Fort Myers tarpon fishing charters are blasting off right now. Over the past two days we have put 11 fish in the air! Today was awesome! I got numerous reports from buddies that they put anywhere from 7-13 fish in the air today! Today on our tarpon charter we went 1-7. All big fish, smallest fish was 120 pounds up to 150, and very very close to home. Tarpon season I kicking into gear nicely and I expect it to be really good the rest of this week!

Popularly known as the Tarpon Capital of the World, Fort Myers in Florida offers a year-round 100% catch and release tarpon fishing experience. Its fame started when fishers caught the first tarpon n 1855 along the Tarpon Bay of Sanibel Island. From then on, fish lovers have been exploring the area for this species. 

What Should You Know about Tarpon?

The Silver King or Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) is a sports fish. It is not suitable for you to eat this fish because of its poor taste and many bones. However, Tarpon has become a much-sought fish because it offers a thrilling catching experience.

The average tarpon size in Fort Myers is around 120 pounds and can grow up to 250 pounds. Its average length is about 7 feet long. The prized catch is always female tarpons because they grow tremendously and are considered the queens of this species.

Tarpons thrive well in both saltwater and freshwater because of their capacity to gulp air directly. They love to roam close to the shore and lure people into catching them on the waters. For this purpose, renting a fishing charter in Fort Myers is the best decision.

When is the Most Appropriate Time for Tarpon Fishing in Fort Myers?

Tarpon season is year-round in Fort Myers. The high season happens from May to July. The low season is October to December and January to February. There is no “closed season” in this part of Florida.

Every month is an excellent month to fish for Tarpon. However, timing your expedition to catch this silver-scaled fish can give you a wonderful lifetime experience.

The best time to catch migratory Tarpon begins in mid-March to early April. The water temperature during this period reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit, attracting a school of Tarpon off the Fort Myers coast. They flood the backcountry, coastal inlets, and canals as they swim to the north.

Guide to Fort Myers Tarpon fishing charters

For an adrenaline-pumping experience, the best way is to go on a sea adventure with someone who practically knows the waters. They are the charter boat captains.

Why Opt for a Fishing Charter?

Chasing a tarpon with a fly rod is always a rewarding experience. A tarpon that is free jumping and launching itself into the air is an unforgettable sight. Maximize your fishing expedition in Fort Myers by booking a reliable fishing charter.

Booking a six or 8-hour trip gives you and your company plenty of time to find Tarpon in the waters. A charter boat usually accommodates up to 3- 4 passengers, excluding the captain. For a bigger group, adding another captain is necessary to assist everyone.  

How to Fish for Tarpon?

There are various ways to catch a tarpon. It depends mainly on the weather, tides, seasons, locations, and temperament of the fish. If it’s your first time fishing while on board a charter boat, your captain will recommend the best method.

The fishing approach may include site casting, anchoring, drifting, fly tackle, and light spinning. Experienced anglers usually use the light spinning and heavy tackle for bigger Tarpon.

Tarpon bites frozen bait, Pilchard, Shrimp, and live Crab. This species like live bait feeding, but opting for this kind of lure will add extra cost to your charter trip. Using live or dead sardines also attracts more Tarpon. As for the crabs, they are like candies for this species. 

How Much is the Cost of Renting a Boat Charter?

Generally, a fishing charter trip can cost you $100 per hour or more. The boat rent depends on the number of passengers, the baits to use, etc.

Everything like fishing gears and baits is already provided during your charter expedition. You only need to prepare yourself for a physically challenging tarpon fishing. Don’t forget to take some shades and sunscreen too. 

What Should You Expect from a Tarpon Charter?

 The charter typically leaves at 8:00 am or earlier because the captain knows that the bite will be better. The best time is 30-40 minutes before the sun rises on the horizon. This is to rig and prepare you when the giant Tarpon comes around.

Tarpon often starts looking for food during the first 30 minutes of daybreak or low light. Remember that you need to cast lures and roll feeds during the whole duration of the charter expedition. Nothing is more disappointing than seeing a giant tarpon roll in the area you throw.

This species tends to slow down at 10:00 am but feeds until 11:00 am. Spend the first half of the day luring and catching them. After a successful feat, you can use the rest of the charter trip to appreciate the sea views.

Also, Tarpon’s behavior is unpredictable. So it is always fun and exciting to catch this fish while onboard a charter boat. Most Tarpon weighs over 100 pounds, so knowing how to use the tackle and hooks is crucial to successful fishing. 

Listen to the captain’s instructions about catching Tarpon using a 30-pound test line. Using circle hooks can give you a better chance to see one. A monofilament line is also better than using a braided line as it absorbs the shock caused by the violent thrashing of the Tarpon. 

Other Tarpon Fishing Guides to Remember

Be Responsible

Do not forget that Florida promotes “responsible angling.” Tarpon fishing is strictly “Catch and Release.” If your catch is bigger than 40 inches, it should stay in the water.

Since it is not edible because of its bony structure, catching and holding the Tarpon for photo purposes caps the excitement of fishing. However, if you want to keep your “best catch” or break the IFGA record, you need to buy a tarpon tag.

In general, anglers in Fort Myers respect Tarpon so much and let them swim off the waters. It is also important not to hold it by the mouth. This is to prevent the fish from gaffing or creating a hole in its mouth. Tarpon needs to get air at the water’s surface to survive when it happens. 

Learn How to Fish Properly

You need to cast the line near the area where the Tarpon is. This is to prevent scaring them away. Only put your reel in gear when the Tarpon takes the bait and is swimming away.

Start reeling carefully to help the hook stick in the corner of the top of the Tarpon’s mouth. Once the fish feels caught, be ready for its immediate response. The Tarpon will start thrashing its body and jumping in the air.

Drop your rod to slack the line if you see it flying in the air. The struggle is now between the Tarpon and the slacked line. Fishermen call it “bowing to the King.”

It is necessary to avoid a tight line that will allow the fish to use its muscles and weight to break the line. If you see it going down to the waters again, repeat it. Keep changing your angles and reeling.

Do not let your Tarpon rests while it gets closer to your boat. This is to prevent it from taking in some air and becoming more assertive. 

Book Your Dream Fishing Expedition Now!

Book your trip ahead of the prime fishing months to experience the best tarpon season in Fort Myers. You may also opt to book a memorable fishing trip to catch Silver King exclusively during summer and spring. 

Tarpon fishing charters are experiencing a blast, and visiting anglers are experiencing the best of their lives on the waters chasing this unique fish species.

 Reserve your slot in advance to ensure a hassle-free stay in Fort Myers. At Caloosahatchee Cowboy Charters, we will make your tarpon fishing trip a memorable activity. Whether you’re a novice or pro angler new to the waters of Fort Myers, we are your best ally.