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Guys who catch tarpon: how long is your average fight with an an adult tarpon?

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View Poll Results: how long is your average fight with the adult tarpon that you catch?
less than 20 minutes
12
30.00%
25 minutes
4
10.00%
30 minutes
13
32.50%
40 minutes
4
10.00%
50 minutes
0
0%
an hour
1
2.50%
over a hour
6
15.00%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

Guys who catch tarpon: how long is your average fight with an an adult tarpon?

Old 05-15-2020, 12:42 AM
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Default Guys who catch tarpon: how long is your average fight with an an adult tarpon?

I'm gonna take a tarpon fishing trip this summer with my brother-in-law who is gonna try his best to put me on some 100+ pound tarpon and i wanna know how long of a battle i'm probably in for if the hook sticks.
Old 05-15-2020, 12:59 AM
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Another question for you tarpon folks, do they hit topwater lures under normal circumstances? We're gonna use crabs and I've heard of people using live and dead bait and jigs but I've never heard of anyone topwater fishing for them. If they do, I may just have to bring some of my big Muskie buzzbaits.
Old 05-15-2020, 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Swarthy View Post
I'm gonna take a tarpon fishing trip this summer with my brother-in-law who is gonna try his best to put me on some 100+ pound tarpon and i wanna know how long of a battle i'm probably in for if the hook sticks.
Pack a lunch lol. I have done a lot of tarpon fishing, and we have had the bigger fish "drag" us around for hours.
Old 05-15-2020, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Swarthy View Post
Another question for you tarpon folks, do they hit topwater lures under normal circumstances? We're gonna use crabs and I've heard of people using live and dead bait and jigs but I've never heard of anyone topwater fishing for them. If they do, I may just have to bring some of my big Muskie buzzbaits.
We mostly fish with live mullet, or we fish dead baits on the bottom. When I was younger and did not have a boat we fished the canals and golf courses, and would use top water.
Old 05-15-2020, 03:08 AM
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FWIW - I would use bait the first time...tarpon can be fickle and you'll want to increase your chances. I pretty much stopped trying with artificial - although a good hogie eel is always rigged and thrown if I don't have bait. Hooked up on a beast that I was frankly glad I lost at the end of the day.

Here's a good article - there are plenty out there.

https://www.theonlinefisherman.com/h...dges-and-piers

Crabs are not a sure thing either...used them several times and struck out with them as well.

If you can afford it I would get a guide - it'll probably be $600 or so for 1/2 day - probably more in Boca Grande. Split the cost between 2-3 people. Tell him you want to pick his brain up front.

Two guys to recommend - Tommy Ziesmann in the Keys. Jim Lemke in Tampa area.

If the fish is < 100# it should be a "quick" fight. < 15 min. 100-130# < 30 min. 130-160 - it depends on the fishes attitude (seriously) - each fish is different. If it jumps might be 30 min, if it sounds good luck. Over 165# "welcome to the next level". Little trick I use is when they sound and your on top of them - put the boat in neutral and rev up the engines to get them moving. Don't let them rest.

Lots of people say they get them to the boat in < 30 min - mainly because they have caught enough that they are willing to lose the fish. After 3 fish to the boat and handed with pics, the protocol [in general] is put the heat on them really fast.

If you want them to the boat fast - gear up >= 50# braid and leader. 8' Teramar xfast xheavy. Cabo 60. Think I read some guys are doing 90# braid...bottom line is it's an addiction and a hoot every time, gear up and work out if you want them to the boat fast. BTW - they will whoop your butt...if you take it easy on them count on >45 min. Every gulp of air they get will be an extra 5-10 min.

Good luck. Until then here's some poon porn.







Old 05-15-2020, 04:05 AM
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They will hit top water lures, problem is they will throw those treble hooks right back at you...

really fights should not not last much more than 20-30 minutes for an experienced angler..
Old 05-15-2020, 05:12 AM
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Sounds like I gotta start hitting the gym if I wanna tangle with a big poon, can't wait.
Old 05-15-2020, 05:27 AM
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What gear will you be using? Rod? reel? Line?
Fishing shallow on flats or deep ?

.
Old 05-15-2020, 05:37 AM
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80lb braid, stout rod....leave fish in water, quick pics and pop hook out....
Old 05-15-2020, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 240 LTS View Post
What gear will you be using? Rod? reel? Line?
Fishing shallow on flats or deep ?

