What Bait is Best for Landing Tarpons?

What type of bait works best when fishing for Tarpons?

The spawning season for Tarpon is typically May and June of each year.  The tarpon usually move from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and from the Atlantic Ocean into more tropical waters for their mating season.  The best baits to use when trying to land one of these fish are pinfish, mullet, crabs, and shrimp.  As always, it is a better bet to try to use live or dead cut bait, as opposed to using artificial lures.  However, tarpon can be snagged by lures or small flies.  Tarpon are notorious for their wariness and the degree of difficulty typically involved with catching them.  When you are fishing for tarpon with live bait, you should hook a crab in the corner of the shell.  Pinfish and mullet are hooked through the mouth either vertically or horizontally.  When you are fishing for tarpon using shrimp, it’s a good idea to head or tail hook the shrimp on a hook up jig so it won’t spin in the current.  Many times, it is beneficial to use multiple baits at the same time and at different depths.  It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the current.  For example, if the current is running fast, your best choice for bait is the mullet, because it won’t spin as much.  If you don’t get any bites after a while, try changing your rigging, changing your leader, or change the depth you are fishing.  If that’s not effective, you will probably want to think about moving to a new location.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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