Tarpon fishing is always a great experience, one to remember and repeat each tarpon season. Nothing compares to the indescribable satisfaction of jumping the infamous silver king, more so when it legally lands on your boat. These monstrous, big fish are famed for their leaping and fighting ability, which many anglers love to conquer.
Fort Myers, gateway to the infamous tarpon fishing spot, Southwest Florida, features one of the best tarpon fishing seasons for anglers chasing after the world’s greatest gamefish. Anglers flock to Fort Myers for the most adventurous tarpon fishing experience.
Hence, to fully capture the Fort Myers tarpon fever, you need to know these things:
The thrill of catching — and releasing a tarpon always gets a seasoned angler to come back to tarpon fishing every season. These gigantic fish have a reputation for being fierce fighters who will leap high and hard for their life. They can sustain lengthy battles with anglers because they can readily refill their air bladder after jumping high to the water’s surface.
They grow to a whopping seven feet long and 300 pounds in weight. Consequently, a tarpon’s weight also signifies the trophy for the victorious angler. Historically, the first tarpon caught using a fishing rod and reel was in Tarpon Bay. Tarpon Bay was once known as Sanibel Island.
This silvery fish is known as the silver king. Interestingly, though, female tarpon grows larger than their male counterparts. Nevertheless, this fish takes on the title of Florida’s king of inshore waters.
Fort Myers Tarpon Fishing
Fort Myers boasts some prime tarpon fishing grounds in Florida’s tarpon-rich waters. Seasoned anglers from wherever parts of the USA and the world book tarpon trips here to experience massive jumping tarpons. It is easy to spot hundreds of tarpons on a good fishing day.
A short boat ride to Fort Myers inshore waters will bring you many other fishing opportunities more than tarpon fish. The area is abundant in wildlife and beautiful Fort Myers beach. For this reason, Fort Myers hosts many world-record tarpons caught. With more silver king per acre than anywhere else globally, breaking tarpon catch records is a habit in Fort Myers.
Fort Myers Tarpon Season
Tarpon fishing season in Fort Myers is open for the whole year. This means the mighty tarpon is present there all year-round. However, not every month is good tarpon fishing timing. Tarpons do not swim in the shallow waters of Boca Grande Pass, Sanibel Island or Tarpon Bay, and Fort Myers Beach until the water temperature reaches 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water temperature and the frequency of cold fronts passing through are the factors to look out for when tarpon fishing. Tarpon fishing charters deem the cool water months of November, December, January, and February as occasional tarpon fishing seasons. During these months, silver kings primarily swim in deeper waters, such as the Gulf of Mexico, making them more challenging to fish.
In general, the ideal seasons for Fort Myers Tarpon fishing are late spring, early summer, and fall, when the water cools just right again.
Best Months To Catch Tarpon
In April, silver kings begin to swarm Fort Myers. Tarpon trips fill up with excited anglers anxious to catch their first tarpon. The most thrilling tarpon fishing kicks off with silver kings feeding heavily and becoming dependable biters.
Active tarpon fishing goes on until early October. Fishing charters guarantee April, May, June, and September to have the best catches among these months. July and August are also excellent fishing seasons, but the high water temperature sometimes creates a slowdown.
Similarly, October is ideal for fish tarpon, but the big cold fronts begin to hit midway through October.
Fort Myers Tarpon Fishing Guidelines To Keep In Mind
Florida, of which Fort Myers is a part, keeps a few guidelines for tarpon fishers. Sometimes, tarpon fishing is so fun that many overlook these guidelines. Make no mistake, though, because breaking these regulations carries severe penalties.
Take note of the following points:
- The first one is crucial: the catch-and-release ONLY policy. No one is allowed to keep the tarpon, much less consume one. This also means keeping the tarpon in the water while taking a picture or removing the hook.
- If you get lucky and jump a seven-foot-long tarpon, keep in mind that tarpons over 40 inches long must stay in the water at all times. When held, tarpons of this size typically sustain injuries due to their weight. This then causes more severe harm to their internal organs. Consequently, anglers or fishers could only lift them horizontally.
- There is no minimum size requirement so long as they fulfill the conditions stated above. Only single hooks and one fishing are permitted; no treble or multiple point hooks will be allowed.
Fort Myers Tarpon Fishing Charters
Tarpon fishing charters in Fort Myers are fully booked early because they are mostly reserved far in advance. It is, indeed, a ‘fisherman’s paradise.’ Many individuals book fishing charters in this paradise to check tarpon fishing off their bucket list.
Fishing charters usually limit the number of anglers or fishers to three or four, excluding the captain. Casting lures for the silver king with these numbers are deemed most effective.
Also, early leaving Fort Myers beach is necessary. Some fishing charters depart Fort Myers beach around 8 in the morning, while others prefer leaving before sunrise. The latter is most frequent during peak seasons. They say the biggest ones come out early, sometimes until 10 in the morning. Typically, a tarpon fishing charter goes on for six to 8 hours.
You will be casting lures to the feeding tarpon during the entire tarpon fishing charter. While you are determined to hook and jump a tarpon, the tarpon is also determined to frustrate you. Catching your first tarpon is tough, but that is where the fun lies.
Booking A Tarpon Fishing Charter
Some individuals claim to have mastered the art of tarpon fishing. Nonetheless, an organized tarpon fishing charter trip with a captain remains the best option. They know the sweet spots to jump many and giant tarpon.
Fishing charters also determine and check on the crucial factors needed before setting sail to ensure you get the best experience. This includes the weather, tides, and temperature. With this, they identify which approach is best for the day.
There are many tarpon fishing charters in Fort Myers. However, your options drop significantly during peak fishing seasons. Early research and reservations are always key.
Test Out Your Tarpon Fishing Skills
There is always a day in a year to test out your tarpon fishing skills. Tarpon fishing charters, especially in Fort Myers, are also open all year round. Other than the willpower to reel in one of these massive tarpons, you only need a pair of sunglasses, a hat, and some sunscreen, and you’re ready to go.
If you are in for a relaxing day while also keeping your adrenaline running, then secure your spot in the water and prepare to take out your fishing tackle box. Book a tarpon fishing charter in Fort Myers because it is time for some good fishing.