As you all may know the tarpon have showed up in the bay area and are here for the taking. They are once in a life time fish that will put you and your tackle to the test. You can either use conventional or spinning gear its all personal prefrence. I myself like a little heavier spinning outfit so its eaiser to cast baits at these fish. A 6000 to 1200 size reel with a 7'6'' to 8' heavy to extra heavy rod spooled with 65 lb braid with a 60 to 80 lbs leader with a 5/0 to 7/0 4x strong circle does the trick for me. I have been getting alot of questions lately about the tarpon fishing and how people can go out there on their own and catch one of these monster fish. Here are a few pointers that will steer you in the right direction and hopefully put one of these fish boat side.
I think the most important thing that people over look is the days you go out and target these fish. I know the working class people are limited to the days they can get out but if you plan your days around the the right tides this will help you out alot. Check your calenders and see when your new and full moon phases are going on. Plan your trips within a few days before or after around the falling tides. Usually this is where you here the term hill tide. The hill tide is a significant high tide that sharply falls and flushes tons of food out of the bigger estuaries. The food in this case are delicious little pass crabs that get swept off the grass and gets carried out through the passes that tarpon just adore. A easy way to get these guys is go to any one of your local takle shops and ask for a crab net they are usually anywhere from 4 to 10 feet and will help you get these guys when they come boat side. Once you load up the well with a couple dozen crabs now its time to fish. Tarpon at the bridge are usually the go to bet. Setup current then cut the motor off and drift through the stalls of the bridge. Cast you crabs up currrent and let them drift back naturally. i would have three different setups ( 1. one rod with a bobber on it with the crab a about 7 to 8 feet below it, 2. a rod just free linning, 3. one with a split shot on it so it goes a little deeper.). I would go 100 yards up current then a 100 yards down if you dont get a bite crank back up and go to the next stall. Also be courteous of other boaters if you see some one goinng through a stall go to a vacant one so you dont disturb the other anglers drift. If you follow these little tips it should lead to a successful fishing trip.
Capt Mike Cole on the Tarpon release.