Seeing Tarpon roll is always exciting, but running full speed to the school and throwing lures isn’t your best option to hook up on one of these incredible fish. Spend some time stalking these fish to understand how and why they feed a certain way.
Questions to think about while observing these tarpon:
Once you start building a hypothesis as to why the fish are focusing on a certain spot, you can begin to understand how to target them. This isn’t to say soaking a piece of dead bait sitting at the bottom of a hole isn’t a good place to start fishing for them, but the sooner you start to understand why they feed in a certain place, the better fisherman you’ll become.
In the spring, summer, and fall Georgetown’s estuaries hold plenty of menhaden and mullet for large fish to feed on. While both baits are great for targeting Tarpon, getting the correct size bait with the correct size hook could be the difference between jumping a Georgetown Tarpon and catching one. For a 6-7" mullet I like to fish with a 7/0 hook. You can increase or decrease the hook size as the bait size changes. Many Tarpon have been caught on large mullet (10” or larger), but Tarpon can also strike a bait that size without even getting the hook in their mouth.
Georgetown’s five rivers can kick up silt. When fishing for Tarpon with lures, I like to use ones that send out some vibration. Paddle tail soft plastics that send out vibration or suspending twitchbaits and topwater poppers with a good rattle, are two great options. If the water is a little clearer or you are in a position where you can easily place a lure in front of a Tarpon spoons, jerkbaits, and bucktails are great options, too. In clearer conditions, EP Baitfish, the Cockroach, or the tried and true Lefty’s Deceiver are great lures to try.