day. Chances are you won’t be able to find anyone who is going to book a one-day hunt, and the same goes for chasing tarpon with a fly rod. Yes there are times where you can get it done in one day, but experience and the amount of shots you have that day will dictate that.
Fly-fishing for tarpon is not impossible, putting in the practice time and being prepaid is the key to being successful at anything in life. The same goes for tarpon fishing.
Get out there and practice and let’s go chase some POONS!
I offer a minimum of three days and up to seven-day packages. I tarpon fish from Miami to the upper Keys, as well as in Everglades National Park out of Flamingo Marina. If you’re interested in booking a trip, I have a few slots open in June for tarpon fishing. Give me a call anytime.
Capt. Raul Montoro
Shallow Tails Guide Service, Inc.
Professional affiliates: Yamaha Outboards, Tibor Reels, Patagonia, Simms Fishing, Okoma, Ahab Custom flies and Rods, Sage Fly Rods, Smith Optics.