.
I'm not the one supplying the gear for the trip so I'm not quite sure as to all the details on the tackle, but he said that 4 spinning reels and one conventional reel will be on board, and has also said we will be using 20 pound braid. The fishing will take place in somewhat shallow water.
Old 05-15-2020, 05:56 AM
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Caught my biggest this past March in the Keys. Guide estimated it to be around 100-110lbs. Fought it for about an hour and a half fish was boat side many times but we were not using heavy leader so had to baby it. Fish/Wind/Current drug us around 2 miles from where we started.

When we went in March the huge schools of the migratory fish were just starting to show up this was mid March (3/14 caught the fish). The guide had the Garmin side scan and the screen would light up when they were close. We fished live bait with bobbers. Went through about 10 sharks to finally get hooked up to the tarpon. Guide also said crabs around the bridges work but you have to be quick when using crabs. He said that as soon as you feel the line get snug set the hook or if using a bobber as soon as it gets touch set the hook as this is when the tarpon basically smashed the crab and is your only chance unless you foul hook them. Makes sense as once the crab is smashed then the hook is no longer in the crab. We fished with Kevin Grub and he is a helluva guide. Also recommend Tyler Nonn but he is only in the Keys from Feb-April-ish every year then he comes up North for the Cobia, Drum and Rock.





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Old 05-15-2020, 05:58 AM
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video; PSA explicit language from guy in tower.
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:00 AM
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I hooked one once on a jig. About a 6’ fish. Borrowed rod with crappy old mono line. The fight lasted about a minute.
Old 05-15-2020, 06:18 AM
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live pinfish either under a bobber or free-willy. 60-80# braid, 120+# leader. Had 30 minute fights, had 5 second fights. Some were successful, some were not.

Last edited by uncljohn; 05-15-2020 at 06:28 AM.
Old 05-15-2020, 08:13 AM
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Live pogie, mullet or pinfish. Plan on an hour battle
Old 05-15-2020, 08:19 AM
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My average fight is about 45 minutes but oddly my longest fights have been with smaller fish in the 100 to 120# range. They seems to have a lot more stamina. You can shorten the fight with more pressure but then you have more break-offs.
Old 05-15-2020, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Swarthy View Post
I'm gonna take a tarpon fishing trip this summer with my brother-in-law who is gonna try his best to put me on some 100+ pound tarpon and i wanna know how long of a battle i'm probably in for if the hook sticks.
It depends on the tarpon, obviously the larger they are usually there is more fight in them. I've caught 100LB+ and got them in to the boat in 10 mins. The guide I always fish with said these are usually tarpon that were recently caught so their energy levels aren't fully recovered. I had one about 80LBS that was a crazy fish and took me well over an hour. The fish wouldn't stop taking long runs pulling out the drag, guide said the fish may have been getting chased by a shark.

We use 15LB Andi line so if you use heavier line you can get them in a lot quicker. Personally I would rather catch the smaller ones <50LBS, after about 30 minutes with a big 150LB it becomes just a pulling battle and it's very exciting when the tarpon just goes deep and basically parks himself. Catching the smaller ones I think is a lot more fun 15 minute fight full of action and not that grueling constant pull on your rod to the point your wrists feel like they are on fire.

I've caught maybe 40 tarpon so I don't consider myself an expert so other more experienced tarpon fisherman may disagree with my opinion.
Old 05-15-2020, 09:45 AM
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About five minutes before some asshole cuts me off.
Old 05-15-2020, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by gumpire View Post
They will hit top water lures, problem is they will throw those treble hooks right back at you...

really fights should not not last much more than 20-30 minutes for an experienced angler..
I change the rear hook to a Gamakatsu Octopus hook of the same weight as the treble. It makes a major difference in the number of hook-ups.
Old 05-15-2020, 09:57 AM
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I usually try use heavier gear because I catch them around structure (docks) and the hardest part is getting them out before they shear the line. Typically 80lb braid and 50-60lb flouro leader. Most fights last less than 20 mins. The shorter the fight, the better chance the fish has at a full recovery. I hate to see a tarpon fall prey to a shark. I've had goliath take them too.

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