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Silver King Fishing for Sabalo in the Sunshine State

Monday June 18, 2018

Florida Tarpon Fishing GuideOften considered one of the most brutal fighting inshore and near-shore fish in Florida, the tarpon can often exceed 150 pounds and take hours to bring in. Known as the silver king to many anglers, the Florida tarpon lives up to it's name as the king of fish on coastline. Florida has the lion share of tarpon in North America and host several different migrations including the most famous gulf coast migration that includes Boca Grande and Homosassa. The Florida Keys seems to have a permanent tarpon presence and our east coast tarpon show up for the summer months from May to September.

Live bait tends to get the best tarpon bite on the east coast, but many west coast and Key's guides might argue that jigs and flies seem to get the a consistent bite too. Fly fishing is the most challenging and a ten weight would be the right choice for tarpon in the 100 pound or less range with 11 weights for many of the heavy weight champions.

Fly Fishing For Tarpon

For smaller "ditch tarpon" on the inshore waters that are less than 20 pounds and eight or nine weight will be adequate, but the large tarpon will need beefier rods up to eleven weights. A good compromise would be a 10 weight with an intermediate weight forward line. We choose the St. Croix Legend series 10 weights and they get the job done.

Depending on where you are at and what the tarpon are seeking and relating to, the best flies are probably bait-fish patterns from the Stu Apte Tarpon Fly to an assortment of streamers. Tarpon can be notoriously finicky and they can also have their moments when they eat anything you throw at them. On the east Coast of Central Florida we don't often sight-fish for tarpon directly, but we do get in the area they are rolling and feeding near bait pods often. Smaller tarpon can often be seen rolling and gulping air in the backwaters in deeper water.

When is The Best Times to Fish for Tarpon in Florida?

There's no doubt that Tarpon like the warmer times of the year. On Florida's east central coastline it's a summer-time ordeal, but on the west coast of Florida below Tampa Bay it's a spring and early summer fishery.

florida Tarpon FishingHow big do Tarpon get in Florida

Tarpon can exceed 200 pounds but that's pretty rare in Florida where tarpon get into the high 100 pound range consistently. While a 200+ pounder is possible, it's a very formidable fish and are considered a lifetime achievement for many anglers.

As always I look forward to hearing from many of you soon, if you need to contact Captain Gina and setup a charter please call her at (321) 868-4953 or just fill out the form on the left.

Where is Florida's Best Tarpon Fishing?

Boca Grande in May is Florida's Mecca for tarpon fishing, but you'd better be prepared for combat fishing and willing to pay big bucks for the chance to jump a tarpon. You'll be fishing bumper to bumper in a pass and it will challenge your demeanor and patience. On Florida's Space Coast you can expect semi-consistent tarpon fishing all summer along the beaches from June thru September.

Tarpon have one single dorsal fin (the fin on the top) that extends into long filament. A tarpon's back is dark blue to green or greenish black, shading into bright silver on the side. Their color may vary and be brownish gold in estuarine waters. Tarpon have huge scales that are often kept as trophies by anglers and a large mouth that points upward.

Primarily INSHORE fish, although adult fish spawn OFFSHORE where the ribbon-like larval stage of the fish can be found. We find our larger tarpon off the beaches in the summer. They are often found rolling on the surface and gulping air in while lurking for food or taking it easy between feeding sessions.

Tarpon can often be found in brackish or freshwater near mangroves or in residential canals. Look for tarpon to show up almost anywhere on the lagoons and beaches in Florida, but tarpon "promise land" is found in the Florida Keys and other locations around Florida. While the Orlando, Cocoa Beach area is not as consistent for these gamefish as south Florida areas, we nevertheless we catch our share of tarpon in the Central Florida area when the timing is right and they're around. Tarpon tend to move into the Central Florida area and move out... The Florida Keys tends to hold them year around.


Tarpon are slow growers and mature between 7 to 13 years of age. Spawning occurs between May and September when females may lay more than 12 million eggs each. Tarpon can tolerate wide range of salinity from fresh to very salty estuary waters. Juvenile tarpon are commonly found in fresh water and can breathe air at surface. Tarpon feed mainly on fish and large crustaceans.


Requires $50 tarpon tag to possess or harvest and two fish possession limit.

State Record

243 lbs.

Florida Tarpon Fishing

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: October 20 2016 16:28:03.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

June - 2018 Fishing Report

Fishing Forecast

June - 2018 Fishing Forecast

June of 2018 is looking to be a hot summer with hot fishing off of East Central Florida near Cocoa Beach. Orlando visitors should anticipate the warm weather and great fishing that coastal and offshore fishing provides in the warm Atlantic Ocean this time of year. Last year in 2017 we saw many tarpon exceeding 100 pounds caught off the Brevard County beaches along with a good amount of sharks, king mackerel and really big Jack Crevelle that kept things interesting. Looking forward to this year's forecast on the Space Coast remember that the coastal waters along the Atlantic seaboard and Ocean will probably be the most productive fishing during the month of June and as we look in to August the ocean will look to be the most inviting destination for anglers in the heat of the Central Florida Summer.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
Telephone: 321-868-4953

204 Garfield Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL

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Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

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about Lagooner Fishing Charters on April 7, 2015

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